APA Addresses Doctoral Education Issues and Supports National Convocation

The shortage of academic jobs for research-oriented psychologists, as well as complaints from new PhDs that their graduate programs did not prepare them for careers outside academia, led the Science Directorate to initiate several new activities.

Last year, APA established the Task Force on Non-Academic Employment for Scientific Psychologists, which met for the second time June 7-8, 1996. The group, cochaired by Drs. Gary and Judy Olson of the University of Michigan, has decided to establish a page at the APA World Wide Web site that will include a variety of information on non-academic employment issues aimed at graduate students, faculty, and industry. The page, which will be ready in a few months, will feature, among other topics, career histories of recent psychological science graduates, qualifications for nonacademic positions, and links to other sources of employment information.

In a related effort, the Science and Education Directorates contributed $5,000 to a national event, organized to address graduate education issues and sponsored by the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP) of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

The event, which took place June 15, was a convocation entitled, 'From Discussion to Action: Meeting the Needs of Future Generations of Graduate Scientists and Engineers.' This event brought together representatives of many science and engineering societies, university and graduate school organizations, universities themselves, departments, students, and postdocs, as well as federal agencies that have implemented a variety of changes in science and engineering education at the graduate level. The objective of the meeting was to exchange information about efforts that are already underway.

William C. Howell, PhD, APA Executive Director for Science, and Christine R. Hartel, PhD, APA Assistant Executive Director for Science, each gave keynote speeches at the meeting on 'Improving Skills' and 'Illuminating Different Career Paths,' respectively.

The Science Directorate also presented a poster during the convocation describing APA programs and approaches to addressing current problems in graduate education.

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