College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

College of Education and Human Development

Mason’s School Psychology program launches CEWS

August 16, 2023

The School Psychology program at George Mason University’s School of Education is excited to announce the launch of its Coordinated Educational and Wellness Services (CEWS) center which will offer psychoeducational testing and evaluation of school-aged children. Housed within the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), CEWS will specialize in mental health, psychological, and educational services for children, adolescents, and teens, ages 5 to 18. The goal of these services is to improve the emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning of children in primary and secondary schools. Previously, the School Psychology program provided psychoeducational testing of this age group through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) which operates a mental health clinic serving a client base that includes young children as well as adults of college age and beyond. With its specialty sharply focused on the evaluation of individuals aged 5 to 18, the development of CEWS as part of CEHD will allow the center to better leverage the expertise of CEHD faculty who have devoted their entire careers to the study of educating children with a special focus on school-related issues critical to their wellbeing.

The new center within CEHD is structured to serve as a community resource helping families with a child who may be experiencing academic, emotional, or behavioral problems impeding their functioning in school and elsewhere. CEWS will begin rolling out its services this September and is accepting appointments for testing to be conducted through its Comprehensive Assessment Services (CAS) program. No referral is necessary, and parents may contact the center directly for an appointment.

The evaluations performed through the CAS program are designed to assist parents in addressing specific areas of concern where their child may be having difficulties. Some of the more common concerns include anxiety, mood disorders (depression), social interaction challenges, behavioral difficulties, emotional outbursts, learning and attentional difficulties, ADHD, and autism. Assessments encompass interviews, questionnaires, record reviews, and direct testing of the child. The testing will be conducted by thoroughly trained graduate students in Mason’s School Psychology program under the close supervision of licensed clinical and school psychologists affiliated with the university. Parents and families who utilize the testing and support services offered through CEWS will find that fees are affordable compared to what private clinics would charge for the same service. In addition, a sliding fee scale based on income has been established that will make services accessible to families that are less economically advantaged and that otherwise might not be able to afford them.

Dr. Nicole Beadles

Dr. Nicole Beadles, associate professor in Mason’s School Psychology program, plays a leading role in overseeing and directing the services provided by CEWS. Recently, she sat down to discuss the benefits of conducting psychoeducational testing of school-age children under the auspices of CEHD. “We wanted to develop a center that was focused on school age children and educationally-related concerns,” she explained. “We specialize in children and adolescents, which is a defining attribute of our school psychology program. As school psychologists, we also have extensive experience in, and understanding of, school-related matters and issues. For children and families, this expertise is critical.”

Dr. Beadles continued, “When children come in for an evaluation of a learning disability or ADHD, their education and relationships have likely already been impacted, and they are struggling with the fallout from that. We are experts in schools, learning, and child development. We have extensive experience helping families whose children have psychological, behavioral, and emotional difficulties, and we strive to support them across all areas of their lives. However, children spend the vast majority of their time in school, where the impact is often greatest. As school psychologists, that is our domain of expertise. This is what makes our center so unique and what makes it a much-needed resource for parents, families, and youth in the community.”

In her other comments, Dr. Beadles emphasized that coming to a training clinic, such as CEWS, affords unique benefits that may not be found in private practice clinics. She explained, there is a high level of oversight, care, and attention given to the cases at our center. Our graduate students are well trained and closely monitored by supervisors who are experts in their fields and licensed to practice in the community. This provides two sets of eyes on all work conducted in the center. Supervision ensures that our assessment conclusions are well founded, and that the recommendations are complete, that they align with well-researched practices, and that they are tailored to the specific needs of the family and the child. Our goal is to provide accurate and useful information that can make a difference in a child’s life. These are some of the major benefits a parent will experience when they come to our center for psychoeducational testing of their child.”

Dr. Beadles, who previously worked as a school psychologist at Fairfax County Public Schools, has been engaging with community organizations and school psychology leaders in Northern Virginia school districts including Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Arlington, Alexandria, and Manassas, in disseminating the news about the opening of CEWS. Her goal is to make sure the community is aware that affordable, high quality psychoeducational evaluations of children will now be conducted by CEHD’s Comprehensive Assessment Services within Coordinated Educational and Wellness Services. Dr. Beadles has also offered a glimpse of a roadmap for expanding the type of services available through CEWS to include Literacy and Counseling support for children and families—something that she hopes will come to fruition over the next two years, if not sooner.

To learn more about CEWS, please visit the center’s website where you will find a more detailed description of services that are available as well as an interest form to request more information. For information about Mason’s School Psychology program and its graduate degree offerings, please visit the program website.