Scholars Supporting High-intensity Mental Health Needs of Native and Indigenous Youth: School Psychologist and Counselor Advanced Preparation (SHPA)

Native American and Indigenous Scholars Collaborative

Image: Native American medicine wheel with feathers

The Native American and Indigenous Scholars Project (SHPA)  is designed to help reduce the profound gap in the numbers of school counselors and school psychologists appropriately trained to respond to the needs of Native American and Indigenous youth served in special education. 

The SHPA Project provides an inter-professional cohort model, NAI  mentors and collaborators, models, readings, ongoing specialty seminar, and supervised collaborative clinical experiences at Bonsall High School and Norman L. Sullivan Middle School.

We emphasize strength and resilience-based evidence-based interventions that affirm the culture of the child and recognize the influences of historical trauma and colonization.

Combined with graduate studies and coursework, we learn and use specialized knowledge to differentiate differences from disability, and to help design and deliver culturally appropriate pedagogical and psychological services.

All project students are accepted to one of 2 graduate programs in School Psychology or School Counseling.

SHPA is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Projects. H325K190006

Contact Info

Carol Robinson-ZaƱartu, Ph.D.
Director, Native American and Indigenous Scholars Collaborative
Department of Counseling & School Psychology
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-1179

Curriculum Vitae

Nayeli Lopez-Ortiz, B.S.
Graduate Assistant



Project Activities

Becoming a SHPA Scholar


Journey as a SHPA Scholar