University Series 040 | PCOM
Today we are joined by Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski, PHD, NCSP, BCBA-D and Dr. Rich Allen, PSYD, NCSP, BCBA-D from PCOM. If you are looking for a program that melds school psychology and the principles of behavior, you have found your program! The amount of individualization that you will find within this program is immense. With faculty that strive to bring the science of behavior to other fields and build a community of professionals, potential students have the opportunity to learn, research, and network!
Contact Information -
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski - JessicaGl@pcom.edu
Dr. Rich Allen - email@example.com
Additional Links -
Programs @ PCOM - https://www.pcom.edu/academics/programs-and-degrees/school-psychology/
Shauna Costello (00:01):
You're listening to Operant Innovations, a podcast brought to you by ABA Technologies. This week on the University series, we are speaking with PCOM, Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski and Dr. Rich Allen. Dr. Glass-Kendorski is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and maintains certifications as a board certified behavior analyst and school psychologist, nationally and in New Jersey. She actively works with school districts to improve systems for all students through the reform of school and district-wide academic and behavioral policies and practices. Dr. Glass-Kendorski has led the development of the applied behavior analysis program at PCOM, as well as the approval of these programs, by the BACB and ABAI. Some of her areas of professional interests include social and emotional development, learning and applied behavior analysis, positive parenting practices, neurodevelopmental disabilities, school systems and practices, and home and school collaboration. Dr. Rich Allen has extensive experience providing psychological assessment consultation and intervention services in home, community, and school based programs, serving both children and adults with developmental disabilities in children with emotional and behavioral disorders. He is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and is a board certified behavior analyst, doctoral level, and a nationally certified school psychologist. Dr. Allen has presented frequently at both regional and national conferences on a wide range of topics, including program wide positive behavior support, clinical outcomes in community behavioral health services, functional behavior assessment, treatment within foster care, and social skills training for individuals on the Autism spectrum. Without further ado, PCOM. Today, we are talking with Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski and Dr. Richard Allen. Thank you both for joining me.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (02:05):
Dr. Rich Allen (02:06):
Thanks for having us.
Shauna Costello (02:07):
Yes. I'm very excited and especially hearing about some of the different aspects that you have. I'm gonna actually pass it over to you for just a general overview.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (02:18):
I guess I'll start and Rich, if there's anything you want to add after the overview. I think at PCOM what we really pride ourselves on is we are a school psychology department. We have many levels of school psychology degrees at the level of EDS masters. EDS is the educational specialist. It's a masters plus and PsyD. We've been able to embed a course sequence for applied behavior analysis that is approved in each of those courses. We feel as if our programs give those that want to go out and be school psychologists by training, a solid basis for behavior analysis. They understand behavior really well, and those who want to be behavior analysts, as a career, they understand psychology and human development and aspects of education. We feel like we were able to combine both of them really well. As of right now, we have a masters in school psychology which is one year and embeds the core sequence for the behavior analytic coursework. It also serves as the first year of our school psychology certification program. The school psychology certification program is two years additional coursework plus one year internship in addition to that masters degree. That is what is required for certification as a school psychologist. Then we have a PsyD program that goes from bachelors to PsyD that also embeds the course sequence as well. We do have some changes on the horizon. Rich, did I miss anything with our overview? Maybe you could talk about the changes.
Dr. Rich Allen (04:31):
No, I think that was great. What Jess was describing, we all believe very strongly in that foundation of behavior analysis and school psychology. Different school psychology programs have different ways that they emphasize their training. What drew me to PCOM when I came here full-time, was that idea of giving everybody, whether they're going for school psychology certification, or maybe their doctoral degree. They might want to work in academia or have a private practice, giving them all that solid behavior analysis background. Jess and I, for example, we're licensed as clinical psychologists, certified school psychologists. We're credential collectors, I guess, [Laughing] but what we've found to be consistent among all that is all the evidence based practices in school psych and clinical psych, they're all behavior analytic, even if they're not referred to. Think of parent child interaction therapy, even dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance commitment therapy, school-wide positive behavior support, which is so big in school psychology as well. All is behavior analytic and what we want to do is pull all of our students in, not just to the five courses that make up the ABA, but within all of our program courses. We're thinking about systems-wide program evaluation, we're thinking about evidence based types of behavioral therapy procedures for counseling. We just want them to have that solid base the way they can conceptualize their cases across different types of students that they're gonna encounter and families that they're gonna encounter, and be able to work off that. What we are very excited about is we are moving towards our masters in... What's the name again we've landed on?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (06:40):
Applied child psychology.
