Dr. Merle Canfield spent his early career working with chronic schizophrenic clients in a state psychiatric hospital and then in a community mental health clinic and hospital. In a mental health center, he continued to work with chronic schizophrenics and also built and maintained psychiatric teams. In both of these settings he found himself wondering about outcomes and consequently performed program evaluation in both settings.
For a number of years, he worked on National Institution Mental Health (NIMH) grants performing program evaluation and at the same time providing consultation to other Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs). He sat on a national council sponsored by NIMH to support and develop program evaluation for CMHCs. As research and program evaluation became a major focus, Dr. Canfield returned to student life and earned a PhD in social psychology at the University of Kansas where he focused on the research of human interaction. He moved to a private psychiatric hospital, performing full time research and program evaluation.
He began to teach statistics and research methods and eventually became full time faculty at the California School of professional Psychology (CSPP). He also directed the research process of a large probation department in Fresno. He took a 10 year break from CSPP to become Director of Institutional Research at SUNY Cortland in New York, returning to CSPP (now a part of Alliant International University) a few years ago. He teaches and does research at CSPP-Alliant. He teaches courses in data analysis & program evaluation; research design; multivariate analysis (factor analysis, canonical correlation; discriminant analysis; structural equation modeling); psychometrics (test construction, reliability, item response theory); meta-analysis; and social psychology. Each spring he has presents at national and regional conferences along with students.