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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We strive to create a training environment that promotes self-awareness, skills development, and experiences that enable our graduates to develop and share knowledge regarding multicultural and diversity issues as well as to provide effective, culturally sensitive services to a variety of individuals in our society. We believe that this is best accomplished through a multifaceted approach; hence, we are committed to recruiting a diverse student body, infusing diversity and multicultural training throughout our curriculum, and promoting an environment in which diversity is valued and respected. We integrate the critical multicultural competencies for training that were developed by the American Counseling Association and by the American Psychological Association throughout our training program.

Recruiting a diverse student body

We believe that multicultural competency is supported by classroom learning that integrates diverse viewpoints and a broad range of experience. The reciprocal training that students provide to each other through active discussion, sharing of opinions and experiences, and through respectful discovery of values, biases, and attitudes beneath interactions, course content, research results, etc. is an irreplaceable asset to the training environment. Thus, we attempt to recruit a diverse student body, particularly with respect to ethnocultural group membership, second language skills, first generation and lower SES status, sexual-minority status, and experience with oppressed or marginalized groups.

Approximately 42% of our current students are members of American ethnic minority groups, 14% identify as LGBTQ, and 20% of our students have been first generation college students. We do not request information about sexual orientation or religious affiliation in application materials or formally gather this information. However, discussion of the intersection of religious beliefs, cultural norms and assumptions, sexual orientation, and the intersection of professional and personal (cultural, religious, sexual orientation) identity development is raised in doctoral seminars, meetings with advisers, and other venues on a regular basis. Currently about 20% of our students identify as male.

Incorporating multicultural training throughout our curriculum

In coursework such as Psychological Assessment I and II and Theories of Career Development, the appropriateness of assessment and interventions for clients of different ethnic groups, lesbian and gay clients, clients with disabilities, and other client populations are integrated. Our course Counseling Diverse Populations provides students with the opportunity to explore their own values, biases, and attitudes around ethnic diversity, sexual orientation, and gender, to review research and practice literature, and to explore their own ethnic identity.

Many courses including Advanced Individual Interventions, Supervision and Consultation, Child and Family Interventions, etc., integrate ethnocultural, SES, sexual orientation, immigration status, and other types of diversity in readings and class discussion. Courses generally focus on human diversity, issues of poverty and social injustice, and on how to ethically and responsibly provide prevention and intervention within environments that perpetuate systematic oppression. The population of the Eugene/Springfield area is predominantly White (about 85%), and this is reflected in clients served by our students in practica. Our practicum sites provide opportunities to work with clients from widely ranging educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition, our rapidly growing Latino population (about 25% of elementary school children in our local district are Latino) and our new Spanish Language Psychological Service and Research (SLPSR) Specialization provide increasing opportunities to engage with and serve diverse communities.    Faculty members attempt to integrate theory and practice related to understanding the role of human diversity into each course.  And, our goal is to continually improve our attention to human diversity, equity, and inclusion in classes.

Promoting an environment in which equity, inclusion, and social justice is valued and respected

Faculty members attempt to model respect for diversity through verbal behavior and action, including through our research. To varying degrees, faculty members attend directly to issues that have covert racist, homophobic, or otherwise intolerant themes. This occurs, for instance, in the context of practicum supervision, and classroom discussion.

By modeling that conversations about race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and religion and the power dynamics implicit in these topics maybe difficult but important, we hope to promote an environment where such conversations are normative. Faculty members acknowledge our own limitations and needs to continue our growth and development in improving our own multicultural sensitivity and competence.

We select students who demonstrate a commitment to equity, inclusion, diversity, and to engaging in this growth process. Students, to varying degrees, address diversity issues in and outside of the classroom, and faculty encourage attention to human diversity and multiculturalism in student research endeavors. Faculty and student scholarship reflects attention to and valuing of diversity, as evidenced in the student dissertations and faculty profiles provided on our website.