Dr. Rich Allen (06:42):
One of the things that we've found in the field ourselves is that students want more and more information on things like behavior therapy and some of these psychological aspects of psychology that really can help us be more effective consultants. One of the things that we've seen for example is a good foundation in developmental psychology. We can think about what developmentally appropriate targets are, especially when we're working with younger children, or how we integrate psychotropic medication and work with our partners, our physicians on interdisciplinary teams. Thinking about how our behavior analytic work works with medical professionals. In thinking about this, we decided to go into the root of offering a masters in child psychology that will have that behavior analysis and behavior therapy emphasis, and also have some of these other things that we think will make our practitioners solid in some of those clinical areas.
Shauna Costello (07:45):
That's really exciting. I can't name off of the top of my head a specific program that was rooted where it started in that school psychology realm. We've seen psychology, we've seen just behavior analysis. There's been mixtures and a lot of different variations, but this is really neat to see this different aspect. With the child psych program as well, students potentially coming into PCOM really have the opportunity to tailor which route they want to take. That's what it sounds like to me and, to me, that's really exciting. I know that I like to have my fingers dipped in a lot of different pots and learn a lot of different things. Having that flexibility really attracts someone like me probably. It brings me into who the faculty is. What is the research potentially that's going on in these areas?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (09:02):
Thanks for that, Shauna. We like that this would be a program that you would be into, so [Laughing] thanks. We appreciate that. In terms of the faculty, I would say for the most part, you have a good amount of us. Rich, myself, Kate Tresco, who are very behaviorally trained. We come at things from the basis of what the environmental variables are, what things we are looking at. What are the functions of the behavior? Looking at things very much from that environmental context. We also have a few faculty members, Mary Weber, who has a background in trauma and trauma-informed care, trauma-informed schools, as well as very research related to diversity. Dr. Sophia Pham as well. Same thing, multicultural assessment and aspects related to diversity. Dr. George McCloskey is the assessment guru, executive function guru. He's the book end to our behavioral base, where he brings us back to the middle. I'm a Temple grad by training. I've had my share of assessment-based competencies. He brings us back there when we're too far in the behavioral realm. Dr. Ginny Salzer is a developmental psychologist who was in Harlow's lab. I always have her telling stories about being in Harlow's lab and her research with the baby monkeys. She's our developmental psychologist, researcher, and statistician. Rich, who did I miss?
Dr. Rich Allen (11:16):
We have two new faculty coming, right?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (11:18):
Yes. We have two brand new faculty. Dr. Amanda Fisher is a board certified behavior analyst, who starts next week and has experience in severe behavior disorders and is a special education PhD from Ohio State. And Barry McCurdy who, Rich, I will let you speak about him and about yourself because you worked with him.
Dr. Rich Allen (11:47):
[Laughing] Dr. Barry McCurdy is a huge mentor of mine. He came from Lehigh University and Ed Shapiro's school psych programs. A very behaviorally based school psych program and had a huge impact on a lot of us. I formerly worked full-time as a clinical director for many years at the Devereux foundation. Dr. McCurdy has been there for a long time as the head of the Center for effective schools, which is basically a consultation group that works in the Philadelphia area, the New Jersey and Pennsylvania suburbs, implementing a lot of evidence-based practices, based on positive behavior support and that multi-tiered systems of support. He's done a lot of work with the good behavior game. He uses articles with our students, but he's actually coming over to our faculty as he slows things down a little bit, I guess, from all the grant work he's been doing. [Laughing] We're excited to have him. He was a huge influence on me. A lot of the applied research projects I've done have been around coaching, behavior skills training. He and I worked together on a grant that implemented evidence-based parent training in foster care, which is largely based on applied behavior analysis and teaching family model out of Oregon. I don't know if the other faculty think we're slowly bringing in more behavior analysts, but I think they like it, because then we won't annoy them with all of our requests for podcast appearances.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (13:31):
[Laughing] I think they're on board, Rich, and I never knew that your interest in foster care stemmed from that. I never knew that was the origin of that.
