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JFK University PsyD Clinical Psychology Program: Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by fugue, Feb 14, 2012.

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  1. fugue

    fugue

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    Hello friends,

    I've recently applied to the JFK University Psy.D. program in Clinical Psychology, and was hoping some on this forum have attended, researched, or at least briefly considered the program and would share with me their thoughts. I've searched the forum and although I found one thread, it was pretty old (2008) and didn't cover much about the program's merit.

    Also, I have some problems more specific to my background and circumstances for which I'm seeking guidance and would like any input on those as well.

    Here are my concerns about the program specifically:

    1) APA Accreditation is presently on probation. Is it even worth it to consider attending the program in light of this?
    2) Internship matching rates: 11% of students obtain APA-accredited internships, 34% obtain APPIC internships, and 51% obtain CAPIC internships - would someone mind explaining to me, or linking me to information, regarding the limitations placed on career options by internship choices? I have a decent understanding of this, but want to make sure I'm not mistaken.
    3) Cost: After tuition (~$110,000) and living and miscellaneous expenses over 5 years, I can't imagine I'll be any less than $300,000 in debt after graduating. How do potential students plan on paying this?
    4) Licensure Rate: 62% - Any comments? Seems pretty outrageous for a school costing this amount of time and money and focusing so heavily on clinical practice.

    One of the reasons I'm considering JFK is because I missed a lot of deadlines for Fall 2012 submission, and I'm interested in schools in the San Jose/Bay Area, one of which I could apply for in time was JFK. Relative to descriptions of the program, it seems fine, but these stats concern me and I'm wondering if it's worth it for me to simply wait until Fall 2013 for me to apply to programs which are arguably better and less risky. Although I'm very interested in psychology at the level of theory, I can't say I'm up for - what seems to be and is reported as - the thankless and arduous process of research, and would as such prefer practice, private or otherwise. As far as I've been advised, most APA-accredited programs in psychology are fairly boilerplate/uniform and it doesn't much matter where you go to school if you plan on practicing psychology, so long as you can get licensed. I/O psychology may also interest me.

    I have a 3.4 GPA (due mostly to not attending classes and losing "points" for attendance, at the risk of sounding however that sounds) and very good recommendations from professionals in the field of psychology, though I didn't function in a clinical or research capacity in the mental health clinic. I know I have the academic and cognitive abilities to excel in graduate study, but I am naturally concerned about how competitive and committed I may look to an admissions committee. Thus, a less discriminating and slightly more expensive program like JFK may be beneficial to me. Although, perhaps a non-licenseable MS/MA in Psychology with flexible deadlines may be more beneficial whose credits I can then transfer to a Ph.D./Psy.D. program?

    Anyway, any advice would be hugely appreciated surrounding this. Thanks!
  2. 4410

    4410

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    Seems that there are many PsyD programs in California that are comparable to JFK program. Is Alliant only in the Southern California area? I believe there are other PsyD program up in Northern California such as Pacific or Argosy. I believe Fielding has a cohort in the San Francisco area. Similar to you I have no interest in research so I choose a PsyD program. I prefer the PsyD model with emphasis on clinical practicum and clinical psychology courses with supervision and faculty who practice clinical psychology over the PhD model with requirement of thesis and dissertation.
  3. erg923

    erg923

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    The chief of our psychology service here loathes the "teaching of all this clinical stuff at the expsnese of learning actual psychology." This is something many program now do (not just Psy.Ds.) I have to say that I agree and its readily apparent in some graduates. My point is, there is no "clinical psychology" without the basic core science of psychology (which is actually alot of statistic too). I would prefer a focus on that...then on clinical skills after that. The scienstist-practitioner model does a fine job of focusing on both, and it is pure myth that ph.d programs don't focus on clinical training.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  4. terrybug

    terrybug happy

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    I briefly considered JFK purely for the location aspect. That was early on in my search for a grad program.
    In the simplest terms I can think of:
    1) APA Accreditation matters
    2) Internship matching rates really REALLY matter - as in no match, no degree
    3) Cost only matters if you aren't rich
    4) Licensure Rates really matter

    The rates you listed for each of these items is so bad as to make your chances of success in the field almost impossible.
  5. docma

    docma

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    We have provided pre-doc training to some excellent JFKU students who have gone on to APA post-docs and licensure in California as well as other states. If you need to stay in the Bay Area and if you have a particular interest in multi-cultural issues, they are a very solid program. They are also a reasonably sized program and seem to give students good personal support in internship application and research/dissertation completion. Many of their students are locally anchored and do CAPIC internships for that reason; I don't know about the licensure rate but would assume that because they are open to later-career entry students, some do not pursue licensure or get the degree but practice with an existing master's license? You should ask them directly.

