Program Diversity Statement and Commitment to Social Justice
Our university and Psy.D. program have a commitment to the goal of diversity in a broad sense. We emphasize diversity among faculty and students, and it is prominently featured throughout the program curriculum. Our training objective is to broaden our students' sensitivity, knowledge, and competence in this area. In the classroom, we work to foster open dialogue and provoke discussions about multicultural issues related to clinical practices and competencies. Students are encouraged to seek practicum and internship experiences that will foster the further development of these multicultural competencies. The university implements a non-discriminatory policy that invites individuals from all walks of life to seek admissions, teaching opportunities and supervisory roles. Competency in diversity and multiculturalism is measured through examinations, papers, oral presentations in classroom and seminars, comprehensive examination, doctoral project, practica, pre-doctoral internship, and supervisor evaluations. Students also receive formative competency assessment through the annual student evaluation process.
Students in this program are expected to gain competence with and provide evidence-based, ethical clinical services for the broad spectrum of diverse clients represented in our diversity statement. Students are expected to provide services to individuals who hold beliefs, values, life experiences, or attributes that may be different from their own. Students are expected to understand the impact of their own personal biases, effectively limit the impact of those biases on their work with clients, understand important historical contexts and social structures that play a role in the lives of diverse individuals, and develop and employ effective intervention strategies aimed at maximizing client outcomes. Finally, students are expected to demonstrate a commitment to social justice work and multiculturalism by serving as advocates for social change in the face of unhealthy and oppressive societal structures when these serve as obstacles for their diverse clients.
Diversity involves the affirmation, understanding, and professional application of the richness of human differences, ideas, practices, and beliefs that result from, but are not limited to, age, race, color, disability/health, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, rural or urban status, as well as the intersectionality of these multiple identities.
It includes culturally appropriate communication skills to develop strong therapeutic alliances, assessment, diagnostic, intervention, consultation, supervision, administrative, and research modalities; understanding power differentials and dynamics; and attending to the social and cultural values which influence professional psychology.
Program Commitment to Social Justice
The philosophy of the clinical psychology Psy.D. Program is rooted in the values and goals of a socially just society. Socially just societies are dependent upon the optimal functioning, health, and well-being of all persons in that society. Optimal functioning, health, and well-being of persons are contingent upon access to healthy environments that support healthy development and functioning.
Our goal is to train clinical psychologists who are competent in providing professional psychological services that facilitate human well-being and the transformation of unhealthy and oppressive societal structures. Our program embraces a social justice approach by helping students to create a heightened awareness of social injustices and to adopt an advocacy role in working with the marginalized and underserved populations. Our goal is to foster the development of professional advocates who work to change societal structures, practices, values, and policies which have long served to perpetuate unhealthy environments for these populations. By working to effect change at the individual, institutional and systemic level, our students assist in promoting greater access to economic, social, political, and cultural resources.
EKU and the Psy.D. program recognize that we all live in a diverse, multicultural world. The Psy.D. program at EKU has a commitment to the goal of enhancing diversity in a broad sense. We emphasize diversity among faculty and students, and it is prominently featured throughout the program curriculum. Our training objective is to broaden our students' sensitivity, knowledge, and competence in this area. The recruitment of students from diverse backgrounds is central to the program’s mission of working with rural and underserved populations. Our program benefits greatly from a commitment to recruiting, maintaining, and supporting diverse students and faculty.
The program has a student-led Diversity Committee, which is focused on multicultural initiatives within the program, including training activities, bringing diverse speakers to campus, and professional development.
Once per month, the program has a program-wide Clinical Colloquium Series. At least one presentation per semester is devoted to cross-cultural topics. Examples of previous talks include:
- Police and use of Force Discussion
- Working with Refugee Populations
- Mental Health and Undocumented Students
- Understanding APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men
In the Psychology Clinic, the program has partnered with the Latino Student Association, offered a process/support group to Latinx EKU students. The Clinic also runs a psychoeducational/support group for EKU students and local community members in the LGBTQ+ community.
In order to financially students in the program from diverse backgrounds, the program designates a Graduate Assistantship specifically focused on diversity-focused experiences (e.g., conducting research, providing interventions, campus outreach). This student would also assist in developing and conducting outreach activities for minority and under-represented groups on campus and in the community.
University Initiatives and Resources
As a school of opportunity, EKU fosters personal growth and prepares students to contribute to the success and vitality of their communities, the Commonwealth, and the world. EKU is committed to access, equal opportunity, dignity, respect, and inclusion for all people, as integral to a learning environment in which intellectual creativity and diversity thrives.
Check out the links below to explore EKU’s resources, centers, and initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion:
EKU Funding for Scholars from Diverse Backgrounds
EKU has several fellowship and grant opportunities available to graduate students from diverse backgrounds to enhance professional development and training:
These additional resources may be useful for students who are interested in applying to EKU’s doctoral program and for current students in the program:
Kentucky Psychological Foundation Multicultural Student Professional Development Award
APA Minority Fellowship Program
APA Guidebook: Applying to Graduate and Professional Programs
APA Resource Guide for Graduate Students with Disabilities
APAGS Resource Guide for Ethnic Minority Students
APAGS Guide for LGBT Students Navigating Graduate Training (Proud and Prepared)
Hispanic Scholarship Fund