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What Schools Offer Educational Diagnostician Programs?

by Susan J. Henrichon

The educational diagnostician is generally employed by school districts to assess the academic progress of at-risk students. The diagnostician assesses the student by administering of a variety of standardized tests, reviewing educational history and identifying specific learning issues. He determines eligibility for services, provides specialized interventions and assists in the development of the individualized educational program. The educational diagnostician provides consultative services to the teaching staff to enhance the student's learning environment. Only a few colleges offer a specialized educational diagnostician program.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University offers either a master's degree in special education with an emphasis in educational diagnostician or an educational diagnostician certification preparation program. The prerequisite of this program is a teaching certificate and a bachelor's degree. This graduate program is completely online, and the program consists of 36 to 39 credit hours. For completion of the Master of Education, the additional three to six credit hours are required and successful completion of the comprehensive evaluation or thesis. This program prepares the student for professional certification by the state education department; however; two years of teaching experience are required before the certification test is administered.

University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico program prepares the student for professional certification by the state department of education. The applicant must be accepted into the graduate program in special education before he can be accepted into this preparation program. The graduate program requires that the candidate is a licensed teacher with at least two years of experience. The preparation program consists of 30 credit hours. The courses focus on language development, diagnostic assessment, multidisciplinary collaboration and differential diagnosis. As part of the requirements, a 300-hour internship needs to be completed within the public schools.

Northwestern State University

Northwestern State University offers an add-on certification program to obtain the educational diagnostician certification. For the individual who possesses a master's degree in special education and holds a current teacher certification, this certification program can be an option. The applicant must also have at least one year of teaching experience. This program requires the completion of 27 to 30 credit hours along with a supervised internship of 100 child contact hours. The coursework encompasses diagnosis and remediation of reading problems, applied learning theory, behavioral intervention strategies, testing theory, teacher consultative strategies and assessment and diagnostic strategies.

School Psychologist Programs

Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana are the only states that offer the educational diagnostician certification area. In the remaining states, the educational diagnostician is referred to as a school psychologist. Schools in these states offer psychology programs, since the appropriate certification is school psychologist. The school psychology coursework is similar to the diagnostician coursework. The required coursework includes foundations and theories of learning, psychometrics, assessments, school-based intervention methods and a school-based internship. Check state certification requirements before researching school programs and degree areas.

About the Author

Susan Henrichon has more than 25 years of experience in education. She has taught special education and possesses administrative experience in the public school setting. She holds a Master of Education in special education from Westfield State University and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in educational administration from the University of Massachusetts.

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