The philosophy of the Counseling Psychology program at The University of Akron is ultimately one that values and respects the integrity of all persons. The psychological perspective we take in training students is growth-based in that it focuses on students' strengths and potentials with respect to their personal and professional development. We believe that this training perspective will prepare students to help clients cope with problems, regardless of level of complexity, in a way that maximizes their development as unique human beings.

The mission of our program, more specifically, is to facilitate the professional, personal, and ethical development of our students. Our philosophy of training is consistent with the scientist-practitioner model and the Counseling Psychology humanistic tradition. It includes emphases on the appreciation of diversity and on the development of open and critical thought processes.


The program’s nine competencies are directly aligned with those required by the American Psychological Association’s Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology. A full list of competencies, objectives, outcomes, and minimum levels of achievement can be found in the Counseling Psychology Program Handbook.

APA-required competencies:

  • Research
  • Ethical and Legal Standards
  • Individual and Cultural Diversity
  • Professional Values and Attitudes
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Supervision
  • Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills

Program Goals and Objectives

Click each goal to read the related objectives

Goal 1. To develop broadly competent, critically thoughtful psychological scientists who have the knowledge of and the ability to apply basic and advanced research methods.

Related Objectives:
  • students show a solid grasp of major theories and bodies of research in Counseling Psychology by passing their coursework and the Comprehensive Examination
  • students have knowledge of and are able to apply basic and advanced research methods (i.e., ability to define a research problem, formulate theory-based hypotheses, formulate a suitable method for testing those hypotheses, implement the method/collect the data, analyze the data, and interpret the results); that is, students have conducted independent and scholarly research, from idea to publication-quality manuscript, by the end of their Ph.D. program
  • students demonstrate broad scientific competence in the areas of psychology covering both core (biological, social, cognitive-affective, and individual bases of human behavior) and specialty (theories of counseling and psychotherapy, vocational psychology, personality assessment, research design, group counseling, counseling supervision, individual differences, and ethics) inquiry by successfully completing their program of study
  • many students engage in research projects in addition to those required in their academic program.

Goal 2. To develop competent, critically thoughtful psychological practitioners who integrate theory, research, and experiential knowledge to accurately assess conditions, promote well-being, alleviate distress, and increase personal and organizational functioning.

Related Objectives:
  • students show the ability to form a solid therapeutic relationship with clients and to counsel effectively with them
  • students are proficient in the practice of one or more models of counseling/therapy and career counseling as demonstrated in their practica and internship evaluations
  • students demonstrate competent assessment skills in the ability, personality, and vocational domains
  • students' practice is informed by their reading of the research
  • students maintain an appropriate professional demeanor in their practice and behave responsibly with regard to record keeping and case consultation

Goal 3. To develop professionals who are aware of relevant ethical standards and guidelines, who are able to engage in ethical decision-making, and who are ethical in their functioning as professionals.

Related Objectives:
  • students know the APA ethical code and all relevant specialty guidelines
  • students behave ethically in their work in practica and on internship
  • students successfully respond to ethics questions on their Comprehensive Exam

Goal 4. To develop professionals who are sensitive to, who appreciate, and who promote a multicultural perspective, broadly defined.

Related Objectives:
  • students acknowledge and behave with consideration for their clients', colleagues', students', and others' diversity, and treat all people with respect and dignity
  • students show an understanding of major issues related to diversity in their coursework and performance on the Comprehensive Exam
  • students examine cases or research questions from varied cultural perspectives

Goal 5. To develop professionals who will actively identify with and be committed to the profession and positive traditions of Counseling Psychology.

Related Objectives:
  • students join APA and Division 17 or other professional bodies consistent with the identity as a Counseling psychologist students join the program's Counseling Psychology Graduate Student Organization
  • students subscribe to and read Counseling Psychology journals and publications
  • students attend and may present at professional meetings relevant to Counseling Psychologists (e.g., APA, regional conferences, relevant specialty conferences)
  • students publish in outlets read by Counseling Psychologists students participate in the program's mentoring activities