Dr. Rich Allen (13:42):
Yeah. It's funny because if you look at parent management training for kids, there's parent child interaction therapy, there's Kazdin's parent management training, then there's the RUBI Manual and some of these great parent management training for Autism. They're all behavior analytic with their different kinds of twists and then you look at the foster care stuff. It's the same, it's all very behavioral, it's all very effective, but it's not being implemented a lot in that system. To me, that's an interest like Shauna being interested in behavior analysis. Where can we implement it? Where is it not? Because it's so effective.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (14:17):
I think you asked about some of the research too that you might see. We're embedded in an osteopathic med school. I think, in addition to our behavioral flavor, we do take the whole person type flavor that the philosophy of osteopathic medicine takes. The mind body connection and what I think you'll see in addition to the behavioral literature, we are trying to get more students interested in single case experimental design for their dissertations. Sometimes I don't know if people always come in thinking they have to do group designs and we're like, "No, we could do some pretty cool single-case." I think we've been increasing single-case experimental design naturally since we're bringing more behavior analysts on board. Dr. McCloskey does a ton of research in psychometrics and test development and executive functioning. Dr. Weber and Dr. Pham both recently wrote articles related to the pandemic and assessment related to the pandemic and how we were as trainers working with teaching students assessment during the pandemic with virtual instruction, as well as multicultural aspects related to assessment. I myself have an interest in policy and systems and improving educational practices globally at the systems level to improve discipline practices and improve academic outcomes. Rich, you want to talk a little bit about your interests and anybody I missed?
Dr. Rich Allen (16:23):
Sure. Again, there's some of the foster care work. In fact, now it got sidelined a little bit, but we're trying to do some coaching projects with some of the case managers in parent training for foster parents using behavior skills training. I definitely have interest in social skills training for individuals on the Autism spectrum and have done some projects using skills streaming and adapting that as an approach. What else? I've done some work in terms of clinical effectiveness in behavioral health programs, just looking at clinical outcomes, and the systems-wide work. A lot of the work that I did at Devereux, and still do a little bit, was implementing systems-wide evidence-based programs for Autism from a tiered kind of model, which gets a little tricky. They're all in tier three, sometimes. Some of the approved private schools and programs that we work in, a lot of the work we've done there, is thinking about evidence-based interventions. If you walk into an Autism program or a classroom, what are the things that you'd want to see in terms of instructional strategies? How do we make sure that we're working with staff, so that there's a baseline level of training and skill development in some of those areas? Effective prompting reinforcement, error correction, use of visuals, things like that. That's a little bit of everything I've been involved with. Currently, we have a student working on trying to increase spontaneous mans, with using telehealth for parents in the home, of course very timely with the pandemic. She's gonna do a multiple probe design and we're working with her on that. I think it's helpful because, when we get a lot of our students, even students that have already done a masters who come into our programs, they've had a lot of group design. We work a lot with the single-case and all their consultation projects in the schools are all single-case format. It helps us get them grounded and pull them into more and more of that type of a research project. Although it's hard sometimes to compete with the ease of survey monkey research. We understand that sometimes, but we are trying to do more and more of the single-case stuff.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (18:57):
Yeah. We believe strongly in applied research, so we think that school sites in addition, behavioral analysts are really super strong at applied research. I think school sites are just as important.
Dr. Rich Allen (19:12):
Yeah. The science aspect of ABA to us, if you're doing good science, we can put in a couple of other things, take some IOA, get some good baselines and we have a great project. We're not necessarily trying to get famous, but how do we inform the project or the system that you're in? That's really the focus. We really want to train strong practitioners that have a solid science-based methodology.
