The school psychologist shortage has been a persistent problem in education, and there is a lack of research on what current administrative supervisors are doing to address shortages. This study examined the perceptions of district leaders regarding the recruitment and retention of school psychologists. Participants included 19 administrative supervisors in public school districts in Colorado (CO), Utah (UT), Nevada (NV), and Wyoming (WY). Data for this qualitative study were collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with administrative supervisors of school psychologists. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed for common themes. A total of 10 themes were identified, and the first theme reflected concerns about school psychology graduate programs not producing enough school psychologists. Additionally, being farther away from a graduate program creates recruiting difficulties. Another related theme revealed that close relationships with graduate programs contributes to successful recruiting. Administrative supervisors noted the role that the surrounding community plays in retaining current school psychologists. They also expressed the importance of creating appealing workloads that matched salaries, being responsive, matching school psychologists’ preferences, and offering job flexibility. Other key themes included the challenges of finding school psychologists to hire and competing with neighboring local education administration (LEAs). Finally, administrative supervisors believe that they are in a worker’s market that favors the school psychologist. Overall, there appeared to be a theme of administrative supervisors feeling a lack of control over their current situation. Limitations for the study include collecting data across several months that may have influenced participants responses due to the demands of hiring during certain times of year. The sample included participants from states in the western United States, which may reflect limited perspectives based on geographic needs and trends. Directions for future research may include a larger sample size that reflects national demographic characteristics. Further research could also investigate the effectiveness of current efforts to address shortages on a systemic level. This could include researching how state and national associations advocate for school psychologists and how graduate programs grow and adapt to match current needs.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Butler, Rachel Ruth, "Retaining School Psychologists: The Role of District Level Administrative Supervisors" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8459.
school psychologists, administrative supervisors, shortage, professional supervision, recruitment, retention