As reported by Lin, Stamm, & Christidis (2018), diverse groups are underrepresented in the field of psychology, health services psychology (e.g., clinical psychology), in particular. Studies have found that there is a ‘leaky pipeline’ for students with diverse backgrounds in moving from graduate training to employment in the field. This is particularly true for Black students. The contributions of early academic underachievement must also be considered (APA, 2012), particularly for this diverse population. This likely results in a smaller pool of Black students moving on from high school to majoring in psychology at the college level.
Luebbe and Ogbaselase (2018) analyzed data from a step further in the pipeline. There is some good news - they found that the number of ethnic and racial minority students majoring in psychology increased from 2004 to 2014. Unfortunately, the percentage of these students who then go on to graduate training in psychology remains significantly low; although they represent 12% of bachelor’s degrees in psychology (still an underrepresentation, but higher than in prior years), only 7.1% are then admitted to doctoral programs in psychology.
Aware of these disparities, the Psy.D. program at Marywood University established a faculty-student organization, UPSIDE: Underrepresented Psychology Student Inclusion, Development, and Empowerment. The significant role played by the students in the development of UPSIDE must be emphasized. The founding members created the organization’s name and logo.
We plan to bring together multiple resources on this website for diverse students majoring in psychology, and those in clinical psychology graduate programs. White students and faculty interested in becoming better allies and activities also may seek out mentoring.
UPSIDE has been engaged in community outreach and is available to visit regional colleges and universities.
We hope that student recipients of our efforts will choose to join the national mentoring network after they obtain their doctoral degrees.
Stay tuned as our website and mentoring network develop!
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