Mission and Program Objectives

The Rivier University Combined Doctoral Program in Counseling and School Psychology follows the accepted practitioner-scholar model. Students are prepared as critical thinkers and problem solvers who work in applied settings and draw upon the theory and knowledge of psychology and education to deliver a continuum of empirically supported services. Students are trained in a cohort model to be consumers of research to inform practice as highly skilled professionals delivering assessment, intervention, consultation and preventive services to their constituents.

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.

The Psy.D. program curriculum meets the New Hampshire state licensure requirements under New Hampshire RSA 329-B and is consistent with the APA Accreditation Guidelines and Principles of the American Psychological Association. APA accreditation for the doctoral program will be pursued.

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

Goal 1: To graduate professional psychologists who are competent and reflective practitioner-scholars

  • Objective 1: Graduates will engage in practice that reflects and is informed by the changing and expanding scientific knowledge base including the foundational areas of psychology, and will display a commitment to staying current in their professional or scholarly areas.
    • Competency 1a: Students demonstrate an appropriate mastery of the bases of scientific and professional psychology (e.g., developmental, biological, cognitive/ affective, and social aspects of behavior, and the history of the discipline of psychology).
    • Competency 1b: Students will demonstrate the ability to access, evaluate, and apply the current evidence base in all professional roles, including but not limited to the areas of assessment, intervention, research, teaching, and supervision and consultation.
    • Competency 1c: Students will demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes in reflecting on, critically evaluating, and improving one’s own professional practices.
  • Objective 2: Graduates will understand the integration of science and practice in psychology as a discipline, with attention to the necessity of research being informed by practice and practice by research.
    • Competency 2a: Students conceptualize cases based on evidence based theory and research.
    • Competency 2b: Students display knowledge of and skills in evidence-based practice in psychology in all professional roles.
    • Competency 2c: Students conduct research that is informed by clinical practice and clinical practice that is informed by research.

Goal 2: To graduate professional psychologists who are knowledgeable about and clinically skilled in the areas of assessment, diagnosis, intervention, and supervision and consultation.

  • Objective 3: Students will develop proficiency in evidence based approaches to the assessment and treatment of client’s problems and needs, while maintaining respect for client’s values and preferences.
    • Competency 3a: Students demonstrate 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. 
    • Competency 3b: Students demonstrate knowledge and skills in integrating assessment data into comprehensive conceptualizations of clients including an appropriate treatment plan.
    • Competency 3c: Students demonstrate knowledge and skills in providing evidence based psychological interventions that are respectful of client values, preferences, and culture.
    • Competency 3d: Students demonstrate knowledge and skills in evaluating efficacy of interventions and assessing client progress and outcome.
    • Competency 3e: Students demonstrate foundational knowledge and initial skills in the instruction, oversight, and supervision of trainees and other professionals.
    • Competency 3f: Students demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding inter-professional and interdisciplinary consultation in all professional roles.
  • Objective 4: Students will develop an understanding of service delivery systems within a context that respects individual and cultural diversity and social justice.
    • Competency 4a: Students demonstrate knowledge and understanding of diversity and contextual issues in all professional roles.
    • Competency 4b: Students conceptualize cases considering contextual and diversity issues and apply this conceptualization in their assessments treatment planning and interventions with diverse clients and populations.

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

  • Objective 5: Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in research design and data analysis and interpretation, as well as knowledge and skills in the critical review and evaluation of psychological and educational research literature.
    • Competency 5a: Students demonstrate substantial knowledge and skills in basic quantitative research methods and designs, data analysis, and psychological measurement commonly used in psychology.
    • Competency 5b: Students demonstrate knowledge in advanced research methods appropriate to conducting their dissertation research.
    • Competency 5c: Students demonstrate practical experience in presenting research findings and other scholarship in contexts such as professional conferences, peer-reviewed journals, and other scholarly outlets. 

Goal 4: To graduate students with a strong commitment to their professional identity as psychologists and a strong commitment to ethical practice in psychology.

  • Objective 6: Students demonstrate knowledge of, and adherence to, ethical and legal guidelines in all aspects of their professional work. 
    • Competency 6a: Students demonstrate knowledge of relevant ethical and legal codes and protection of research subjects (e.g., APA's Ethical Standards). 
    • Competency 6b: Students and graduates demonstrate knowledge and skills in applying established ethical principles and practices in all facets of their professional work. 
  • Objective 7: Graduates demonstrate the development of professional identities as psychologists. 
    • Competency 7a: Students and graduates will perform activities consistent with those identified in professional psychology including membership and/or participation in national, state, and local organizations, and through their expressed professional goals.
    • Competency 7b: Students gain didactic and applied experiences that support their career goals within the field of professional psychology. 
    • Competency 7c: Graduates continue to demonstrate professional attitudes, knowledge, and growth in emerging areas of the discipline and profession of psychology. 
  • Objective 8: Students and graduates display professionalism in their relationships with faculty, staff, supervisors, and peers necessary for success in multiple career settings. 
    • Competency 8a: Students demonstrate the attitudes and skills to collaborate in training and in professional settings. 
    • Competency 8b: Students demonstrate facilitative interpersonal skills and attitudes with others, including supervisors, peers, staff, and supervisees. 
    • Competency 8c: Students are appropriately responsive to input from faculty, supervisors, and peers. 
  • Objective 9: Program graduates and students engage in continuing professional education activities and give evidence of life-long learning attitudes and actions that contribute to personal and professional development. 
    • Competency 9a: Graduates demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and to their ongoing personal and professional development. 
    • Competency 9b: Students are aware of their strengths and areas of needed development as they progress through and graduate from the program. 
    • Competency 9c: Students and graduates develop skills to engage in continuing scholarly inquiry, knowledge building, and the dissemination of knowledge across the course of their professional careers. 
    • Competency 9d: Graduates provide evidence of their continuing professional education and commitment to lifelong learning and professional collaboration.