Educational and Counselling Psychology and Center for University Teaching and Learning
Mision / Vision
The mission of the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology (ECP) is the advancement of scientific knowledge through research in education and psychology and the application of this knowledge to the development of progressive practices and policies locally, nationally and internationally.
ECP programs and research examine the interplay between complex human systems (cognitive, social, emotional, behavioural and biological) to maximize: (a) learning, (b) wellness (mental and physical), and (c) human development in multiple settings and throughout the lifespan. More specifically, with both typical and atypical populations in mind, they examine issues pertaining to assessment and intervention, cognitive processes and developmental neuroscience, and the design and evaluation of learning environments and instructional practices. While ECP’s primary disciplinary bases are psychology and education, it contributes to and is enriched by extended interdisciplinary collaborations with, among others, medicine and other health professions, neurosciences, computer science, science, social work and policy, and law.
- ECP’s primary objective is to deliver an educational experience to our students that is of utmost quality and relevance, as measured by the highest international standards. We aim to achieve this objective through constant monitoring of: (a) our programs - to ensure that content is current and reflects a diversity of perspectives; (b) our teaching - to ensure that innovative pedagogies are used in all our courses and by our full-time academics as well as part-time course lecturers; (c) our supervision and mentoring practices - to ensure that our graduates succeed in realizing their professional potential and personal aspirations; (d) our scholarship and research - to ensure that we continue making significant contributions to both advancing the fields we represent collectively and that our research findings inform our teaching, enhance practice and inform policy.
Specific objectives in this regard are:
- Prepare for and succeed in the accreditation reviews of our professional programs: Our School/Applied Child Psychology PhD program is in the process of preparing documentation for its self-study report and will be hosting a joint site visit from APA/CPA in the fall of 2011 as it applies for APA re-accreditation and CPA accreditation. This follows a similar exercise, conducted last year for our Counselling PhD program, which went through the review process for reaccreditation by the APA and CPA. We have recently learned that CPA has granted the Counselling program a 4-year accreditation. We expect to receive APA’s decision soon. Even though we are aware that this body will suspend the accreditation of non-US based programs as of 2015, going forward, our Counselling Psychology program will be systematically considering and implementing, to the extent possible, recommendations made by both CPA and APA.
- Implement a formal mentoring process and integration in research clusters within and across programs: ECP realizes that the professional success of its academics is highly dependent on its capacity to mentor its new faculty for tenure as well as to mentor its tenured faculty toward promotion. We are aiming to formalize our existing mentoring program by specifying the processes involved, the frequency and nature of interactions between mentors and mentees, the responsibilities of mentors, and indicators that we can use to monitor and evaluate performance in general and mentoring effectiveness, in particular. As new faculty join ECP, we will ensure that they are integrated into the culture of the ECP by presenting them with collaborative opportunities for research, supervision, co-supervision, committee work, etc. across programs.
- Provide a conducive research environment: A strong research culture requires sustained and reliable infrastructure and support. We intend to explore ways in which a portion of the indirect cost of research, in particular contract research, can flow back to the Department to support research related initiatives.
- • Continue to monitor our efficient delivery of programs and graduate supervision: As in the past, we will continue to carefully monitor and adjust our course offerings to maximize enrolments without jeopardizing time to completion. Moreover, we will be carefully analyzing the results of a systematic review currently under way to examine the progress of our doctoral students and their time to completion. Our goal is to identify common factors that contribute to delay in progress and to remove those obstacles which are due to quality of supervision and to a limited extent, those that are due to financial constraints.
- Adopt a fiscally responsible model for funding graduate students: Despite the fiscal challenges that GPS’s new graduate student funding policy may present for ECP and other departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences, we are looking forward to the opportunity of recruiting and retaining top applicants. Our objective is to enable our programs to position themselves against their respective competition and to pursue their recruitment strategies in a fiscally responsible way that yields results. In the coming year, we will be monitoring the outcome of the decisions made with regards to graduate student funding for the 2011-2012 intake.
- Enhance communication and information dissemination processes: We are aware that the generation of students who apply to our programs utilize primarily the internet to inform themselves of educational options. The restructuring of our website has been hampered by the University’s promise to provide guidance in this regard. To achieve our goal of attracting the best students, we will move ahead with the redesign of our website as well as the preparation of a consolidated ECP Handbook for our current as well as prospective students.
- Contribute to our community and to policy that enhances the lives of individuals: ECP faculty have always taken interest in the lives of individuals in our immediate community. Their research has informed interventions in schools, hospitals, communities as well as public policy. In addition to on-going involvements, in the coming year, we intend to utilize our strong ties with the local aboriginal communities to explore ways in which our expertise can assist in helping these communities realize their aspirations.