Efficacy of targeted recruitment strategies on students' knowledge of and interest in school psychology
This study examined the impact of targeted recruitment strategies during School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW) on the number of applicants who applied to the University of Dayton's (UD) School Psychology Program and whether the recruitment efforts yielded a more diverse applicant pool and incoming cohort to the program. Researchers presented to undergraduate psychology and education students (N = 195) at eight universities in Ohio, including two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Applicants' demographic information from the previous year was compared to applicant data from the current year. In addition, a comparison between the diversity of the program's cohort in 2012 to 2013 was made. Participants' interest in applying to a school psychology program was measured through the School Psychology Awareness Inventory (SPAI). Researchers also obtained suggestions and improvements for the SPAW presentation and the types of recruitment information students found beneficial through qualitative data analysis. While there were no statistically significant differences between the two applicant pools, the diversity ratio of cohort 2012 to cohort 2013 increased in variability in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender. There was an increase in the level of interest in school psychology among participants, who reported the presentation to be beneficial. Implications for school psychology graduate program recruitment strategies are discussed with regard to increasing the diversity in the field.