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Online Programs- Pros & Cons

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by ShinriGaku, 09.17.07.

  1. ShinriGaku

    ShinriGaku

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Is there any such thing out there?

    If so where? :confused:
  2. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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  3. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Be careful, it seems that the online route is not going to make it easy for you to get licensed. Someone mentioned recently about the Fielding Institute having some kind of licensable track, though I can't speak to the quality. Royakan (sp?) has all sorts of issues, and I'd stay FAR FAR away. Capella has licensure issues, I pulled this from their website:

    My advice is find a quality (university based if you can swing it) PsyD. Funding still may be an issue, but at least you get a quality education, many/all of those online programs cost an arm and a leg, and then leave you up the creek with not being able to get licensed and pay anything back. I know there have been some to go through, get licensed, make good money, etc.....but between the internship placement rates, total cost, and questions about training (whether they are valid or just speculation)....it seems like too much of a risk to me.

    -t
  4. psychwhy

    psychwhy Simply disillusioned

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    While T4C's message begins with some basic validity, do not be scared off the online programs because of the licensing issues. Truth of the matter, if a program is not APA accredited and you are applying for licensure in a state which does not mention APA accreditation ... any non-APA accredited program potentially could be denied as licensure qualifying! (Welcome to the wonderful world of psychology.) This is an issue which requires AWARENESS not ignorant fear-mongering.

    For example, New York requires a program be chartered by New York to be automatically acceptable for licensure -- and there are no programs outside of NYS with that designation. So, a graduate of any out-of-state program -- online or not -- has to prove to NY that their program is equivalent.

    The underlying message is that you need to research the requirements of ANY state in which you hope to be license and attempt to determine if your prospective program will satisfy them.

    Again, T4C starts with some legitimate information, but then goes to an unnecessary extreme.

    Not every qualified candidate is able to get into the super-competitive university programs. Or put their lives on hold as required by the university programs.

    Yes, it is nice to secure one of those rare funded positions, but they are not the "free" ride that many seem to insinuate they are.

    Do the online programs cost a lot? No question, they do.

    But if you feel it is a worthwhile investment, that is a decision you need to make.

    Bottom line, this forum is dominated by traditional PhD students/graduates and they have little tolerance for anything that does not mirror their experiences.
  5. positivepsych

    positivepsych Member

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    Don't get an online degree. You'll take on a huge amount of debt, only to fight an uphill battle the rest of your life in order to "defend your degree" as legit.

    I'm not saying that's the way it should be, but that's the way the current state of education and the workforce is. Accept reality, get better stats, and go to a real school.
  6. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    I would guess that PsyDs are well represented on this board. The moderator has one.

    I think T4Cs comments are fair. Going the online route adds many potential landmines in the future with regards to licensure and employment (e.g., working at a VA hospital I don't think would be possible with online degree).
  7. ShinriGaku

    ShinriGaku

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    Thanks for the input and let me add one other note of consideration.

    At this point in my life I am not looking to become licensed but am looking for the educational satisfation of attaining the degree alone.

    This may not be the norm, (remember we're talking psychology ;)) but if I can attain a Psy.D online (as I did with my BS and MS) then why not?

    Thanks!

    ShinriGaku
  8. ShinriGaku

    ShinriGaku

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    Your perspective is quite interesting insofar as many if not most of the major (and ivy too) offer online distance learning degrees; are they not "real" schools or is this just your opinion?
  9. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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    I'd point out that in clinical and counseling psych, after your coursework you have to complete a predoctoral internship. Before finishing the internship, you really don't have your PhD. Online programs have fairly poor (I'm being generous; it ranges from poor to abysmal) track records for placing students at internship sites.

    I'm not following the "I want the degree but I don't want to do anything with it".... why not just read psych textbooks for fun? I'm not being sarcastic; I don't get it. Why pay thousands and thousands for a degree you aren't using? I know one person who wants to be a marriage counselor who is going to a professional school instead of an MFT program just so she can call herself "doctor"--I hope it's nothing like that.

    Many of us on the board believe that undergrad electives (that is, what's usually offered by distance at universities) are significantly different from graduate level psychology training. Only a few schools offer entire degrees in psychology by distance--the comparison of Capella/Saybrook/whatever other online school to a major university because there might be some online courses in the latter is off, I think.

