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Business

This unique multidisciplinary program trains clinical psychologists to apply psychological principles and knowledge of change processes in organizational settings. Through our core curriculum, applied field experiences, and professional development activities, students learn to integrate clinical psychology expertise with in-depth knowledge of organizational/business systems. Upon graduating the program students should be prepared to take on leadership roles in health care administration, human resources, business management, leadership development and training, and organizational consulting.

Training

Students spend five years in full-time residence at the Institute of Graduate Clinical Psychology to earn the Clinical Psychology Doctoral degree. Beginning in the summer of the first year of the PsyD program students take additional evening and summer courses to earn one of three degrees offered in the School of Business Administration:

In addition to their business classes students in the MBA and MS-HROL programs take a core sequence of courses that serve to integrate the psychology and business school curricula. These courses are sequenced to build on the general clinical psychology curricula and on acquired prior classes in the sequence to instill the core competencies needed for psychologists to be successful in organizational settings.

  • Consulting and Organizational Psychology
  • Leadership Development
  • Executive Assessment
  • Executive Coaching
  • Organizational Change Management

After each of these courses students will gain hands-on supervised experience through Widener's Organizational Development Services. Through the Center's partnerships with the Chester community and Widener University programs and departments, students will teach leadership skills in a group format, provide leadership and personality assessments, use those personality assessments as the basis of initiating productive coaching relationships, engage and may have the opportunities to consult with organizations for development, team building, and change management with an emphasis on organizational social responsibility. The dual degree will culminate with the production of a dissertation that integrates the practice of psychology and organizational contexts.

Admissions

Students must first be accepted into Widener's Clinical Psychology Doctorate Program. The applicant must possess a BA or BS degree from an accredited institution. A major in psychology is desirable but not essential. Evaluation of the student's ability to do graduate work will be based upon academic performance and scores on either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Personal character and attributes of emotional maturity, stability, and capacity for relating to and working with other people are major factors evaluated in reviewing applicants. Evidence for these attributes is sought from records of past performance, letters of reference, work history, and a personal interview.

During the second semester of the first year, interested students who are in good academic standing in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology may apply to the Psychology in Business Program. The application process will entail a review of the applicant's standing in the clinical psychology program, responses to essay questions demonstrating adequate interest and commitment, consultation with the Business School Dual Degree Advisor, and an in-person interview. After being accepted to the Psychology in Business Program, students will seek formal admission to the School of Business Administration. Students must sign a release form to have their application materials copied and forwarded from the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology to the School of Business Administration.

We will make every effort to accept all qualified individuals into the program and PsyD students rarely have difficulty being admitted to the School of Business Administration. Nevertheless, graduate student status in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology does not guarantee admission into the Psychology in Business Program. Throughout their tenure in the program, students must maintain good standing in the clinical psychology program in order to take business courses.

Tuition

Students pay a total of five years of full-time tuition at the rate of the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. Psychology in Business Program students who complete School of Business Administration courses within the 18 credits allowable per semester (except during the first two years, during which students are allowed to take only 15 credits per semester) will do so without added tuition. There will be no additional tuition charged for Business School classes taken in the summers of the first and second years. All School of Business Administration courses above 18 credits, those courses taken during summer sessions in years three and beyond, and those courses taken after five years in the PsyD program will be subject to additional tuition charges at the School of Business Administration rate per semester hour. Tuition amounts per semester are calculated on a per-credit-hour basis and therefore vary as a function of the total number of credits taken. A dual-degree administrative fee will be charged by the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology each semester (fall or spring) in which the student is enrolled in classes in the School of Business Administration.

Notice Regarding combining Dual Degrees and Curricular Clusters
Students who are accepted to study in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology have the option of working toward one dual degree and no more than one other certificate-granting track in addition to a range of curriculum clusters. Students should be aware, however, that not all of these programs and tracks are complimentary in relation to the sequencing of courses. Students admitted to the Psychology in Business Program who choose the general MBA or MS-HROL degree options will not be able to enroll in the School Psychology or Neuropsychology tracks. Psychology in Business students who elect the MBA-HCM option will maintain the option of joining the School Psychology or Neuropsychology Programs. 

Accreditations

The School of Business Administration programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. In addition, the MBA-HCM program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Healthcare Management Education and is a full member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. The PsyD program and its exclusively affiliated internship are accredited by the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; phone (202 336-5979).

