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Any one have comments on any Illreputed schools/programs?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by NewfieStudent, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. NewfieStudent

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    Hi,

    I have been looking into various psyd programs, and have been noticing the "easiest" ones to get into are the professional schools. Has anyone had any experience with any of these schools? Have you heard of schools that are "illreputed" and that you would advise against? I had looked into Ryokan College, and it looked good to me, but they tuition is much less than other schools, and I dont think their is an internship. Do employers really look at WHERE you went to school, or do they just look at the fact that you have a doctorate? Also, has anyone done any schooling with the Institute For Advanced Study In Sexuality (they offer a Ph.D)?
     
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  3. Ollie123

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    I think the best signal of ill-reputed PsyD programs is their match rates. If its bad (under 80%) its questionable. A few are under 60%, which is frankly just an embarassment. I'd avoid those schools like the plague unless you can't get in anywhere else.

    If Ryokan doesn't have an internship it means they are not accredited which means you will run into all kinds of troubles getting licensed, and won't be able to do much with your degree Look into it more to be sure - I find it hard to believe any school would not even TRY to get students into internships, so its possible you just missed it on their page (I know nothing about the school itself).

    As for employers, I'm not there yet so its hard to say. If you're looking to join a small private practice where your degree is from probably matters less than if you want to work at a large hospital, etc. So really, the answer is most likely "it depends".
     
  4. psych00

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    I have heard, and just looking at the numbers, professional schools are easier to get into because they usually have much larger class sizes (which means their resources/faculty are usually spread much thinner). Supposedly they are run more like businesses than the typical university-based program.

    I'd look at APA-accreditation status, internship match rates, class size (it is usually recommended that it should be pretty small), faculty interests, program structure, etc. I don't think the school usually matters as much as the license does, so once you get through the internship and get enough hours so you can become licensed, I have been told the license is what matters. Some great programs are at lesser-known schools, and some subpar programs are at schools with great reputations, so it might be good to look at each program individually.
     
  5. Baloo

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  6. lakewood

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    Another thing to consider is value. This is something I considered much less when choosing which programs to apply to. I wish I paid more attention to it.

    I am not on the anti-PsyD bandwagon, but for the most part, you get a much better value at a funded (PhD or PsyD) program than most professional schools. There are professional schools with competitive internship placement percentages etc, but when you consider the cost of attending it is a completely different world.

    In other words, a $100k tuition for a program that matches 93% compared to a program that pays your tuition and gives you a stipend and only has an 85% match rate. The 93% program might not be better for you in the long run.

    A hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. To shell out that much money because you want less emphasis on research, or because you like a professor a little bit more at school A ... to make a one hundred thousand dollar decision based on these kinds of flexible preferences is questionable.
     
  7. ClinPsyD917

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    Hello,

    So I am going to try to answer your questions... feel free to PM me if you have more!! I applied to mostly "professional" schools... and I honestly had no idea they were seen in any kind of a negative light until coming to this forum. However, it is really important you take into account the pros and cons (read: I'm glad people critiqued these programs so I knew what I was getting myself into). One of the biggest criticisms of prof. schools (aside from the crazy tuition cost) is the idea that they will accept anyone who will pay them ... and thus they often produce highly incompetent psychologists. Sometimes they are seen as the "easy" way to get a doctorate. I am in a strange situation regarding this. I believe that these schools have a place in the field of psychology (I'd better think that, I'm attending one this fall!), but at the same time, I recognize that some of the people in the program may not be the kind of person I would want as my psychologist. That being said, I also believe that the best will rise to the top regardless. It is my intention (as I've said before) to be among the best in my class. Yes, it's a professional school. But I plan to work my butt off and get an APA accredited internship. I want to excel in this field; not just get a doctorate. If you are of the same mindset, I think you can be successful no matter what you choose!!

    As far as your question about Ryokan... from what I know, and what I've heard, you are really screwing yourself if you go to a non-APA accredited program. I looked into Ryokan a bit when I was looking at PsyD schools in California... when I was looking, they were definitely not APA accredited. In fact, I think they offer an online version of the PsyD (as an option). I would really be cautious with this program.

    I think that once you're done with school (and an internship... to get liscensed you need 1500 pre-doctoral and 1500 post-doctoral hours), and you pass the exam, they do not look at your school too much. I think it's based on your own competence as a clinician. However, to get to that point (especially getting all your necessary hours), I really think the program should be APA accredited.