Shauna Costello (19:39):
That's really exciting just because I know that you said some of the students coming in really have a different research background than what we might be more used to. I don't think that's a detriment at all. I think that's actually something that makes them potentially a much more well rounded practitioner and potentially better at dissemination in the future as well. Especially with the different programs that you've put in place for the students. It's not just this strictly behavior analytic program, very focused. It's really this big conglomeration of different focuses, bringing them all together. I know that you had mentioned that we're pretty good applied researchers and that's true, but I know from my own experience and outside fields that doesn't necessarily always float with them. I think that actually can be a really good skill for the PCOM students to have. It really sounds like the research that's going on, the huge variety of faculty in research, and the experiences that the students could get. I always ask about student experience, but I feel like that would just be a whole episode within itself. [Laughing] I feel like the student experience could just be amazing. Jessica, you had said that you're interested in policy and things along those lines and that really has me wondering about student experience. What can the students expect when they're coming into one of these programs and seeing the plethora of different options of research and coursework? When they're trying to figure out which field of study they want to go into, what is that student experience when they're coming into the program?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (21:58):
For the most part, we also have an embedded course. We have a core sequence that's free standing in addition to our embedded core sequence, which I think I neglected to discuss when I did the overviews. I can't believe I forgot, but that is just a freestanding core sequence entirely online. Dr. Craig Strohmeier spearheads that and his official title is director of outpatients in Kennedy Krieger.
Dr. Rich Allen (22:39):
Neurobehavioral unit. Yep.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (22:41):
Okay. The neurobehavioral unit at Kennedy Krieger and I have a severe behavior disorder background and Rich has a bit of a severe behavior disorder background. Our core sequences definitely have a little bit of a severe behavior disorder background when it comes to our pure applied behavior analysis courses. I think in terms of student experience, what we find is similar to what I said earlier, you're going to get your school psychology experience in that you're gonna get your assessment experience, a little bit of your neuro, a little bit of your intervention, consultation, educational policy, but we're going to come from the behavior analytic, theoretical orientation in what we can identify. What's going on in the environment that we can change to support children? How can we look at things empirically? I think students may be sick of that being my answer to questions when they ask me things where I will say, "Well, that's an empirical question." I'm teaching practicum right now and someone will ask, "It's an empirical question, right?" What data can we collect? What can we look at to analyze and answer that empirical question? I think we have a little bit of that flavor combined with all the aspects of a school psychology program combining those other things. What are your thoughts, Rich?
Dr. Rich Allen (24:28):
Yeah, I agree. I think that is the way that we continue to, in every course, help them conceptualize. At the very beginning, sudents receive a mentorship experience even when they apply. I think it's nice that we come from different backgrounds. When we meet with students, they're like, "I want to be this," and I say, "Well, why do you want to be this? What is it you want to do five years from now, or three years from now?" There's all these different certifications and training programs. There's LPC LCSW, BCBA, license, and no one tells an undergrad, "Oh, you gotta do this. If you want to do counseling, you should have this. If you want to work in a school, you should have this." What we all do with students as a mentor, once they apply is, "What is it you want to be doing?" Then we use that information to help them develop. Do I want to go for my doctorate? Do I want to be a school psych? Do I want to be a behavior analyst? Am I not sure about some of those things? I'm always like, "Be a behavior analyst first," because it's less time, it's a great foundation for everything else and will get you in there early and there's lots of great opportunities out there for BCBAs, more than ever. Part of it is helping them think about what it is they want to be doing. What are the credentials or options that I need to be able to get? I feel like that's something we don't do a great job of in our undergraduate, as a field, programs of letting students know about all these opportunities. If they decide to come into our programs, then it's about, "Here's the baseline level of competency for this field, here's the individualized stuff. What's your niche?" You want to do more consultation in schools, you want to be working with severe problem behavior? Kennedy Krieger, we got a special emphasis for that. Do you want to be working towards having an outpatient clinic one day? What is it that you want to be doing? Then helping them individualize on top of our competencies.
