MURFREESBORO, Tenn. —An MTSU program that prepares graduates to make workplaces better has received top kudos from a professional group and a private-sector website.
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the premier professional organization in the field, ranked MTSU’s industrial-organizational psychology master’s program tops in the nation. The society published its final rankings in the Spring 2018 issue of The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.
“The rankings are based upon objective data covering several dimensions of program quality,” said Patrick McCarthy, the graduate program’s director and an MTSU psychology professor. “The significance of the ranking is heightened by the fact that I/O Psychology is currently the fastest growing occupation in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.”
The institutions’ final scores were based on an average of the scores in four categories — applied experience, curriculum, faculty experience/information and student accomplishments/information. McCarthy provided the data for the study.
“This achievement was the culmination of an extensive, strategically driven process,” McCarthy added. “While the roots of MTSU’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology program go back to 1968, our faculty set a strategic goal in 1995 to become the top applied I/O Psychology master’s program in the country.
“A highly dedicated group of I/O faculty turned that vision into action. We continued our strategic planning efforts every year since, creating a series of targeted improvements along the way that ultimately culminated in this achievement.”
McCarthy noted that the program’s quality has attracted “a deep pool of talented applicants every year from across the country and internationally,” including countries such as Australia, England, Japan, India, Turkey and Venezuela.
The program is affiliated with the Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness, or COHRE, an independent consulting unit that offers valuable experience to MTSU’s industrial-organizational psychology students.
Some of the clients COHRE has served since its 2003 inception include Goodwill Industries, Nissan, Procter & Gamble, State Farm, Cracker Barrel and several local, state and federal governmental agencies.
COHRE describes industrial-organizational psychology as “a diverse field with various specialty areas of investigation, including basic personnel functions, psychological processes that underlie employee behavior in workplace settings, group processes at work and the conditions of work.
“The knowledge and understanding gained from research are put to practical use as they are applied to issues of critical relevance in organizations. Key issues include selection, training, assessment, compensation, leadership, work attitudes and organizational development.”