The PSP Advantage I: Expectations, Processes and Outcomes
To give you a sense of what our currently-enrolled students are saying about expectations, processes and outcomes, we present the following video clips taken from our interviews with four of our more than 70 students—representing different ages, different cultures and both genders.
These students were attracted to PSP because it provides the opportunity for distinctive and career-enhancing education leading to increased knowledge and competence in the field of professional psychology. What does this opportunity look life: what hopes, dreams (and even fears) did our students hold when deciding on and entering PSP?
At PSP we try to gain a clear sense of the expectations held by our students when they enter the school, as well as how they view the process of education in which they are engaged and the outcomes that accrue from this participation. This is not easy to do, but we try hard to find out about expectations, processes and outcomes.
We have found that our students are looking for a collaborative intellectual environment. Did they find it? What kind of experiences did our students have when they began learning and participating with faculty and other students in the global classroom?
One of the ways we find out about expectations, processes and outcomes is through conducting interviews with each of our students when we meet each year in person, or through interviews conducted on-line with our students, using the video conferencing tools (Zoom and Skype) that are also basic to our on-line courses.
While the students being interviewed are still enrolled in the graduate programs at PSP, we have found that they are already deriving benefits from their engagement as mature learners. They are already actively engaged in professional human service practices and therefore can immediately apply what they have learned at PSP.
The PSP Advantage II: Costs and Benefits
Fundamentally (“bottom-line”), one’s decision to enroll in a graduate school must focus in part on the matter of finances. It costs money to complete a graduate degree—and this cost is accrued through not only tuition, books, travel and other educational expenses, but also sometimes lost time on the job (especially if one is an independent therapist or consultant) and diverted energy, time and attention from one’s current career. So, there must be comparable financial benefits associated with completion of the graduate degree. Substantial financial benefits are to be found in the new knowledge acquired and skills gained, as well as the value to be assigned to the completed degree and diploma itself.
What then are the costs and benefits to be found when enrolling at The Professional School of Psychology? Some of the costs (such as diverted energy and loss of income from one’s daily work) are hard to calculate, as are many of the benefits (such as knowledge and skills acquired, as well as one’s personal sense of competence and realized aspirations). We can, however, calculate some of the more tangible costs and benefits accruing from one’s enrollment in and completion of a graduate degree program at PSP.
The Financial Cost/Benefit Ratio for PSP is exceptional, especially when compared to that of the typical graduate school of psychology. This exceptional ratio begins with costs: a graduate degree from PSP is much less expensive (often ¼ the cost) of obtaining a comparable education at another North American graduate school (especially a private graduate school). The American Psychological Association recently reported that the typical graduate program in professional (clinical) psychology costs more than $160,000 (compared to the $53,500 for PSP in 2019).
The exceptional Cost/Benefit Ratio also results from the high average yearly income earned by PSP graduates (based on results from the 2015 Constituency Analysis). The median income is in the $100,000-149,999 range (the middle of this range being $125,000). By contrast, the median 2015 yearly income earned by psychologists in the United States (as reported in the Occupational Outlook Handbook) is $72,580. Making use of this financial information, we can calculate a cost/benefit ration for PSP graduates of 0.428 ($53,500/$125,000). By contract, the cost/benefit ratio for a typically psychologist (using current average tuition rates) would be 2.21 (160,000/72,500). While these are very rough calculations, the resulting ratios suggest that PSP is 5.16 more financial beneficial than the typically graduate program in the United States.
The PSP Advantage III: Putting It All Together
It is very difficult to put a specific price on the costs and benefits associated with enrollment in a graduate program. It is also challenging to identify (and somehow quantify) the expectations one has when entering a program and the relationship between these expectations and the way this program actually operates (the process of education) and, most importantly, the outcomes achieved by participating in this program. However, it is all quite impressive when you put it all together: (1) expectations being fulfilled, (2) educational processes that are engaging and perspective-changing and (3) a cost/benefit ratio that places PSP in a distinctive category among graduate schools. There is clearly a PSP advantage.