In a new report, psychologists from APA’s Div. 44 and the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) review the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on psychology education and training, highlighting concerns, disparities, and recommendations (PDF, 1MB).
Recommended citation is: Wolff, J., Angyal, B., Ameen, E. & Stueland Kay, T. (2020, September). The Impacts of COVID-19 on Psychology Education & Training: Concerns, Disparities & Recommendations [Unpublished report]. Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation & Gender Diversity and American Psychological Association of Graduate Students. Retrieved from www.apadivisions.org/division-44/news-events/psychology-education-report/covid-19-psychology-report.pdf.
APAGS Chair Blanka Angyal describes the report as follows:
The impact and toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on society is sobering: anxiety about health and safety, fear of losing loved ones, physical distancing and isolation, rising unemployment rates, rising mental health needs, a failing economy, and deadly white supremacy and anti-Blackness that target our Black, Asian, trans, queer, non-binary, international, and immigrant communities. These unprecedented times require us to be nimble, innovative, and expedient in expanding the practice of psychology, whether in research, education, practice, or advocacy.
Graduate students and early career psychologists are in a particularly difficult position, as the pandemic presents added educational, economic, and systemic barriers to entering the field. The pandemic further exacerbates systemic inequities that disproportionately impact graduate students who are people of color, neurodiverse, international, immigrant, trans, queer, non-binary, and/or from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. This report summarizes the concerns of graduate students, early career psychologists, and the broader training community. These concerns range from knowledge and skills-gaps in the practice of telehealth and distance learning, to worries about meeting educational milestones, financial insecurity, concerns about workforce development, licensure, job security and opportunities, professional advancement, surges in student debt, funding cuts, and increasing demands for mental health services.
A snapshot of current challenges inevitably places us in a reactionary mode. However, my hope is that we can move beyond a reactionary response to a proactive approach that anticipates long-term consequences of the pandemic for the next generation of psychologists and the future of our field and profession. I hope that, as members of our professional and training community, you will engage graduate students and early career psychologists in ongoing discussions and collaborations to address barriers and challenges detailed in this report. We have an opportunity to transform our training, expand our practice, translate our science, and exercise leadership and advocacy within and outside our field. Thus, as you read this report, I ask that you do so with curiosity and openness. Identify at least one concern to which you can lend your talents, expertise, and resources in order to help students and early career psychologists. Together, we can make a difference and work towards a thriving discipline for these and future generations!
Blanka Angyal, MA, EdM, EdS
Chair, American Psychological Association of Graduate Students