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The establishment of the 18 Community Psychology Practice Competencies created the opportunity for faculty and students at Wichita State University to review the well-established curriculum that had served our doctoral program in community psychology. Further, the development and discussion around the 18 competencies within the field energized us and created curiosity about what our program could be. In a participatory manner involving students, faculty, and alumni, a town hall meeting and a survey were conducted within Wichita State University’s Community Psychology Doctoral Program to assess the current coverage of the 18 competencies and the desired level of coverage of the competencies in the future. With this data, a retreat involving all faculty and students of this program was held, focusing on the strengths of the program and a vision for graduates of the future. This retreat resulted in student and faculty engaged work groups around curriculum and qualifying exams, which were intentional in including the 18 Competencies as guiding principles. The student and faculty Curriculum Work Group conducted a curriculum mapping process that identified which competencies were focused on by particular courses, including which of the 18 competencies were taught in existing courses and what new courses might be offered to address the remaining competencies. The Curriculum Work Group made recommendations that included greater or less emphases on competencies in particular courses, along with adding two classes: Seminar in Social Policy & Advocacy and Seminar in Community Leadership. The Qualifying Exam Work Group focused on student selected competencies that aligned with career aspirations, substantially changing and, we believe, enhancing our qualifying exams. The 18 Community Psychology Practice competencies have provided benchmarks for the Community Psychology Doctoral Program at Wichita State University, which has improved our academic quality while allowing greater flexibility for students in the pursuit of their community psychology research and practice careers. [This is a pre-print of an article published by SAGE in Journal of Trauma, Violence, and Abuse on November 27, 2019, available online:]


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work

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Social Work Commons