The quality of our faculty and students represent great strengths for the Doctoral Program in Educational Psychology. Our faculty represents an internationally recognized group of empirical researchers. The group includes 3 distinguished professors (the highest honor at the City University of New York) and Fellows of the American Psychological Association and the American Statistical Association. All are well published in the most prestigious data-based journals in their fields. Further, our faculty members serve on the editorial boards of many important research journals. Some of our faculty members hold appointments in more than one Doctoral Program because of the interdisciplinary nature of their work. We are also fortunate to have the Director of the Center for Advanced Study of Education (CASE) as a member of our faculty. This research institute which conducts applied research and evaluation studies in the field of education has worked with our faculty in developing research proposals and has employed our students as research assistants.
Our program attracts highly motivated students who are truly interested in careers where they will confront important educational issues. Many of the students within the Educational Psychology program are (or have been) teachers, educational administrators, and school psychologists. For example, in recent years we recruited a student who previously was an instructor of AP Calculus in a NYC high school for the gifted. Another student had previously taught elementary school in India. A third was a school psychologist dealing with under achievement issues in a suburban school. They have told us that they came to CUNY to discover the science behind the practices they carry out every day in their jobs. They also want to answer questions about which techniques work best in practice, which they realize requires them to learn about educational research.
Another defining aspect of our doctoral program is the collegial and open atmosphere that exists in our program. All faculty members are available to students for one-on-one advisement, be it the planning of course schedules, the discussion of research, the clarification of material in a previous lecture, or the planning and execution of the doctoral dissertation. This environment reflects our belief that although our students are in training, they will also one day be our colleagues.
Since its inception, it has been a core belief of the entire Educational Psychology Doctoral Program that research in the field of Educational Psychology should be empirical and data-based. Consistent with this view, students in the Educational Psychology Program are given rigorous training in quantitative and methodological fields such as psychometrics, applied statistics, research design, and in the use of the latest software packages. All students in the program, regardless of major, are required to take a minimum of five courses covering the quantitative fields mentioned above. Our goal is to train students who can conduct well designed empirical studies that possess both internal and external validity. The dissertations written by our students are all empirical studies based on quantitative data. Whereas some studies have been true randomized experiments, others have used a quasi-experimental paradigm. Yet others have involved the development of new assessment procedures or the development and refinement of new methods for analyzing educational data. In some cases the dissertation has involved the reanalysis of published data sets using more sophisticated methods than were available for the original analyses.