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Individual and Cultural Diversity

Fostering respect for all.

The Derner doctoral program is guided in its respect for individual and cultural diversity by a number of principles, including the University’s non-discrimination policies. Adelphi University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination regarding all educational, student programs and employment actions and further commits not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of an individual’s race, creed, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, marital status, veteran status or any other basis protected by applicable local, state or federal laws. 

In addition to meeting fully its obligations of non-discrimination under federal and state laws, Adelphi University is committed to maintaining a community in which a diverse population can live and work in an atmosphere of tolerance, acceptance, civility and mutual respect for the rights and sensibilities of each individual, regardless of differences in economic status, ethnic background, political views or other personal characteristics and beliefs. In support of this commitment, it is the moral responsibility and the pledge of the University, and all who work and learn here, to protect all those under its care from any form of discrimination or harassment. Students encountering any form of discrimination or harassment should report these matters immediately to the dean of student affairs. That office is prepared to address all inquiries as well as allegations of discrimination and harassment and will assist students to take appropriate follow-up action. 

Furthermore, the doctoral program is informed by the document, Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice and Organizational Change for Psychologists, which was approved as APA policy by the APA Council of Representatives in August 2002. The program recognizes the need for evolving training in psychology that continually considers the needs of individuals and groups who have been marginalized within and by psychology due to ethnic/racial heritage and social group identity or membership. The program strives to provide its students with an understanding of the importance of addressing multiculturalism and diversity in research, practice and organizational change. The current Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (particularly policies on unfair discrimination) also provides a framework for training. 

The program is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and student body. The program’s administrators and faculty have long recognized the need for attracting and retaining a suitably diverse faculty and student body. Mindful of the need for program diversity, and of the mutually reinforcing relationship between the ability to attract diverse faculty and students, the program has made demonstrable progress toward this goal. In addition, the program has been quite successful in recruiting foreign students who have added significantly to the diversity of the program. 

Our concern for diversity extends beyond recruitment and retention to include the program’s curriculum. An appreciation of diversity is a continuing experience throughout the program. The composition of the class serves to expose the students to a wide variety of people, sampling a diversity of ethnicity and lifestyles, and building respect and understanding through collegial interaction. The academic courses, from the foundational to clinical and research sequences, are structured to address diversity with regard to individual and cultural differences. Our curriculum also includes advanced studies courses to further develop student understanding and competence on this subject matter. Clinical and research practica are also designed to provide the students significant training in this regard. 

Our efforts with regard to promoting diversity has been greatly facilitated by the efforts of our Diversity Committee in conjunction with an affiliated, faculty-sponsored group of students currently in attendance in the program. These students comprised our Derner Student Diversity Forum. Each year the program’s Diversity Committee sponsors a full-day or half-day event that provides the Derner community with an opportunity to explore, in depth, aspects of diversity. In addition, the Diversity Committee plays a prominent role in the recruitment and retention of minority students and faculty.


For additional information about the Diversity Committee, please contact:

Jairo N. Fuertes, Ph.D.
Chair, Diversity Committee
Adviser, Minority Caucus

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