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Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

Last Updated: September 2015

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Department of  Psychology                                                                                                                   


ASPIRATIONAL MULTICULTURAL STATEMENT


The Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Maryland is committed to creating a multicultural training environment, which is broadly defined as a place where individuals from various cultures and opinions are respected, and the unique gifts of individuals are applied to train exceptional counseling psychologists. We recognize the changing demographics in the United States and the need for both relevant research and mental health services to address the concerns of people around the world. Thus, we strive to create a training environment that promotes multicultural self-awareness, knowledge, skills, and experiences that enable our graduates to develop and share knowledge regarding multicultural issues as well as to provide culturally sensitive services to a variety of individuals in our society and abroad.


Diversity of Faculty and Student Body

 Our view of diversity includes (but is not limited to) the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious orientation, age, and socioeconomic status. We acknowledge that such diversity alone does not facilitate multiculturalism. However, we believe that a multicultural training environment includes individuals from demographic groups that historically have been underrepresented in counseling psychology training programs and/or marginalized in society. We welcome a diverse student body and faculty (including affiliate and adjunct faculty).


Student Recruitment and Selection

 We are committed to actively recruiting students representing visible racial and ethnic groups that historically have been underrepresented in psychology training programs and/or marginalized in our society. Our selection process reflects this commitment and strives to select exceptional students using evaluative criteria that are relevant for predicting success in graduate school and beyond.


Retention and Graduation

We understand that recruitment and admissions efforts will be compromised by inattention to retention issues. Thus, our program seeks to develop a welcoming environment that embraces differences among individuals and puts these differences to work to improve our understanding of multicultural issues, particularly those related to psychological research and practice. Furthermore, we are committed to retaining the students with whom we work and facilitating their graduation from our program in a timely manner. Advisors are viewed as critical in assisting students to achieve academic and vocational success as well as to welcome new professionals to counseling psychology.


Research

In our program, research related to multicultural issues is respected and encouraged. Several faculty are recognized nationally for their work in related areas, and students often complete theses and dissertations addressing critical questions related to multiculturalism. Faculty and students contribute to advancing knowledge through publication and presentation of their scholarly work.


Climate

Our program strives to promote open discourse on all issues, including those related to multiculturalism. Diversity of opinion is embraced, and discussions regarding multiculturalism are encouraged. People representing marginalized groups are present and represented in leadership positions in our program. Other aspects of our program reflect our commitment to multiculturalism (e.g., written materials, physical environment).


Coursework and Ongoing Training Opportunities

Multiculturalism is addressed in a twofold manner with regard to coursework. Faculty will include multiculturalism in their courses (e.g., clinical examples, research studies, reading materials). Students are encouraged to develop insight into their own culture, values, and biases and the influence of these constructs on research and practice. Also, coursework in multicultural theory is required, and applied multicultural experiences will be encouraged to assist students in developing competence in multicultural research and practice. Students are provided with an opportunity to evaluate the manner in which multiculturalism is integrated in their graduate experience. Speakers are invited to discuss multicultural topics related to research and counseling on a regular basis. Finally, the application of knowledge of multiculturalism in responding to comprehensive examination questions is required.


Clinical Experience

In addition to working with majority clients, we believe that clinical experiences are necessary with clients from diverse populations. Also, supervisors with sensitivity to and knowledge about multiculturalism are utilized to ensure that multicultural issues are processed when working with clients from diverse groups.


Professional Involvement

Many students and faculty are involved in professional organizations reflecting multiculturalism (e.g., including but not limited to APA Divisions 9, 35, 44, 45, and 51). Students are encouraged to attend conferences and share knowledge gained from the conference with other students and the faculty.


Evaluation

Finally, the members of the University of Maryland Counseling Psychology Program are committed to evaluating our efforts at creating a multicultural environment.


Multiculturalism in Coursework

The following statement is included in all counseling psychology course syllabi:

The Counseling Psychology Program is committed to creating a multicultural training environment, which is broadly defined as a place where individuals and opinions are respected. All faculty members strive to integrate multicultural and diversity issues in their courses in ways that are relevant to course content and process. It is hoped that students will contribute their unique perspectives to this effort by considering and raising issues related to multiculturalism and diversity and respecting others’ worldviews throughout this course.