    However, unless you have savings to offset the costs, you will be taking out significant loans and would be wiser to reconsider your options re level of degree and wait to consider funded programs.
  6. 4410

    4410

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    Uh...PsyD programs have statistics and research courses the last time I checked. I have had all of these courses as well as all of the core psychology courses so I am well grounded in the science of psychology and I have already completed the EPPP. EPPP is basically what we all learned in undergraduate psychology programs or first two years of graduate study. At the doctoral level, clinical psychology training and supervision makes good clinical psychologists. It is such a waste of time to engage in taking additional statistics and research courses at the graduate level when most of us learned all we needed to know about statistics and research at the undergraduate level. Clinical Psychology being a soft science with qualitative and quantitative measures needs to focus on the basis statistics and research but it is clearly unjustified to be engaged in research the whole time during doctoral studies unless you plan on working in an academic or research setting, but few clinical psychologist end up working in these settings.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  7. erg923

    erg923

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    WOW!

    Yea, cause understanding current psychometrics/psychometric instruments is all about calculating mean, median, and mode. Right? Always trusts the results section of manuscripts, never question the test publishers factor analysis, and dont think critically for yourself. And no one uses that fancy structural equation modeling stuff, do they?

    Good grief, says Charlie Brown!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  8. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    Run, don't walk, away from this program. Seriously, everything on your list here presents a huge red flag.

    1. If the APA accreditation is on probation, it means they really screwed something up, because the APA is pretty reluctant to revoke this status once it is given out. Not graduating from an APA accredited program will prevent you from ever working for a VA, an academic hospital (in most cases), or the BOP.
    2. 11%?! APA sets their accreditation of internships to be the base standard, not the gold standard. This rate is atrocious. Not going to an APA accredited internship will disqualify you from everything I've listed above as well as general employment in a lot of settings--with so many psychologists in California, why would an employer accept anything less than someone who has gone through accredited training across the board?
    3. You will be $300,000 in debt and making, on average, 50K-70K a year once you land a job. Not a sound economic prospect.
    4. You hit the nail on the head. Almost 40% of students who graduate from this program and get far enough in the process to take the licensing exam aren't able to pass it and aren't able to get licensed. (I'm assuming this 62% is the EPPP pass rate, since that info is pretty readily available at most programs. Maybe this is another statistic though? ) Anyway, if you can't get licensed, we're talking about $300,000 in debt and virtually nothing to show for it.

    Wait a year and figure out a better plan. Your future self will thank you for it.
  9. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    How have you already taken the EPPP when you are just now applying for internship?

    ...double wow.
  10. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Triple wow.

    Can we sticky this? I need something to refer to when advocating for why we need much tighter control of who we allow into the field and where we allow them to train.
  11. Markp

    Markp Post-Internship (ABD)

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    So, I actually know someone who graduated this program and recently completed a post-doc with the US Navy. This person is competent, talented, and hard working. That said, they had a lot to overcome due to the reputation of the school along the way. It's a shame when talented psychologists are painted with the reputation of the schools they attended without considering the most important variable, the individual who attended.

    That said, I would still run away from this program... based solely on the merits (or lack thereof) alone.
  12. 4410

    4410

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    In most State that have master's level licensure they have the EPPP as part of the application for this level of licensure. In Kansas the EPPP is utilized for Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist credentials, so yes I have already completed the EPPP and will not have to re-take it unless I want to get licensed in California due to that State having a higher cutoff score for passing.

    I believe in many States during your predoctoral internship you have some sort of provisional licensure or registered licensure that allows you to take the EPPP during this year. I believe in the State of Washington, you can apply for full licensure once you have completed your predoctoral internship and graduated with your doctoral degree.

