Letters

What's good for the gander

I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY with the article by Margaret Schlegel, and the companion piece by Carol Williams in the November Monitor. I too would have greatly benefited from a mentor who would have supported my having a family during graduate school. Instead, I had male professors, unmarried or married with children, who still strongly recommended starting a family after graduate school. I wish I had a mentor in the early years of graduate school who would have given me guidance on how to balance my professional and personal life.

Oh, did I mention...I am a male.

JONATHAN R. UGOWITZ
Graduate student and married father of two
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Re-envisioning psychology education

I WAS DISAPPOINTED IN DR. DeLeon's (November 2000) President's Column on re-envisioning psychology education. He discusses psychology in the K­12 system, the community college system and undergraduate institutions. He addresses changes in education technology and the need for psychology to be market sensitive. What he omits, however, is any mention of training at the master's level in psychology. In his January 2000 column, he acknowledges that 60,000 master's level psychology graduates are working in psychology. Thus, this seems to be an important group to address when speaking about education and the marketplace. I should not be surprised by his omission, however, in light of his recommendation in the January 2000 column that master's level psychology individuals should develop their own separate profession. I believe that APA has made a significant error in distancing itself from individuals at the master's level in psychology. This has hurt psychologists in the marketplace (where we have been replaced by social workers and counselors, without training in psychological models of assessment or therapy). This has also hurt our educational system, because APA does not provide clear standards or accreditation for master's programs in psychology.

I know that organizations like the Northamerican Association of Masters in Psychology are working toward recognition and accreditation standards, and I applaud their efforts, but it might be more effective and beneficial to both organizations if APA would recognize what master's level psychology professionals have to offer and welcome them, rather than exclude them.

SUSAN J. LABINE, PHD
University of Pennsylvania

AS A DOCTORAL CANDIDATE IN clinical psychology, I read with great interest Bridget Murray's article in the November Monitor, "The growth of the new PhD." Many of the concerns cited by graduate students and academic faculty members are valid and worrisome, and merit attention. Particularly provoking was a statement attributed to a senior policy officer at the National Science Board, "The research model is too narrow and inappropriate for most institutions, but it brings glory to individuals and institutions alike, so it continues to be held up as the model. Equally disconcerting was the point that students earning the PhD often feel they lack direction in applying their skills once out of school and that academic institutions are contemplating an alternate form of the PhD.

Perhaps those persons from whom Ms. Murray gathered her information have not been informed of this, but there is an alternate to the PhD that awards the doctorate, prepares one for a career as a psychologist and is licensable in all 50 states. This degree has been in existence for more than 15 years, many universities offering it have received full APA accreditation and many students from these degree programs compete strongly each year with PhD students for predoctoral internships. This degree more than satisfies the numerous concerns of those persons cited who have detected some shortcomings of the PhD. The degree is called the PsyD.

GEORGE GEYSEN, MA
Glastonbury, Conn.

Remembering the Holocaust

LIKE THE THREE PSYCHOLOGISTS profiled in your November issue, I, too, was influenced by the Holocaust. Like Hellman, I am a second-generation Holocaust survivor. My parents and grandparents escaped Nazi Germany before the war. My grandfather was in a concentration camp for a time, but was released when papers arrived allowing the family to emigrate to the United States. I am quite sure that my 15 years of research on ethical decision-making and the management of ethics in organizations result directly from a profound need to understand good and evil in organizational contexts.

LINDA KLEBE TREVINO, PHD
The Pennsylvania State University

Selective tolerance?

AFTER READING THE "Implications of the Boy Scouts of America Case" article by Mark R. Phillips, MS, and Margaret Bull Kovera, PhD, in the November Monitor, I was compelled to read APA's brief to the U.S. Supreme Court related to the case. What I read was an attack on the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) right to define itself as a moral-based organization, and to practice its views at its own discretion.

APA's March 2000 amicus curiae brief defined "moral positions" as historically prejudicial and condemning, and that a decision based solely on them "does not provide a useful limit." This position appears to challenge moral beliefs and affords no tolerance for moral-based organizations to define themselves, or operate within themselves, from what they believe to be unambiguous, divinely mandated behavioral imperatives. In the BSA's case, it was the belief that avowed homosexuals do not provide appropriate role models.

Why can't APA report to the courts objective, scientific understandings of psychological factors related to homosexuality, without advancing the gay political platform, especially when it sacrifices tolerance for moral views in its wake? This has become a primary reason why my colleagues and I hesitate to contribute PAC monies for APA's efforts beyond those that promote our profession. We suggest members vote directly on all APA's political positions prior to their public research.

ROGER D. SAUNDERS, PHD
Conroe, Texas

CORRECTION

In the October Monitor, the information on page 88 about the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) was incorrect. Funding has not ended for the NHSC; neither has the program been cut by the Department of Health and Human Services. The authorization of NHSC expired on Sept. 30, but the program will continue to be funded for fiscal year 2001.