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Reviving the online PsyD and PhD discussion (oh yes I did)

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by iryancooper, Feb 12, 2012.

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  1. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    I know older posts on this subject were met with some anti-distance-ed opinions. While I don't mind reading those, the information I'm solliciting is not such that it should scold my consideration of online PsyD or PhD.

    My goal is to get responses from those who know graduates (personally) of these schools. The reason I'm re-asking a question that has appeared before is simple: In the last few years a few online-schools have popped up that were not around then.

    I'm a law student, and plan to support my family with a JD, not PhD or PsyD. However, I have come to believe that some basic psychological research and credibility would be personally rewarding and professionally helpful. My interests are not "so much" in clinical psychology (even though here in Texas a Licensed Psychologist does not have to have clinical specialization), as they are in psychological understanding and the ability to teach courses related to law and psychology. As for teaching credibility: I'll have my JD from a tier one law school and MA from a reputable state university. Online allows me to do one class at at time while I'm working on my JD.

    If you know of any of these schools personally, let me know.
    I list them in order of my consideration:
    (They are ALL regionally accredited, all require full dissertation)



    Northcentral University
    PhD in General Psych OR Ph.D. in Psych of Gender.
    $47k, 60 credits, No Residency, On my own for practicum
    notes: very admirable professors... cornell, yale, northwestern, UTexas

    Keiser University (New to the scene)
    PhD in Psychology, General
    $47k, 60 credits, Some Residency, On my own for practicum
    notes: some admirable professors, notably the dean; several physical locations in FL

    Grand Canyon University (Not new, but new to offer PhD's)
    PhD in Psyc - Cognition and Behavior
    $37k (most affordable), 60 credits, No Residency, On my own for practicum
    notes: faith based and part of my interest is in same-sex rights, civil rights, religion and the law, same-sex family structure, etc... may not go over well; have contacted to find out.
    Major B&M school with state of the art facilities

    University of the Rockies
    PsyD in: Mediation OR Health OR Criminology
    $66k, 68 credits, Some Residency, Some practicum
    notes: would love to visit campus during residencies

    Capella University
    PsyD in Clinical or PhD in General
    $70k, Weird credit structure, Clinical req.s Residence, General doesn't, Both require Practicum

    Walden University
    Many credits for someone not wanting to make a full-time career out of it... I only want to study my specified interest in psychology: Law, Same-sex family structure, Social change, etc.

    Fielding University
    Too much money for a secondary degree.

    California Southern University
    Not regionally accredited, Texas won't accept. Also doesn't require dissertation and I want to do one that is of a publishable quality to advance my career in law and my knowledge of legal/political psychology.

    Also important to me is that I have at least ONE solid, reputable, psychologist to guide me through doing a strong dissertation... I don't want to be babied or unchallenged (asking a lot from online; this I know!).


    As you can see I've done my homework to the extent that I can. I've talked to every one of these schools personally AND the Psych Board for Texas. Some of these programs are simply too green for me to talk to graduates - because they don't exist. However, I'm hoping by talking to other psych's and students, SOMEONE might have information on the individual institutions and/or the extent to which they will serve someone in my unique situation (not wanting to be a full-time psychologist, but wanting to understand how it applies to law and to same-sex family structures and the general population).

    To ward off any suggestions of an MA or MS: I want to be able to do "some" clinical for same-sex families, those struggling with LGBT children, testify in court to these specific matters, and testify (credibly) before state and local legislatures on matters surrounding law, sexuality, and psychology. ... a doctorate is needed for these reasons.

    I think this is the most thorough list ever posted on here or any other student forum, so I'm hoping it will get some really good feedback.

    Thanks to everyone,

    Ryan from Texas
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  2. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Note* Texas does not require APA accreditation, and Fielding would be my only option if it did... but $$$$$!!!!

    (Just thought I'd add that before someone knocks the lack of APA)

    :)
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  3. busybusybusy

    busybusybusy

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    I know you said you're not interested in the MA/MS route, but - If you're not interested in being an all the time practicing psychologist and just really want to be able to teach classes, I would suggest a Master's in clinical forensic psych as opposed to a PhD or PsyD. You would be able to do some clinical work with it and it would be much less work and you wouldn't have to worry about the non-APA accreditation because MA programs do not get accredited by the APA. You would likely still be able to teach with such a degree, especially with your JD to back it up. Also, not being sure where in TX you are, you could look at UTEP, they have a legal psych PhD (and I believe MA) program that is more of a research degree than a clinical degree.

    One main reason I would suggest this as opposed to the online PhD/PsyD is that they are not respected and specifically in the forensic arena you need to have serious credentials, usually board certification (which does require APA), if you want to be doing any sort of work where you would be testifying in court. Basically, you're not likely to get hired to do that type of work with such a degree and you should know that up front before spending a ridiculous amount of money on a degree that wont help you accomplish that.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  4. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    These schools are ridiculous. For your purposes, why not just read psych books/articles or do something like the Khan academy (it's free right?). Why waste all that money with these snake oil schools? If you aren't interested in clinical psych, apply to an experimental program; they're easier to get into and there are several in Texas.
    If you're talking peer-review in a good journal, this is much more likely to occur at a program that isn't made up for the purpose of generating revenue.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  5. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Then read a book and save yourself about $150,000...