    I am really surprised that there are individuals who are at the point of applying for their predoctoral internship and have no or limited knowledge about master's level licensure and that many States allow for taking the EPPP before completing your doctoral degree. If you can take it early it is much better to get this done early rather than waiting until you have graduated with your doctorate degree.
  13. dramaqueen616

    dramaqueen616

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    :
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  14. 4410

    4410

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    What does this have to do with completing PsyD or PhD programs? Are you implying that students in PsyD programs are not capable of critical thinking or evaluation results of research that is reviewed? Parsimony thinking at best is not a measure of determining quality programs from non quality programs as is evidenced from your comments. Clearly, such thinking does not support current knowledge related to PsyD programs. I believe you have somehow slanted your viewpoint based on your PhD training with delusional thoughts of believing this is superior training over PsyD training programs. There is a need for both tracts of training and some universities have both a PsyD tract and a PhD tract for clinical psychology training, but it is nonsense to imply that one tract is better than the other track.

    I would say that many individuals with the PsyD have more or as much knowledge covering psychometric theory as do individuals with a PhD. Having a PhD does not ensure that a student has sound statistics and research knowledge. How trite to imply that someone with a doctorate of clinical psychology does not have adequate knowledge of statistics and research.

    In reference to the original comment about JFK, I believe there are numerous quality PsyD programs in the State of California that have competitive admissions and would be adequate at providing a sound clinical psychology training and practicum experiences.
  15. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    I don't think erg (or any of us) were arguing that PsyDs are necessarily worse at critical thinking or are incapable of evaluating research - I'd say it depends on the institution and the extent to which they DO make students evaluate research evidence, take statistics, etc.

    We're saying that if you had your way (no need for any research/methods/stats training beyond undergrad for someone planning on being a clinician), THEN PsyDs would be completely and utterly inept even when compared to someone who barely scraped their way through the most mediocre of PhD programs.
  16. erg923

    erg923

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    I never once mentioned Ph.D. or Psy.D in my response. You did. Good job projecting though.

    It's relevant because, as just one example, the MMPI-2/MMPI-RF, the most commonly used test in our field, utilizes complex statistical models that are far above what one learns in undergrad. Same with the WAIS. I mean, I didn't cover structural equation modeling in undergrad stats, did you? I just found it shocking that you would deem it "unnecessary" to learn about, at a statistical level, the most basic and commonly used tools of your trade. Its like a pilot who doesn't think Bernoulli's principle is relevant to his job. I would hope that pilot could understand it inside and out. If he didn't, I'd really start to doubt his competence as a pilot, wouldn't you?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  17. chuckdanger

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    I recently interviewed for a Clinical Health PhD program that gives students the option, instead of dealing with oral comps, to take the EPPP prior to applying for internship. The rationale is that there are two pretty salient predictors of matching for internship (in addition to the generally important criteria like practicum hours, etc.): 1. having defended the dissertation prior to starting on internship and 2. having scored well (passing at the doctoral level) on the EPPP. This is a recent change to their curriculum that has so far proven to be effective for at least 3 students, and I'd be surprised if other programs don't incorporate this into their requirements as the internship imbalance continues to widen.
  18. voyeurofthemind

    voyeurofthemind

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    Face palm. How can you be a competent practitioner of clinical psychology with NO interest in research. I am a PsyD student by the way.
  19. 4410

    4410

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    I have no interest in doing research and this is why I choose a PsyD program that allows for a qualitative clinical research project. This does not necessarily imply that I do not have knowledge of statistic and research design because all doctoral clinical psychology programs require courses and critical thinking skills in pursuit of completion of the doctoral program. I have no interest in designing tests and pursuing empirical research so it is a better match for me to acquire skills in clinical intervention practices. This in no way implies that I do not value these areas of scientific inquiry or those who have interest in areas of research. I have interest in areas of clinical psychopharmacology and applications of using clinical psychology skills to improve human functioning and to settle for being a clinical psychologist with research emphasis in some respects has it's limitations on my long term goals of clinical practice.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  20. eudaimonPsyD

    eudaimonPsyD Clinical PsyD Student

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    When I was going through grad apps I applied and was granted an interview at JFK, although I never ended up interviewing there because I was offered a position at another school before my interview was scheduled.