Shauna Costello (26:40):
I think that's something really great. What I'm hearing is that your students aren't coming in and the faculty saying, "You have to go on this route. This is what you have to do." I've seen that from my own personal experience, but I think it's great that what you are saying is, "Hey, here are your options. Pack them all out, see what you want to do," because you might need something extra for these things depending on the credentials and what you want to be doing when you are done. I love hearing that you're really trying to help facilitate that learning, gaining that knowledge, gaining that experience towards those fields and certifications that your students may want to go into.
Dr. Rich Allen (27:32):
Yeah, and that's a culture I came into that I love, that was already set because Jess and our Dean have been there since the beginning. It's always been about student mentorship and training practitioners and that emphasis. Like you said, I've been in other institutions where it's like, "Well, this is what we know and this is what you're gonna do," and that isn't gonna work out for everybody. You don't want students to spend [Laughing] years of their life getting a certification and a license and they're like, "I'm a licensed psychologist, but I can't practice at a school now. No one told me that. I didn't know about that."
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (28:12):
Yeah, definitely. I think Rich and I will say this a lot as well and the other faculty. We really do practice what we preach, right? Our goal as clinicians is to improve educational systems to support students. We do that within our own educational system, so we know how important motivation is. Just having someone say, "Well, this is the only faculty member left to supervise your dissertation and they're studying this, so here you go." We know this may not make for the best dissertation. We really do try to give the foundation, but allow for people to get excited about something related to school psychology or behavior analysis that they really want to work on.
Shauna Costello (29:11):
It's so nice to hear. I love hearing that. Let's see, we've talked about overview, faculty and research, student experience. I know this was mentioned throughout here, but what about some of the practicum opportunities and just some of that real life experience that your students may be able to get?
Dr. Rich Allen (29:35):
We have a wonderful director of clinical training, Dr. Mary Weber. She's a social butterfly of the Southeastern Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey area. She knows everybody.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (29:47):
That's her new title, by the way: Social butterfly of south Jersey, Philadelphia. [Laughing]
Dr. Rich Allen (29:54):
Lucky for us, through her, we've had relationships too, but even with her on board in the last couple years, we have a lot of relationships in southern Jersey, north Jersey, Philadelphia suburbs, even Delaware, where there's a huge shortage of both behavior analysts and school psychologists right now. All of our students, for the most part, will do an FBA practicum as their initial experience in a school. Part of that is getting into a school, doing your first supervised FBA experience, but then also attending some interdisciplinary meetings with some committees and some schoolwide types of projects, maybe a parent meeting. It's almost like an exposure. It's your first step, if you haven't really worked in a school and worked with teachers. It's a shorter practicum. The next level practicum for folks that are pursuing their school psych, get to experience, is a one to two day practicum where they're doing some activities as a school psychologist, behavior analyst through consultation, additional FBA opportunities, assessment systems-wide work. That culminates with the EDS level, a yearlong internship where they're working as a school psych under the supervision of a certified school psychologist. In the doctoral program, it's similar to other types of doctoral clinical programs. In our school psych program, they do a series of practicums in different settings, which can be outpatient settings, clinic settings, hospital settings, as well as school settings. The idea for the doctoral program in terms of field work... And Dr. Tresco would say it much better than I can, but I'm gonna do my best... They would get that clinical experience as well as the school experience and come out with the ability to have both expertise working in the school, working in clinics that culminates with their doctoral internship for a year and then their post-doctoral work, if they pursue licensure. Anything, Jesse, you want to add?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (32:12):
No. I think you did all of our field experience, but I did want to add as well, since I didn't add it initially to the overview, as we do have an educational psychology PhD that doesn't have the ABA core sequence embedded, but it is a track. I would be remiss if I didn't let people know about that. I thought about that, Rich.
Dr. Rich Allen (32:43):
Yeah. That's really a program for school psychologists that want to go back and get more research training and so they can go back and do that work. There's a practicum involved, like the PsyD doctoral program, but there is a large qualifying paper and research paper, and then research study where they can choose to do behavior analytic research in that program as well.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (33:08):
Shauna, we don't let you have a program at PCOM unless you embed a core sequence somewhere apparently. [Laughing] We're just like, "Whatever, if you want to add behavior analysis..."
