Alliant International University, Fresno

psykduck

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Hi! I have accepted a spot at Alliant (CSPP) in the Ph.D. program. I thought it might be helpful for people to have a source of info for Alliant. I searched a ton before I made my decision to attend. So, if it's ok with the mods, I want to use this to document my experience.

I'll post links to info, updates in the comments when I can* or make edits to this main post.

For starters, I'll cover a little about myself.
I'm a veteran with disabilities, a mom, and a wife. I'm mid-30s and just graduated with a BA in psych (2020) from a CSU.

The cost to attend is astronomical. Alliants estimate in the 2019-2020 catalog is about $172,000. There are people here who have broken down the long-term cost for taking on these loans. I have not.

Here is a good post from someone who did. I'm not sure if their experience was with Alliant, but the cost is similar.


My education is covered. So, in my case the good outweighs the meh.

They are APA accredited until 2027 and their WASC accreditation is under review this year. CA board requires both for licensing, so I'll be watching this closely.

The APA internship match rates are ok. In 2015-2016 it was 100%, 2016-2017 it was 77% (1 out of 8 was a no) 2017-2018 was a 91% ( 1 out of 9 was a no) and 2018-2019 was 100%. This is for CSPP Ph.D. Fresno.

Are these Berkley quality rates? No. Are these state school quality rates? Again, no. But I'm confident that my drive will not leave me as one of the no's.

Are the no's a reflection of the education received, the students being poorly chosen at the start of the program, or the disproportionate level of internships compared to students? Who knows. Probably a mix of all 3.

*** anecdote: my education has been rigorous and people can (and do) fail the classes even while putting in effort. ***

There are more part-time professors than full-time (only 3)

They have relationships with the community for practicums:
1st year: in their own clinic attached to the school
2nd year: options
3rd year: options
4th year: options
5th year: match

The options: VA, Marjorie mason center, the community colleges, the CSU, prison, might be more, but there's those at least.

The school is def. Set up like a business. The inside and outside look more like a corp and less like a CSU. There are no grounds for walking, and there's only one building, and it's steel, not brick. The offices remind me of other professors' offices I've seen...but cleaner? Like way, less paperwork, and boxes of paperwork.

Their website is annoying and not set up to browse. CSPP, the "college" for Clinical Psych, is a professional school, not a traditional university like their business name implies.

What that means: the cost is high. Alliant will nickel and dime, and they have far more business (academic finance) offices than school guidance counseling. So, you have to advocate for yourself. Read. Everything.

Everyone has been super responsive, welcoming and kind. The guidance counselor has reached out several times; the admissions department has been more like a friend. She has checked in me and offered more assistance than anyone else. I did not get that with CSU. I had to reach out to the veteran one, but he responds.


The application was the same as the more traditional schools.
It required the GRE
Two references (so one less than some others)
CV
SOP (way longer than others. Alliants was 6ish pages compared to the 2ish pages for others).
Interview (only 1, not a group and about an hour-long)

The program style is practitioner-scholar. So, I will do research, but the bulk of my training will be in practice. Fresno's classes are assessment heavy. The class options vary by program and location.

Does any of this mean you will get a lower quality education? I hope not. I've talked to several alumni, and many are working in private practice, some are adjuncts at university, some are in hospitals, some in prisons.

The stigma is high. There are some very vocal (and maybe rightly so) professionals who would never even consider an applicant from this school. Be aware of the stigma. I considered it and it's concerning.

The program is semester style. Fall, Spring, and Summer. 150 credits total (30 are fifth-year internship).

A new student orientation is mandatory. The Friday before classes start the cohort (7 of us) will meet up and walk through the building, meet the staff and get a breakdown on how the next five years of our life will go.

The first year you have no choice in classes or times. You're assigned to them. You take 30 credits spread between the three semesters for full-time. The following years you have more flexibility to personalize your education. They have gotten rid of specialization tracks, but the electives that drove them are still available.

Ok. So, that's all I have for now. I start in August, and I'll post updates about the classes and what's going on.

***Updates in the comments below****



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ClinicalABA

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Cojgratulations on beginning the next step of your career, and thanks for offering to provide updates on your experiences. I sincerely hope it works out for you.

I'm curious to hear from you about your access to an interaction with the actual full program faculty. Of the four listed, there is only degree info on three of them. 2 of those three (including the one teaching group psychotherapy) don't have clinical/counseling degrees, and are likely not licensed. That's kind of...interesting.

I'm also curious as to how separate it is from the PsyD program. You mention yourself that the school us a "business." I wonder what they get out of it by adding a PhD program. Both the PhD and PsyD seem relatively small cohort and with relatively small number of faculty. I wonder if instructors work across programs or classes are combinations of students from both programs.
 
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Congratulations. Good luck on the next adventure. And living inside the steel building.

For what is is worth I know 1 person that went to this program (probably 10 or so years ago). Small sample size and old data, but they are a great psychologist.

Please do keep us posted. I think this would be a valuable thread.
 
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psych.meout

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For being a practitioner-scholar program, their graduates seem to have significant difficulty getting licensed. Furthermore, the statement below their required licensure rate disclosure is incredibly misleading and dishonest. As you can see from their (relatively) recent EPPP stats, a large portion of their students can't pass the exam.
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ClinicalABA

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For being a practitioner-scholar program, their graduates seem to have significant difficulty getting licensed. Furthermore, the statement below their required licensure rate disclosure is incredibly misleading and dishonest. As you can see from their (relatively) recent EPPP stats, a large portion of their students can't pass the exam.
View attachment 307133

View attachment 307134
So the message here, OP, is don't rely on them to adequately prepare you. You are going to have to stay on top things and make use of that hard working, overachieving attitude you referenced in an earlier post. Itll have to come from you, because businesses are happy to take money from you, regardless of the outcomes for you. Being a soldier and a mother, my money is on you to be successful!
 
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psykduck

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Cojgratulations on beginning the next step of your career, and thanks for offering to provide updates on your experiences. I sincerely hope it works out for you.

I'm curious to hear from you about your access to an interaction with the actual full program faculty. Of the four listed, there is only degree info on three of them. 2 of those three (including the one teaching group psychotherapy) don't have clinical/counseling degrees, and are likely not licensed. That's kind of...interesting.

