Psychology doctoral program ranked No. 1 nationally
Louisiana Tech’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate program ranks No. 1 nationally in applied development opportunities in a groundbreaking ranking study from my.SIOP (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology). You can’t get better than No. 1. “What an honor for a program that only accepted its first cohort in 2009,” said Donna Thomas, Department Chair of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Tech. “I’m extremely proud of, but not surprised by, the No. 1 ranking — it’s a direct reflection of the program’s outstanding students and their commitment. “Since its inception, the I-O Psychology Ph.D. program has emphasized the application of behavioral science through its consulting group, Applied Research for Organizational Solutions (AROS),” Thomas said. “Our students often tell us it’s what attracted them to our program — the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills into practice, under the supervision of our exceptional faculty. I’m so pleased to see the students and faculty recognized for their hard work. The ranking will help us grow the program’s reputation by continuing to attract top-notch students.” The program’s core faculty are program coordinator Dr. Tilman Sheets, AROS director Dr. Mitzi Desselles, Dr. Frank Igou, and Dr. Steven Toaddy. Tech’s top ranking in applied development opportunities means that the program helps students gain experience in applying I-O psychology research findings to organizations, interacting with organizational stakeholders, and communicating with lay audiences. Programs that rank highly in this area may provide graduate students with opportunities to work on consulting projects overseen by faculty or include courses requiring the completion of projects emphasizing skills commonly used by I-O psychologists in applied settings (such as job analyses and performance appraisal). Prospective students interested in a career as a practitioner or as an academic who also consults independently or oversees student consulting projects may be interested in programs ranking highly in this area. “Previous rankings of I-O graduate programs have often focused on ‘objective’ criteria related to research outcomes including publication rate and conference representation,” my.SIOP explained. “Our ranking is differentiated by ranking I-O PhD programs according to development opportunities offered to graduate students in three core areas: teaching, research, and applied practice. Current PhD students were surveyed regarding the development opportunities available to them in their respective programs. We then weighted these opportunities using ratings from current SIOP members with experience in I-O related careers. We found that, under this ranking scheme, the most highly ranked schools varied across the three development areas, suggesting that prospective students should consider their future development and career goals when assessing potential graduate programs.” The program also ranked No. 20 in research development opportunities, and No. 29 in teaching development opportunities. Research development opportunities are conceptually the most similar to the traditional ranking criteria. However, my.SIOP assess opportunities that help students develop the skills necessary to carry out research rather than measuring the outcomes of research. Teaching development opportunities provide students with opportunities to develop skills in various aspects of teaching, such as managing classrooms, designing courses, evaluating student work, and relaying information to students. Programs that rank highly in this area provide students with more varied teaching experiences throughout their graduate career, such as serving as a teaching assistant or instructor of record. The complete rankings can be found online.