Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Diane Smallwood, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Rosemary Mennuti, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Ray Christner, Psy.D.


There is a noticeable absence in the professional literature regarding what school psychology doctoral students believe leads to satisfaction during their advanced training. Consequently, a general review of available research was conducted to ascertain what other closely related fields say about student satisfaction during doctoral training. As the document progresses, a variety of issues including funding and mentoring as well as considerations for multicultural and ethical issues as they relate to the topic are investigated. A theoretical model of what constitutes a satisfying experience for doctoral training in school psychology is provided. A program specific evaluation was conducted of the first three cohorts that included survey data with the addition of semi-structured interviews also completed for cohort one. The data provides generally positive reviews of the PCOM experience within the school psychology program, although there are perceived limitations within certain aspect of the training experience that are explained. This document ends with a robust discussion that provides potential suggestions, based upon prior research and current data, for satisfaction improvement. A theoretical model of what might constitute an ideal training experience at PCOM, or other school psychology doctoral programs, is provided for consideration.