Aims & Competencies

The Clinical Psychology PsyD program has adopted seven aims, nine competencies, and related elements designed to implement its philosophy and meet the overall program aims.

Aim 1: To provide students with a graduate-level, scientific knowledge base that serves as a foundation for continued training in and practice of health service psychology.

Aim 2: To provide students with knowledge of scientific research methods, procedures, and practices; and the ability to apply this knowledge effectively to significant human problems.

Aim 3: To provide students with knowledge of ethical and legal principles, laws, regulations, and policies; and the ability to apply this knowledge effectively to all professional activities.

Aim 4: To provide students with the knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and skills required for effective and sensitive service delivery to diverse individuals and populations.

Aim 5: To provide students with the ability to develop, maintain, and evolve professional identities and behaviors through self-reflection, self-evaluation, and effective interpersonal communication skills.

Aim 6: To provide students with knowledge of evidence-based and culturally sensitive psychological assessment and intervention methods; and the ability to apply this knowledge effectively in service delivery across multiple settings and contexts.

Aim 7: To provide students with knowledge of and respect for multiple professional roles and perspectives; and to apply this knowledge in supervision, consultation, and collaboration.

The competencies specify knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to clinical practice, research, and professional projects and activities that students are expected to develop by the time they graduate from the program, as well as perceptions and professional/scholarly achievements that program alumni are expected to report as they pursue employment in the field. The competencies are met operationally through various academic and training activities that include coursework, comprehensive exams, supervised clinical dissertation/research work, and clinical field training placements. Multiple data sources are used to assess proximal outcomes (e.g., course grades, comprehensive exam scores, dissertation evaluations, and field training evaluations) and distal outcomes (e.g., responses to alumni surveys, licensure and employment outcomes) in competency areas. Elements are the expected specific outcomes for each respective competency.

Competency 1: Research

  • On substantially independent level, formulate research or other scholarly activities that are of sufficient quality and rigor to contribute to the scientific, psychological or professional knowledge base
  • Conduct research or other scholarly activities.
  • Critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activities via professional presentations and publications at the local, regional, and national level.

Competency 2: Ethical and Legal Standards

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and act in accordance with the current version of the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and act in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, rules and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, state, regional, and federal levels.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and act in accordance with relevant professional standards and guidelines.
  • Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

Competency 3: Individual and Cultural Diversity

  • Understand how one’s own personal/cultural history may affect understanding of and interaction with people different from oneself.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity, including research and service.
  • Integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles.

Competency 4: Professional Values and Attitudes

  • 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; 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 an increasingly greater degree of independence as they progress along levels of training.

Competency 5: Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, and those receiving professional services.
  • Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that demonstrate a grasp of professional language and concepts.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.

Competency 6: Assessment

  • Use multiple methods of information gathering to inform diagnostic decisions, including consideration of alternative diagnoses and selection of appropriate diagnoses.
  • Support diagnostic decisions with clinical information gathered via evidence-based practices and knowledge of diagnostic taxonomies (i.e., DSM-5; ICD-10).
  • Select and apply assessment methods that draw from empirical literature; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods.
  • Interpret assessment results to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations.
  • Communicate, orally and in written documentation, the findings and implications of an assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a diverse range of clients and audiences.

Competency 7: Intervention

  • 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.
  • Apply the relevant research literature to critical decision-making.
  • Evaluate intervention effectiveness and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.

Competency 8: Supervision

  • Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices.
  • Integrate supervisor feedback into professional practice

Competency 9: Interdisciplinary skills

  • Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of consultation models and practices.

The program also instructs students in areas of discipline-specific knowledge and evaluates their mastery of knowledge and competency in these areas.  Students will acquire:

  • Substantial knowledge in History and Systems of Psychology, as well as in basic content areas of scientific psychology (i.e., Biological Aspects of Behavior; Development Aspects of Behavior; Social Aspects of Behavior; Cognitive Aspects of Behavior; and Affective Aspects of Behavior).
  • Substantial understanding of and competence in the advanced integration of Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior; Research Methods; Quantitative Methods; and Psychometrics.

Training in individual and cultural diversity competence is integrated throughout all program requirements; additionally, the program embraces the multicultural competencies supported by the University. In this way, the program and CSPP are responsive to the ethical mandates of the American Psychological Association.