    As far as class sizes, some PsyD schools in California are small (like 20 people max), and others are closer to 60 (as in the one I'll be attending). Either way, I think it is up to you to get the type of education you desire. People will get out of it what they are willing to put into it. This goes along with the match rate... if you do everything you can to succeed, you will likely be one of those that does match when the time comes. Again, I believe it's quite dependent on what you want out of your education and what type of person/student you are.

    The last thing to consider (well, this actually should probably be one of the first...) is the amount of debt. I think you truly need to look into how much it will cost you over the course of 4-5 years, and see if it is truly worth it. It should be seen as an investment in your future regardless, but if you see yourself being in debt for many many years, perhaps you should reconsider the PsyD at a prof. school. My situation is a bit different, and I really don't see the debt as becoming a problem... but this is different for everyone.

    Anyway, this was ridiculously long (as my posts tend to be when I'm bored out of my mind and wishing it was Friday night, not Thursday), but I hope it helped. Especially if you are considering only CA schools, PM me, because I applied to almost every CA PsyD school. Good luck with everything.
     
  8. docihope

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    Whoever wrote that stuff about match percentages needs to come down off the high horse and get some more information. First, while the match rates are interesting, they are by no means as easy to interpret as you may think. Second, the match rates combine APA accredited and APPIC approved internship sites...and these are quite different. There are some schools that advise their students against applying to APPIC sites and thus will on occasion have a lower match rate (for doing the correct thing by their students). Third, the match rates count those who withdraw from the match, for whatever reason, as "unmatched" and thus in any given year a programs match rate may be unfairly lowered. Fourth, obviously small PhD program will match higher percentage, but of course, the type of internships will be very different. If you want a research oriented internship it is a great thing, but if you want an internship that will match your practice desires, the 100% match rate means way less.

    The poit is, don't ne naive and take a simplistic approach to understanding this issue. You will m ake serious errors along the way!
     
  9. NYCPsych

    NYCPsych Clinical Psy.D.
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    Wait. Jon Snow hasn't commented yet!?!
    :p
    -PsyD hopeful
     
  10. Therapist4Chnge

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    There is no "one" criteria you can look at to decide. I believe a clinical education touches on many areas, and each is more/less important....dependent on what the person wants.

    1. Match Rates I'd be concerned with any program that can't even make the national average year in and year out. There may be some fluctuation because of isolated instances (for instance....match rates at my school were effected by wilma/katrina, but bounced back to 87% this past year) Stuff happens.

    2. Research If you want to do research in a certain area, you'd be foolish to go to a program that doesn't support work in your area, and/or a place that doesn't put an emphasis on research. (My own bias is that I think programs need to be balanced, because I believe both research and clinical experience are equally important)

    3. Clinical Schools can vary greatly in their training. Make sure to ask around the psych community and/or places you are interested in work about each school's clinical reputation. There are some great programs out there who do better jobs than others in this area. Just because you go to a research program DOESN"T mean you will not get quality clinical training. Just like going to a great clinical program doesn't imply you won't get quality research training. Be wary of any school that outwardly discounts one area to the detriment of the other.

    4. Cost I consider cost to be both time and money. One thing that scared me (as someone changing careers) was the rising cost of education and also the time required to complete training/research. I use to golf with someone who was in his 7-8th year or research for his dissertation, and he was just finishing up. He was teaching at the time...so he did it slowly, but if you want to do clinical work, you need to finish, get licensed, etc. That being said, I wanted solid clinical AND research opportunities, so I needed a balanced program.

    5. Reputation This is very subjective....but also important. You want to go somewhere that has a good reputation for what you want to do. Many times there are great supervisors at average programs, and average supervisors at great programs. It'd be nice if they were good/good and great/great, but most places aren't like that. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

    6. Location This matters more to some than others. In retrospect, I learned about a number of great programs that I didn't previously consider because of their location. Some people have restrictions because of family, etc. If you don't have that constraint, you should really base your choices more on the other areas......to be honest, you won't have much time for a social life anyway! :laugh:

    *added*

    7. Opportunity: Often times life happens. For instance....the POI you wanted to work with goes on sabbatical, you landed 2nd on the list of multiple programs, your top choices end up being not what you thought, etc. I am a believer that top people can be successful most anywhere they go.....but it sure is nice when it isn't all up hill. :laugh:


    I'm sure there are more, but I need to start on some paperwork...blah.

