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The School of Professional Psychology (SOPP) is a separate school within the university structure. SOPP was among the nation’s first doctoral programs to develop a practitioner model program and to confer the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. The SOPP believes that generalist education and training at the doctoral level best prepares psychologists to meet the current and future challenges posed by changes in health care delivery. Within our generalist model of training you will find opportunities to pursue interests and achieve added depth in selected areas of practice and scholarship. Students may elect to pursue added depth in the following empasis areas: child, health/rehabiliation/primary care, or forensic psychology. As a university-based program, SOPP students benefit from campus resources.
With the most diverse faculty and student body of any psychology program in the region, the SOPP embraces its mission of serving the underserved and promoting cultural sensitivity and diversity appreciation. The SOPP remains committed to diversity in all its forms, an emphasis on social responsibility, the preparation of students for applying research and practicing in a broad array of settings, and an emphasis on lifelong learning and the welfare of others.
We are living in troubled times and our experiences have been compounded by witnessing acts of violence, social injustice, human devaluation, and strife. Concerns for life are real—not only due to the threat of COVID-19, but also racism, inappropriate use of power, and hatred.
It is time to see one another, acknowledge the prevalence of pain, stand alongside members of our community, and press for change. The Zulu term, Sawubona, seems fitting to what is needed now. It’s a common greeting that means, “I see you, you are important to me, and I value you." By conveying visibility, you are engaged to receive the traditional response, Ngikhona, “I am here." While simplistic in nature, this exchange has profound meaning. It underscores the need for alliance, mutual validation, and connection.
The time for responsive action is now. As psychologists and psychologists-in-training, we are charged to uplift, educate, empower, consult, and align with those we serve as we engage in our various forms of practice. Dr. Francine Conway, NCSPP President, reminds us of APA’s guidelines in shaping responses to this type of tragedy. The APA Multicultural Guidelines state, “Psychologists aspire to recognize and understand historical and contemporary experiences with power, privilege, and oppression. As such, they seek to address institutional barriers and related inequities, disproportionalities, and disparities of law enforcement, administration of criminal justice, educational, mental health, and other systems as they seek to promote justice, human rights, and access to quality and equitable mental and behavioral health services.”
We recognize the deaths of those unknown and known—Sean Bell, Freddie Gray, John Crawford, Sandra Bland, Botham Jean, Travon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tante Parker, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. We see you and we are here!
From Aspiration to Actualization
How can we, as psychologists, respond to the horrific displays of racism in recent weeks, specifically the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery (Georgia) and George Floyd (Minnesota)? We must B.R.E.A.T.H.E.
- B = Bravely challenge injustice
- R = Respect others and their lived experiences
- E = Exemplify value for all humans
- A = Acknowledge the need for action and healing
- T = Train yourself to listen twice as much as you speak
- H = Help someone in the struggle to find justice or peace.
- E = Empower others to make changes in their community
We are united in the mission to prepare tomorrow’s psychologists for a diverse world. In light of this tragedy, we have a sharpened and renewed focus to reduce systemic and interpersonal inequities.
- We will not be silent in the face of injustice. There is strength in numbers.
- We will convene to identify tangible ways to support students, faculty, and colleagues through this time, especially Black psychologists and psychologists in training, and their allies in our school and communities.
- We will recommit to addressing these societal challenges in our training and explore ways to increase our impact in the future.
- We are committed to tangible action steps. We will share resources to become better equipped and effective in addressing social injustices.
- We encourage self-care aimed at healing the psychological wounds inflicted by these losses.
- We will determine “what are we fighting for?” to effectively strategize paths to progress.
- We will challenge ourselves and others to be accountable in all venues of human interaction.
Our strength lies in our commitment to social justice and an unwavering value for all human beings. SOPP stands united—members of the faculty, staff, student government, AAWIPP, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and the student body. We see you, we are here, and we won’t look away! Let’s stay informed, connected, and resilient.
Interim Dean LaTrelle D. Jackson
The School of Professional Psychology inspires students to achieve excellence and to be innovative in the practice of health service psychology. We value social equity within the context of power, privilege and oppression. We focus on personal and professional identity development among students, faculty, staff, client and other stakeholders.
Building on our culture of innovation and a commitment to diversity, we strive to be the program of choice for health service psychology students, scholars and practitioners looking to engage in reparative justice.
Our core values unite us as an organization. They are the shared beliefs and essential principles that guide our behavior, our interactions with each other and our decision-making.
The School of Professional Psychology values:
- Social Justice
- Cultural Humility
The Psy.D. program prepares students to be diversity-competent clinical psychologists for practice in health service psychology. Our diversity-anchored program integrates theory, empirical evidence, and practice by providing generalist training and opportunities for training in emphasis areas. The program adheres to the profession-wide competencies and discipline-specific knowledge as outlined by the standards of accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA) through the lens of a practitioner training model.
For a doctoral psychology program to be eligible for accreditation by the APA, the program must be part of an institution of higher education that is regionally accredited by a nationally recognized body. Wright State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). One of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States, NCA accredits post-secondary educational institutions in the central part of the country. To be an eligible internship program, a program must be organized with “adequate experiential exposure” to help prepare students for practice in psychology.
At the Wright State School of Professional Psychology, our Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) and doctoral internship programs have enjoyed the highest levels of accreditation bestowed by APA since 1982, the year of our first graduating class. In 2020, the Psy.D. program was reaccredited for ten years. The Doctoral Internship Program received seven years' reaccreditation in 2016.
American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: (202) 336-5979
TDD/TTY: (202) 336-6123
Please direct questions to:
Michelle Schultz, Psy.D.
School of Professional Psychology
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
117 Health Sciences Building
Dayton, Ohio 45435-0001
Fax: (937) 775-3434
Founded in 1979 by Dr. Ronald Fox, the School of Professional Psychology doctoral program at Wright State University has been continuously accredited by the APA since 1982 as a practitioner model program.
The SOPP has three internal training facilities (which provide close supervision), plus many off-campus training sites that offer a comprehensive array of training opportunities. The Psychological Assessment Services clinic is directly managed by SOPP and students are supervised by faculty. Psychological Assessment Services offers specialized evaluation for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). Psychological Assessment Services is located in the Health Sciences Building on the main campus. Students also have practicum placements at Counseling and Wellness Services, the university counseling center which is located on campus in the Student Union. Most students spend one year of their practicum work at one of these sites.