Dr. Rich Allen (33:17):
[Laughing] If they want to add a program, we give them the sheet with the behavior analysis courses and we're like, "What else did you want to do?"
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (33:23):
Shauna Costello (33:24):
You're saying you wanted these plus a couple other courses?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (33:29):
Shauna Costello (33:30):
I like that though, because so many people I talked to are doing their part in disseminating. I think, from a University perspective, this is where you two are really doing your part. You're effectively showing these other faculty that the science of human behavior fits so well in with these other fields. It doesn't need to be multiple fields budding heads. It doesn't need to be like that. They can really complement each other as well.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (34:05):
Thank you for that. Yeah, definitely and just being in other fields, you're so right. Our Dean sits on the COVID task force for the University and I saw on the teaching behavior analysis list that they asked what behavior analysts were sitting on this task force in a University. Our Dean is a psychologist and he is very behaviorally based. I remember one time he came to a faculty meeting and he said, "I was in the task force meeting and they wanted to have people do this." And he said, "I felt like I've been sitting in your meetings too long, because I said, 'What's the response effort for this? What's the response effort on part of this?'" We're wearing off on you. It's true. The science of human behavior obviously can translate if you're dealing with humans into lots of other professions.
Shauna Costello (35:06):
Yeah, so many others. A lot of times, depending on the program, you could get very pigeonholed into just that program. When you're surrounded by the same people who think the same and do a lot of the same stuff, or small iterations of those things, you get very... I don't want to say stuck, but kind of stuck. I absolutely love hearing this. How about the location?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (35:43):
Yeah, so we have been fully remote for the past year, as most other programs have been. We do have the approved seven course sequence that is entirely online. We do live components, at a minimum, weekly for each course where there will be a live component, in conjunction with the asynchronous component. That coursework is also embedded into our other programs, like the EDS, the PsyD and the PhD program. We're not technically hybrid in our degree programs. Some accrediting bodies define it as more than 50%. We're not more than 50%, but we do a mixture of online programming and live programming, which is out of Philadelphia. I've hidden my Philadelphia accent well during this podcast. You would have never known. [Laughing] I'm sure I haven't. You might have guessed. I think for our online programming, again in going back to practicing what we preach, we've developed this as school psychologists and behavioral analysts. I think we've done a really good job of going into literature of best practice for what works in terms of embedding deadlines, how the curriculum works, how much should be live versus how much should be asynchronous, what could be asynchronous, what's best practices for asynchronous. We're really proud of what we've created in terms of our online programming, because in a lot of ways, I think pre-pandemic, there was a perception that it was somewhat easier or more of a throwaway. What you find is if you do it well and you do it right, and if you do it according to best practice, it can be just as good, if not better, than some of the live lecture programming that you've been used to, and at PCOM, we try not to do that as well. Our live lectures, in person, we try to make sure that those are according to best practice and we vary our educational practices so that you will get some lecture, you'll get some small group, you'll get some student presentations. Really bringing what we can bring as school psychologists to the delivery of our curriculum.
Shauna Costello (38:29):
That's great too. One thing I always think about is going back to teaching machines and how our field is meant to be able to have these hybrid, fully online programs. It's just so good hearing that. We started out with talking about the different types of degree programs that have the sequence built into them and now we're still talking about how flexible it is. That's one of the biggest things I'm hearing.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (39:02):
Dr. Rich Allen (39:03):
I think that's what we want to convey is everybody has their own different goals and we want to try and be as individualized as possible. Even with the online certificate program that Jess was talking about, we try to keep the cohorts small enough. If an hour a week of live with your professors isn't enough, some people might want a little bit more and need a little bit more. Dr. Strohmeier, who helps head that program, is great at meeting the students, giving them extra time. Then other students are like, "I'm good. I will see you for an hour and get my asynchronous work done." [Laughing] I think that's what we want to be able to bring. Like you said, that flexibility, because everybody's gonna need a little bit of something different, even if they do choose to go online. Some people are choosing online, but they still want a little bit of interaction with the professor as needed. Some people want to go full live on campus. They want to sit there, they want to have the experience, they want to drink their mochaccino and listen to some lecture. We are always thinking. We get a lot of student feedback. I'm sure a lot of other institutions do, but we're always looking at our exit feedback from students, not just when they're applying again for accreditation.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (40:20):
We look at it all. We make database decisions based on that all the time.