    Most of the programs you listed would not give you adaquate training anyway (research or clinically) and certainly not for the highly adversarial forensic arena you want to work in...shouldn't you know better?
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  6. InNae

    InNae

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    Ditto above comments regarding forensic credentials and credibility and the near-impossibility of conducting publishable research through an online program.

    I am also quite curious about some of your notes for the programs. For example, how did you learn that the first program on your list has such "admirable professors" from the schools stated? I was curious enough to look at the website, and no faculty are listed at all. Did they TELL you that their faculty are from those prestigious schools?
  7. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    I don't understand what's wrong with having an MA/MS? You can be reputably licensed with a masters. I think it's preferable to start with the lowest common denominator at a school with real connections in your community. Not sure why a doctorate is preferable, especially if you are primarily an attorney with a back-up of psychology. Maybe you should educate us on this?
  8. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    The major problem is that I'm doubtful a doctorate from those schools is likely to be perceived as credible. Wanting the background is admirable and I can see how it might be useful but I would carefully consider the expected return on investment for this - I expect it is far lower than you may be perceiving at this point. I can't speak for the legal community, but among psychologists having these institutions on your CV is more something you need to "overcome" than a credential itself.

    I'm not sure where you are at in your law degree, but if early on I would suggest getting that done with first and seeing if you need it for what you want to do. As a budding lawyer I'm sure you are familiar with the idea of law vs. ethics, which makes it rather difficult for us to make the recommendations you are looking for. The fact that the law "allows" people to obtain licenses without strong backgrounds is not the same as us feeling its okay to practice after doing so. I would have more concerns if your one goal was to work with suicide and trauma rather than your stated interests, but it doesn't change the fact that clinical is clinical and if you want to practice clinically I feel its important to have full blown clinical training even if you will focus on a very narrow component of that.

    I agree with others that this might best be revisited later. Take some classes if you like, do some readings, but I see little need for a formal degree if you are willing to forego the counseling piece, and even if you do pursue one I think having a degree from these institutions is more likely to detract from any credibility you get from a top tier law degree and make people question that, rather than add credibility.
  9. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Yes, if you want to be an expert witness lawyers will definitely attack where you went to school.

    I know someone attending Capella for clinical psych and what I have seen does NOT impress me.
  10. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    I'm wondering what you mean by Residency.

    If you mean internship, check out those schools match rates and compare that to the national average: http://www.appic.org/Portals/0/downloads/APPIC_Match_Rates_2000-10_by_Univ.pdf

    If a school requires internship for the degree but has a poor history of matching students to internship positions, recognize that you could complete all the classes, finish a dissertation, pay all that money in tuition, and wind up not getting the degree because you can't get an internship.
  11. terrybug

    terrybug happy

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    I understand how an online degree sounds very convenient, given your busy schedule... but I'm wondering if you would also be willing to get your law degree from an online program? I mean, wouldn't that free up even more time for you? Or is there something about psychology that you think somehow lends itself more to online education compared to law?
  12. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Residency refers to the in-person component of online courses. Usually they're a week long or so, I think.
  13. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    OP:

    Online training is not a viable option for psychology, let alone at the doctoral level. Period. No exceptions. Anyone who says otherwise is doing you a disservice. The fact you want to work in the legal arena is just gas on the fire of why you should run, not walk, away from all of those programs. You would be better served to not have it listed on your resume, as that would just be a flag for a potential client to cut you from consideration.

    I have seen 'expert' witnesses get skewered on the stand about their training backgrounds, and they came from APA-acred. programs & internships (but lacked boarded and specialized formal training in the area). If you tried to be an expert witness coming from an online program AND a program that is not APA-acred, your chance of survival is worse than if you wore a Meat Poncho and lived with wolves. A lawyer would be borderline negligent to their client to hire any expert witness who did meet the standards of the field in which they practice....which for psychology is APA-acred. status.

    As an aside...if you are a troll, good on you, because you definitely are getting the typical responses from SDN about the complete uselessness of online training in the field of psychology. If not, then I'd advise you abandon any thought of pursuing an online education because it is a horrible plan.
  14. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    Thanks!

    So I guess my point about internship is still a valid one, since some of those programs are included in the APPIC match stats and, presumably, require an internship to get a clinical degree. If you can't manage in person classes, you probably can't work a full-time job to do an internship.