    But, hey, if you're aware of the potential future licensure/internship problems, aware of the cost of online programs (in terms of both tuition and the travel required), and have a plan to work around those things, go for it. I for one don't think the programs should exist but certainly wouldn't begrudge a student for making an informed choice to go to one since it does.
  10. positivepsych

    positivepsych Member

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    What Ivys offer online degrees? Certainly not the ones I'm intimately familiar with.

    Even if some schools offer an online degree, its usually something like a M.S. in Communications. Have you ever seen a health care degree being offered online that results in licensure from a real university? Especially something that requires extensive patient care? Ever seen an M.D. that got their degree online? NO.
  11. ShinriGaku

    ShinriGaku

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    How about Ivy's such as Harvard and Columbia not to forget about prestigious schools like Penn State, Stanford, NYU, USC, Boston University, Purdue, and Duke? ;)

    Each offer Online-D/L programs.


    If these don't qualify (or satisfy) what will? :confused:
  12. socialcog

    socialcog

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    Something's fishy. Is it possible that people on this thread are talking about 2 diffferent things? Stanford, unless I am totally misinformed (would not be the first time), does not have an online PhD option. They do not even have a clinical program.
  13. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Actually he/she (sorry, cant tell from the username) is right, Harvard does offer online degrees through their Extension school. (google it).

    Its an MLA, don't know if they offer doctorates (don't think so). Based on what I know about them, they tend to be very theoretical, not practical - hence the reason you are unlikely to find a psych program. They're more for continuing ed, or just for community folks to take classes, they are actually treated more like a separate entity. The degrees are either practice-based (which, although others disagree with me on this, I think almost requires certain classes to be in person) or research-based, in which case you pretty much need labspace. Degrees like English make a great deal more sense to me to offer online.

    Anyways, I'm also curious why you would want to spend such a large sum of money for a degree you don't intend to use. No judgment passed here, just curious.
  14. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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    I found info on some of the schools mentioned. Only Penn State and Purdue have the info organized well.

    Penn offers online graduate/advanced programs in:
    Master of Business Administration (iMBA)

    Master of Education in Adult Education

    Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction--Children's Literature

    Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction--Teacher Leadership

    Master of Education in Instructional Systems--Educational Technology

    Master of Engineering in Oil and Gas Engineering Management

    Master of Geographic Information Systems

    Master of Homeland Security in Public Health Preparedness

    Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development

    Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations

    Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management

    Master of Project Management


    And purdue:


    Engineering Professional Education Masters Programs
    Nontraditional Doctor of Pharmacy
    Regulatory Pharmacy Certificate Program
    School of Technology Weekend Masters
    Krannert Executive MBAs
    Krannert Weekend MBA
    Veterinary Technology Associate Degree
    Food and Agribusiness Management (MS/MBA)


    So, no psych and barely anything like it (there's some education at Penn). As I wrote earlier, most people on the board would draw a sharp distinction between what's required to do an MBA or a "Master of Supply Chain Management" and what's required to pursue advanced study in psychology.

    Actually, I'm not sure it's possible to even do an honours BA/BSc through online/distance ed at most schools. I know at my UG you can get a 3-year degree entirely by distance, but honours degrees require at least one full year of campus presence.

    I hope that big bolded font isn't supposed to be interpreted as shouting at people whose opinions and knowledge you were soliciting.
  15. ShinriGaku

    ShinriGaku

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    Never said Psych programs, just online D/L programs and listed the schools to illustrate that they do exist. Relax.
  16. paramour

    paramour

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    Um, you're on a psych form and posted about PsyD's, a psych degree. What else did you expect people to think you were talking about?
  17. ShinriGaku

    ShinriGaku

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    Just what was written and certainly not an inference seen between the lines; relax.
  18. paramour

    paramour

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    Relax? Perhaps you're transferring your own feelings as I'm not worked up about anything. :rolleyes:
  19. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Let's get back on topic....

    -t
  20. paramour

    paramour

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    Exactly which topic are we supposed to be discussing: psych programs, online degrees in general, or online psych programs? Sort of hard to figure out which when others are being thrown in the mix. :confused:
  21. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Let's go with PsyDs Online, and more in general.....Clinical Psychology and online programs. Let's see how that goes.

