Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
There is to date no Canadian example of a systematic evaluation of a community psychology training programme, and the literature reveals few evaluations in the U.S. This paper describes an evaluation of the Community Psychology M.A. Programme at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU). A utilization-focused stakeholder model was used, whereby I worked closely with faculty, students, some support staff, and a graduate of the programme throughout the entirety of the evaluation. Because community psychology is strongly committed to process, both outcome and process goals were given equal emphasis. In addition, other aspects such as student satisfaction, course effectiveness, and an exploration of students’ perceptions and feelings about the programme were examined. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from graduates, faculty, support staff, and students. Following feedback of the results, faculty and students identified the major issues developed their own recommendations, I provided my own recommendations, and based on this the programme embarked on the process of change. The results of the evaluation indicated that the programme is effective in meeting its outcome goals, but that there is room for improvement in how it is incorporating the values and beliefs of community psychology into the process of training. The major themes of the process results included: a lack of support for second-year students, competitiveness amongst students, a lack of resources for faculty and students, a weakness in the programme’s attention to gender and multicultural issues, and continual improvements in the programme in attending to process issues. This evaluation was provided a comprehensive and detailed view of the processes and outcomes of a community psychology training programme. This process has encouraged growth and development in the programme at WLU and hence, has hopefully provided some confirmation of the importance of community psychology’s stated commitment to self-appraisal and evaluation. What this evaluation has provided for WLU’s programme, more widespread evaluations of community psychology training programs can provide for the field as a whole. That is, more extensive, close attention to the processes and outcomes of training programmes would help the field see its strengths and weaknesses and would contribute to the development of the subdiscipline as a whole.
Alcade, Judit, "Training in community psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University: A process and outcome evaluation (Ontario)" (1991). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 592.