    (BTW, I'm not at all familiar with online programs and I don't know anyone who attended any of those listed, so I can't comment on that part of the post.)
  15. Neuropsych2be

    Neuropsych2be

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    If you are looking to teach with your JD you may wish to consider a Ph.D. from a European or British Commonwealth University in which students do independent research culminating in a dissertation. There is typically a minimal or no coursework requirement. I've posted on this option in quite a bit of detail. If you want to do any clinical or forensic work this would not be an option. I am a Fielding student and think you are wise to scratch my program off your list for a secondary degree. I have enjoyed my experience at Fielding but for $$ reasons someone in your position should think very carefully. One of my alumni friends has a JD from Georgetown and her Ph.D. from Fielding and now teaches tenure track at Duquesne and we a have a slew of JD's in the program who go on to do forensic work. One thing to remember is that any license-able degree will require a year of internship through APPIC. Think *very* carefully before you make a decision. In your shoes I'd go the dissertation based British route. You can get a world class degree through that route but also one that does not lead to licensure in the States.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  16. 4410

    4410

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    I would steer clear of online doctoral programs. Some of these programs are very expensive and do not adequately prepare students to be licensed clinical psychologist. I've heard of some individuals who get their doctorate in these program and then work as a LPC, but you can go to a local university in Texas for two years and get the training and experience much cheaper to become an LPC. There is a law school in the Houston area that accepts many students but they have problems passing the Bar so they often work as legal assistants. I believe there is a surplus of lawyers currently and I've know lawyers who are making their living as substitute teachers or alternative certified teachers.

    The Fielding Institute is not really considered an online program as you have faculty mentors and meet in cohorts or have weekend classes. I believe they are APA accredited or were APA accredited at one time. I think Walden has a similar format. I've heard of individual in the active military that have gone through the Fielding or Walden program and became licensed psychologist, so it can be done on a part time or off campus basis.
  17. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thanks for the reply Busy. My biggest concern with ma is that it takes the same amount of time, doesn't provide a medium for dissertation, and doesn't provide a higher doctorate than my JD; the jd being technically lower than a PhD... I'm also not looking for forensic psychology in the traditional sense. The only in-court speaking i'd like to do is on the area of LGBT issues. This issue, I believe, can be mastered through an understanding of law/psychology(not ness. clinical)/and research... some of the British suggestions sound viable. But again, my reason for posting was to find if anyone had heard of GRADUATES of these programs. I know they exist, I know they are practicing, but I was hoping for a secondary opinion... so far none of the reply's, save one, have offered that. Thanks for raising the concerns... also realize the amount of money involved (you say ridiculous amount) seems very modest compared to law school. Probably because they are not clinical.
  18. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Jon, thanks for you desire to help. Please read what I'm looking for in a reply though. Your suggest of an experimental program is constructive and I will certainly take that into consideration. Name calling (snake oil) doesn't seem quite fair. At least three of the schools provide alumni with tenure track positions, and Fielding in particular is very involved in APA. Snake oil... hardly. For the constructive part of the reply I do thank you. :)
  19. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Please go back and read my post. Let me know where I came close to 150k. Cost is actually something that draws me to this option, since it's quite modest compared to three years of a high profile law school. Your opinion that the programs do not provide adequate research training (I'll agree with clinical possibly) is interesting. What I'm looking for in these reply's is supported opinions, not "just" dissing. I'd truly like to know why they don't prepare one for further research? Especially since I have already done research and methods in political sciences - which is also socially based. RE forensics: I'm not interested in the traditional role of a ForPsych. Let me know who from these schools - or how many - have provided reason to believe their work is sub-par. Again, I'm really looking evidence to make an informed decision (law person here, remember) not just dissing the online schools. I don't know better, that's why I'd like some genuinely substantial feedback.
  20. Milk Milk Milk

