Letter: It's a mistake to cut a program our community needs

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President Anne Blackhurst, of Minnesota State University Moorhead, has announced the ending of the school psychology graduate program, a nationally successful program that has created foundational roots for school psychologists in Minnesota, North Dakota and across the United States. Our program has been successfully running over 50 years, graduating hundreds of school psychologists who provide services for our children.

School psychology is not a career to be taken lightly. School psychology uses data, consultation and collaboration to make high-stake decisions in schools to benefit children. We can assess students for Special Education; create and implement interventions; provide consultation to teachers, parents, students and administration; provide mental health services and counseling; provide crisis intervention; and collaborate with families. Overall, school psychologists benefit the community and schools by creating a safe and healthy school environment. Children need the advocacy of school psychologists, especially those in special education.

I am confused why Blackhurst would cut this necessary program. Our schools need us. If we lose another graduate level program, our schools will hurt. In fact, many of the graduates from MSUM’s school psychology program decide to stay in the local area to serve our youth. Without our program, we will lose professional advocates who are necessary for our schools.

It breaks my heart to hear that Blackhurst does not appreciate the work we do. That she would cut a program that impacts more than just the university.

Our children need school psychologists and if the program ends, our schools with struggle more to find school psychologists.

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