Transitioning from a student to a practitioner can be a very difficult and challenging period in one’s career. Early career school psychologists are not only responsible for adapting to the everchanging and fast paced work of school psychology but must also deal with adjusting to a new career. This qualitative phenomenological study focused on shedding light to the challenges that are encountered by early career school psychologists. Additionally, it set out to discover the strategies, methods, and resources that they use to overcome these obstacles. With the purpose to answering the four main research questions of this study, thirteen participants who were in their first to second year of practice were interviewed with approved semis-structured opened ended questions. Research findings found that early career school psychologists confronted various challenges and used multiple strategies and instruments to combat such challenges. Based on the findings from this study, the researcher developed the M.A.R.S Model of Supporting Early Career School Psychologists in the hope that it can be utilized to guide school districts in supporting early career practitioners.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

School psychologists; School psychology; National Association of School Psychologists

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Gabriella Miramontes