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

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