    Milk Milk Milk

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    I think the evidence is everyone telling you it's not a good idea...
  21. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    In, sorry I wasn't really clear (I do try) about the forensic path. I'm not wanting a traditional forensic credential. I am wanting to only speak (and probably more so at the legislative level) on legal issues that relate to LGBT and that family model. As for the individual alumnus, I did do the research myself. Most advisors don't really know much about their faculty and their CV's. Unfortunately it's from hours and hours of googling finding CV's that show someone teaching at a certain school. I was thrilled to find those listed because some school... like CalSouthern, only show DL-educated Psychs... not that I'm opposed to that, but would like to learn from at least a mix of both types. Another example, thought not from Cornell or Berkley, but I don't' have my notes, looked up Dr. Craig Marker from Keiser University. He was educated at a reputable institution and is fairly well known in FL. He helped launch the online/hybrid PhD (non clinical) for KU. The rest are written down in my notes, but I didn't bookmark all the pages. Last, please let me know a little more (than just saying it) about the problem with publishing if you do most coursework online? Since publishing is something Im VERY interested it, I'd like a concrete position on how hard it is to be published. I have searched dissertations from these schools and found some - but not many. (but that's my evidence LOL). Let me know.
  22. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Psych, I have dismissed this idea altogether. But, if there is a chance I can be equally successful in a hybrid program, and achieve a better degree (i have been told by one college processor on tenure who graduated from NCU and CSU that the coursework is by far more difficult that masters level) then I'd prefer to do that. I don't really want to go back to 5000-6000 level coursework. It's a viable option though, one I'm keeping opened depending on what I get from the forum. Thank you again.
  23. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thank you Ollie. I do have the same fear: it will be something to overcome on a cv. The return on the invest (which the investment sounds so good at this point) is what my reason is for posting. I'm hoping people who KNOW others from these programs can let me know: HEY RYAN! The return sucks... i know. Or HEY RYAN! The return isn't as bad as what B&M Psych's say it is. I simply hope to find out from those who know... hence my detailed first post asking for limited online-basing, and more substantive knowledge... first or second hand. I also agree that just because the law allows one to gain licensure doesn't mean it should. I would also never try to advice anyone legally of psych if I wasn't comfortable in my abilities (maybe my spirit of full disclosure on this thread suggests as much)... I truly want to know about this option. It's just so hard because the stigma that attaches to online education. I'm actually a proponent of hybrid law programs, even though the ABA will never allow this. Also, to reply to another concern, remember I will be required to obtain TWO years of clinical in Texas before I can become licensed. I don't mean to suggest that one can get an easy online phd and then call themselves a psychologist by no means. The coursework is delivered online. The practicum, residency seminars, and clinical are obviously all don in person under clinical supervision. I can tell by your post you are sincere and openminded, but also honest about your concerns. Thanks much. :)
  24. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Cara, Thanks you SOOOOOOO much!!!! OMG!!!! This is the type of feedback I'd REALLY like to hear. I could e-kiss you xoxoxo. Can you elaborate on this? Be brutal if you must. Be detailed. This is the type of info that really helps me reach a decision. Capella is one that has less-than-impressed me thus far. However, your lack of support may also represent other schools as well. I'd really like to hear more from you about this individual - no names of course. Please please please. THIS is what I was hoping to get from the posting. :) - Ryan
  25. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Duck, this is excellent advice.. and constructive! Thank you. Residency matching is certainly a consideration I'm keeping in mind. Some schools do have a poor history. Others, less so. In Texas the residency is preferred to be APA, but doesn't have to be. If it isn't, then it has to meet certain criteria... which is very similar to APA's anyhow. I would certainly need to feel good about my ability to intern. I also (keep in mind) will have some reputable other degrees, excellent grades, and an ability (hopefully evident by now) to communicate enthusiastically and MAKE MYSELF be seen. I think getting a clinical spot is challenging for everyone, more-so for these schools, but not impossible. Any more info you have on this would be warmly welcomed. THANKS!
  26. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Terry, this is a very fair question. Schools like Columbia, Baylor, UPenn, etc, who have EXCELLENT law programs would not bennefit additionally from an online law program. HOWEVER, by making some coursework available online, I do not think they would be hurt (many lawyers have also said this in speaking about against the ABA's position forbidding it. But law schools like ... well I'd rather not say names... but let's say fourth tier law schools that have incredibly low bar-passage rates, might be boosted by making students take "some" law classes online. I have taken both at my B&M school. Online classes are hard as heck because they FORCE you to read and understand the material. There are no sidetracks or professorial tangents about their political views, etc. So to answer you: I do support the ABA makes online law classes available, but would NEVER support law students being able to practice with only online coursework and no legal clinical/adversarial experience. Similarly, I tend to think psych coursework and research can be conducted online, but that clinical and practicums are essential as well. The big difference is that you MUST go to an ABA to get licensed as a lawyer. You are not required to go to APA to get licensed as a psychologist. All this says to be is the ABA is better at lobbying; but I don't agree with it.
  27. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Therapist, thanks for the reply. I DID say that some constructive opinions are welcome lol. However, my point in posting was to hear from those who personally have or personally PsyD or PhD holders from these schools. If you do please let me know - the bad or the good. Also, keep in mind, I've seen some pretty brutal cross examinations on educational credentials. These are usually a lawyer up against someone with a online education to take the easy road; yes they will get skewered. Two things; I'm not that someone, I'm not easily skewered. My sincerity of not just wanting an easy way out should be evident by my desire to hear proof of the bad. And last, I'm not wanting to regularly testify on behalf of mental ill persons... that isn't my goal at all. I want to be involved with the court on behalf of LGBT families... not likely to produce intense, adversarial cross examinations. Please let me know if you know anyone with degrees from any of these schools. Hoping there are a few that read this forum. :( PS... I'm not sure what a troll is... I'm new to this forum.
  28. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Well, a big part of research is finding mentors who are successful researchers in your area of interest and can teach you. The VAST majority of faculty at online schools are not publishing in reputable journals if they are publishing at all. I don't exactly keep track, but I'm certain I've gone through many thousands of articles at this point. With the exception of 1-2 articles I've seen from one Fielding faculty member who does work with APA and one article from a Capella student I saw published in a bottom-rung journal, and one "political" piece (that was really more of a commentary) I saw published in an education-focused journal, I have never come across an article published by anyone (student, faculty, or otherwise) at any of those schools. If we were talking one school I could perhaps play it off as chance (I'm sure there are some B&M institutions that for whatever reason, I haven't seen articles they've written) but when I see that many institutions it raises serious questions in my mind. Now I'm sure all these institutions have people at them who have published but its a question of degree. If you want to be an "expert" in court, you need to train with experts and convince others that you ARE an expert. This means working with people that are productive, doing legitimate, large-scale research, and (regularly) publishing it in top-tier journals. If the faculty can't do it, how are they going to prepare you to do it?

