The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences encourages and supports underrepresented groups. As a program, we are committed to attracting and retaining students from diverse racial, ethnic, and personal backgrounds. Members of underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
We strive to foster a climate that is attractive to a diverse group of students. have developed mentoring partnerships with several organizations to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in science. For example, we are a member of the BRIDGE Psychology Network, a group of clinical psychology graduate programs working to increase diversity and inclusion in our field. We are also a proud member of PCSAS, an accreditation organization determined to promote and support diversity in clinical science. Furthermore, as an area, the clinical faculty will not be requiring the GRE in the application process in order to reduce barriers this test may pose for some individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Once students are here, we offer them various avenues of support. For example, our department's Diversity Advancement Committee meets several times a semester. This committee is charged with continually assessing the climate of the department, honing diversity-related concerns of students, faculty, and staff, and most importantly enacting changes to improve the inclusivity and support of diverse individuals. The department also has a standing committee (Minority Students) whose charge is to increase recruitment and retention, as well as to develop mentoring and career development opportunities for minority students.
We have developed specific mechanisms to provide academic and career support for diverse students. For example:
- The university has several graduate fellowships for students with diverse backgrounds, and several students in our department have been awarded these highly competitive fellowships.
- Several of the NIH training grants in the department, including the Clinical Science T32, have funding lines specifically for underrepresented minority students.
- Faculty contribute to the Heller Fund, which provides underrepresented first – fourth year graduate students summer research fellowships, releasing them from summer teaching duties.
- Faculty members also encourage and support underrepresented students to apply for F31 NRSA (NIH predoctoral fellowships to promote diversity) and Ford Fellowships.
In sum, the department and Clinical Area are actively engaged in activities to attract and support students from diverse backgrounds.
Students also have the opportunity during their training experiences to work with a diverse client population. Clients in the in-house practica include both student and community members, which results in a client population of diverse socio-economic status and sexual orientation. Students are trained to develop culturally-informed case conceptualizations, implement interventions with cultural sensitivity, and address diversity in the therapeutic relationship.
In addition to our in-house practica, students participate in external practica in Indianapolis, which is a city that is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, country of origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status. Key opportunities include the Indianapolis VA as well as clinics associated with the IU School and Medicine, including Riley Hospital for Children. The combination of the in-house and external practica allow students opportunity to provide service in both urban and rural settings, working with adult and child/family clients, with a wide range of presenting difficulties.