    Having progressed through most all of my academic coursework, working on collecting data for dissertation, and having recently gone through the APPIC process, I can say with confidence that it is probably a better choice to wait a year, gain experience in the mean time, and apply to a more reputable program. I am attending a program with similar to JFK and the APA accreditation issues WILL affect you, especially with predoc internship. Unfortunately it just cannot be guaranteed that the school will come off probation. It may even lose its accreditation all together. It would put you in a horrible position. Much of this turmoil could be easily avoided by attending a fully accredited program. Attending an on-probation institution sets up at least the early part of your career to be a steep uphill battle, forcing to work harder than other students that come from schools with a different name, simply because of the name JFK on your transcript (unfortunately your individual merit as a student may never be measured because your internship/job application would never even make it to consideration).

    There are other schools in the Bay that might be a better option for obtaining a PsyD and skipping the APA issue. The PGSP-Stanford consortium is probably the most respected and reputable, but also the most competitive. Alliant SF is also fully accredited and I have heard that they have excellent practicum opportunities. I would avoid Argosy SF Bay, as most everything I have said about JFK will be true for there as well.

    I am doing what I can to educate future students in the field about the pitfalls of attending programs that are having internship placement or accreditation issues. I didn't put enough research into my graduate school application process and I am already beginning to fight the uphill battle that will occur because I chose a school based on location and limited information. Wait a year, really weigh your options about schools that will offer a good education, clinical opportunities, and set you up to be competitive in internship. Otherwise you may find yourself in 4-5 years of anguish and regret, unable to turn your back because of the outrageous amount of money you have already sunk in.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to know more about my experience in a similar program.
  21. Haky

    Haky

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    Hi my name is Haky and I'm currently considering the Masters degree in Sports Psychology at JFK.

    I know it's not strictly related to this thread but I couldn't find any useful and genuine reviews over the internet on the sports psychology program so I'm just posting this here. Hope everyone doesn't mind.

    It seems JFK has a great psychology department but I'm wondering if the same can be said about the sports psychology program.
    I am aware the subject of sports psychology is relatively new and there aren't a lot of great programs around so it's been difficult for me to find the appropriate program.

    I do have a few constraints when it comes to selecting the "right" program for me.
    1) I'm a South Korean citizen (no US visa) so I'll have to apply as an international student.
    2) Since I'm currently working full-time in Korea, I'll have to attend classes and complete my assessments online only.

    I completed by BA in international business and MA in financial management in Australia, and I've been working in the field of insurance (mostly statistical and actuarial work) for two years.
    But to be quite honest, it hasn't been a great fit so I want to switch careers before I hit my 30s.

    I'm obviously just clutching at straws here hoping to find any sort of relevant information so, if anyone has any thoughts please let me know.

    Have a great day everyone. :thumbup:

    Thanks!
  22. erg923

    erg923

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    Uh, This thread has lead you to the conclusion that JFK has a "great psychology" department?
  23. JeyRo

    JeyRo

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    If you're going to drop down 300K on tuition and likely get yourself in extreme debt servitude for the rest of your life for a PsyD degree (not advised), at least do it at a school with a decent match rate.

    As was already noted in this thread, JFK appears to have stats comparable to the Argosys and Alliants of the world. For the love of all that is holy, stay away.
  24. neuronic

    neuronic

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    I think 111K was tuition, and the 189K was the cost of living in the Bay for 4-5 years. I will say locally, JFK has a reputation of being a quick way to fulfill the substance abuse licensing requirement online. Additionally, I know several individuals who teach at CA professional schools as a side job, solely as a source of second income, as the cost of living out here is so high, despite having their own doubts about the programs.
  25. JeyRo

    JeyRo

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    Well, either way, it's 300K out of your pocket for something pretty dubious.

    Coincidentally, I actually fulfilled my substance abuse course requirement from there! I took the class in person though. I recall it wasn't terrible, for what that's worth.
  26. docma

    docma

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    JFKU does have the costs and hazards of professional schools. But among the Bay Area PsyD. professional schools they DO limit class size more than some others and have a well-developed multicultural curriculum approach that seems to successfully prepare some excellent students for licensure and work in the field. (This is from the perspective of an internship TD). So if someone is geographically anchored and determined to have a doctorate they may be an option worth considering. Just do your homework on loan costs and salary ranges.

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