I'm also curious as to how separate it is from the PsyD program. You mention yourself that the school us a "business." I wonder what they get out of it by adding a PhD program. Both the PhD and PsyD seem relatively small cohort and with relatively small number of faculty. I wonder if instructors work across programs or classes are combinations of students from both programs.
Thank you! The website is terrible and they dont update it often from what I've seen. I was told that one of the four was not coming back in 2020.

Only one of the Ph.D. faculty are licensed and it's in Colorado. The Psy.D. faculty are all licensed, except 1 (out of the 5).

I have no idea why they arent all licensed and i never thought about checking until you brought it up. I appreciate you choosing to frame your thought as a question. I will be asking how/why that is now. I do know a few of the part-time faculty and they are a mix of licensed and unlicensed.

When I asked about how the classes work with psy.d. I was told the psyd students don't do research at all. But we (ph.d. and psy.d) are taught by by both divisions and take pretty much the same classes. Except where we (phd) have research based topics they have more space for the elective, or "specialty" focused classes.

I'll update with first hand info after I've been in a bit.

Thanks again!

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psykduck

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Congratulations. Good luck on the next adventure. And living inside the steel building.

For what is is worth I know 1 person that went to this program (probably 10 or so years ago). Small sample size and old data, but they are a great psychologist.

Please do keep us posted. I think this would be a valuable thread.
Thank you! I'll take that 1! If one person can do it, that means it's possible.

I'm really gonna miss the grounds. The CSU really is beautiful. And even though I knew alliant wasnt a traditional school, it surprised me.

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psykduck

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For being a practitioner-scholar program, their graduates seem to have significant difficulty getting licensed. Furthermore, the statement below their required licensure rate disclosure is incredibly misleading and dishonest. As you can see from their (relatively) recent EPPP stats, a large portion of their students can't pass the exam.
View attachment 307133

View attachment 307134


Hi! Thanks for bringing up their EPPP rate. I noticed that, too. I appreciate it. I just wanted to post the link to what you posted in case anyone else wanted to take a look at the 2017 report.

Fresno Ph.D. Alliant: 59%

It kind of made me curious. So I took a look at the California licensing boards stats, too. uhh Nerds, am I right?


State aggregate: 53.74%

Yikes. I mean, Fresno doesn't count as statistically better, but they're definitely average.

You also mentioned their reported licensure rate being dishonest or misleading at 75%. Is it because they qualified the licensure rate with a statement? I'm genuinely curious if this is a personal distaste for the school, or if it's a serious issue.

In the meantime, here's a link to Berkeley's licensure rate:

Their licensure rate is 78% for the same duration. No statement, though. And they are boulder. Def. more research-focused. So it makes sense.

Here's UCLA:

They also use the boulder model, but their's is 94%. That's quite a difference.
 
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psykduck

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So the message here, OP, is don't rely on them to adequately prepare you. You are going to have to stay on top things and make use of that hard working, overachieving attitude you referenced in an earlier post. Itll have to come from you, because businesses are happy to take money from you, regardless of the outcomes for you. Being a soldier and a mother, my money is on you to be successful!

You're awesome. Seriously. Thank you for the boost =)
 

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Hi! Thanks for bringing up their EPPP rate. I noticed that, too. I appreciate it. I just wanted to post the link to what you posted in case anyone else wanted to take a look at the 2017 report.

Fresno Ph.D. Alliant: 59%

It kind of made me curious. So I took a look at the California licensing boards stats, too. uhh Nerds, am I right?


State aggregate: 53.74%

Yikes. I mean, Fresno doesn't count as statistically better, but they're definitely average.

You also mentioned their reported licensure rate being dishonest or misleading at 75%. Is it because they qualified the licensure rate with a statement? I'm genuinely curious if this is a personal distaste for the school, or if it's a serious issue.

In the meantime, here's a link to Berkeley's licensure rate:

Their licensure rate is 78% for the same duration. No statement, though. And they are boulder. Def. more research-focused. So it makes sense.

Here's UCLA:

They also use the boulder model, but there's is 94%. That's quite a difference.
I thinks it's important to also look at attrition rate when considering these licensure (and match rate) numbers. That will give you a better sense of how many people who start the program go on to become licensed psychologists. For the the time period of classes entering between 2009-2014 (i.e., classes that should have matriculated by now), attrition is 25%. (17 of 70 students left program for reason other than "graduated"). Some years it was as high as fifty percent! So, of the 75% who actually stick it out, only 59% of that pass the EPPP. Look around on day one- there's a real good chance than many of you ("most" of you being within the standard variance) will not end up as psychologists. This will cost a lot of people a lot of money to not work out. I know it's not your money, but it's somebody's, and those aren't good odds!
 
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AcronymAllergy

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Regarding licensure of supervisors, it's definitely worth looking into a bit more. CA has some regulations relating to who can supervise students in order for it to "count" toward licensure, with the requirement typically being that the supervisor is licensed in CA or the state in which they're practicing (unless it's a VA). This may be more directly applicable to internship, but I'd review their requirements for grad school as well, just in case. This also may be a non-issue if the practica supervisors are all licensed in CA even if most/all of the faculty are not, although it limits the ability of your program's faculty to supervise your clinical work.

RE: the statement qualifying the licensure rate, I don't want to speak for psych.meout, but my take: it's a bit disingenuous to insinuate that the low-ish rate is due to some graduates not seeking licensure because their position doesn't require it when data might instead suggest it's due in larger part to students having difficulty passing the required exams.

And yeah, CA's rates as a whole aren't great. For various reasons, I'm sure.
 
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psych.meout

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Regarding licensure of supervisors, it's definitely worth looking into a bit more. CA has some regulations relating to who can supervise students in order for it to "count" toward licensure, with the requirement typically being that the supervisor is licensed in CA or the state in which they're practicing (unless it's a VA). This may be more directly applicable to internship, but I'd review their requirements for grad school as well, just in case. This also may be a non-issue if the practica supervisors are all licensed in CA even if most/all of the faculty are not, although it limits the ability of your program's faculty to supervise your clinical work.

RE: the statement qualifying the licensure rate, I don't want to speak for psych.meout, but my take: it's a bit disingenuous to insinuate that the low-ish rate is due to some graduates not seeking licensure because their position doesn't require it when data might instead suggest it's due in larger part to students having difficulty passing the required exams.

