Message From the Dean
Course Delivery Plans for Fall 2020
PCOM's School of Professional and Applied Psychology plans to utilize a hybrid course delivery method for the fall 2020 semester. This
hybrid model of course delivery will consist of a mix of mostly online course delivery and
limited face-to-face delivery when determined to be required by faculty in order to develop
PCOM continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak. Should circumstances warrant, our fallback position would be to revert to fully
virtual instruction across all programs. Our chairs, program directors and faculty have been charged with the task of carefully analyzing each course in every program and to make a determination about the best way to deliver these classes. Our accreditors
have informed us that flexibility is important and that faculty are in the best position
to determine how to assess student competencies.
We want to provide as much information as we currently know in this ever-changing
world in which we find ourselves. Please rest assured that any and all decisions we
make about program deliveries are based on the science about COVID; student, faculty
and staff safety; student and faculty input; general and specialty accreditors; local
state and federal guidelines; and the Centers for Disease Control.
Here is what we can tell you at this moment regarding our programs and course delivery:
- The School of Professional and Applied Psychology has amassed an enormous amount of
experience during the spring and summer terms in converting roughly 100 courses to online
delivery. With an eye toward maintaining, securing and sustaining academic excellence,
we are happy to report that our delivery has been very well received by our students
and faculty across our programs. This conversion required a great deal of effort for
all parties concerned. All involved have also been incredibly flexible and understanding
as we have navigated our way through this crisis together. We will continue to use
what we have learned to ensure the quality of your education as we proceed through
the pandemic together. Our faculty and staff have been working diligently to ensure
the quality of delivery of education, as evidenced by our successful transition to online
delivery for the spring and summer terms.
- Our educational focus has been and continues to be on offering only the highest quality
experience for students whether online or in-person. Our philosophy has been embedded
in the idea of leveraging the best technology has to offer and to simulate face-to-face
delivery as much as possible. The educational objectives regarding knowledge, skills
and attitudes remain the same; the online course delivery and assessments are creative.
Our faculty and staff have been extremely innovative in adjusting courses.
- Our faculty and staff continue to devote enormous energy toward providing the best
possible education we can. Faculty and staff have devoted themselves to this process
with student experiences as a primary concern. Our dedicated group is working long
hours to support our efforts. We are also ensuring students have access to all of
the necessary resources that would normally be available in a fully face-to-face environment
including mentoring, meetings with faculty, meetings with advisors, tutoring, academic
support, writing support, town hall meetings, dissertation advising, clinical supervision,
as well as access to the library, financial aid, and student affairs.
- For future terms, we will provide students with detailed information regarding course
delivery plans at the time of registration—roughly six weeks before that term begins.
Given the ongoing state of flux in which we find ourselves, we cannot predict what
the winter term will look like. Our decision will depend in large part on the latest
evidence about COVID.
- PCOM administration and the Return to Campus Task Force have been vigilant in supporting
and implementing changes in the PCOM environment to ensure safety as much as possible.
To date, there have been numerous changes implemented including classroom space analysis
(to assure safe distances between students and faculty), installation of plexiglass
barriers where needed, reconfiguration of offices, renovations, converting existing
space to classroom space, PPE kits for students and faculty, development and use of
outside classroom space, ventilation system analysis, signage, training modules on
COVID and safety practices, entrance and exit analyses to suites and rooms, the use
of bathrooms, use of elevators and the like.
Finally, we want to emphasize that PCOM exists because and for our students. We are
a group of highly trained practitioners and educators who are completely devoted to
mentoring you. We will continue to provide the guidance and support you will need
to complete your studies. We will keep you apprised of any further information as
the plan emerges and communicate the information to you when it is available. In the
meantime, be safe, be smart and stay healthy.
Robert A. DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP
Dean and Professor of Psychology
School of Professional and Applied Psychology