The primary goal of the CCSP Department is to prepare graduates for academic and research positions. A secondary goal is to prepare psychological service providers who will, in addition to providing direct service to their clientele, exercise influence on professional psychology through teaching, research, and leadership.
The three substantive areas of counseling, clinical, and school psychology historically have reflected different service areas, employment settings, and populations served.
Counseling psychologists have traditionally focused on life-adjustment problems and career development and have worked primarily in university counseling centers, Veterans Administration hospitals, and community agencies.
Clinical psychologists have traditionally focused on the evaluation and treatment of clients with acute or chronic mental disorders and have worked in mental health centers, mental hospitals, and psychiatric units of general hospitals.
School psychologists have traditionally focused on the evaluation, prevention, and treatment of students related to developmental challenges and have worked primarily in Pre-12 public and private schools.
**However, the interdependence of contemporary social systems currently requires that psychologists have a broad knowledge of service emphases, employment settings, and client populations. For example, counseling psychologists need to be familiar with the diagnostic procedures and principles of psychopathology; clinical psychologists need to be familiar with the influences and workings of school systems and patterns of normal development; and school psychologists need to be familiar with family systems and school-to-work transitions.
In order to develop research-oriented academic psychologists who can adapt to changing and diversifying roles, the CCSP Department requires all doctoral students to take core courses that provide: (a) awareness, knowledge, and skills that are common to counseling, clinical, and school psychology; and (b) awareness and knowledge unique to counseling, clinical, and school psychology. Beyond entry-level awareness, knowledge, and skill base taught in the common core courses, students receive focused training in counseling, clinical, or school psychology to prepare them to meet the needs of the populations and settings served by the area they have chosen. This goal is accomplished through separate research practica, clinical practica, coursework, and internships unique to each of the three areas.
The organizing themes that integrate the identity of the program are: (a) the values of human diversity and individual differences, (b) health and development across the lifespan, and (c) ecological (e.g., family, school, and societal) influences on human behavior.