    -t
  22. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    I think Shinri's point was that other legitimate universities offer online degrees, so why not online degrees in psychology?

    I think the answer lies in theoretical vs. practical degrees. Like I said, if someone wants, say, a "history of psychology" degree online, fine. No argument from me. Its very literature based, there's no need for laboratory research, no reason it necessarily needs to contain an in-person component. I'd make the argument that in order to teach psychology-specific skills (be it interventions and assessment for you clinically-inclined folks, or laboratory research skills for us academic-inclined folks) it is as necessary for the degree to be in-person just like a medical degree would be. The human component is (obviously) a very important aspect of psychology and I worry an online program would remove it too much. Maybe one day the technology will improve enough that I would feel an online psych degree is legitimate, but that day is not today. Nor is it likely tomorrow.

    Some may disagree, and that is fine. Certainly you CAN get an online degree in psychology, though I still don't understand why you'd want to if you have no intentions of using it, I'm less concerned about someone doing that then about someone who wants to be a psychologist getting an online degree because it won't reflect on the profession overall.
  23. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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    Ollie--I agree, and what I was attempting to convey to the OP was a similar message. Like you said, big difference between a Psych PhD/PsyD and a Master of Supply Chain Management :)
  24. ethanre

    ethanre

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    Hey there,
    I'll try to keep my question simple.

    I am working towards an MA in clinical psychology, I'm thinking of continuing to a PsyD or a PhD program but can't find many choice locally so I am looking ONLINE.

    Does anyone out there know of a reputable psyd or phd online program that is:

    1) APA approved
    2) From a brick and mortar school , Not Capella, Walden, Argosy, Phoenix or any of these 100% online schools
    3) It is ok if I had to travel in order to take exams etc.. But the bulk of work should be distant study
    4) Preferably from one of the top 100 grad schools in psychology


    Am I asking for too much?


    Thanks
    Last edited: 03.02.09
  25. ethanre

    ethanre

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    I was thinking along the lines of a distant PhD or PsyD program. I just found this thread and I see this discussion is somewhat old.

    It is 2009 now, has anything changed with distant PsyD or PhD Programs from a reputable brick and mortar university?

    What if I am willing to travel and spend a few weeks on site / semester, so not a 100% distant or online but mostly.

    Since this is an older discussion please respond on the thread I started earlier today:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=606991

    Thanks
  26. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    1) APA approved & 2) From a brick and mortar school , Not Capella, Walden, Argosy, Phoenix or any of these 100% online schools
    I believe Fielding is the only one right now, and I'd have major reservations remotely recommending them.

    3) It is ok if I had to travel in order to take exams etc.. But the bulk of work should be distant study
    This really isn't possible because of the amount of time you will need learning the various psych assessments (which can't be mailed around, and really should only be released under the supervision of your professor/mentor/chair). In addition, the majority of your time isn't spend on classroom assignments, so a clinical program is quite a different setup and not really a good fit for distance education.

    4) Preferably from one of the top 100 grad schools in psychology
    That most likely isn't going to happen.

    Am I asking for too much?
    Because of the unique challenges of psychology (research + clinical + assessment + classes, etc), the training cannot be replicated online, and it is best done in person.

    You may want to check out the "APA Match Thread", which lists the most recent internship match rates.....which are scary. There is a large gap between the available internship spots and the number of applicants (500+ more applicants compared to available spots....and that includes every unpaid/unaccredited position out there), which means the competitiveness for spots is increasing. It is hard enough to secure a quality internship, so it wouldn't make sense to further jeopardize that.
  27. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    empty
    Last edited: 02.01.10
  28. Aggieanthony

    Aggieanthony

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    To obtain a doctorate in a fully online program is tantamount to learning how to fly without ever sitting in a Cessna.

    Let's not mince words on this subject matter: You're asking for too much.

    There are quality, online Master's level degree programs (university of Denver pops to mind, as does PGSP-Stanford's M.A.) but a Doctorate awarded purely from online content will be useless. Your match rate to internship in your Postdoc time will be pathetically low, if existant at all, and you'll be between a rock and a hard place in terms of time/money committed and very little in return besides a title that means nothing, really.

