Consistent with Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community, the Clinical Science program is committed to creating a training environment that is respectful of all people with regard to all aspects of human diversity. Our mission is to foster an atmosphere that promotes open dialogue about cultural issues and to develop the Clinical Science program into an exemplary model for producing culturally competent researchers and practitioners. Diversity themes, topics, and issues are integrated throughout students’ learning experiences—in all core clinical courses, in clinical and research training, in seminars, in discussion hours, and in our colloquium series.
In order to promote recruitment, retention, and training of a diverse student body, the Department of Psychology formed the Department Diversity Committee, and the Clinical Science program formed the Recruitment, Retention, Inclusion, & Diversity Committee for issues specific to clinical training. To foster awareness, skill development, experiential learning, and community action to promote diversity and inclusion, the Department of Psychology requires all entering graduate students to complete Tier 1 of the Diversity & Inclusion Training Certificate program. This certificate is also available for faculty and staff who participate in discussion and training activities. Additionally, our program seeks opportunities to promote awareness and advocacy for issues of diversity and inclusion at the department, college, university, and community levels.
Faculty and graduate students in the Clinical Science program are expected to be committed to the social values of respect for diversity, inclusion, and equity, and to be committed to critical thinking and the process of self-reflection so that prejudices or biases (and the assumptions on which they are based) may be evaluated in the light of available scientific data, standards of the profession, and traditions of cooperation and mutual respect.
Diversity in our student body and faculty is an important priority and contributes to the strength of our department and the Clinical Science program. Students who identify from underrepresented groups and gain admission to our Clinical Science program are frequently competitive for prestigious national and university fellowships (e.g., Dean’s Diversity Assistantships, Cunningham Doctoral Assistantships, Powell Fellowship, Southern Regional Educational Board Doctoral Scholars Program).
Further information on diversity and inclusion initiatives at the departmental level can be found here: https://diversity.psyc.vt.edu/
Diversity Recruitment and Retention
During interview weekend, the Department of Psychology invites students who identify with any underrepresented identity (ethnic, racial, LGBTQ+, first-generation college student, veterans, individuals with disabilities, non-traditional students, international students, etc.) to participate in the Diversity and Inclusion Happy Hour. This event is an opportunity to meet current minority students in the psychology department and to ask students about their experiences in the program. This event is informal, non-evaluative, and held at a casual location off-campus to facilitate open, comfortable discussion. Additionally, during the interview weekend, members of the department diversity committee will share the departmental values and some of the department’s current initiatives.
To help support the retention and success of a diverse student population, Virginia Tech has numerous supports at the department, college, and university level. These include but are not limited to: