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Prevention Science, Doctor of Social Science


Program Purpose

Prevention science is interdisciplinary, integrating theories and methodologies from the disciplines of public health, human development, developmental psychopathology, education, behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, and developmental neuroscience), economics, evaluation, epidemiology, and public policy and administration. This accelerated degree program is a professional doctorate designed to respond to the rapid changes taking place locally and globally. It also responds to the growing demand for scholar-practitioners who are trained interdisciplinary and build healthy sustainable individuals, families, organizations, communities, and societies in an age of global interdependence.

Program Competencies

Graduates from this program will demonstrate competency in the following areas – knowledge, communication, and professionalism.

Knowledge

Students will demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings of prevention science apply this knowledge to behavioral problems or societal issues. Students will demonstrate the development of scientific reasoning and problem solving, including effective research methods, as they relate to the field of prevention science.

Graduates from this program will:

  1. Generate research-based knowledge focused on increasing the understanding of risk and protective factors and processes related to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities and the prevention of problems in human populations.
  2. Translate evidence into effective culturally aligned and responsive universal, selective and indicated interventions (e.g., programs, environmental strategies and policies) that positively impact the development and well-being of children, youth, adults, families, and communities, especially vulnerable and unique populations such as members of racial and ethnic minority groups, children, and the elderly.
  3. Evaluate programs, determine needs, and design preventive interventions using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research methodologies.
  4. Provide relevant consultation for effective development and implementation of prevention interventions.
  5. Solve problems that arise in planning programs, such as changes to a budget or resistance from a community.
  6. Develop successful partnerships with community, county, state, and national organizations to mobilize resources and disseminate effective programs/interventions into routine practice in a variety of settings.
  7. Build upon the strengths within a group (e.g., family, community) to alleviate concerns defined by the group.
  8. Think creatively about how to improve the health and wellness of individuals, families, and communities through culturally aligned and responsive prevention programs, policies, practices, and procedures.

Communication

Students should demonstrate competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills.

Graduates from this program will:

  1. Effectively disseminate information to inform relevant audiences, including policy makers.
  2. Be effective public speakers and lead programs, teach classes, facilitate discussions, and use technology to communicate with individuals, families, and other groups.
  3. Be good listeners and be culturally sensitive to respond to the needs of diverse populations.
  4. Develop professional written materials to convey information, develop programs and policies, and apply for funding.

Professional Development

The emphasis in this goal is on the professional application of prevention science-specific content and skills, including effective self-reflection, project-management skills, teamwork skills, and career preparation.

Graduates from this program will:

  1. Be a professional in the field of prevention science which includes exhibiting self-efficacy and self-regulation, project-management skills, and teamwork.
  2. Engage in professional prevention science networks and associations.


Program Requirements

This degree is a 48 credit degree. Students are allowed to transfer up to nine (9) credits from an accredited master’s level graduate program. Three (3) of these credits must be a master's level research methods course, three (3) must be a content course (content related to prevention science), and three (3) a practice/application course. All individuals enrolling in the program would be evaluated for possible credit transfers and may need to take additional credits prior to starting the program. Also, students will have the opportunity to design an individualized plan of study through six (6) credits of “Guided Study.” Students may choose to utilize these Guided Study credits to develop an area of specialization within the field of prevention or utilize this sequence to gain a broad base of knowledge across functional prevention areas.

Students must satisfy the requirements for PSC 7001, PSC 7002, and PSC 7003 prior to taking PSC 7000 and PSC 7101.

STUDENTS MUST EARN A "B" OR BETTER IN ALL PSC COURSES, MAINTAIN A MINIMUM GPA OF 3.0, AND COMPLETE ALL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS WITHIN SEVEN (7) YEARS.IF LESS THAN A "B" IS EARNED IN A PSC COURSE, STUDENTS MAY RE-TAKE THE COURSE ONE (1) TIME AND A MAXIMUM OF TWO (2) COURSES MAY BE REPEATED.


Course Requirements

This accelerated degree program is a professional doctorate designed to respond to the rapid changes taking place in the professional society. It also responds to the growing demand nationally and internationally for scholar-practitioners who are trained interdisciplinarily and can provide intellectual leadership and help build sustainable families, organizations, communities, and societies in an age of global interdependence.

Curriculum (48 Credits)

The completion of master's degree credits will be evaluated by the Chair of the program upon entrance to program.  The program is designed so that students complete two (2) courses (6 credits) each 15 week semester. Students will complete all of the following courses:

Prevention Science (18 Credits)

PSC 7000 Introduction to Prevention Science

PSC 7001 Graduate Level Prevention Science Content

PSC 7101 Human Development and Prevention Science

PSC 7102 Families and Prevention Science

PSC 7103 Community Well-Being and Prevention Science

PSC 7104 Designing and Adapting Preventive Interventions

Applied Research Methods (12 Credits)

PSC 7003 Graduate Level Research Methods

PSC 7201 Applied Research Methods and Skills 1: Qualitative

PSC 7202 Applied Research Methods and Skills 2: Quantitative

PSC 7203 Applied Research Methods and Skills 3: Mixed Methods Research

Guided Study (6 Credits)

PSC 7301 Guided Study

PSC 7302 Guided Study II

Inquiry Research (9 Credits)

PSC 8000 Applied Inquiry Research I

PSC 8001 Applied Inquiry Research II

PSC 8002 Applied Inquiry Research III

Practice and Application (3 Credits)

PSC 7002 Graduate Level Prevention Science Practice



This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2021-2022 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2021 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.