Adventist News

​Trinidad: Adventist University Adds a PhD in Educational Psychology

Adventist educators recently signed a memorandum of understanding at the University of Southern Caribbean (USC) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, to offer the first doctoral program in educational psychology. The event brought leaders of USC and Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan, to partner and allow graduates to practice as certified school psychologists in Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S.A., and Canada.

The program will provide the opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago to have trained school psychologists that can be part of the preventative psychology and counseling framework for the country, according to Clinton Valley, president of the University of Southern Caribbean.

The first cohort of Ph.D. students pose for a picture with USC administrators,  Andrews University representatives and members of the Adventist Accrediting Association.  [Photos: IAD]Rudolph Bailey, professor and chair of the Andrews University Department of Educational Psychology, explained that “psychology, applied to educational research, will make education more effective since it involves processes that assist learning, classroom and curriculum design, and critical information about the brain and learning that must get into the school system.”

Bailey explained that given the reports of escalating social issues in Trinidad and Tobago, talks with the government facilitated a redesign of the proposed program to include a three-pronged approach to the counseling component. “This approach emphasizes assessment, consultation, and training in individual and group counseling for schools,” Bailey said.

Research projects to be completed by the 22 students enrolled in the first cohort will identify issues related to the Trinidad and Tobago context, using empirical data which can guide curriculum redesign, classroom management, and policy formation, university leaders said.

The new PhD in Educational Psychology at USC is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists, in the U.S.A.

Established in 1927, the USC sits on 384 acres in the Maracas Valley northeast of Port-of-Spain in Trinidad. The institution is a private, coeducational institution owned and operated by the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and has been accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association since 1982. USC offers 15 graduate and 30 undergraduate degrees from its six academic schools, on campus and at its five satellite campuses located in Tobago, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbados, and Guyana.

USC is being called upon to assist the government in training more than 3,000 early childhood educators.

For more on USC, visit

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