And yeah, CA's rates as a whole aren't great. For various reasons, I'm sure.
Yes, that's part of my take. The other part is that this is a program designed for practitioners, not researchers. They are far less likely to have jobs in academia, industry, or other research contexts, because the research training provided is minimal, at best. If a clinical science program posted a similar message qualifying their licensure rate, it would be more believable. You'd have to be incredibly gullible to believe this statement, even without the data that pokes holes in it.
 
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psykduck

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Regarding licensure of supervisors, it's definitely worth looking into a bit more. CA has some regulations relating to who can supervise students in order for it to "count" toward licensure, with the requirement typically being that the supervisor is licensed in CA or the state in which they're practicing (unless it's a VA). This may be more directly applicable to internship, but I'd review their requirements for grad school as well, just in case. This also may be a non-issue if the practica supervisors are all licensed in CA even if most/all of the faculty are not, although it limits the ability of your program's faculty to supervise your clinical work.

RE: the statement qualifying the licensure rate, I don't want to speak for psych.meout, but my take: it's a bit disingenuous to insinuate that the low-ish rate is due to some graduates not seeking licensure because their position doesn't require it when data might instead suggest it's due in larger part to students having difficulty passing the required exams.

And yeah, CA's rates as a whole aren't great. For various reasons, I'm sure.


Hi @AcronymAllergy! Thanks for putting this bug in my ear. I used Search - DCA to check for faculty licenses and I found out that 4 out of the 5 Psy D. faculty have their license, but none of the Ph.D. faculty do. They were all licensed at one point but had let them lapse. I reached out to admissions, and my advisor to make sure I was using a good search engine, and the names were correct. I was. And they were. So, the Ph.D.'s are not licensed and will be teaching theory and advanced research topics. The on-site clinic has 6 licensed psychologists that provide supervision for us during our practicums along with the 4 licensed Psy.D faculty.

I wish they were all licensed, but as long as they're able to mentor/help/guide research, I can work with it.

The licensure rate:
I can see both your point, and @psych.meout's with the addition they provided. I want to include this in the main post, so I'm going to take a look at a few schools so I can put up something solid.
 
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beginner2011

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Can anyone in the research world speak to the academic job prospects of an Alliant PhD? I don't think I've ever come across an Alliant PhD at any national conferences or heard of an Alliant PhD receiving federal funding to conduct research.

OP: Why are you pursuing a PhD instead of a PsyD from Alliant? If your goal is to pursue a research career, I don't think training from this program will get you where you want to go.
 

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Which campus?

I have the usual SDN attitude towards Alliant (namely, don't do it) but I also know some faculty at one of the campuses, and the faculty are pretty great. To answer your question, I know an Alliant graduate who got a pretty prestigious post doc but this person was connected with the research lab outside of Alliant.

Edit: Sorry, I just saw the title of the thread. I don't know anyone at the Fresno campus
 
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Can't speak to Alliant specifically, but I can only name about 3-4 PsyDs total with what I would consider successful research careers. None were from professional schools. All did extended post-docs or additional degrees. Admittedly, I'm sure very few pursue it so that isn't to say it "can't" be done more often than that.

Now "academic" can mean many things. Certainly there are plenty of PsyDs as clinical faculty at AMCs. A lot will even have research involvement. That is a very different thing from the true researcher/independent-investigator track though. Most PsyD faculty are at professional schools. Some may do "research" but in most cases it will not be at anywhere near the same level as other places. I would not be surprised if my lab has more active grant funding than the aggregate total across all psychology professional schools in the United States. And we're solid, but not the biggest or the best by a long-shot.
 
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psykduck

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Can anyone in the research world speak to the academic job prospects of an Alliant PhD? I don't think I've ever come across an Alliant PhD at any national conferences or heard of an Alliant PhD receiving federal funding to conduct research.

OP: Why are you pursuing a PhD instead of a PsyD from Alliant? If your goal is to pursue a research career, I don't think training from this program will get you where you want to go.
I chose the Ph.D. program because I want more training in research than their Psy.D. offers.

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beginner2011

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I chose the Ph.D. program because I want more training in research than their Psy.D. offers.

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That's great. That makes a lot of sense.

My concern was if you were interested in pursuing a career in research then Alliant (PhD or not) would not be able to prepare you well to be successful. Much of the important components of launching a successful research career have little to do with your actual performance, and more to do with the narrative/social network/name recognition, in my (limited) experience. Not to mention the crucial guidance from mentors about where to put your attention and energies to produce an "independent program of research". My impression is that you wouldn't receive that sort of mentorship from Alliant faculty.
 
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psykduck

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So, I'm midway through my first semester with Alliant. Unfortunately, it's during COVID, so classes have all been online. I created an airtable which has most of the required reading and assignments. I deleted all the contact info and syllabi but wanted to give a peek to anyone interested in the workload: message me if you want to see it . I don't have anything to compare it with (only grad program I've been in), but I can say that the transition from undergrad to grad school has been challenging. I'd appreciate any feedback about how it compares to your program.

My cohort ended up being 12 students with one dropping during the first week. In addition to the classes, the program requirements are in depth: message me if you want to see it. If you're not interested in looking at the table: a summary of the unexpected (for me): 30 hours of personal psychotherapy with a PhD or PsyD, 2 semesters being involved with student government, 15 hours of peer supervsion. The rest I had expected, more or less. One thing that bothers me about this program vs a traditional school is the volunteer pool. Rather, the lack of one. I have to find my own volunteers to practice conducting assessments and therapy. The volunteers have to meet super strict inclusion/exclusion criteria and it can be a struggle. I hear other places have volunteer pools and while it's not awesome for generalization to the pop, it must be so nice to have all those undergrads vying for extra credit.

Personally, this is a challenging program. I'm going out of my element and digesting more information than I ever have before. I'm learning more about time managment and how to establish boundaries. Honestly, that last bit is the hardest part. I have to finish writing my first psych eval, but I've responded to a few of the questions in the thread. I've had a few people reach out to me. My inbox is open, it might be a bit before I reply, but I will.


I'm curious to hear from you about your access to an interaction with the actual full program faculty. Of the four listed, there is only degree info on three of them. 2 of those three (including the one teaching group psychotherapy) don't have clinical/counseling degrees, and are likely not licensed. That's kind of...interesting.

