Home Home | About Us | Sitemap | Contact  
  • Info For
  • Professionals
  • Students
  • Educators
  • Media
  • Search
    Powered By Google

Institute for the Teaching of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Michael J. Burke and Ronald S. Landis
Tulane University 

Kecia M. Thomas
University of Georgia

A goal of the society this year was to begin work on the development of the Institute for the Teaching of I-O Psychology, affectionately referred to as the Teaching Institute. The Teaching Institute was conceived to be a visible mechanism through which SIOP could reach faculty at minority-serving institutions. The development of the Teaching Institute was made possible by a generous donation from Personnel Research Associates. Also, based on a proposal developed within our Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA), APA awarded SIOP a CEMRRAT (Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, and Training) grant to further the development of the Teaching Institute. These funds are initially being used to develop workshops to assist faculty at minority-serving institutions who are charged with teaching I-O psychology or interested in adding I-O psychology material to an introductory psychology course or some other type of psychology course. Below, we will present a vision for the Teaching Institute and provide an update on the first Teaching Institute workshop conducted this past fall. 

A Vision for the Teaching Institute

Ethnic minorities make up a very small percentage of psychologists in general and I-O psychologists in particular. SIOPs Executive Committee and CEMA have recognized this situation and considered proactive efforts to address low ethnic minority representation in the field. The Teaching Institute represents one long-term method for addressing this problem. The overarching purpose of the Teaching Institute is to assist in communicating and developing relationships with faculty who teach at institutions of higher education that serve largely ethnic minority populations such as the historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), the tribal colleges, and Hispanic-serving institutions, with the ultimate goal of increasing ethnic minority representation in the field of I-O psychology. To move toward this ultimate goal, we have established goals and identified initial activities for the Teaching Institute. 

The Goals of the Teaching Institute

Specifically, the goals of the Teaching Institute are to:

  • Convey SIOPs goals and values regarding diversity to faculty teaching psychology at minority-serving institutions. 
  • Provide an opportunity for faculty at minority-serving institutions to gain or refresh their knowledge of I-O psychology.
  • Gain insight and recommendations from faculty working at minority-serving institutions regarding how to best attract and recruit ethnic minority students into the field.
  • Develop materials to assist students to prepare and apply for graduate study in I-O psychology.
  • Develop networks among I-O graduate faculty, I-O practitioners, and faculty at minority-serving institutions in order to facilitate attracting and recruiting ethnic minorities to the field of I-O. 
  • Increase the visibility of the diversity-related I-O psychology research and practice to faculty and students affiliated with minority-serving institutions.

The Activities of the Teaching Institute
Initially, the Teaching Institute will offer workshops comprised of several different types of activities including:

  • Review of course syllabi and teaching modules. These discussions will emphasize strategies and resources for effectively teaching I-O psychology and how I-O psychology can be integrated into other psychology courses. 
  • Panel discussions of emerging trends in the field. These discussions will focus on emerging trends from the perspective of research and practice to assist faculty in effectively representing the scientistpractitioner foundation of the field.
  • Conversation hours/meals with local practicing I-O psychologists who can discuss opportunities for summer employment and internships in the field as well as future areas of development for which students may want to prepare.
  • Panel discussions led by faculty at minority-serving institutions regarding diversity issues and strategies that SIOP may want to consider to increase the attractiveness of I-O psychology to minority students.

The Fall Faculty Teaching Workshop

November 21, 2003 the first Teaching Institute workshop was conducted at Tulane University with faculties from psychology departments at Dillard University, Xavier University of New Orleans, and Prairie View A&M University. Faculty from 

Back Row: Mike Burke, Milt Hakel, and Charlotte Henry
Second Row: Rick Carter, Alberto Galue, Michelle Collins, and Sue Ann Sarpy
Front Row: Elliott Hammer, Marla Baskerville, Peter Metofe, and Vida Brown

Southern University of New Orleans also provided support for this workshop. Michael Cunningham, a Tulane University faculty member from the Department of Psychology, presented an enlightening opening address entitled Professional Organizations and Populations of Color. The workshop itself included highly interactive discussions concerning how to better recruit minority students into the field of I-O psychology, how to incorporate information on I-O psychology into undergraduate psychology courses at minority-serving institutions, and the nature and types of work that I-O psychologists perform in academia, private organizations, and public organizations. Workshop participants were provided with information on the Teaching Institute, information on SIOP, CDs and workshop handouts that included PowerPoint lectures on topics in I-O psychology (including those prepared by workshop presenters and those developed by SIOPs Education and Training Committee), example syllabi, and articles from TIP concerning both the teaching of I-O psychology and SIOPs diversity efforts. 

Notably, in one session, SIOP panelists Bob Dipboye, Bryan Edwards, Vince Fortunato, and Ron Landis answered numerous questions related to how faculty members at schools without I-O programs could best advise students 

Ron Landis, Bob Dipboye, Bryan
Edwards, and Vince Fortunato

wishing to pursue graduate-level training in the field. Discussion centered on how doctoral programs evaluated GRE scores, the importance of research experience, how to advise students to present themselves in personal statements, and other topics related to the application process. In consideration of the questions raised and comments made in this session, Ron Landis has taken the lead on developing a document titled Applying to a Graduate Program, which will be posted on the SIOP Web site to provide guidance for students and faculty advisors.

Another highly interactive session, led by Rick Carter, Michelle Collins, Alberto Galue, and Sue Ann Sarpy, involved discussions on the nature of practice in I-O psychology within public-sector organizations, consulting, industry, and nontraditional academic work. Participants commented favorably on these sessions and how the discussions provided useful information and encouragement for incorporating I-O psychology material into their psychology classes. 

We would like to acknowledge the individuals who encouraged, participated, and assisted in the delivery of the workshop including Marla Baskerville, Vida Brown, Lana Chambliss, Edwina Frank, Elliott Hammer, Thomas Hebert, Charlotte Henry, Eartha Johnson, Peter Metofe, Ron Murphy, Kit Nast, Lisa Schulte, and Keith Wismar. 

We anticipated that the initial workshops offered would provide a springboard for further workshops and cooperative efforts between faculties at minority-serving institutions and I-O psychology faculty and practitioners in other cities and thus further contribute to the goals of the Teaching Institute. 

The Future of the Teaching Institute

A second workshop will be conducted in the future. This workshop will focus on helping faculty best prepare students for admission to graduate programs in I-O as well as provide information about various career paths chosen by those in the profession. Also we expect this workshop to be an opportunity for the development of networks between HBCU faculty, I-O graduate program faculty, and I-O practitioners throughout the southeast.

In closing, we hope that all SIOP members will join us in supporting the efforts of the Teaching Institute as a way for dealing with our differences in a new and constructive manner and for providing a long-term means to assist in the development of a more inclusive society. If you desire to participate in the activities of the Teaching Institute or have suggestions, please contact Kecia Thomas (kthomas@arches.uga.edu) or Mike Burke (mburke1@tulane.edu). 

April 2004 Table of Contents | TIP Home | SIOP Home