As of January, the national average is one psychologist per 1,127 students. In Georgia, the ratio is one to 2,137. (Some research has estimated the number as one psychologist for every 6,390 students in Georgia.) Paulding’s ratio is about one to 1,550, and in Gwinnett, Georgia’s largest school district, the ratio is one to 2,673.
“Mental health needs have increased in post-pandemic years, and school psychologists are specially trained in mental health supports,” said Nicole White, Gwinnett’s executive director of special education and psychological services. “They are a great asset to our schools in meeting the increasing mental health needs of students, and this initiative aligns with our district’s strategic plan in supporting the needs of the whole child.”
The grant will help the districts and Georgia State draw diverse, local candidates into the school psychology training program.
“We believe this is a great opportunity to not only continue our partnership but keep us competitive when recruiting interns and, ultimately, keeping us in the employment pipeline for their graduates,” White said.