I've found the faculty to be super accessible and interested in helping me grow. The PhD program director holds monthly meetings to talk about how everything is going, is open to feedback, and I see action on the input rather than just being "heard." I have three clinically licensed PsyD's as instructors this semester (ethics, clinical foundations, and assessment) and one clinically licensed PhD (research). An unlicensed PhD teaches the data analysis class. This class has let me down. I wanted a chance to delve into the fundamentals and explore the more rigorous bits, but he is barely introducing what I got out of my intermediate stats class. We (cohort and I) are working on a friendly/professional way of asking for a replacement. Any advice would be welcome.

Back to the faculty: Only two of those faculty members are full time. The others are adjuncts who seem to be naturals. Teaching and learning via zoom is hard, but they can get through it without causing death by PowerPoint, so there's that. I'm guessing that most instruction is not done by full program faculty but rather by adjuncts. I had terrific instructors for my BA, and the adjuncts I have now are of equal, if not better quality.

I'm also curious as to how separate it is from the PsyD program. You mention yourself that the school us a "business." I wonder what they get out of it by adding a PhD program. Both the PhD and PsyD seem relatively small cohort and with relatively small number of faculty. I wonder if instructors work across programs or classes are combinations of students from both programs.


Instructors work across programs. The PsyD cohort has a different course load than us (PhD). We do take some of the same classes, but we take them (for the most part) at other times. Also, their program is four years, and ours is five. What do they get out of it? I'm not sure. Not all of the campuses offer the PhD program, but I feel grateful that this is an option.


I thinks it's important to also look at attrition rate when considering these licensure (and match rate) numbers. That will give you a better sense of how many people who start the program go on to become licensed psychologists. For the the time period of classes entering between 2009-2014 (i.e., classes that should have matriculated by now), attrition is 25%. (17 of 70 students left program for reason other than "graduated"). Some years it was as high as fifty percent! So, of the 75% who actually stick it out, only 59% of that pass the EPPP. Look around on day one- there's a real good chance than many of you ("most" of you being within the standard variance) will not end up as psychologists. This will cost a lot of people a lot of money to not work out. I know it's not your money, but it's somebody's, and those aren't good odds!

Those odds are horrible. I brought this up with my cohort, and besides our group chat, we started a zoom meeting once a week from the beginning to form a support network. We take the time to ask questions, clarify info, and keep each other "together". I've written and deleted a few statements following this. I'm just going to leave it at yes, everyone is responsible for themselves. But damn, this should be part of the required information for programs to be "APA qualified." ** I still would have gone, but the person that already dropped may not have**

Regarding licensure of supervisors, it's worth looking into a bit more. CA has some regulations relating to who can supervise students in order for it to "count" toward licensure, with the requirement typically being that the supervisor is licensed in CA or the state in which they're practicing (unless it's a VA). This may be more directly applicable to internship, but I'd review their requirements for grad school as well, just in case. This also may be a non-issue if the practica supervisors are all licensed in CA even if most/all of the faculty are not, although it limits the ability of your program's faculty to supervise your clinical work.

The PSC has 12-ish (keeps changing due to Covid) licensed clinical psych PsyD and PhD supervisors. The PhD core faculty licensure is not great. I have one of them as a Data professor, but none of the others as instructors this semester. From what I've gathered, they will be involved in research and not clinical instruction. Not gonna lie; I was furious when I found out. I reached out to the student advisor, and he had no idea. He said that he won't be telling people that all of the staff are licensed anymore. Hopefully. In any case-for anyone reading this-Check on licenses. The adjuncts teaching me now are licensed (I've been checking myself, which I always will now). Alliant earned APA accreditation for ten years last year, and the WASC eval was this semester. So, I assume that everything was solid with them there.

Yes, that's part of my take. The other part is that this is a program designed for practitioners, not researchers. They are far less likely to have jobs in academia, industry, or other research contexts, because the research training provided is minimal, at best. If a clinical science program posted a similar message qualifying their licensure rate, it would be more believable. You'd have to be incredibly gullible to believe this statement, even without the data that pokes holes in it.

The research is going to be what I make of it. You're 100% on this. There's little ongoing research like students can find in almost any other grad program. Looking at the dissertations from the last couple of years, it seems like the research has been mostly dry lab/archival data or survey work. The professors have been nothing but encouraging and haven't turned down any idea I've had.


Can anyone in the research world speak to the academic job prospects of an Alliant PhD? I don't think I've ever come across an Alliant PhD at any national conferences or heard of an Alliant PhD receiving federal funding to conduct research.


I'll be applying to a few federal grants along with org/div grants. So far, I got a small one from APAGs. So, at least on a small scale, it happens. If anything more significant comes along, I'll add it here.

My concern was if you were interested in pursuing a career in research then Alliant (PhD or not) would not be able to prepare you well to be successful. Much of the important components of launching a successful research career have little to do with your actual performance, and more to do with the narrative/social network/name recognition, in my (limited) experience. Not to mention the crucial guidance from mentors about where to put your attention and energies to produce an "independent program of research". My impression is that you wouldn't receive that sort of mentorship from Alliant faculty.

100% agree that academia/research is a who knows who club. I'm not sure about the guidance. I'm in one research class right now, and while the others encourage us to consider how what we're learning can apply to our future dissertations, I'm currently in survival mode. This transition from undergrad to grad has been a bit like "Lord of The Rings." It sounds great, but once you get into it, there's just hobbits walking around for thousands of pages. I guess I'm just saying there's a lot of reading, like a lot. I thought I knew, but I had no idea.
 
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cara susanna

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Thanks for the info, very interesting. Just one thought came to mind: as has been discussed on this forum, I don't like when graduate schools mandate therapy for students. I get the rationale but it just seems very inappropriate and contrary to the idea that therapy is for working on goals.
 
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thebalmofhurtminds

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Thanks for the info, very interesting. Just one thought came to mind: as has been discussed on this forum, I don't like when graduate schools mandate therapy for students. I get the rationale but it just seems very inappropriate and contrary to the idea that therapy is for working on goals.
I agree, I find this so incredibly invasive and inappropriate.
 
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WisNeuro

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Thanks for the info, very interesting. Just one thought came to mind: as has been discussed on this forum, I don't like when graduate schools mandate therapy for students. I get the rationale but it just seems very inappropriate and contrary to the idea that therapy is for working on goals.

Agreed. I actually had somewhat of a problem with it in a more "public good" sense. I would imagine many grad students are not making much money or independently wealthy, so they would probably be seeking out reduced cost or sliding scale therapy providers, if available. and, if I do not currently have a clinical condition that is causing me significant impairment and/or distress, I am technically taking that slot away from someone who needs it much more than I do if I do not currently have a diagnosable condition.
 
