Mission and Program Aims

Committed to the faith heritage, intellectual tradition, and social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the University educates the whole person in the context of an academic community that cultivates critical thought, sound judgment, and respect for all people. This community supports the intellectual growth of all its members while offering them opportunities for social, cultural, moral, and spiritual development. 

Psy.D. Program Mission Statement
To prepare graduates in the Catholic intellectual tradition with the broad and general knowledge and skills to function as entry level psychologists.

Aims of the Psy.D. Program  

Aim 1:  To graduate health service psychologists who are competent and reflective practitioner-scholars.

Aim 2:  To graduate health service psychologists who are knowledgeable about and clinically skilled in the areas of assessment, diagnosis, intervention, multiculturalism, and supervision and consultation.

Aim 3:  To graduate health service psychologists competent in the comprehension, conduct, and application of research to professional practice.

Aim 4:  To graduate students with a strong commitment to their identity as health service psychologists and a strong commitment to ethical practice in psychology. To meet these aims, the Program has established the following competencies and related elements (or outcomes) to address discipline-specific knowledge and profession-wide competencies in health service psychology in the practice areas of counseling and school psychology:   

Competency 1: Discipline Specific Knowledge Discipline-specific knowledge represents the requisite core knowledge of psychology an individual must have to attain the profession-wide competencies.

Element 1a: Students demonstrate an appropriate mastery of the discipline specific knowledge of health service psychology (e.g., developmental, biological, cognitive/affective, and social aspects of behavior), and the history of the discipline of psychology.

Element 1b: Students demonstrate a substantial understanding of the integration of discipline specific knowledge of health service psychology.

Element 1c: Students demonstrate knowledge and competence in research methods, quantitative analysis, and psychometrics.

Competency 2: Communication and Interpersonal Skills Students develop the ability to communicate and use interpersonal skills effectively in increasingly complex situations with increasing independence.

Element 2a: Students develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.

Element 2b: Students produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.

Element 3c: Students demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.

Competency 3: Professional Values and Attitudes Students demonstrate behavior that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.

Element 3a: Students 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.

Element 3b: Students engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.

Element 3c: Students actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.

Element 3d: Students respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.

Competency 4: Assessment: Students develop knowledge and skills in evidence-based theories and methods of assessment and diagnosis, including the selection, administration, and interpretation of assessments consistent with best scientific research evidence, the science of measurement, and psychometrics.

Element 4a: Students demonstrate current knowledge of diagnostic classification systems, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology

Element 4b: Students demonstrate understanding of human behavior within its context (e.g., family, social, societal and cultural).

Element 4c: Students demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors including context to the assessment and/or diagnostic process.

Element 4d: Students 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.

Element 4e: Students 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.

Competency 5: Intervention: Students will develop proficiency in knowledge and practice of evidence-based approaches to the treatment of client’s problems and needs, respectful of client’s values, preferences, and diverse backgrounds.

Element 5a: Students establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services

Element 5b: Students develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.

Element 5c: Students implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.

Element 5d: Students demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision-making.

Element 5e: Students modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking.

Element 5f: Students evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.

Competency 6: Supervision: Students develop skills in mentoring and monitoring other professionals to help develop skill in professional practice

Element 6a: Students demonstrate foundational knowledge and initial skills in the instruction, oversight, and supervision of trainees and other professionals.

Competency 7: Individual and Cultural Diversity: Students will develop knowledge 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;

Element 7a: Students 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.

Element 7b: Students demonstrate knowledge 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;

Element 7c: Students 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. Trainees are expected to respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.

Competency 8: Research: Students develop the ability to independently formulate research or other scholarly products that are of sufficient quality and rigor to contribute to the scientific, psychological, or professional knowledge base and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for the critical review, evaluation, and presentation of psychological and research literature.

Element 8a: Students demonstrate and utilize substantial knowledge and skills and application in basic quantitative methods and data analysis, research design, and psychological measurement commonly used in psychology.

Element 8b: Students demonstrate and utilize skills in advanced research methods and data analysis appropriate in conducting research.

Competency 9: Ethical and Legal Standards: Students develop knowledge of, and adhere to, all relevant ethical and legal standards, guidelines, laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels in their professional work.

Element 9a: Students are 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.

Element 9b: Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise, and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas.

Element 9c: Students conduct themselves in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

Competency 10: Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills Students develop skills to engage in consultation and interdisciplinary collaboration with individuals or groups to address problems and promote effectiveness in professional activities.

Element 10a: Students respect the roles and perspectives of other professions and demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding inter-professional and interdisciplinary consultation in all professional roles.

Element 10b: Students demonstrate knowledge of consultation models and practices.