Shauna Costello (40:25):
How does that admissions process look? I know that we've talked about a lot of different programs. Is it different for the different programs? Is it the same? How about the admissions process?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (40:41):
I think what's interesting about PCOM is that the entire school of professional and applied psychology, which houses the school psych program, the clinical, the counseling, the organizational development and leadership are all on rolling admission. It means that you apply and there is no set deadline other than the deadline that we need to have when classes start. We, throughout the year, will take applications, review applications, and then have multiple interview days throughout the year. Our admissions criteria, for all of the programs, are your standard admissions criteria when it comes to GPA, letters of recommendation. All of our programs do have a waiver of the GRE based on a certain criteria for GPA. Again, we are a school site and we know that a GPA is just as good, if not a better predictor of how you will do in graduate school than the GRE. We also look at students globally, so we will look at everything. We don't have standard cutoff scores where we're like, "Oh, if this is the cutoff, we won't look at anything else." We do understand that students have different aspects of skills and abilities that can be seen only through the evaluation of different types of evaluations. I think that's pretty much the gist of our admissions. Did I miss anything, Rich?
Dr. Rich Allen (42:23):
No, we try to do a lot of open houses, so students can get oriented to the options and the mentorship and can start there. In terms of admissions too, sometimes we'll have people come in, even if they don't have everything in just to help them think about what it is that they're trying to do. I think you covered everything. We try to do interview days with groups. They've been virtual this year. Students can meet the faculty in a group setting and then do individual interviews. They can also meet each other and start connecting in that way. I think that's pretty much the process.
Shauna Costello (43:16):
One other question too, that I like to just clarify: Are students applying to the program as a whole, or to work with a specific faculty member?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (43:27):
As a whole.
Shauna Costello (43:28):
As a whole?
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (43:28):
Yeah. They can identify a particular faculty member and by all means we'll make it work. I don't think there's ever been a situation where we couldn't make that work.
Shauna Costello (43:37):
Yep. That's something that I know I always like to clarify. We've talked about a lot of stuff today. How about just some closing remarks? Is there anything that either of you would like to make sure that listeners know about the programs at PCOM?
Dr. Rich Allen (43:57):
I think the takeaway is that we're very student centered and we want to train that next generation of really thoughtful and highly skilled practitioners. I think from a school psych standpoint, the thing that I always say to prospective students are we're often, as school psychs and behavior analysts, wrestling with that question, and a psychologist, of: When we see a problem, is it a can't do problem or a won't do problem or a combination of the two? I feel like when you bridge together all those disciplines, it allows you to really take a more careful look at that in terms of your skillset.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (44:35):
I love everything you said. I would just add to that: I think we are all, as a faculty, passionate about the professions that we do, passionate about improving the lives of children and families, passionate about improving educational systems and seeing that, at least I think this myself, the professions that we are in can be the ultimate prevention in some of the ills that we see in society. I think students that come to PCOM will see that passion in us. They will see that advocacy in us and they will see that this is a profession that I think has really far reaching implications.
Shauna Costello (45:29):
I think that from what we've heard about PCOM and the plethora of different experiences, faculty, research that's going on, that it's a very high probability that that's going to happen. Thank you both so much. It's always fun for me to learn about the programs. I try my hardest not to ask any questions if I talk to you beforehand, but I always enjoy really learning about the programs and what is going on out there, because there's so much information about programs and just on the internet in general. It's always fun for me to see what's actually going on in the fields with the faculty, with the students, with the next generation and how schools and faculty are really individualizing their programs. Thank you both so much.
Dr. Jessica Glass-Kendorski (46:28):
Thank you, Shauna. This was great. Thank you.
Dr. Rich Allen (46:30):
Yeah. Thanks Shauna for having us. It's a pleasure.
Shauna Costello (46:34):
Thank you for listening to this week of the university series. And as always, if you have questions, comments, feedback, or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.