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psychlife19

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THIRTY hours of psychotherapy?? That is so much! My program thankfully only required 10. And with a PsyD or PhD-this limits what providers you can see. I would also assume they will charge more than an MA practicioner.
I wonder where they got this magical number from. I also agree with above, I can’t imagine finding some issues to talk about for this many sessions. Then the therapist wouldn’t really be effective on working with me because what goals would I have?
 
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psykduck

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THIRTY hours of psychotherapy?? That is so much! My program thankfully only required 10. And with a PsyD or PhD-this limits what providers you can see. I would also assume they will charge more than an MA practicioner.
I wonder where they got this magical number from. I also agree with above, I can’t imagine finding some issues to talk about for this many sessions. Then the therapist wouldn’t really be effective on working with me because what goals would I have?
Their explanation is that we use the 30 hours to find our "triggers" and work through the stress of grad school.

We're not supposed to use psychs who work at alliant, but almost all of the psychs in the surrounding area graduated from Alliant...and maybe I'm cynical, but I assume that is part of the 30 hour req. I guess I'll work through this in therapy.

Its a lot. I have decent insurance bc of my husband but even using it im looking at $100 copay. Up to $200 if my insurance decides this doesn't fall under their umbrella. And like others said, I'm taking a spot from someone who may actually need it.
 
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beginner2011

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I'll be applying to a few federal grants along with org/div grants. So far, I got a small one from APAGs. So, at least on a small scale, it happens. If anything more significant comes along, I'll add it here.

100% agree that academia/research is a who knows who club. I'm not sure about the guidance. I'm in one research class right now, and while the others encourage us to consider how what we're learning can apply to our future dissertations, I'm currently in survival mode. This transition from undergrad to grad has been a bit like "Lord of The Rings." It sounds great, but once you get into it, there's just hobbits walking around for thousands of pages. I guess I'm just saying there's a lot of reading, like a lot. I thought I knew, but I had no idea.

Just to clarify, I was referring to federal agencies like NIH or DOD. APA is a national organization, and is not related to the federal government. APA does not provide sufficient research funding to support independent research programs for clinical scientists. If one is hoping to receive NIH or DOD funding for their research, which in most cases is necessary to have a sustainable income as a clinical scientist, contact with and exposure to the grant writing and execution process will not be available at a program like Alliant.

You seem like a capable and ambitious student. If you're hoping to have a career in research I think you'll need to make contact with mentors outside of your program faculty.
 
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psykduck

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Just to clarify, I was referring to federal agencies like NIH or DOD. APA is a national organization, and is not related to the federal government. APA does not provide sufficient research funding to support independent research programs for clinical scientists. If one is hoping to receive NIH or DOD funding for their research, which in most cases is necessary to have a sustainable income as a clinical scientist, contact with and exposure to the grant writing and execution process will not be available at a program like Alliant.

You seem like a capable and ambitious student. If you're hoping to have a career in research I think you'll need to make contact with mentors outside of your program faculty.
I'm attending all the webinars I can aimed at NIMH grants. I took a basic cert class, too. Outside of that I'm trying to get my "feet wet" through the orgs. I had no idea that we weren't supposed to lump the two together when we discussed funding. Thanks for clarifying.

I'm hoping to get in touch with researchers outside of Alliant. One of the APA divisions I'm in has a mentor/mentee sign up. Outside of that I've been thinking of messaging researchers whose work I want to include in any research I do. Is that frowned upon? Also, mingling at the conferences I attend.

And I appreciate the compliment. Do you have any suggestions or tips on other ways I can make connections?

I'm not sure about a career dedicated to research, but I would like to be involved. But, I'm not asking for miracles here, I'm under no illusions about Alliant. Just trying to give a students perspective for people looking for one.
 

beginner2011

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I'm attending all the webinars I can aimed at NIMH grants. I took a basic cert class, too. Outside of that I'm trying to get my "feet wet" through the orgs. I had no idea that we weren't supposed to lump the two together when we discussed funding. Thanks for clarifying.

I'm hoping to get in touch with researchers outside of Alliant. One of the APA divisions I'm in has a mentor/mentee sign up. Outside of that I've been thinking of messaging researchers whose work I want to include in any research I do. Is that frowned upon? Also, mingling at the conferences I attend.

These are all great ideas. Worst case you don't get responses from those investigators.

And I appreciate the compliment. Do you have any suggestions or tips on other ways I can make connections?

I'm not sure about a career dedicated to research, but I would like to be involved. But, I'm not asking for miracles here, I'm under no illusions about Alliant. Just trying to give a students perspective for people looking for one.

I am by no means an expert in this area -- I've only just completed the PhD portion of my training and have yet to achieve successful independent NIH or DOD funding. I think you've got great ideas and you should trust yourself.
 

WisNeuro

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How do Alliant students afford to live with when attending the school in person with such high tuition costs?

Massive loans that you will spend a loooooonnnng time paying off, while putting off other things (e.g., having kids, buying a house, saving for retirement).
 

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The ballpark range of loans mentioned on several threads regarding these types of programs makes saving for retirement near impossible outside of any 401K contribution through employer (if offered). Housing and basic needs would probably take the majority of take home pay and leave little left for putting aside additional money for retirement. Crazy v
 
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cjackord

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Welcome to the PhD program! I'm finishing up my PhD at the Fresno campus. Seems like the research is the biggest issue you've noticed. I think the basic stats you're getting in the first two semesters are really just an intro. You'll have to take a research practicum where you'll get significantly more hands-on experience. Canfield (stats) is great... but not great at the intro classes lol Talk to Snow for any help/issues you have. Both do a ton of outside research (Snow just wrote a stats textbook) and will literally beg students to get involved. They are super happy to walk you through study design, IRB, data collection, and interpretation. also-- Ya, the first year is assessment heavy, but you use it in your clinical rotation next year.

