The School of Psychology provides all professors and graduate students with access to stand-alone microcomputers (PC and Macintosh) interconnected through one or more servers provided by Information Technology Services. The computers are located within the research laboratories of the professors or in a number of computer rooms that have been set aside for teaching and/or student use. Faculty members purchase their computer equipment through research funds, professional expense funds provided by the University, or from their own funds.
There are over 150 microcomputers presently in use at the School of Psychology. All computers can access the Internet, and, through the library system connection, can search numerous electronic databases, such as PsycINFO, Medline, ERIC, and the Cochrane Collaboration. Additional computers with specialized scoring software for psychological tests are available in a dedicated computer room located in the Centre for Psychological Services and Research (CPSR).
The networked systems within the School of Psychology provide word processing packages, scientific graphics packages, spreadsheet packages, statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, Statistica), computer language compilers (e.g., Visual C, Visual Basic, ME, E-Prime), and communication through electronic mail facilities. The facilities in the School of Psychology also include access to a scanner and laser printers. On the human resource side, a statistical consultant is available to faculty and students on an ad hoc basis. Faculty members who teach multiple statistics courses are also available for consultation.
Centralized server-based audio-visual recording and viewing equipment is integrated in all service delivery rooms in the CPSR. Practicum students can view their recorded sessions in designated computer rooms at the Centre, and clinical faculty members can access these sessions in their offices through a secure intranet system. Two similarly equipped rooms are also available for conducting observational research.
Other Research Facilities
In addition to the research space assigned to each faculty member, the School of Psychology has research facilities that are available to all faculty and graduate students. On the fifth floor of the Vanier building there is an integrated research centre for individual testing of human participants (INSPIRE). The INSPIRE facility is available for use by all full-time faculty members and includes four testing suites with four cubicles in each for computerized testing, one interaction room for small group testing and debriefing, and two control rooms. Multiple simultaneous recording of audiovisual and physiological responses can be conducted with each participant, along with the responses provided directly on-screen to computerized stimuli. Two additional cubicles, with their own control room, include equipment for eye-tracking research.
Some students in the clinical psychology program work with dissertation supervisors who conduct neuroscience research. The School has extensive facilities for this area of research, including (a) a surgery-necropsy facility with two suites equipped with fume-hoods for handling toxic substances, equipment such as stereotaxic instruments and surgical tools, halothane regulator and scavenger for anesthesia, and a cryostat-microtome, (b) animal behaviour testing facilities for the investigation of drug induced, stimulation-induced, and learning-induced behavioural changes, and (c) a molecular laboratory (including equipment for biomarker analyses, an image analysis system for receptor and metabolic marking, and a centrifuge) with adjoining histological and microscopy rooms and a radiation laboratory for handling isotopes and conducting radioimmunoassays.
Professional Test Resources
A test library (in both English and French) is available for both the psychological services provided at CPSR and the courses offered in the clinical program. All assessment materials are housed at the CPSR. For some tests, CPSR maintains accounts with companies that provide scoring and interpretation services for electronically submitted raw data. At CPSR there is also an extensive library of professional books and key reference materials, such as (a) updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialities and (b) a library of all legislation, standards, and guidelines relevant to the practice of clinical psychology in the province of Ontario (as outlined in materials provided by the College of Psychologists of Ontario).
All students complete a portion of their practicum training in the School of Psychology’s on-campus training site, the CPSR. Within the CPSR much of the supervision is provided by core faculty, with some supervision provided by psychologists who supervise at the Centre. The core internal practicum begins in the summer of the first year in the program and is typically completed by the fourth year in the program. Practicum training combines direct service, supervision, and ancillary activities offered by the program, including case conferences and access to recordings of demonstration cases by faculty members. This element of practicum training emphasizes mastery of foundational professional knowledge and skills. The training is generalist in nature. Students are exposed to diverse approaches, modalities, and populations.
For some students beginning in Year 2, and for all students by Year 3, practicum training is provided in external settings. This supplementary practicum training is also provided in Year 4 and beyond until the student goes on internship. This element of practicum training is increasingly oriented to enabling students to obtain the knowledge and skills that will prepare them for the specific type of internship to which they aspire. In addition to the CPSR practicum, the typical student completes 4-5 external practica. The modal external practicum is of six months duration. There is a very wide range of practicum training opportunities in external settings. There are more than 20 sites in the region approved for external practicum training, and larger settings offer multiple rotations in different training areas.
Student Office Space
Students have access to shared offices which are distinct from the research space assigned to each full-time faculty member. Additionally, at CPSR there is shared office space for students to use when involved in CPSR practicum activities.