Program Mission, Training Model, and Goals

The Mission Statement of Spalding University

Spalding University is a diverse community of learners dedicated to meeting the needs of the times in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth through quality undergraduate and graduate liberal and professional studies, grounded in spiritual values, with emphasis on service and the promotion of peace and justice.

The Mission Statement of the Graduate Programs in Professional Psychology

The Spalding University School of Professional Psychology is dedicated to providing generalist training in clinical psychology based upon scientific principles, grounded in evidence-based practice, and offered in a collaborative and cooperative setting. Furthermore, to train competent professionals to function in a complex and diverse society, the program emphasizes critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and the promotion of social justice.

The Philosophy of Training

The School of Professional Psychology uses the Scholar-Practitioner Model to train students as local clinical scientists (Stricker & Trierweiler, 1995). A local clinical scientist is:

“… a critical investigator who uses scientific research and methods, general scholarship, and personal and professional experience to develop plausible and communicable formulations of local phenomena. This investigator draws on scientific theory and research, general world knowledge, acute observational skills, and an open, skeptical stance toward the problem to conduct this inquiry” (p. 24-25)

The curriculum is based on a biopsychosocial approach to understanding human functioning. In addition, doctoral training is organized according to professional competencies set forth by the National Council of Schools of Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Current competencies include: Intervention, Assessment, Research and Evaluation, Relationship, Diversity, and Supervision.

The faculty share the belief that the most effective approach to training in professional psychology is one of cooperation and mutual support. As such, good relationship skills, compassion and sensitivity to ethical standards are values in our program.

Program Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: To train graduates who are generalist Clinical Psychologists, who demonstrate mastery of the relevant competencies, and who can conceptualize human behavior using a biopsychosocial perspective.

Objective 1: Students demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes across the following competency areas: Intervention, Assessment, Relationship, Diversity, Research and Evaluation, and Supervision.

Objective 2: Students demonstrate an understanding of biopsychosocial underpinnings of human behavior

Goal 2: To train local clinical scientists who demonstrate the ability to balance and integrate research and clinical practice using high-level critical thinking skills.

Objective 1: Students demonstrate sophisticated critical thinking, which includes understanding, analyzing, applying, and integrating theory and evidence-based practice to clinical problems.

Objective 2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the integration of research and practice as seamless activities, each of which informs the other.

Goal 3: To train ethical psychologists who demonstrate a high level of professional integrity and a commitment to the promotion of social justice.

Objective 1: Students demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the APA Ethics Code and its aspirational nature to the highest levels of professional integrity.

Objective 2: Students will demonstrate a commitment to promoting social justice in our complex, diverse society with an emphasis on under-served or marginalized populations.