    You also seem to be conducting your research LOOKING for the outcome you want. I'm sure you can find a graduate of many of these programs on TT somewhere. How many of their graduates don't you find? If only 1 in 100 of their students goes on to achieve the outcome you want...does that bode well?

    RE: Research training...I'm not sure how a school like this COULD provide adequate research training. Are you approaching research like legal research (e.g. literature searches)? Psychology is an empirical field, you are being trained to conduct and run experiments. The vast majority of these NEED to be done in-person, which is kinda hard in programs of this type. I've repeatedly asked students of some of these programs who occasionally come to the board to give some explanation of how they get their research experience and have never once gotten anything beyond smoke and mirrors. I realize that's secondhand, but its certainly convinced me their programs aren't providing training. If you want to do psychology research, you need to be physically in a lab. You need to have someone watching you conduct structured interviews, therapy sessions, for research studies,etc.. You need to run a complex experimental protocol in a laboratory setting. Most importantly, you learn by living and breathing these things for years. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how this experience is replicated at those institutions. You may have the common misperception that the PhD is about coursework and then doing a dissertation. Even if we remove clinical work from the occasion...I'd wager even my friends in research-based programs will tell you coursework is probably < 25% of what they do. Its just not what the doctorate is about. I do think many classes NEED to be in-person, but regardless it doesn't address the issue of what someone is doing with the other 75% of educational activities.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  29. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Duck, your concern is on the mark again. I do worry about having to work full time for my clinicals. First, I don't think they are full time. Just hour-requirements. So I may be working with a professional psychologist for more than the standard time to get my hours. PLUS, I would like to work with a clinic that specializes in LGBT issues... for example the Dallas Resource Center is designs to provide counseling and therapy to families who have a gay or lesbian child. This is still a big concern for me. But you would agree, two or three years of clinicals is more feasible than six or seven years of APA school and clinicals, for someone not entirely set on being a clinician. Thanks for raising these valid points. I do want to make sure I've thought everything through before I decide on anything. That is also the reason I'm thinking of this now BEFORE law school starts.
  30. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Neuro, this is excellent advice. This is what I was looking for. Thanks for your info on Fielding. I'm sure they provide the BEST hybrid education, but that is the same as what I'll be spending on my JD. The British route is something I had NOT considered. I will though. Glad to hear of another fielding grad with a tenure position as well. If you have heard of any programs abroad that you know first hand or second hand, that are strong in their education, let me know... I'm all ears! (or eyes rather).
  31. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    Check out the appic.org website for information on internship matching (residency is what psychiatrists and MDs do, psychologists do internship). At least 20% of internship applicants each year can't get an internship that is APA accredited or an APPIC member internship due to a huge imbalance between the number of internship positions and internship applications. Lots of these students are amazing therapists and/or researchers and/or people but simply don't match. (Some of them aren't so great, too, but a lot are.) I don't know if many/most of the programs you listed require an internship, though some seem to.

    If you're not interested in doing therapy or testing with clients, a doctorate in clinical psychology may not be what you want. Look into general psych or experimental psych programs in your area (again, I'm not familiar with online programs) because they are easier to get into than clinical psych programs and cheaper than what you've listed above for online programs. You'll still have the psychology degree and potential to publish research but without the hassles involved in getting a clinical psychology degree... I can't see the point in being a licensed psychologist if you don't want to actually practice psychology. I get the wanting to be an expert witness but you can testify about research findings with a different degree.

    About finances: unlike law school (I think), many clinical psychology PhD programs are fully funded by the school/university and provide a stipend to students, so the concept of paying for a degree is not popular in this forum. Not to mention, the annual salary for a psychologist is much lower than that of other doctoral degrees, like JDs and MDs, so the idea of taking out student loans for 150k when your salary is projected to be 60-70k is not a good one.

    Good luck!
  32. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Well, I've seen this person evidence lack of basic stats knowledge. I've also seen them describe an assignment they had and it sounded undergrad level.

