Program Overview
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Program Overview

Institutional Setting

The University of Hartford is an independent, coeducational, nonsectarian institution of higher education with an ethnically diverse student population. Approximately 4500 full-time undergraduate and 1600 graduate students are enrolled in the University's nine colleges and professional schools. The 320-acre main campus is located in the residential, suburban area of West Hartford about four miles from downtown Hartford, the state capitol, and four miles from the University of Connecticut Medical Center.

The PsyD program is part of the Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology, within the College of Arts and Sciences. The University's commitment to professional training in the field of health is evident by its sponsorship of programs in nursing, medical technology, and respiratory therapy, as well as the PsyD Program.

The Greater Hartford Community

The University of Hartford is located in an ethnically diverse area of Greater Hartford, characterized by cultural vitality and including numerous parks, theaters, movies, cultural events, festivals, and many fine restaurants. The Hartford area also has several other institutions of higher education, among which are Trinity College, Rensellear: The Hartford Graduate Center, and Saint Joseph College, as well as the University of Connecticut School of Law, School of Social Work, and Medical Center.

The University of Hartford's Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology offers an accredited program of study and training leading to the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree in Clinical Psychology. The primary mission of this program is to prepare students for effective functioning in the multiple roles graduates will fill during the course of their careers in these rapidly changing times.

The goals of the program are to develop competent, compassionate and self-aware clinical psychologists who are: skilled in the delivery of direct services; respected in consultation to human service agencies; knowledgeable about current empirical and theoretical developments; capable of designing and critically evaluating clinical services; and able to assume leadership positions in clinical settings. The program is committed to affirming diversity in all its aspects.

As a member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) the doctoral program endorses and subscribes to NCSPP's resolutions and guidelines concerning standards, curriculum, and diversity in the preparation of professional psychologists and attempts to incorporate them in our program.

Practitioner Training

This program follows the practitioner/scholar training model and places primary emphasis on generalist training, which prepares students for productive careers as professionals in clinical and community settings. Our integrated and sequenced curriculum consists of foundational courses, clinically focused didactic seminars, supervised practica, and integrative professional practice and case conference seminars. This curriculum is designed to facilitate the acquisition by students of requisite attitudes, knowledge, and skills in the key areas of relationship, assessment, intervention; research and program evaluation, management and supervision, and consultation and education.

Competence in assessment of behavior, personality, and intellectual functioning is one key focus of our training. The acquisition of intervention and consultation skills with a variety of clients and client systems, ranging from the individual to couples, groups, and families, and from a variety of theoretical perspectives, is another.

The practitioner aspects of the program are also designed to facilitate the process of professional socialization by integrating supervised clinical experience with exploration of ethical issues, professional affairs, and interprofessional relations, as well as by training in self-awareness and use of self as a professional. Students are also expected to maintain membership and active participation with faculty members in national and local professional organizations.

The Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology began offering a Child & Adolescent Proficiency Track in the Fall of 2003. In addition to a core curriculum -which includes courses in clinical child development, child psychotherapy, programmatic interventions with children, and clinical aspects of adolescence- the track also allows students to have specific practicum experience in child and adolescent work. The goal of the track is to ensure that students develop not only a broad theoretical foundation but also strong therapeutic, assessment, and program development skills in working with this special population.

Scholarly Training

While the practitioner component of this practitioner/scholar program is emphasized, it is complemented by the development of the ability to evaluate critically the efficacy of one's clinical skills, the impact of clinical programs on target populations, the validity of various assessment tools, and the contemporary clinical literature in general. The scholar component of the practitioner/scholar training is intended to support productive careers as clinicians in clinical and community settings rather than to train researchers for careers in academic settings.

The scholar aspect of the program includes didactic instruction and practical experience in applied research issues, and encourages "students to consider themselves as local clinical scientists practitioners who engage the challenge of the human condition directly, starting with the needs of each client and bringing the best available theoretical conceptions, the most useful available research, along with individual and collective professional experience, to bear in studying and improving the functional condition of the client" (Peterson et al., Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 28 [1997], 376).