Policy Statement on the Importance of Psychologists Serving a Diverse Public

To Prospective Applicants and Current Graduate Students: The Importance of Psychologists Serving a Diverse Public

Our graduate program is committed to a training curriculum that helps graduate students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with members of the public who represent a diverse set of demographics, attitudes, beliefs, and values. Graduate students in our training program are expected to adhere to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2010), as well as the professional standards of the Psychology Department. We respect each student’s right to maintain his/her worldviews, beliefs, and/or religious values [referred to henceforth as “values”]; however, these values do not supersede and cannot impede any training program goal or the profession’s ethics.

We understand that students may occasionally have difficulty negotiating their values with those of prospective clients in conducting assessments or psychotherapy. Our program strives to create a supportive environment that takes a developmental approach to train and educate our graduate students. If problems arise regarding the interface of student values and professional ethics/training program goals, faculty will work with the student to remediate the problem and find a path that allows the student to work in a professionally competent manner with all clients.

Our program expects graduate students to develop skills in cultural competency, so that they can provide client care to a broad segment of the public that is based on trust and respect and that does no harm. Consistent with this expectation, our program does not permit students to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status during their training. In order to successfully complete our program, students must be able to work with any client in a beneficial and non-injurious manner. Students may not refuse to work with a particular client population or to develop professional competencies because of conflicts with their own attitudes, beliefs, or values. Refusal or failure to develop acceptable professional competencies will result in termination from the program.