    I don't have further info, sorry. But remember that lack of APA accreditation can really hurt you even if you don't need it to practice in your state.
  33. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thanks for this advise. Expense is not the issue, I've provided the cost in my original post. I also thank you for pointing out the LPC issues. That might actually be something worth considering for my goals. Many of the graduates from the programs I've listed become LPCs and not Psychologists here in Texas. As for the program you mentioned. There are a lot of JD's out there who are not lawyers. I think (and this may sound a-holeish but I don't mean it too) that many of them are not asserting themselves. I think the one's in the courtrooms are the ones that kick butt. I'm sure the lines are blurred some, but this makes me think that a person's PhD from Northcentral isn't worthless SIMPLY because it's from NCU. Rather, it makes it harder for them to command respect for their degree. You're right: Walden's format is similar to Fieldings. Thanks for providing info on your friend that became licensed. Please, if you can, provide more details on their experience. This is exactly the info I'm looking for. If you would like, please pass on my email and contact information to them. That might like to share their experience with me directly too. Thanks again, this is the reason I posted. :)
  34. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    I don't know about the programs you mentioned (sorry) but practica are typically 16-24 hours per week for 2-3 years (sometimes 4) and the internship year is a full time job (though some are half-time 2 year programs), at least 40 hours per week for a calendar year. After completing internship, you typically have to do another few thousand hours of post-doc hours (this can be a formal post doc or an informal one that's basically a job with frequent supervision) to be eligible for licensure. If you went for an MSW, you could be licensed as an independent practitioner within 4 years of starting the program (someone out there correct me if I'm wrong). With a traditional doctoral program (PhD or PsyD), you're looking at a minimum of 4 years just to complete a program (3 years of classes, 1 of internship, getting the dissertation done somewhere in there) and probably 6. Then you need a few thousand hours (so a couple years) to be eligible for licensure. And you've gotta pass the EPPP. This seems like way too much time (and wasted earning potential) to get a credential that you're not going to be using to make an income.

    :luck:
  35. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    You are right that I'm hoping to reach a certain result LOL. I don't argue that at all! :) However, I'm not so blinded that I can't come to terms with the fact that none of these programs will work either; maybe they won't. Your info on the dissertations you've personally seen - as many as you've seen - is very telling. That does worry me. Perhaps on the schools I'm looking at, I need to be asking more about their dissertation work. The fact that many faculty members don't produce high quality research is another problem too. The ABA does provide a department for Lawyer/Psychs but most of that is in a forensic capacity. Again, that isn't my interest, otherwise, I think I could really benefit from that group. I will also point out - regarding dissertation, since you know a lot about that - that I have asked each program if my dissertation committee can be personally selected from inside and outside the institution. My thinking: my law school will have persons who specialize in law/psychology and could perhaps make up for, or provide more of a substantial advisor to help my dissertation reach a higher level. (perhaps more the level of a tier one law school than a less-than-perfect Psych program. As the Psych Director for Keiser mentioned to me today: their program is BRAND new. He EVEN HIMSELF realizes that the quality of their program will be judged based on the students they hood. He is faced with getting KU's new program off to a profiting start (they are for profit) but also with ensuring the program doesn't get lumped in with some of those on my list.

    This last post of yours is filled with lots of relevant and honest information. I can tell you took a lot of time out to provide me with it. I truly do thank you for that and I plan to use this information. - RC
  36. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thanks so much Duck... and for giving me some information I didn't have about residency/internship... Your contribution is very appreciated... mean it! :)
  37. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thanks for giving me this timeline. It's more thorough than what I had calculated, but similar. And I have completelty decided that I would "want or need" to go the clinical route. Even though any of the programs I refferenced would allow for licensure in Texas, it certainly doesn't mean I'd ever want to be licensed... especailly ESPECIALLY if I felt that my education was inadequate to be a clinician. The only reason I even started considering the option of providing clinical services, was as a contribution to my community (homos). Not many psychs (at least here in Texas) have a dedication to the community. If my legal specialization in law is to LGBT sensitive issues, I just thought it might be nice to have option of one day offering the same psychologically. But it may simply be that the course is way too daunting (especially after a MA and then a JD and then the bar exam). :( Thanks so much. I can your advice is genuine and caring. :)
  38. Duck Duck Goose

    Duck Duck Goose Senior Lurker

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    You can always go back later on and get the degree if you still think it's worth the student loan debt. Not only will you be better established financially but you'll have had time to see how the JD (and the non-education parts of your life) pans out careerwise for you. You can also provide really valuable, "informal" help to people via telephone hotlines at different organizations, either as a volunteer or part-time employee. You could even start looking into that now, just to see if you like it (not that it's anything like doing therapy professionally but it is more exposure to people and their problems). That's all I've got for you. :p Good luck!
  39. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    I know you aren't leaning towards licensure, but perhaps my question will be relevant for others who read this thread. I'm curious as to what types of licenses these programs lead to. Were you able to discover this in your research? You mentioned seeing several graduates who were licensed as LPCs. To me, this is a red flag. This means that students are going through supposedly doctoral-level programs and only becoming licensed at the masters level. The fact that these programs are allowing for that, or even geared toward that, is alarming. In looking at some of the programs offered, I can't figure out what types of licenses graduates could get at all. A PhD in general psychology shouldn't lead to any sort of licensure, as it is not applied work. I wouldn't even begin to know what license one could get with a PhD in "Mediation", "Health", and "Cognition and Behavior." I've brought this up in other threads with respect to online programs, but it's worth repeating here--these types of degrees are ONLY offered at online programs. I have never heard of a doctoral degree in any of these subjects being offered at a brick and mortar university. This seems fishy--like they are trying to draw in students with fancy (yet ultimately meaningless) degree names.