With regards to the unlicensed faculty-- they know. Bekerian was licensed in the UK before coming over and Canfield stopped practicing several years ago (he's 90?). Everyone else is licensed, and the APA wasn't overly concerned about the ratio when they accredited last year. Same with the attrition rate. Attrition rates are evaluated annually and used in accreditation decisions: https://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/section-c-soa.pdf

Overall, I've been happy with my education here, and I hope you are too. We're not Berkeley (lol)-- we're small and have a tight-knit core faculty, but if you continue with the flow of curriculum, there shouldn't be any issue with you finishing and licensing. To reiterate-- enjoy the flow! haha it definitely picks up ;)

Take care. LMK if you have any questions I can answer. The whole program is pretty chill and happy to talk if you ever need anything :)
 
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psykduck

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Welcome to the PhD program! I'm finishing up my PhD at the Fresno campus. Seems like the research is the biggest issue you've noticed. I think the basic stats you're getting in the first two semesters are really just an intro. You'll have to take a research practicum where you'll get significantly more hands-on experience. Canfield (stats) is great... but not great at the intro classes lol Talk to Snow for any help/issues you have. Both do a ton of outside research (Snow just wrote a stats textbook) and will literally beg students to get involved. They are super happy to walk you through study design, IRB, data collection, and interpretation. also-- Ya, the first year is assessment heavy, but you use it in your clinical rotation next year.

With regards to the unlicensed faculty-- they know. Bekerian was licensed in the UK before coming over and Canfield stopped practicing several years ago (he's 90?). Everyone else is licensed, and the APA wasn't overly concerned about the ratio when they accredited last year. Same with the attrition rate. Attrition rates are evaluated annually and used in accreditation decisions: https://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/section-c-soa.pdf

Overall, I've been happy with my education here, and I hope you are too. We're not Berkeley (lol)-- we're small and have a tight-knit core faculty, but if you continue with the flow of curriculum, there shouldn't be any issue with you finishing and licensing. To reiterate-- enjoy the flow! haha it definitely picks up ;)

Take care. LMK if you have any questions I can answer. The whole program is pretty chill and happy to talk if you ever need anything :)

Thanks for the welcome!

Talk to Snow for any help/issues you have

Yes! I'm so glad she's an adjunct. I feel super lucky that I get to work with her. She is able to break down concepts and then build them back up in a way ive never heard. Honestly, truly. So glad.

Dr. Canfield has had an interesting career.

With regards to the unlicensed faculty-- they know.

Sounds like you had a different interview process than I did. The student rep/guidance counselor told my cohort and me that CSPP faculty were fully licensed.

After I created this post someone pointed out the discrepancy.

It took me searching, sending emails, and then finally he set up a zoom meeting to say "theyre not licensed. I didn't know. Sorry." He said he would be more careful in the future and it was probably an honest mistake. I doubt he ever had any reason to check faculty licenses himself.

But still. I think its important for people to look at licensing regardless of where they're going. Check. Always check. At least thats what I got out of it.

APA wasn't overly concerned about the ratio when they accredited last year. Same with the attrition rate. Attrition rates are evaluated annually and used in accreditation decisions: https://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/section-c-soa.pdf

Yeah a 10 year accreditation was good enough for me. Not too fussed about the attrition rate. It was the EPPP* pass rate for me. I was upset when I realized how naive I had been, but thats on me. Not the program.

Overall, I've been happy with my education here, and I hope you are too. We're not Berkeley (lol)-- we're small and have a tight-knit core faculty, but if you continue with the flow of curriculum, there shouldn't be any issue with you finishing and licensing.

I made a good decision when I enrolled. I have learned and applied more information than I thought would be possible in 4 months; and thats during a pandemic over zoom. So, once we get to go back in person I can only imagine how deep it will go.

I scoped your profile and saw you with interviews! That makes me feel even more confident in my choice. Congratulations and I hope you get an amazing offer. I do have a few questions.. How far in advance did you start thinking about your "ideal" internship? Did you take classes and apply for specific practicum sites to work towards them? Also, did your ranking of the PSC options make a difference in what you did? Aaand last one did you get a range of practicum options with you picking the one you wanted or did it feel like you were competing with your cohort PsyDs?


Thanks again for the welcome. Its comforting to hear good things about our school.
 
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mzspsych

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Thanks for the welcome!



Yes! I'm so glad she's an adjunct. I feel super lucky that I get to work with her. She is able to break down concepts and then build them back up in a way ive never heard. Honestly, truly. So glad.

Dr. Canfield has had an interesting career.



Sounds like you had a different interview process than I did. The student rep/guidance counselor told my cohort and me that CSPP faculty were fully licensed.

After I created this post someone pointed out the discrepancy.

It took me searching, sending emails, and then finally he set up a zoom meeting to say "theyre not licensed. I didn't know. Sorry." He said he would be more careful in the future and it was probably an honest mistake. I doubt he ever had any reason to check faculty licenses himself.

But still. I think its important for people to look at licensing regardless of where they're going. Check. Always check. At least thats what I got out of it.



Yeah a 10 year accreditation was good enough for me. Not too fussed about the attrition rate. It was the EEEP pass rate for me. I was upset when I realized how naive I had been, but thats on me. Not the program.



I made a good decision when I enrolled. I have learned and applied more information than I thought would be possible in 4 months; and thats during a pandemic over zoom. So, once we get to go back in person I can only imagine how deep it will go.

I scoped your profile and saw you with interviews! That makes me feel even more confident in my choice. Congratulations and I hope you get an amazing offer. I do have a few questions.. How far in advance did you start thinking about your "ideal" internship? Did you take classes and apply for specific practicum sites to work towards them? Also, did your ranking of the PSC options make a difference in what you did? Aaand last one did you get a range of practicum options with you picking the one you wanted or did it feel like you were competing with your cohort PsyDs?


Thanks again for the welcome. Its comforting to hear good things about our school.

If you’re interested in neuro, I would recommend applying for Dr. Glidden’s practicum site. He did his fellowship at Hopkins and takes on 2-3 local students each year.
 
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mzspsych

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Massive loans that you will spend a loooooonnnng time paying off, while putting off other things (e.g., having kids, buying a house, saving for retirement).

