Mission and Goals


The School and Applied Child Psychology Program at the UBC is dedicated to the development of outstanding researchers who also have highly developed skills as evidence-informed clinicians. The program prepares psychologists who are committed to optimizing the development of children, youth, and families within their social systems. Our goal is to create a community of learners with foundational knowledge and respect for diverse theoretical orientations and empirical literatures. Within an ecological framework, cognitive, social, developmental, and behavioural perspectives are integrated throughout the program. Graduates of the program will utilize multiple frameworks to understand the development of individuals and groups within complex systems in a diverse society. Through evidence-based evaluation, prevention, and intervention, students will identify, analyze, solve problems, and function as change agents with a life-long commitment to professional development and ethical practice.

Values, Principles, and Commitment

The School and Applied Child Psychology Program is committed to the development of professional psychologists whose research, training, and practice promotes the educational and psychological well-being of children and youth in a diverse society. The Program follows a scientist-practitioner model, with emphasis on the integration of research, theory, clinical skills, and training that encompasses academic, cognitive, social, and behavioural domains. Students receive training in the integration of assessment, consultation, prevention, and intervention and in relevant professional, legal, and ethical issues. Science and professional practice are viewed as interactive and complementary, with research integrated across core psychological and educational foundations as well as clinical training experiences at all levels of the program.

 The Program is designed to prepare psychologists who serve as researchers and leaders in school and applied child psychology both nationally and internationally, practitioners and supervisors in the field, and faculty at universities. Students at all levels are expected to develop both research and clinical skills, and establish professional competencies that reflect the integration of theory, research, and ethical best practice. One distinguishing feature of the UBC School and Applied Child Psychology program is its strong appreciation for equity, inclusivity, and diversity, with diversity considered in the populations served, the students recruited and admitted, and across practice settings. The Program focuses on individual, group, and systems level processes. A strong emphasis is placed on working within and across systems and on systemic change. There is a strong commitment to clinical/applied and research experiences throughout all levels of the Program.

Goals, Objectives, and Areas of Competence

The mission, values, principles, and commitments of the School and Applied Child Psychology Program are represented in two primary program goals and eight objectives examined as areas of competence outlined below.

Goal #1: To prepare psychologists with strong foundational knowledge in the theoretical and scientific bases of professional psychology and education needed to provide services to children, youth, and families within complex systems and organizations in a diverse society.

  •  Objective 1: Students will demonstrate knowledge in the breadth of scientific psychology, its history of thought and development, its research methods, and its application.

 Areas of Knowledge:

  • Culture and organization of school and community settings
  • Continuum of curriculum and instruction
  • Systems and systems change
  • Foundations of human development and learning
  • Individual differences, diversity, and exceptionalities
  • Research methodologies and approaches
  • Foundations of psychological and educational measurement
  • History and scientific foundations of psychology
  • Social bases of behaviour
  • Cognitive and affective bases of behaviour
  • Biological bases of behaviour

Goal #2: To prepare psychologists to generate, critically analyze, and implement psychological and educational theory, research, and methods of scientific inquiry to engage in effective practice that, in turn, informs theory and research.

  • Objective 2.1: Students will demonstrate knowledge and competence in psychological and educational evaluation at the individual, group, and systems level.
  • Objective 2.2: Students will demonstrate knowledge and competence in psychological and educational prevention and intervention.
  • Objective 2.3: Students will demonstrate knowledge and competence in integrating psychological and educational services across systems.
  • Objective 2.4: Students will demonstrate knowledge and competence in research methodologies and approaches.
  • Objective 2.5: Students will demonstrate knowledge and competence in diversity and culturally responsive practice.
  • Objective 2.6: Students will demonstrate knowledge and competence in professional communication and collaboration.
  • Objective 2.7: Students will demonstrate knowledge and competence in the ethical and legal bases of professional practice.
  • Objective 2.8 Student will demonstrate knowledge and competence in psychological and educational supervision.