    Other posters have already addressed some of the issues with research at online universities. I will just say that the top LGBT researchers are not at any of the schools you listed, not by a long shot. They are at Northwestern (Bailey), Cornell (Savin-Williams), and the University of Utah (Diamond)--schools that draw in top researchers because they provide the resources necessary to run full, productive labs.
  40. 4410

    4410

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    I have lost track of the military person who went through Walden program but one was in San Antonio. I know his name but I am not sure if he would like for me to give it out. He works at UT San Antonio. He was a Nurse Practitoner working in the Military before he went to Walden to complete the PhD in clinical psychology. Last I had heard was that he was now licensed and working at UT San Antonio Medical Center as a psychologist. I believe there was an army nurse stationed up at Carswell who completed her PsyD at one of the Argosy Campuses. There have been attoneys who have completed PsyD programs and worked as Forensic Psychologist or Police Psychologist where the law degree gives them an edge over traditional clinical psychologist working as Forensic Psychologist.

    I've known of physician assistants or nurse practitioners who have completed a PsyD and become licensed as a psychologist and due to dual licensure and supervision by an MD they may prescribe psychotropic medications.
  41. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Hi Killer, To answer your questions, remember my research on these programs has only related to Texas. According to our board (direct phone conversation with them) any doctorate with an emphasis psychology (whether the PsyD or the PhD) grants one access to take the EPPP. Any type of doctoral degree in psychology... general, organizational, experimental, counseling... would allow one to be licensed. Specifically, I'm not commenting on whether this is good practice or not, rather just what the law is in Texas. For example, one professor I know has a PhD from Northcentral in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. They have told him that he needs to do additional intern hours as a psychologist (he is already a LPC via his masters degree) and that will permit him to be licensed as a psychologist. His PhD is not in clinical psychology. I also agree that most of these schools ARE indeed trying to draw in unsuspecting students who want "Fancy" degrees, and they will end up being useless to the graduate. I, however, don't consider myself to be someone going into it unprepared, uneducated, or blind. I'm asking my hard questions first so that I can know exactly what the degree will offer me. What I'd like to have - to help me determine if it's right for me - is some feedback from those currently in these programs, OR those who know people in these programs. One poster above mentioned the lack of presence of these universities in top tier peer reviewed journals... this is the type of first-hand opinion I'm hoping to get. I know it's a long shot though; most member of this forum are traditional B&M educated and looking to be clinical psychologists.
  42. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Wow that's interesting! That individual (and I don't blame you for not posting their name, however if you find him again, please let him know about this posting) would certainly be the type of person who I'd like to hear from... having had to battle the stigma of the online doctorate... which by the way attaches to ANY doctorate with the exception of technology related disciplines. Some points raised earlier by some others goes to this question: Where you say some officers and attorney have had their credentials bolstered by a PhD (even if it's online based) others say it would actually pull down their credentials. I think the best way to settle that is to find some who have lived it. So far everything else is speculation. (Except for the ones who have reviewed student work from these (I think she said Capella) and been unimpressed).
  43. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    Thanks for the info on Texas. That explains it, although--as Ollie pointed out in this thread before--one would hope there would be some consideration on the part of these psychologists between what is legal and what is ethical.

    Yes, most people on this board are looking to be clinical/counseling/school psychologists. This is in no way synonymous with not doing research. Research is a core competency for any psychologist, regardless of whether they specialize in clinical, experimental, etc. We all do (or should be doing) original research to obtain our doctoral degrees, and we all read tier one journals to do so. For my part, I have never encountered an original research article written by someone from an online school. A related thing to look at would be whether any of the programs you listed participate in the shady practice of allowing students to write literature reviews as a dissertation instead of conducting original research. This would be yet another red flag.

    Do a search on the forum for "Capella." There was a thread not too long ago by a current student that detailed several negative experiences he/she was having at the school.
  44. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Thats good advice, I'll try and find that thread. It'll help me a lot. I'll be upping my questions relating to dissertation publications. If you ever DO come across one written by an online school, it'd be great to hear about. Until then, I'll assume that the lack of respected publications is certainly attributed to the lack of the school credentials, but probably somewhat to the student as well. I'll also check on the literature review in lieu of original research. Since I've been opened with each school about my strong desire to do original and publishable work, I'd like to think I haven't been lied to (but of course can't know for sure). I'm glad to hear from people like you - you clearly have read and understood what it is I'm looking for. :)
  45. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    Online and this goal really seem incongruent. Why would you be the outlier? Why would you put yourself in a position where you'd have to be the outlier to be successful?


