As the field of media psychology and technology continues to expand and evolve, students and their curiosity can help determine the pace and quality of this expansion. This makes early exposure to the field critically important because the field and its respective organizations’ development depend on how established individuals (students and professionals alike) create space and support all levels of students. As a Student Committee, we have been intentional about developing such a space for undergraduate and graduate students interested in media psychology and technology over the past 2 years but have also remained cognizant of the fact that work towards diversifying the pipeline and creating a more inclusive field often starts with high school students’ interest and involvement in psychology (Kohout & Pion, 1990).
Research (Mann et al, 2021; Morrison et al, 2020; Trent et al, 2021) has shown that students often decide to attend graduate school before entering college or becoming undergraduate students. Moreover, students of color tend to make their secondary education decision before high school (Griffin, 2019; Yu et al, 2020). These outcomes emphasize the significance of early exposure and early education in efforts to diversify the field. However, there are currently few options for which high school students can be meaningfully involved with professional organizations and can contribute to the growth of the field.
Thus, we were enthusiastic when recently, two high school students reached out to us expressing interest in participating in the Division. Specifically, they are interested in establishing an affiliate chapter with support of the Division at their local high school. We, as the Student Committee co-chairs, viewed this as an opportunity to further develop and extend access and exposure to not only the field of media psychology and technology, but also to further extend and expand the pipeline to graduate school and eventually, to a doctoral degree in the field. Over the next year, we are looking forward to focusing on ways we can support high school students’ interest in psychology through the support of the Division and are excited to share our efforts with the Division as this evolves further.
Currently, our commitment to diversifying the field continues with our work with the Grad Stepping and our mentorship programs. By supporting students and exposing them to the field of media psychology and technology, we aim to create a space that allows students to develop their interests and passions. Through expanding the pipeline to a future career in psychology, we not only diversify the field, including different voices and different experiences, but we also contribute to the further development and evolution of the field. We appreciate the support of all of the Division members as we continue to expand these efforts, with a special thanks to the encouragement from current Division President Dr. Don Grant who honored us both at this year’s APA Convention with a Presidential Citation for these efforts.
Griffin, K. A. (2019). Institutional barriers, strategies, and benefits to increasing the representation of women and men of color in the professoriate: looking beyond the pipeline. In Perna, L.W. (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research volume 35 (pp. 1-73). Springer.
Kohout, J. & Pion, G. (1990). Participation of ethnic minorities in psychology: Where do we stand today? In Stricker, G., Davis-Russell, E., Bourg, E., Duran, E., Hammond, W. R. (Eds.), Toward ethnic diversification in psychology education and training (pp. 153–165). American Psychological Association.
Mann, D., Mahavongtrakul, M., & Hooper, A. (2021). An efficient and coherent pipeline for graduate student and postdoctoral scholar educational development. To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development, 40(2). https://doi.org/10.3998/tia.237
Morrison, J. Q., Davies, S. C., & Noltemeyer, A. (2020). An analysis of the workforce pipeline in school psychology. Contemporary School Psychology, 26, 14-21. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-020-00319-4
Trent, F., Dwiwardani, C., & Page, C. (2021). Factors impacting the retention of students of color in graduate programs: A qualitative study. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 15(3), 219-229. https://doi.org/10.1037/tep0000319
Yu, M. C., Kuncel, N. R., & Sackett, P. R. (2020). Some roads lead to psychology, some lead away: College student characteristics and psychology major choice. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15(3), 761-777. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691619898843