The Community Psychology Program is one of four combined MA/PhD programs in the Department of Psychology at DePaul University. The program prepares students to become excellent researchers, intervention specialists, consultants, and program evaluators who have a firm grounding in the theory, research and practice of Community Psychology.
Our training program has a special focus on working with underserved, minority populations (e.g., low-income urban children, adolescents, families and adults) and community-based organizations. We invite you to explore our website so that you can find out more about our program.
We believe there is a need to equip students with psychological skills that are targeted toward non-individually oriented topics, such as community and organizational change, and evaluators of social policy. Students in the Community Psychology Program will be trained in research methodologies to be applied to social and community interventions. These students will gain an understanding of social-community change from a public health perspective rather than a traditional individual-counseling orientation and will be collaborating with community agencies, not-for-profit groups or grass-roots organizations. Their principle roles are in research, evaluation, program development and other non-clinical activities.
The Community Program utilizes a unique approach toward training graduate students. The program will stress training community professionals who work in the public or private sector with diverse gender, ethnic, racial and sexual orientation populations. This program exemplifies the mission of DePaul University through its strong emphasis on service to others. An objective of training will be to provide graduate students with educational and practical skills for scientific and leadership development as community advocates of social justice and empowerment. The community faculty and supervisors have both an intra- and interdisciplinary orientation, including but not limited to, social, experimental, and feminist psychology, plus sociology and public service.
The Community Program seeks to achieve four inter-related goals in training, specifically:
1. Provide students with a breadth of knowledge in the content of community psychology.
2. Provide statistical and methodological foundations in general psychology to demonstrate competence in core areas within the discipline.
3. Provide the means to contribute to new developments in the field of community psychology and the social basis of behavior.
4. Provide for the specific needs of the students and the communities they will serve.
Since the Community Program has an ecological-community orientation that emphasizes a public health model rather than a clinical or medical model, those who have no specific interest in this area would be better served by another program. In particular, those having interests in traditional clinical work would not find the Community Program a good fit. Students accepted in the Community Program are ineligible to transfer into the Clinical Program.
Using a research-in-action training model, our program focuses on providing students with the theory, knowledge, skills and experience to work effectively with underserved communities to promote positive change, to examine the interaction between the individual and the environment, and to understand how contextual issues affect individuals and communities.
Specifically, the Community Program trains students to do the following:
• Develop, implement and evaluate preventive interventions
• Conduct action research that will help us to better understand and address social problems
• Evaluate community-based programs to help them gather information that will lead to better service provision to disadvantaged populations
• Consult with non-profit social service organizations to build organizational capacity
• Teach and conduct community research in college and university settings