    I don't think snake-oil is an unreasonable comment. That 3 of the schools have produced alumni at some point in time that have achieved a tenure track position (not necessarily tenure, but on the track) is not a meaningful statistic to me. APA, at this point, is not a great standard with respect to school accreditation and there are many calls for them not to accredit programs like what you're talking about. We do not need more for-profit, shoe-string doctoral programs admitting marginal students and contributing more snake-oil to the field. Where do the graduates go? Generally to non-regulated internship sites, and non-competitive postdocs. Their faculty are less competent than faculty at established programs or they wouldn't be there. The students have, in general, lesser GRE scores, lesser GPAs, more obligations (fielding markets to people that have full time jobs... a doctorate in your spare time). So, you've got lower quality, burdened students, lower quality faculty, unregulated internship experiences, uncompetitive postdocs and this yields what? In my opinion, less competent professionals is the most probable result. Professionals that would be more likely to do questionable things (due to inadequate research training and, likely, more exposure to fringe practice elements). Snake oil. Why would you want to be associated with that?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  46. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Jon, You've made your position quite clear. Thanks for being honest with what you think. A lot of what you say I don't even fully disagree with. Perhaps many of the students have lower GRE's, GPA's and be incapable of dedicating as much time to the program. But to conclude that ALL graduates of this program follow this model is premature and unfounded. For example, (since I only know me personally) if I graduated from such a program, my GRE score was very competitive, my GPA is 3.9, and I expect my LSAT score to reflect the same (when I see it). Moreover, when it comes time to publish my dissertation, I can guarantee that it won't be sub-par. I realize I may be the exception and not the norm.

    Again (I feel like I'm beating a dead horse) I'm not looking - generally - for comments designed solely to 'dis the online or hybrid education. I will already contend that this is the general climate!!! I'm "hoping" to hear from direct individuals who can provide more insight on their personal experience at these programs. ...or people who know those first-handers. Other posters have said "Should I go to XYZ school?" Read my post, that's clearly not what I was looking for in replies.
  47. beantownpsych

    beantownpsych

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    Wait a minute. Granted I am coming late to this thread but I'm taking the above statement to mean you aren't actually in law school. If that's the case it seems weird to me to focus on a 'secondary' degree when you haven't even started the first degree (JD)--the one you are expecting to support your family with. I think you're ambitions are great, but my somewhat blunt advice after reading through this tread is 1) focus on getting into law school (if I'm miss reading this and you are already in law school my apologies) and 2) stop trying to take short cuts to get a psyd/phd--the degree should mean something and it won't coming from online/non-APA accredited/cappella-esque schools
  48. iryancooper

    iryancooper Ph.D. Student

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    Bean, thanks for your desire to contribute, but please go back and re-read what my posting was for. I'm looking for students who have been in these programs. Law school applications have gone out - some of them. After to talking to several advisors about their own JD/PsyD programs (and JD/PhD programs), the advice of each one, was consider what psych programs I might like to go into BEFORE deciding on my law school. Knowing this information BEFORE I start 1L classes will provide useful in the end. Either by allowing me to enroll in the joint program upfront (Cornell is one I'm very interested in that offers both) or by allowing me to steer toward legal coursework that will be beneficial through its relation to psych coursework afterward (if I chose one of the above schools). Plus coursework - book learning - might be something I am willing to take along with my law classes as a first year. I'm not looking for shortcuts, if I were, I'd simply say that I were. I'm looking to provide myself with the additional education, through a feasible medium... consider what EXACTLY I want to do with it. Again - dead horse - future posts to this forum should ideally be from one of two persons: A. a graduate/student in one of these program, or B. a person who knows one of these students or has personally reviewed such work. I tried to politely say that I am NOT looking for DL-bashing... I already know that exists. I'm trying to obtain constructive, concrete, relevant, first-hand, information about these programs to make an informed opinion. Another person's opinion (thought I don't mean to bash it) isn't something that I'm looking for at this point. I'm looking to hear from experience.

    Still holding out for the possibility that some alumni read this thread.
  49. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member

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    I didn't make that conclusion.
    So, you plan to be the outlier. You do realize you aren't the only factor in making your dissertation a quality project.
    And you aren't getting that. We are talking about your plan. Now, I know you requested students from those programs to respond. As far as I know, your thread would have two responses. Would you prefer that?
    There are only a few posters that have been here regularly that are from some of those programs (I think none from most). Neuropsych2be, whom you've already heard from, is one. Psychwhy, who hasn't posted here in a long time attended Capella I think. You can probably find him in one of the older threads on the topic and send him a PM. If it's linked to his email, he may respond. Occasionally, we get drive-by posters here that extol the values of online/distance learning programs.

    It seems to me, you are looking for outlier students. You've accepted that the general climate is as has been described. Your plan is to be an outlier student. I don't understand why you'd start yourself behind the 8-ball. I'm sure you can find success stories from Texas Southern University law school, but why would you go there? Your question here is, essentially, that. Hi guys, I am considering attending - insert school with worst reputation in the country here. Do you know anyone who has been successful from this program? . . . the logic of your thought process appears to be [unstated], if someone was successful from these programs, you can be successful from one of these programs.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  50. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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