    If you just want to call yourself "Doctor", why posture at all and just look for a program like CGI here in California that's a notorious diploma mill (See therapists like LMFTs who are only licensed as MFTs and who only practice as MFTs, but use the title Doctor and the suffix Ph.D. yet are not "actual" psychologists - This is a legal, if a bit unethical, process).

    Finally, you must appreciate that Doctorate level programs aren't just about taking exams and getting letter grades. That's what high school and undergrad are for. You speak of Doctorate programs as they are undergraduate ones (i.e., I'll travel for exams, but not for "course work").

    To echo PSYDR, grad school is a huge sacrifice. Time, life, money, relationships... The unfortunate truth is, in order to be truly competitive, one must be almost devoid of personal trappings. Attachment to geographic location is one of the biggest hurdles aspiring psychologists must grapple with. You may have your reasons, Ethan, but seeking an online, reputable Doc. program is like seeking fool's good.


    Anthony
  29. Eruca

    Eruca predoctoral psych intern

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    ^ Absolutely! I'm sorry, but I find it hard to believe that anyone with any familiarity with what a psychologist actually does and what kind of training it takes to even be a moderately decent one would think that this degree should be sought or offered online. Or any doctorate for that matter.

    Do you want your cancer treated by a physician who got their MD online? What about taking your car to an auto mechanic who has never been under the hood of a real car? An attorney who has never seen the courtroom?

    To me this speaks to a general misunderstanding about what psychologists do. The training goes far beyond the theoretical and most of what you learn comes from real live person to person contact with clients, supervisors, group therapy, assessment practice, etc. These are not skills picked up by reading textbooks & writing papers that can be submitted via email. It also does not begin during internship - by then we've had 4-6 years of intensive training experiences. Bad training and bad therapy can HARM people. Yes, you can do more damage than good.

    Ugh. I'm being extremely blunt, but I don't care. I'm just sort of dismayed at the whole idea. I know masters level clinicians who are fantastic at what they do and charge almost as much as those with a phd/psyd. If the goal is to be called "doctor" then the sacrifices will have to be made. End of story. It's not supposed to be easy or convenient, that in part helps ensure the quality and standards that having a doctorate is supposed to encompass.
    Last edited: 03.02.09
  30. apumic

    apumic Oracle of the Sheet

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    Nope... not really. A psych degree online is going to be looked upon pretty negatively and even Fielding while "accredited" has such a bad reputation that applying for internship after attending there would probably not be much more promising than applying to be the CEO of Microsoft with your BS in Computer Science! (Yes, that was hyperbole...'though just barely.)
  31. edieb

    edieb Senior Member

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    I am doing my internship at an APA-accredited medical school and one of my fellow interns is from Fielding. To address your question about match rates, she reported that her school's match rate is so low because students who go there are geographically limited in terms of where they can do their internship (i.e.., the school caters to older students with families). On the negative side, she and another intern (PGSPP) have approx $250K debt each for their PhD and their dissertations are light-weight: 2-3 chi squareds and that's about it. Can't speak for the rest of the students there, though
  32. FranklinR

    FranklinR Junior Member

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    !
  33. Aggieanthony

    Aggieanthony

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    Isn't that more like an essay than a dissertation? Wow...

    $250k in debt is not as bad as people make it seem, though. Everything in life comes with a price tag, and if you experience extenuating circumstances for whatever reason that may be (Sub-par research experience, poor grades, lower than amazing GRE score/s) that bar you from a "fully funded" Ph.D. program, then sacrifices must be made.

    The education is, almost always, what you put into it. There are interns in APA/APPICs from a number of schools, including Fielding, PGSP-Stanford and even Argosy. They will go on to produce great work and contribute wonderful knowledge to the Psychology discipline, and might also be fabulous clinicians, but for whatever reason, just couldn't make the cut in the elitist "fully funded" Ph.D. programs.

    Simply lumping all Psy.D graduates in a pile labeled "Dog chow" is disingenuous because it amounts to prejudice, wholly undeserved! APPIC match rates can be low for a variety of reasons including a sincere lack of motivation on the part of the student that is then attributed to the university's lacking in some way, which is erroneous! The students that get away with "light" dissertations are the root of the problem, not necessarily the university or its faculty.

