Adventist educators recently signed a memorandum
of understanding at the University of Southern Caribbean (USC) in
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, to offer the first doctoral program in educational
psychology. The event brought leaders of USC and Andrews University, in
Berrien Springs, Michigan, to partner and allow graduates to practice as
certified school psychologists in Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S.A., and Canada.
The program will provide the opportunity for
Trinidad and Tobago to have trained school psychologists that can be part of
the preventative psychology and counseling framework for the country, according
to Clinton Valley, president of the University of Southern Caribbean.
Rudolph Bailey, professor and chair of the
Andrews University Department of Educational Psychology, explained that
“psychology, applied to educational research, will make education more
effective since it involves processes that assist learning, classroom and
curriculum design, and critical information about the brain and learning that
must get into the school system.”
Bailey explained that given the reports of
escalating social issues in Trinidad and Tobago, talks with the government
facilitated a redesign of the proposed program to include a three-pronged
approach to the counseling component. “This approach emphasizes assessment,
consultation, and training in individual and group counseling for schools,”
Research projects to be completed by the 22
students enrolled in the first cohort will identify issues related to the
Trinidad and Tobago context, using empirical data which can guide curriculum
redesign, classroom management, and policy formation, university leaders said.
The new PhD in Educational Psychology at USC is
accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists, in the U.S.A.
Established in 1927, the USC sits on 384 acres in
the Maracas Valley northeast of Port-of-Spain in Trinidad. The institution is a
private, coeducational institution owned and operated by the Caribbean Union
Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and has been accredited by the Adventist
Accrediting Association since 1982. USC offers 15 graduate and 30 undergraduate
degrees from its six academic schools, on campus and at its five satellite
campuses located in Tobago, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbados, and Guyana.
USC is being called upon to assist the government
in training more than 3,000 early childhood educators.
For more on USC, visit usc.edu.tt