School Psychology

1. Rationale
Even though the preparation of professionals in the field of Psychology in this country dates as far back as 1960s in Addis Ababa University, the training program has been limited on producing educational Psychologists serving only the education sector. Present context, however, needs educational institutions to prepare professionals in the field that would meet broader demands of the society. Hence, the Department of Psychology at Bahir Dar University aims at producing knowledgeable and skilled professionals in the filed.
Through our needs assessment, we fund that in many of the governmental as well as non-governmental organizations, there are a number of job opportunities for graduates with Bachelor Degree in the field Psychology. Especially, in line with the emphasis given by the government towards youth, women and children, and the business process reengineering (BPR) undergoing all over the country comes out with many different posts for Psychologists. Furthermore, results of the need assessment of sampled grade twelve preparatory school students in four Regional States (Amhara, Addis Ababa, Oromia and SNNP) indicate the presence of high level interest to join the department and train as Psychologists.
The last but not the least reason is that since Ethiopia is through the process of economic development, industrialization, rapid urbanization and joining the era ICT, the experiences of most developed nations taught us that their economic and social development is accompanied by different social changes as well as social problems (such as increasing level of unemployment, crime, rape, abuses, developmental challenges, child trafficking, etc). Such major social problems clearly require the attention and professional intervention of psychologists. Secondly, the impact of globalization (especially cultural globalization) also comes with various social problems and challenges basically including cultural invasion, inappropriate behavioral modeling, culturally deviating conducts, delusional identity and so on.
In general, the presence of various social problems, challenges and concerns such as the spread of the deadly disease HIV/AIDS, its psychosocial consequences, high number of unemployment, high number of street children, orphanage, increasing rate of divorce, sexual abuse, its psychosocial aftereffects and many other social challenges all indicate the increasing demand of professionals called Psychologists working on such and other problems. Through the use of practicum, research, and community services activities in addition to the classroom training. The curriculum covers a balanced and sound program based on practicum and training that will enable gradates to be competent to work in different segments and contexts of the society.
2. Program Goals
2.1 General Objective
The general objective of the Department of Psychology is to produce well equipped, qualified and trained graduates (members of their professional community) who can apply their theory and research based psychological knowledge to various spheres of human activity and social services (including the family, education, health, industry, employment, jury and the treatment of mental health problems) and thereby meet the demands of governmental, non-governmental and private agencies; to carry out quality research on various Psychological, educational and social problems of the community and; to provide the necessary public services to individuals, institutions, and groups regarding problems and issues pertaining to the field of Psychology.
2.2 Specific Objectives
The specific objectives of the training program are to:

  • Conduct research on psychological issues and issues directed to the improvement of the teaching learning process.
  • To produce professionals who work with teachers and administrators to maximize the efficiency of their work.
  • To train personnel who can become guidance and counselors in schools.
  • To produce professionals who can involve in assessment and intervention of children with special needs and can offer counseling and consultation to their teachers and families.
  • To train personnel who can facilitate school effectiveness in different social and educational contexts.
  • To produce professionals who could address the educational, social and behavioral challenges many children, youth & adults experience.
  • To provide professional help for external stakeholders and organization

3. Program Requirements
3.1 Admission Requirements:
Students who attended college preparatory schools and have taken University entrance examination and obtain the score level set by the Ministry of Education to pursue study at higher learning institutions will be admitted to this program. In addition those who already have Diploma or degree in different field of studies (but preferably in the areas of teaching) will be admitted in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Education and the legislation of Bahir Dar University. These requirements work for both students who want to apply for regular or extension programs.
3.2 Duration of the Program:
The program is organized to be completed in three years for regular program students and four years for extension program students. If a student fails to complete the program within this timeframe for accepted reasons by academic commission of the institute, the student may be allowed to continue for an additional semester or a year.
3.3 Graduation Requirements:
In order to be graduated with a B.A degree in School Psychology, a student should:

  1. 1.take a total credit hour of 109
  2. 2.obtain an overall cumulative GPA of not less than 2.00
  3. a cumulative GPA of not less than 2.00 in the major courses
  4. 4.have no “F” grade in any of the prescribed course

3.4 Medium of Instruction:
The medium of instruction for the program is ENGLISH
4. Degree Nomenclature:
The undergraduate school psychology program leads to a certification referred in English as:
The Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA) in School Psychology
5. Graduates Profile
Future Career Paths and Opportunities
Psychological knowledge is applied to various spheres of human activity, including the family, child development, care and protection, education, employment, and the treatment of mental health problems. Psychologists apply their knowledge to a wide range of endeavors, including health and human services, management, education, and law (justice system). BA graduate of School Psychology have opportunities to secure employment in a wide range of human services.
Graduates of Psychology program have plenty of job opportunities in schools, education bureaus, business sectors, legal offices, research institutes, NGOs and so on. The program prepares trainees to become professional psychologists in schools. In general, graduates of the department will be experts in Psychology in general and school psychology in particular and hence able to become:

  • guidance and counselors at different levels of the education system of the country
  • researchers in schools and at different levels of the educational system of the country
  • professionals in test development
  • counselors in child and youth centers
  • consultants in organizations involved in the education of children
  • consultants for the educationally disadvantaged, dropouts & disruptive students