January 9, 2017

A New Name Signals New Directions for Psychology Education at Adelphi

by Jim H. Smith

As of August 2017, Adelphi University’s prestigious Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies will become the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology.

The new name reflects a broad commitment to teaching psychology at all levels. While Derner is still renowned for its excellence in doctoral education, a new B.S. in Neuroscience degree, offered jointly with Adelphi’s College of Arts and Sciences, addresses the needs of a flourishing undergraduate population. Filled with exciting opportunities to learn from and conduct research alongside distinguished psychology and biology faculty, the new program prepares undergraduates for research and employment opportunities in the growing field of neuroscience.

Additionally, Derner now offers three psychology master’s degree programs—in general psychology, school psychology and mental health counseling—as well as concentrations in substance abuse counseling and human resource management, to prepare psychologists for careers addressing the current and future needs of society.

“Thanks to the comprehensive scope of our programs, calling our institute a school is more appropriate,” said Derner Dean Jacques P. Barber, Ph.D. “We’ve integrated the resources of a broad, rigorous curriculum with those of a respected professional school of clinical psychology.”

Derner was named in honor of its founding dean, Gordon Derner, Ph.D., a highly respected clinical psychologist and exemplary administrator and teacher who joined Adelphi in 1950. He launched the groundbreaking clinical training program in 1951, which became the nation’s first university-based professional school of psychology when it separated from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1972.

“The institute included the term ‘Advanced Psychological Studies’ in its name when it was created,” explained Dr. Barber. “At that time it included only the Ph.D. program and post-doctoral studies. When the undergraduate program was merged with the institute in 1998, the name remained unchanged. However, the institute’s program now includes a large cohort of undergraduate students who are not engaged in advanced psychological studies. The name is no longer an accurate way to describe the institute.”

Robert Mendelsohn, Ph.D., Post-Doc. Cert. ’83, a faculty member and former dean of Derner, noted the outpouring of support for the new name among former students. “Dean Barber polled a group of supporting alumni, and they were unanimously supportive of this change,” he said.

Derner enjoys a high success record. Since 2005, 96 percent of its graduates are in clinical practice. Of those, nearly 60 percent are teaching or supervising, and 25 percent are engaged in research.

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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

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