Not necessarily. At least not in Fresno. Most of the local Alliant psychologists I know have had their loans paid off in <5 years by working in forensic settings after licensure and then going on to have successful private practice careers or holding long term jobs with the Central Valley VA or other local hospitals. The psych community is pretty small here and I’ve only met one Alliant grad so far that didn’t get licensed but still got a job in academia fairly quickly after. @WisNeuro: I’m curious if your comment was related specifically to Fresno students or Alliant in general?
 

psych.meout

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Dr. Blythe Corbett, clinical training director at Vanderbilt (VUMC-IPP) and leading researcher for ASD (founder of the SENSE Lab and SENSE Theater) graduated from Fresno’s Alliant campus.
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data." The actual data demonstrate that graduates of both the PhD and PsyD programs at Alliant-Fresno have considerable difficulty passing the EPPP and getting licensed.
1605422467878.png
PsyD:
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PhD:
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Not necessarily. At least not in Fresno. Most of the local Alliant psychologists I know have had their loans paid off in <5 years by working in forensic settings after licensure and then going on to have successful private practice careers or holding long term jobs with the Central Valley VA or other local hospitals. The psych community is pretty small here and I’ve only met one Alliant grad so far that didn’t get licensed but still got a job in academia fairly quickly after. @WisNeuro: I’m curious if your comment was related specifically to Fresno students or Alliant in general?
Again, those are anecdotes and not necessarily representative of the modal outcome for Alliant-Fresno graduates. What about the graduates who aren't specialized in Forensic Psych? What about those who don't stay local? What about the ones who can't get licensed? What is the debt like for them? What are their careers like?

Look, I get that you're in some way connected with the program and like it, but the data doesn't support it being a wise career or financial decision to attend Alliant in general or Alliant-Fresno specifically.
 
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mzspsych

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data." The actual data demonstrate that graduates of both the PhD and PsyD programs at Alliant-Fresno have considerable difficulty passing the EPPP and getting licensed.
View attachment 323189
PsyD:
View attachment 323190
PhD:
View attachment 323191

Again, those are anecdotes and not necessarily representative of the modal outcome for Alliant-Fresno graduates. What about the graduates who aren't specialized in Forensic Psych? What about those who don't stay local? What about the ones who can't get licensed? What is the debt like for them? What are their careers like?

Look, I get that you're in some way connected with the program and like it, but the data doesn't support it being a wise career or financial decision to attend Alliant in general or Alliant-Fresno specifically.

Yup. Wasn't debating the data. Just sharing my personal experience as a local who knows the professionals in the area.
 
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WisNeuro

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Not necessarily. At least not in Fresno. Most of the local Alliant psychologists I know have had their loans paid off in <5 years by working in forensic settings after licensure and then going on to have successful private practice careers or holding long term jobs with the Central Valley VA or other local hospitals. The psych community is pretty small here and I’ve only met one Alliant grad so far that didn’t get licensed but still got a job in academia fairly quickly after. @WisNeuro: I’m curious if your comment was related specifically to Fresno students or Alliant in general?

Alliant and Argosy in general. Of which we have/had in our backyard here. Most of those professionals work for the joke practice in town with one of the worst contracts I have ever seen. While I don't doubt that some people make it out ok and can pay off loans in 5 years, I highly doubt that it is "most" with 6 figure debt. Highly unlikely given salaries, taxes taken out, and living expenses. Unless they have a wealthy spouse.

Edit, specifically with a dismal 51% licensure rate.
 
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psych.meout

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Yup. Wasn't debating the data. Just sharing my personal experience as a local who knows the professionals in the area.
Ok, but when it comes to advising people about the soundness of their decisions to apply to or attend a given program, best-case outlier anecdotes like those you are presenting are misleading, at best.
 
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cjackord

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I scoped your profile and saw you with interviews! That makes me feel even more confident in my choice. Congratulations and I hope you get an amazing offer. I do have a few questions.. How far in advance did you start thinking about your "ideal" internship? Did you take classes and apply for specific practicum sites to work towards them? Also, did your ranking of the PSC options make a difference in what you did? Aaand last one did you get a range of practicum options with you picking the one you wanted or did it feel like you were competing with your cohort PsyDs?

Thanks :) for your questions-- my "ideal" internship was solidified when I commissioned in the Air Force haha nah, but really, I was pretty sure I wanted to go military before starting the program. To clarify-- I also have an MS where I focused in child development, and I took a family rotation in the PSC as well. I would seek out a variety of experiences, because I personally think it makes you a more versatile clinician. Also, I think Greer will push you towards varying your application hours (which helps). Overall, I just like health psych though and enjoy the military pop. Any of the rotations in the PSC will benefit you, so it really doesn't solidify your outcome. When you start picking elective courses, I'd go towards interests; they're always neat classes.

Nah, no competition. There's a massive variety in the student body (as I'm sure you've noticed), so just be open with your goals and interests when you start, and the supervisors are all really helpful to get you there. I never had a problem getting what I wanted or needed. You'll see everyone can handle different caseloads in quantity and quality, so just be self-aware.

I hope you continuing enjoying the program! It's definitely better to be in person, and I'm sorry y'all got a bit of a raw deal. Hopefully you get the opportunity to be back on campus in the next year. It's super odd to "meet" someone on a random online forum rather than a MET haha
 
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psy.d. 2021

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I know I'm late to the discussion on requiring students seek therapy...but just wondering how a program can verify a student sees a therapist and that it is X number of hours without it being really invasive? My program encouraged it if we felt we needed it but we were by no means required or pressured to do so.
 
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psykduck

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I know I'm late to the discussion on requiring students seek therapy...but just wondering how a program can verify a student sees a therapist and that it is X number of hours without it being really invasive? My program encouraged it if we felt we needed it but we were by no means required or pressured to do so.
We have our Dr certify the therapy hours. Theres a simple template-

"I saw x for x number of hours on date"

And then it gets faxed/emailed to ...someone. I need to look that over again.

I'm still unsure if we have to certify 30 separate times or if we can ask the Dr to sum up the hours and certify once?

It does feel invasive. I am not comfortable sharing who I'm seeing.. I feel like there's a whole ethics section on this.
 

erg923

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We have our Dr certify the therapy hours. Theres a simple template-

"I saw x for x number of hours on date"

And then it gets faxed/emailed to ...someone. I need to look that over again.

I'm still unsure if we have to certify 30 separate times or if we can ask the Dr to sum up the hours and certify once?

It does feel invasive. I am not comfortable sharing who I'm seeing.. I feel like there's a whole ethics section on this.

This is all very old school type stuff/thinking, and I am sure @PsyDr can do this much better than I am about to:

It goes: You can't be on this (our) side unless you have been on the other (patient) side.

This is ridiculous, unscientific thinking and promotes an unhealthy stigma/stereotype of "us and them." Should you be more healthy than the patient seeking you? I think this goes without saying.... Yes, of course.