    Sorry for digressing a bit onto the nasty, danger-ridden Ph.D/Psy.D discussion.
  34. Neuropsych2be

    Neuropsych2be

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    How dare you malign my program in such a manner. My training is equal to any person in any other doctoral program. I am in a practicum alongside students from a more traditional program and my skills easily match theirs. The average Fielding student is mid forties, and has 10 to twenty years of professional experience. You are clearly pontificating without knowledge or comprehension about this issue. As I have said in previous posts Fielding is NOT online. Fielding was founded before the invention of the personal computer and we received our APA accreditation before the invention of the internet. One of my Fielding colleagues is currently on internship at Duke medical school, another is at Vanderbilt. One of my friends who just went through the match received 14 interviews at APA sites after applying to 16 sites and received his top choice. Simply because the learning model is different, it does not follow that the product is inferior in any way.
  35. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    .

    You don't have the data to make such a statement (I'm not saying YOU aren't just as good as those you've worked with from other programs) and. . .

    . . . doesn't really help.


    With children? Ten to twenty years of professional experience doing what? Do you work full time in addition to going to graduate school?


    Based on? The poster said Fielding has a bad reputation. Given some of the stats involved, that seems like a reasonable statement. Now, there may be explanations for some of those things, but that doesn't change the rep/appearance.


    http://www.fielding.edu/psy/

    It's distance learning. At least some of the elements of the discussion apply.


    http://www.fielding.edu/psy/outcome_data.pdf


    Looks like your two colleagues are anomalies for the program.



    This is a fun little read.

    http://www.fielding.edu/policies/financia/tuitinfo.htm#Doctoral


    They charge you for internship! What do they do for you while you are on internship to earn their money?

    http://www.fielding.edu/policies/financia/INTERN.HTM

    What's the rationale here? Seriously, you go work for *name internship site here* full-time for a year, the internship pays you 20K and you have to turn around and give it to Fielding? For?



    Pure fleecing of people that have limited options (or they wouldn't have chosen Fielding in the first place. . . limitations might include geographical restrictions, immediate financial restrictions - e.g., must work to support family during school-, or poor qualifications, etc. . . ).
    Last edited: 03.04.09
  36. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    It's $1629.81 a month for 30 years at 6.8% interest (good luck getting all 250K at that rate).

    At 65K a year income, with taxes, you're looking at $1782 a month to live on.

    Not bad?
  37. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    No, doesn't everyone getting a Ph.D/Psy.D. gross $20k a year after taxes...

    Sorry, that is stupid. If one thinks that paying a quarter of a million dollars for a degree that results in a pay level exceeded by some high school graduates is worth it, one would need to be in treatment... not in class. People going to professional programs may be getting adequate training (or they may not be) but they are not getting a good return on their investment.

    Education is a good thing, and it is valuable, I won't deny that. However there is a cost benefit ratio that needs consideration. Even if one were making $100k per year average, it still wouldn't be worth it. We are not monks taking a vow of poverty.

    Mark
  38. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    Get used to it, he won't be the first one to question your credentials. You'll find this bias throughout your career. Get over it... "How dare you..." LOL, you didn't graduate from Yale.

    Really, then why would you pay so much more for it? Why not go somewhere cheaper, like a fully funded program? After all, if it's equal, why spend all that money? I would like to think you got something pretty incredible after investing so much.

    Doesn't make it equal either! It just makes it different.

    Mark
  39. psychmama

    psychmama

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    Mark and Jon,

    You raise some good points, but as I've said before, why do you assume everyone who chooses a different (ie, unfunded) path is per se inferior?
    It does not follow that the people who choose Fielding are a bunch of losers who, if any good, would have gotten into a traditional funded Phd program. And Mark, some would avoid your path into the military are highly unsuitable, despite it being a good deal and (it seems) an excellent fit for you. I'm an older nontrad student, in my mid 40s and totally unable to move (3kids in school, husband rooted to the area we live in). Or I should say, I view moving as an untenable option for me, even if theoretically possible. I was lucky to get into a reasonable Psyd program with partial funding. If I hadn't, Fielding might have been a viable option. Expensive? Of course. Are there drawbacks to distance learning? Yes. Might I encounter prejudice from more traditionally trained psychologists -- well you guys have pretty well made that point.;) Still, I think it's a tad narrow-minded of you not to consider the possibility that it might be a decent tradoff for some of us out there.

