A Comparison of the Perceptions and Experiences of Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, and Instructors in College and University Psychology Programs

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Ganus, Sean Dylan
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Middle Tennessee State University
Extending the methods of previous research comparing the experiential perceptions of undergraduate and graduate psychology students by ethnic and gender identity, two survey instruments were developed for the purpose of comparing the experiential perceptions of psychology students with the experiential perceptions of psychology instructors by ethnic and gender identity. In contrast to earlier research, no significant differences were found in between undergraduate and graduate psychology student perceptions in relation to perceptions of ethnic diversity in academic environments. Additionally, no significant correlation was found between student satisfaction and reported student ethnic identity, student satisfaction and mentoring by instructors, encountered encouragement or barriers, perceived ethnic representation in psychology, and perceived ethnic and gender diversity in academic environments. Qualitatively, undergraduate and graduate students generally aligned in their experiential perceptions except with reported mentoring, with graduate students reporting having experienced greater degrees of mentoring. Additionally, graduate students reported lesser degrees of diversity in both psychology and their immediate academic environments. Instructor responses differed from undergraduate responses regarding mentoring, with undergraduates generally reporting having not been mentored by psychology instructors, and instructors reporting having mentored undergraduate and graduate students. Further refinement of the survey instruments used in the project is needed before the instruments can serve as effective tools to assist in gauging perceived representation and diversity in college and university psychology programs.
Diversity, Ethnicity, Experiences, Instructors, Psychology, Students, Clinical psychology