Core Curriculum

DPSY 569 Consulting and Organizational Psychology (3 units)

The overarching objective of this course is to provide an understanding of organizational behavior at the individual, group, and systems level. Special consideration is given to topics that integrate the application of clinical psychology to organizational environments, including psychological dimensions of organizational behavior. This course emphasizes the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they relate to real world issues in organizational psychology. Students in this course also will be introduced to the research and evaluation skills needed to work effectively in applying psychology within organizations and engaging in related applied research.

DPSY 695 Leadership Development (2 units)

This course will survey strategic and personal aspects of leadership with the goal of preparing students to implement leadership development training programs. We will begin with a study of strategic leadership and how organizational structures and goals effect the motivation and organizational behavior of followers. Knowledge of organizational structure, goals, and strategy, however, are not enough to assure the leaders effectiveness. The second section of this course will therefore focus on aspects of personal leadership. To be effective, leaders must have insight into how their own personalities are expressed and how they react and are perceived by followers. Such insight, accompanied by understanding of leadership and leadership/contingency theories, should enable leaders to consciously choose the leadership "stance" that will optimize achieving organizational goals. Students will have the opportunity to deliver leadership training programs based on this course in their 3rd year practicum though the Center for Engaged Leadership.

DPSY Executive Assessment (3 units)

This course will explore the theories, skills and competencies needed for effective individual assessment while also review important issues relating to organizational assessment and cultural fit. Students will learn to identify and understand the elements of effective assessment; including knowing when to assess, which testing instruments to use, how to construct a workable test battery, and how to design and conduct assessment interviews. The course will focus on developing skills through the use of experiential exercises, role-playing, and written assignments that will focus on identifying measurable outcomes, crafting proposals, and giving client feedback in the context of anticipated organizational impact.

DPSY 671 Executive Coaching (3 units)

This course will explore executive coaching as a specific application of psychology in business. Students will learn about the various indications for executive coaching and what constitutes effective consultation in this arena -particularly when sustained behavior change is the desired outcome. The major objectives of this seminar are (1) to familiarize students with executive coaching as a challenging application area for those who are trained clinically and, (2) to convey knowledge about the approaches, competencies, and personal characteristics essential to be an effective executive coach.

MGT 625 Change Management (3 units)

This course prepares students to lead change initiatives within a variety of organizational settings. Economic trends challenge organizations to implement strategies that ensure their survival and competitiveness. To accomplish this, companies must have the ability to manage change. This course introduces students to a variety of tools that are used in specific phases of the change process.

Organizational Development Services

Our Organizational Development Services (ODS) unit at Widener University is dedicated to helping emergent and established leaders to hone their abilities to work effectively with others in translating their visions for the future into positive organizational change. We operate on the premise that to be effective, leaders must engage followers as partners in meeting organizational goals that are congruent with long-term organizational objectives across all levels of the organizations operations while consciously maintaining an attitude of organizational social responsibility.

Housed in Widener's Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, ODS provides a full range of leadership development and organizational consulting services to private, public, non-profit, philanthropic, and educational organizations. In so doing, the Center also provides integrated training for advanced students in Psychology in Business Program (PsyD/MBA) and advances Widener University's civic engagement mission.

Consistent with our academic heritage, the ODS faculty, staff, and students are at the cutting edge of integrating and translating scholarship and research into pragmatic applications at the individual and group levels. ODS research and intervention teams are actively engaged in applying positive psychology concepts to leadership and organizational development, creating and evaluating programs to enhance resiliency in area youth, and developing and evaluating measurement instruments to assess leadership, mentorship, motivational and emotional competencies. Our faculty, staff, and students also are engaged in disseminating resultant knowledge through regular publication of papers, presentation at regional and national conferences, and delivering leadership development programs, classes and workshops.

Core Competencies

The Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology curriculum is based on the scholar-practitioner model and is designed to instill the core competencies recommend by the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP; Peterson, et al., 1994). The competencies are; relationship development, assessment, intervention, research and evaluation, consultation and education, management and supervision, and diversity.

The Psychology in Business Program is designed to instill the following additional competencies recommended by the American Psychological Associations Division 13; Consulting and Organizational Psychology. These competencies are self-awareness/self-management, process consultation/action research, knowledge of theory and case studies, multicultural and international awareness, business operations and legal/industry regulations, and professional ethics and standards.