    Does this mean I'm all for expanding the role of professional schools and the relaxed standards to APA accreditation? No way! But from a pragmatic standpoint, not everyone gets to become a psychologist via the time-honored "ivory tower" route. We all make choices. Some respect for the difficult choices we all must make is not too much to expect, IMO.
  40. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    I included your scenario as one of the examples of how someone might come to decide on an option like Fielding.

    If you have a husband that is footing the bill, I guess that kind of takes care of the financial impact. But, then again, why should the field have these convenience options available? I feel for your situation. I understand the logic. But, it seems like it is not really a great thing for the field because now >50% of new psychologists are coming from Fielding-like programs. Do we want everyone in the field to be spouses that found their program because it was convenient? I wonder if that's contributing to the increasing woman dominance of psychology. Didn't used to be that way. Do other professional training systems work that way for the preponderance of their member base? Further, assuming equal or even greater ability (not likely the norm at these schools given the EPPP scores, acceptance rates, older student base, etc. . .), the family and financial responsibilities seem like they would interfere with achieving a par education. I don't reject the idea of older students going to school and becoming psychologists. But, I think they should meet the same standards as the younger cohort. We don't need convenience schools. We aren't that desperate (or desperate at all really) for additional professionals that we need to setup private satellite educational sites all over the country that let in anyone with a pulse.

    Barring location issues and financial independence, it is a flawed decision to take on an unfunded program.
  41. psychmama

    psychmama

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    I'd say that I've taken on the same standards as my younger colleagues.

    You may be overlooking the value of life experience to our profession. Psychology can benefit from a certain percentage of nontraditional students (male or female, btw) who bring a slightly different perspective to their clinical and research pursuits. I'd also point out that the "feminization" of professions, and indeed the influx of greater diversity of ages, is not a phenomenon strictly within clinical psychology. Law schools are now typically 50% or more female -- when I graduated with my JD the class was maybe 30% female. Med schools admit greater numbers of women, and the presence and activity of the "nontraditional students" thread on the SDN pre-allo board attests to the fact that most fields are changing to reflect a more diverse group of students. This, of course, is true in other ways too, such as increased cultural diversity. Is this bad for psychology? I doubt it, and would actually argue that it's a good thing. It enables us to better serve our consituents, who are becoming more diverse all of the time.

    Surely you're not saying that I'm damaging the field because I'm too busy with the distractions of motherhood to be a good psycologist?;) That would be highly disturbing to hear.:D
  42. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    Do we have increasing or declining diversity. When I started graduate school, neuropsychology was 70 to 80 percent male. I think last I saw (and this was a few years ago), it is 50%. I would imagine, it has shifted further now. With respect to the field as a whole though, it is an overwhelmingly and increasingly female dominated profession now. That's not diversity.

    Also, what percentage of our field should fall in the "non-traditional" category? I'd put everyone that attended a professional school in that category from an educational standpoint. But, we may be playing with different definitions. I just don't see the benefit to the field of ceding most of the education of clinical psychologists to businesses. Some of it. . . perhaps. But, it certainly seems like it has gotten out of hand. And I see it as something that is fueled by our crazy student loan system, than any real supply and demand characteristics.


  43. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    psychmama,

    are you saying that being distracted with motherhood makes you a better psychologist?
  44. Markp

    Markp Clinical Psychologist

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    Quite obviously, the path I have taken is NOT for everyone. It's not that anyone pursuing a Ph.D or Psy.D. in a professional program is a loser (although I am sure that some are less than stellar examples of our profession but we can find these in even the best of programs.) The point I was making is that the price being charged is unconscionable, and those who pay it may not be thinking very clearly.

