As a clinical psychology doctoral program accredited by the American Psychological Association, we are required to meet the APA Standards of Accreditation. These Program Learning Outcomes map directly onto accreditation requirements.
APA’s IR C-7 D: Discipline-Specific Knowledge states: “Discipline-specific knowledge serves as a cornerstone of identity as a psychologist and orientation to health service psychology. Therefore, all students in accredited doctoral programs shall demonstrate knowledge in the discipline of psychology, broadly construed. This discipline-specific knowledge base shall include: 1) the history and systems of psychology, 2) basic knowledge in scientific psychology, 3) integrative knowledge in scientific psychology, and 4) methods of inquiry and research.”
Program Learning Outcomes for Discipline-Specific Knowledge:
1) History and Systems of Psychology
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of History and Systems of Psychology
2) Basic Content Areas in Scientific Psychology
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of Affective Aspects of Behavior
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of Biological Aspects of Behavior
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of Cognitive Aspects of Behavior
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of Social Aspects of Behavior
3) Advanced Integrative Knowledge in Scientific Psychology
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of Advanced Integrative Knowledge of Basic Content Areas in Scientific Psychology
4) Research Methods, Statistical Analysis, and Psychometrics
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of Research Methods
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of Statistical Analysis
- Demonstrates graduate level knowledge of Psychometrics
APA’s IR C-8 D: Profession-Wide Competency states: “The Commission on Accreditation (CoA) requires that all trainees who complete accredited training programs, regardless of substantive practice area, degree type, or level of training, develop certain competencies as part of their preparation for practice in health service psychology (HSP).”
For all students, Profession-Wide Competencies elements are taught, role modeled, and integrated in required coursework, practica, and research training that take place throughout the program. Training is sequential, cumulative, increasingly complex, and designed to prepare students to become outstanding clinical scientists, with exceptional levels of competency in clinical research, clinical practice, and the essential integration of science and practice. Students must demonstrate doctoral-level competence.
Program Learning Outcomes for Profession-Wide Competencies:
- Demonstrate the substantially independent ability to formulate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., critical literature reviews, dissertation, efficacy studies, clinical case studies, theoretical papers, program evaluation projects, program development projects) that are of sufficient quality and rigor to have the potential to contribute to the scientific, psychological, or professional knowledge base.
- Conduct research or other scholarly activities.
- Critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activity via professional publication and presentation at the local (including the host institution), regional, or national level.
2) Ethical and Legal Standards
- Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with each of the following:
- the current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct;
- Relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels; and
- Relevant professional standards and guidelines.
- Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise, and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas.
- Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.
3) Individual and Cultural Diversity
- Demonstrate an understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.
- Be knowledgeable of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.
- Demonstrate the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities). This includes the ability to apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered over the course of their careers. Also included is the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.
- Demonstrate the requisite knowledge base, ability to articulate an approach to working effectively with diverse individuals and groups, and apply this approach effectively in their professional work.
4) Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
- Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others
- Engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.
- Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
- Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.
5) Communications and Interpersonal Skills
- Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.
- Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
- Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.
- Demonstrate current knowledge of diagnostic classification systems, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology.
- Demonstrate understanding of human behavior within its context (e.g., family, social, societal and cultural).
- Demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors including context to the assessment and/or diagnostic process.
- Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.
- Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
- Communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.
- Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
- Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
- Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.
- Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking.
- Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.
- Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices.
- Demonstrate knowledge of diversity issues as they relate to supervision models and practice.
9) Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
- Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
- Demonstrates knowledge of consultation models and practices.
APA’s Commission on Accreditation states: “Accredited programs may choose to include program-specific competencies as part of their educational curriculum. These should be consistent with the program’s aim(s) and the professional standards and practices of health service psychology.”
Each student in our program applies through one of three major areas of study that best characterizes the research that student wants to do. These areas are Experimental Psychopathology, Behavioral Medicine, and Neuropsychology. Consistent with our program philosophy and aims, all three areas are achieved via the integration of clinical research and practice and are designed to provide students with advanced training in areas highly relevant to current mental and physical health needs.
1) Expertise in Major Area of Study (Experimental Psychopathology; Behavioral Medicine; Neuropsychology)
- Demonstrate knowledge of research design and methodologies specific to the major area of study
- Demonstrate knowledge of and critically evaluate current clinical research evidence and applications in the major area of study
- Conduct research on topics in the major area of study
- Implement evidence-based assessment and/or intervention relevant to the major area of study