Whether you naturally are, or become this way via a Psychologist, a Rabbi, a Priest, or Jim Jones is no ones business but your own. Isn't that the covenant of which which we are advocating???
 
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PsyDr

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We have our Dr certify the therapy hours. Theres a simple template-

"I saw x for x number of hours on date"

And then it gets faxed/emailed to ...someone. I need to look that over again.

I'm still unsure if we have to certify 30 separate times or if we can ask the Dr to sum up the hours and certify once?

It does feel invasive. I am not comfortable sharing who I'm seeing.. I feel like there's a whole ethics section on this.

42 CFR 410.32 requires ON SITE supervision for CMS places. Unless you opted out, you are a CMS site. Then there's the issue of billing for trainee services. And using non-encrypted email to communicate about patients, as required by HIPAA and HITECH act. And then all the ethical violations associated with such things.

And you published this confession using interstate communication.
 
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psykduck

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42 CFR 410.32 requires ON SITE supervision for CMS places. Unless you opted out, you are a CMS site. Then there's the issue of billing for trainee services. And using non-encrypted email to communicate about patients, as required by HIPAA and HITECH act. And then all the ethical violations associated with such things.

And you published this confession using interstate communication.
This is for my personal therapy. Thats required for graduation. Not on campus. The provider I've chosen is not affiliated with the school. I pay for my therapy out of pocket. I am the client. So, there's no supervision because I'm not providing any service and my provider is licensed and board certified.. I would have to agree to have my info sent to the school. And I mentioned above that I'm unsure of how its sent. Thanks for the clairification: no email or fax.

I'm super confused about what you're talking about, outside of secure transmission of the hour certification letter.

Can you explain what you meant?

Confession? Billing for trainee services?
 
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psykduck

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This is all very old school type stuff/thinking, and I am sure @PsyDr can do this much better than I am about to:

It goes: You can't be on this (our) side unless you have been on the other (patient) side.

This is ridiculous, unscientific thinking and promotes an unhealthy stigma/stereotype of "us and them." Should you be more healthy than the patient seeking you? I think this goes without saying.... Yes, of course.

Whether you naturally are, or become this way via a Psychologist, a Rabbi, a Priest, or Jim Jones is no ones business but your own. Isn't that the covenant of which which we are advocating???
Yeah. I've been looking for solid research that says sitting on the other side of the table will make me a better therapist. If I find something significant ill post it here.

I have used therapy before, and I like the provider i found. So I'm not opposed to the process. But, is it necessary for my career?
 
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psykduck

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I just finished my second semester. This school via zoom has been hard. I finally met a few members of my cohort in person, and it was almost like we'd been in person the whole time. So, all the check-ins, group chats, and one-on-ones were completely worth it. We are down to 10 because one of our members failed a couple of classes the first semester. They are still in Alliant but are unable to start practicum with us until they complete the required classes. If you're going to do a grad program, your cohort can be one of your biggest assets.

42 CFR 410.32 requires ON SITE supervision for CMS places. Unless you opted out, you are a CMS site. Then there's the issue of billing for trainee services. And using non-encrypted email to communicate about patients, as required by HIPAA and HITECH act. And then all the ethical violations associated with such things.

And you published this confession using interstate communication.


LOL. He did not read the comments. That's ok. Par for the course. This was a terrible accusation and one that had no foundation. No one was talking about me doing clinical work or getting supervision...he read what he wanted and then failed to apologize when given the chance.

The therapy has been super helpful. At first, I was hesitant and thrown off by the requirement. However, I'm super grateful for it now because I don't know that I would have sought it on my own.

I’d like to see some empirical evidence that being a client leads to being a more effective clinician.

Me too. Dissertation maybe? If I run with it, I'll thank you on the appropriate page.

This semester the hardest classes for me were assessment and research. Assessment because I felt that learning the projective assessments covered was a waste of my time, learning about the poor psychometrics would have been sufficient. I'm grateful for the intake practice, but I am not a fan of any of the projective tests we used and likely would not use them again if up to me. Research because...I don't know man. The number of studies that I've read this year with terrible method sections, using inappropriate (at best) analysis for the data collected - yet still being printed in high-level journals just makes me wonder how the elitists in here think their schools are so much better. When was the last time you picked up a journal and read your alma maters work? Because...woof.

For anyone considering this school. Yes, you will have to advocate for yourself and push for your own opportunities. However, the field as a whole has a long way to go, and don't be impressed by the name of the school someone attended. Get involved with a professional organization from the start and network that way. Apply to all of the funding sources you can, and don't think less of yourself if geography, prior GPA, or lack of networking leads you to attend a for-profit. Know that they have standards, too. Not everyone gets accepted, so if you did: Congratulations. Go in with your eyes open to the $$ you'll spend/borrow and what it means professionally because of the mindsets of some of the people in this sub.

I start shadowing a few second years next week to take over their groups and clients. I'm excited and I feel prepared. Don't get me wrong, I'm scared and nervous, and all the things that come with taking on a high level of responsibility like this for the first time. However, four of the classes required three or more volunteers leading to an intake/therapy session, or intake/assessment. The feedback and roundtables with other students have really opened my eyes to the variability in the clinical process. The supervision process at Alliant complies with the APA requirements for licensure in my state and the clinical hours the school requires go above and beyond the requirement. I have a couple of steady mentors and a supervisor that I trust. Oh.

Get a mentor. Not just one, but several. One person will not be your "person." If you're assigned someone and you don't mesh, that's ok. Find someone else. Even if you have to stay with the "not so great" one for you, use your time to find someone you do mesh with and ask them if they will mentor you. My mentors have made this experience positive when it had so many opportunities not to be.

Grad school is hard. You'll be expected to work and read and research more hours than are in the day. Find what you're ok with being 'just ok' with and go from there. Make time for you and your family. Make yourself a priority.

Don't just go into grad school and think it's going to be all set out for you or that "it will just come to me." Start thinking about your endgame from day one and adjust as you go. Here's a good starter: APA's Resource for Individual Development Plans (IDP). I know I said make time for you, this is part of it. It's not all bubble baths and walks (do that too) it's boring planning, pros, and cons, and nervewracking networking (omg did I say that right? Am I annoying them? Was that even the right person??).

As always, feel free to message with any questions or comment here. Heyo to all the Alliant students that found this.
 
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