    I am a non-traditional student, and I had to work hard to get accepted to programs where the cohort was much younger than myself. It's a difficult road block to overcome when you are 40 years old and interviewing with a bunch of twenty somethings. I did manage to get accepted to multiple programs after applying a second time. The first time I was devastated and even considered a professional program in desperation. Fortunately, someone who was a professional in the field talked me out of it... and I am glad they did. Despite having a plan to pay for it there is a stigma, right or wrong, associated with attending a professional school. It affects those applying for internships and for jobs.

    My point was that regardless of the program you attend you can face this bias. To be "offended" is a little overly sensitive. Do you know how many times I've heard, "What's USUHS... I've never heard of that school." Prejudice and bias exists.

    It is a difficult choice to attend a professional school, but to be expected to choke on the $100-$200k price tag. That's unfair. As far as the Irovy Tower, I would hardly refer to USUHS as an Ivory Tower. So I have no delusions there, I do know that I will be financially viable when I leave. I don't think enough emphasis is placed on that for young psychologists who have no idea how quickly real world expenses can pile up and make the cost of the degree they are seeking not viable.

    I enjoyed reading your post, thanks for the thoughtful reply.


    Mark
  45. psychmama

    psychmama

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    PsyDr, MarkP & Jon Snow:

    Thanks for the interesting responses. I'll make a couple of additional points:

    1. PsyDr - Actually, speaking only for myself, I'd say I am a better psychologist owing to the "distractions" of my kids. Becoming a parent has matured me in many ways, and I use my wisdom from parenthood constantly in my work and research. Also, I'm a whiz at time management and certainly much more "together" and focused because of my family responsibilities. I put in plenty of hours in the clinic, doing research for dissertation, practica, classes, supervision. There may be the occasional time when I'm distracted due to my children's needs, but I doubt there's any of us that isn't sometimes distracted about something in our careers. Heck, I was a working mom years ago in a law firm. Believe me, I know the drill! And so, I'd imagine, do many of the older students dedicated enough to chuck the security of their established lives and throw themselves into the maelstrom of graduate school!

    2. Mark, I agree that pursuing a doctorate in psychology should be done with one's eyes wide open. One should think carefully about whether incurring the massive debt of professional school is worth it; one should also consider that a lesser program may be perceived with bias by some in the field. No one should go into this on a whim. However, at the end of the day I believe it's a personal decision.

    3. Jon, I think you're right that we all lose if psychology becomes a female-dominated profession. There's many reasons this is a bad idea. We need the male perspective and the experiences that men bring to the work. And certainly I wouldn't want to see only older folks (like me) go into psychology. I doubt we're in danger of this happening. I'd just like to see standards tightened up at some of the professional schools, especially limits on the size of admitted classes and more attention paid to improving internship match rates. I think that would help a lot. I hate to see the level of in-fighting that occurs among us psychologists -- psyd vs phd, cbt vs psychdynamic, research vs practice. While we're busy fighting, the APA is selling us out -- and other professions just think we're ineffectual.

    Thanks again for listening to my ramblings.:cool:
  46. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    My overall feelings on this matter are well known, but I want to jump in to emphasize a few points.

    Flexibility is good, but not when "flexible" means "you don't have to do as much". I think "Have to" is the key to a lot of these arguments. No program is perfect and I'd wager that every program in the country has graduates it isn't terribly proud of. However, from everything I've heard there are certainly a select number of programs who are outliers both in terms of what exactly IS considered sliding by (i.e. I ran a few chi-squares this afternoon - that shouldn't fly for a dissertation - I was barely willing to do it for a poster), and what percentage of the students take the "slide by" approach to their education. The reason I dislike the business element is that its often in these schools best interest to keep them IN the program. After all, demand for schools is at a point where reputation is clearly not a big concern for them, and they pay the same amount of money as a great student. For a traditional program, its in their best interest to kick them out and give their stipend/tuition waiver to someone else.

