Recruitment and retention strategies
Here are seven more strategies from the National Association of School Psychologists for dealing with counseling shortages:
- Develop paid internship programs to recruit graduate school candidates to your district.
- Sell the job and your district by outlining community assets, such as a lower cost of living, strong school systems and local parks.
- Cast a wide net. Post positions on job websites that reach a state or national audience, rather than only on your district site. Recruit at conferences and events.
- Incentivize candidates. Some states, such as Wyoming, have no graduate school psychology programs. “You have to be very proactive and somewhat aggressive—maybe creating a loan forgiveness program that incentivizes people to move there,” says Eric Rossen, director of professional development and standards for NASP. Districts can pay for a teacher to get a master’s degree in exchange for working in the district.
- Consider the working conditions. When ratios are very high and comprehensive services cannot be provided, professionals are more likely to burn out, Rossen says.
- Establish peer support and mentorship programs for current school psychologists.
- Plan for the future. Current psychologists can speak at high schools and colleges to raise awareness about the field.
LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: School districts struggle to fill mental health positions