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Training Experience in the US School Psychology Program: Understanding Asian International Students’ Assets, Challenges, and Coping


To address the rapidly increasing demand for culturally and linguistically diverse school psychologists and training needs for international school psychology students in the USA, this study was grounded in the risk and resilience framework and used semi-structured interviews to explore the nuanced experiences of Asian international trainees in school psychology programs in the USA. Participants included 11 Asian international students who were enrolled in or recently graduated from school psychology programs in the USA. Thematic analysis revealed that Asian international school psychology students identified some assets they have brought to the program, including their diverse perspectives and experiences, awareness and commitment to social justice, and the potential to diversify the school psychology workforce. Participants also identified several challenges they were facing, such as acculturative stress, microaggression and discrimination, training program-related issues, and working restrictions related to their visa status. Moreover, they identified some effective strategies (i.e., seeking resources and increasing internal strengths) they have used to cope with these challenges. The findings provide important implications for school psychology graduate programs in the USA to improve the training experiences and training outcomes for international students from Asia and other countries.

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