    I remember a discussion over on the MA board months back where it was argued "Just because I wanted a degree where I could work full-time and still get out in 4 years doesn't mean my degree is less". Well, actually, that's exactly what it means. Does that automatically make you an incompetent clinician? No, not necessarily. However, to say its "equal" to another degree while doing less work is simply untrue. Those of us treating grad school as a full-time-and-then-some job aren't simply sitting around twiddling our thumbs during that extra time, we're learning. You could spend 100 hours a week for 20 years in grad school, and still wouldn't know a fraction of what is out there. Obviously that's completely unrealistic, so we need to set a "good enough" bar, and I take issue with where that bar is being set, and the motivation for setting it there. Note that even if a school has a low "good enough" bar, that isn't the same as a low ceiling. I grow tired of the "You CAN be successful at these schools" argument. Of course you can, that's not the point. Schools aren't there just to provide opportunity. They're there to provide opportunity AND guarantee that people who come out the other end have taken advantage of enough of those opportunities that they meet certain minimum qualifications for the field.

    Lastly, I just want to clarify, this isn't directed at any schools in particular, nor is it meant to come across as "Don't be accommodating". I think we can do a lot more than we do to accommodate different circumstances for different students and make it possible for them to get a good education. What's important is that these accommodations are different ways of doing the same work, and not simply ways of doing less work. I have yet to be convinced that's the case at many of these schools that people seem to think are being "accommodating". I'm sure plenty of students go above and beyond, but I'd bet there is a substantial chunk who do not, but still come out with the same degree.
    Last edited: 03.04.09
  47. Eruca

    Eruca predoctoral psych intern

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    Jon, I like you, I like your posts, but you're skating on awfully thin ice here. So was the 70-80% male a better scenario? What are we arguing here? When you last saw, it was 50%.. and this is somehow a bad scenario? Sooooo, should the females wanting to pursue this field instead put our house dresses back on and go mop the kitchen floor? "I would imagine, it has shifted further now.." So back this up with numbers and tell me more... Do you know how many years it has taken women to have the opportunity to study (in large numbers) in areas such as neuropsych? Women may be dominating the field as students, but higher-level positions are still more often held among men, associate professorship & tenure-track positions are still held more often by men. Chair & chancellor positions are still held more often by men. Pay is still inequal between the sexes.. should I go on? Be careful where you take this argument. You are speaking from a place of privilege. Whether you realize it or not.

    I am in a traditional clinical phd, and feel very lucky that out of only 20-25 students total, at least 1/3 are male. I am all for diversity; ethnically, socioeconomically, gender, religion, etc. But as soon as I start to hear females getting judged as 'lesser' in anything, student or otherwise, for being mothers... well, I'm sorry that's where I draw the line. (and for the record, I'm not a mother) But I am a woman and I have seen, heard, and felt limitations due to gender my whole life. Is it getting better? Yes. Am I going to apologize for any of my gender for pursuing higher education despite nontraditional age, motherhood, care of an elderly parent, or other circumstances. No.
  48. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist

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    it really has little to do with gender. the entire point is that anything that detracts from rigorous study impairs an individual's education. this could be anything from child rearing, managing a business, or whatever.
  49. FranklinR

    FranklinR Junior Member

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    That's a testable hypothesis. People who have/are raising children during their graduate education should do worse on licensing exams, and possibly have a harder time getting internships. Be rated worse as psychologists by patients and supervisors.

    I look forward to reading the results of your study.

    Until then, we have no reason to believe it has an effect. Perhaps (and only perhaps) they spend less time on their studies. But perhaps they're better at time management, and don't go out as often, and end up spending either more or more concentrated time on their studies. Perhaps more life experience makes them better able to empathize with their clients and better able to conduct and evaluate research in terms relevant to the non-psychologist. Until there is evidence one way or the other, we can only speculate wildly - using our own built-in biases. Mine says that a difference in performance is unlikely, and if found, likely favors those students with children.

    The increased (and perhaps increasing) number of women in psychology is interesting but not terribly surprising. I'm sure it will change the field in unexpected ways. But it's nothing to cry about, unless and until it starts to become difficult for men to advance in the field. There's no evidence that's happening either.

    So what's the problem again?
  50. Eruca

    Eruca predoctoral psych intern

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    If you read the part of thread that I quoted and was responding to, you will see that gender in fact, became part of the discussion. It was referred to several times in several posts above. It may be off-task, but I felt the need to respond to it nevertheless.

    The student who can get through 5-7 years of his/her life without any circumstances (planned or unexpected) that "detract" them from rigorous study, or "impair" their education, are certainly fortunate individuals indeed. We should all be so lucky.

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