Texas Tech University


Long-Term Systematic Efforts at Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Faculty and Students

The TTU Clinical Psychology Program (CPP) recognizes that our communities, society, and the world in general are rapidly changing and becoming increasingly diverse. Thus, the CPP is committed to providing a supportive and encouraging learning environment that is conducive to learning about, and demonstrating respect for, cultural diversity. The CPP is committed to preparing graduate students to competently and effectively work with a diverse group of individuals. Consistent with this, the CPP has a breadth of strategies for recruiting and retaining both diverse faculty and students.

Open faculty positions are advertised across multiple organizations aimed at increasing the diversity of our hiring pools, including the National Latinx Psychological Association, APA Division 45 (Ethnic Minority Issues), ABPsi (The Association of Black Psychologists), across multiple EMPAs (Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations), AAHE (American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education), and special interests groups of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (African Americans in Behavior Therapy, Hispanic Issues in Behavior Therapy).

Announcements for faculty positions are subjected to review and revision by the Lead Administrator in the Office of Institutional Diversity at Texas Tech University (currently Paul Ruiz, J.D.), and the Clinical Search Committee's rankings of applicants are also reviewed. The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Texas Tech University oversees equity standards and university-wide education and training on diversity, and requires diverse members on all faculty search committees. All advertisements for faculty positions include a statement encouraging minorities and underrepresented groups to apply.

Additionally, Texas Tech University has recently initiated a new procedure to further increase diversity in all open positions. More specifically, Texas Tech has worked out an agreement with Job Elephant to facilitate outside advertising. With this agreement, every position (faculty and staff) will be listed in the following places: Blacks in Higher Education (www.blacksinhighered.com), Hispanics in Higher Education (www.hispanicsinhighered.com), Veterans in Higher Education (www.veteransinhighered.com), and Disabled in Higher Education (www.disabledinhighered.com).

The CPP also strives to recruit and retain diverse students. Texas Tech University's undergraduate student body is over 25% Hispanic. Importantly, Texas Tech University recently achieved official designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Of the 131 Carnegie Tier One institutions, Texas Tech is one of just 15 to earn this designation. Diversity is also considered when determining students to invite for our clinical interview day and when formal offers are made to potential graduate students.

Efforts to improve our recruitment and retention of diverse students and faculty are established in a variety of ways, including a program-level assessment of recruitment and retention efforts. A committee of CPP faculty and students develop, refine, and obtain feedback regarding our efforts via a variety of methods (e.g., program-level climate survey), and the program promotes diversity in our training curriculum and in the environments and climates we establish (e.g., external practicum placements).

Additional efforts at recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and students are implemented via department-wide diversity efforts. For example, our website includes information relevant to the departmental Diversity Committee (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/psy/diversity/). The mission of the Diversity Committee in the Department of Psychological Sciences includes the following elements: assist the Department in providing a culturally sensitive environment in which all members of the Department community have opportunities to thrive professionally and personally; support recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and students; facilitate and promote opportunities for learning and discussion related to diversity throughout the curriculum, in our research and service, and in extracurricular activities; and to serve as a liaison and resource for students, staff, faculty, and administrators on issues related to equity, diversity, and multiculturalism. The committee's mission is consistent with the mission and vision of the Texas Tech University Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, and the American Psychological Association best practices for training multiculturally competent psychologists.

Current diversity committee goals and projects include an annual diversity day, an annual diversity art contest and show (with entries into the art contest later displayed throughout the Psychology building), the Diversity in Psychological Science Graduate Research Award, a student/staff/faculty diversity spotlight, a departmental climate survey, diversity in teaching initiatives, and departmental diversity recruitment trips to Hispanic Serving Institutions. The Department also hosts speakers for our Diversity Week. For example, in the Spring of 2020, we invited Dr. Tierney Lorenz to present to our students and faculty and we regularly recruit speakers for the Department's Skelton Lecture Series who contribute to research and training related to diversity. Another activity during our Diversity Week includes our Department's Diversity Poster Session, which aims to highlight theoretical or empirical research on diversity, inclusivity, disparities, or underrepresented groups and invites submissions from all undergraduate and graduate students at the university. Further, all job candidates for faculty positions have a stand-alone meeting with a member of the Diversity Committee to discuss current initiatives related to diversity at both the Department and University level and provide a dedicated place for all applicants to ask questions related to diversity.

Additionally, the CPP has a thoughtful and coherent training plan that integrates issues related to cultural and individual diversity throughout the curriculum and provides relevant knowledge and experiences with regard to cultural and individual diversity in psychology as it relates to the science and practice of professional psychology. The CPP requires a stand-alone course that focuses on issues related to cultural diversity. CPP graduate students take either Psy 5396: Multicultural Counseling or Psy 5398: Ethnic Minority & Community Interventions. Additional courses taken by our students include diversity-related content, including Psy 5304: Practicum in Intelligence Testing, Psy 5338: Seminar in Psychopathology, Psy 5318: Introduction to Clinical Psychology, Psy 5101: Colloquium in the Teaching of Psychology, Psy 5306: Seminar in Professional Ethics, Psy 5303: Developmental Psychopathology, Psy 5311: Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Intervention and Management, Psy 5312: Introduction to Child and Adolescent Psychological Treatment, and Psy 5314: Beginning Child Practicum.

CPP students also gain experience in working with clients from diverse backgrounds and presenting problems through a variety of internal and external practicum work. Their first experience is through the TTU Psychology Clinic. The TTU Psychology Clinic serves the greater West Texas community and offers services on a sliding fee scale. Given this, students have the opportunity to work with clients from very diverse backgrounds related to ethnicity and race, age, socioeconomic status, etc. Students continue to gain clinical experience with diverse populations once they start working in the community.

In summary, the CPP has a thoughtful and coherent plan in place to recruit diverse faculty and students and a training plan in place to expose our students to cultural diversity topics and culturally diverse populations. The CPP faculty and students regularly assess the effectiveness of these efforts, and work toward obtaining feedback and recommendations regarding ways in which our efforts can be improved.