    -t
     
  11. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    Just a clarification. I believe all APA accredited internships are part of APPIC. There are APPIC sites that are not APA accredited.

    Small PhD programs may also have lower percentages as a person withdrawing or not matching, for whatever reason, comprises a much larger percentage of the cohort. Also, it is important to note that, with few exceptions, there really is no such thing as a research oriented internship. Internship is for the sole purpose of fulfilling clinical training goals even at clinical scientist oriented programs. Some internship sites offer optional research rotations in addition to clinical work (read: you're going to work 70+ hours a week at times. . .this is what I did). Some will offer a day a week to do research or other tasks. There are some exceptions, like Brown, for example, that have experimented with heavier research loads while still maintaining proper clinical hours for the APA accred.
     
  12. Ollie123

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    I make no apologies for my views on match rates. They aren't the sole indicator by any means, but I think they're fine to use combined with other things that have been mentioned.

    1) Fair point, I agree.
    2) Again, this is true, but there are also plenty of programs that discourage that practice and still maintain near 100% match rates.
    3) Really, how many people withdraw from the match in a given year? I've heard of two who did it because they wanted to continue research for another year. That's enough to affect a particular year, but I doubt its going to significantly affect the overall match rate for the school unless its new and hasn't graduated many students yet. That being said, for reason T4Chge said above, you need to look at the overall percentage and not just any given year.
    4) Not sure why a small programs would necessarily have a higher "percentage" matching if all students are properly trained. If anything I would think it could hurt it since even 1 student not matching could tank their percentages if they are only graduating 5 people a year. From what I understand, the heavily research focused internships are rare and very competitive. Wouldn't more students to apply to these sites hurt match rates?

    Like I said, I make no apologies for my views. Feel free to think I'm a snot, but if more than 1/3 students are consistently unable to get internships, I think that is a very bad sign. If there is a good excuse (i.e. katrina) or other factors make the school great those should certainly be considered as well.

    But if I have to tell at a glance whether a school is likely to fall in the "great" or "okay to bad" category, match rate is one of the first things I look at.
     
  13. psychwhy

    psychwhy Simply disillusioned
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    T4C's criteria list:

    ... is a superb summary of the various factors which should be important in assessing a potential program.

    However, one was left off that a quick scan of the pre-admission/admission decision threads will bring in to very clear focus:

    7. Opportunity

    Yes, absolutely -- in a perfect world -- the "customer" (student) should be able to consider these criteria in making such an important life decision. However, taking into account the supply and demand issues (i.e. how immensely difficult it is to get into ANY fully-funded PhD program), it is often just not feasible for the prospective student to pick and choose.

    Look at the decision threads here ... you will see more than a few people sweating out getting an acceptance at ONE program, regardless of how good the criteria match with personal interest. Yes, of course, some applicants get into their first choice schools (statistically some have to). Nevertheless, there are a fair number who don't ... and some who get no acceptances.

    Of course, the Darwinians on the forum will claim this is how nature intended it. Those not being accepted simply were the "weakest of the herd" and have been naturally selected out. But when you come out of that elitist fog, some good candidates do not get accepted and look at other possibilities.

    Yes, it may not be desirable to amass $100,000+ in debt for a non-funded PsyD, but for some financial matters take a back seat to professional and personal ambitions.

    Bottom line -- hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
     
  14. Therapist4Chnge

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    Opportunity is definitely a great criteria (that I'll go and add to previous post! :laugh: ). It played a large part in my decision making. I only applied one year, and only to a handful of schools. I was edged out for a spot at a couple of very good programs...and if I were a few years younger (and could spare the year), I would have re-applied to the following year.

    7. Opportunity: Often times life happens. For instance....the POI you wanted to work with goes on sabbatical, you landed 2nd on the list of multiple programs, your top choices end up being not what you thought, etc. I am a believer that top people can be successful most anywhere they go.....but it sure is nice when it isn't all up hill. :laugh:

    -t
     
  15. Ollie123

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    Also a fair point psychwhy and one that is often overlooked. We ain't all going to Yale:)

    I'll actually push that a step further and say there's two different ways to interpret opportunity. One (what you said) is the opportunity to attend a program to begin with. Despite the fact that I got in during my first round, I'm not foolish enough to think that means all qualified candidates did. Personally, I'd have gone a second/third/eight round rather than attend a program that didn't meet my standards, but others may feel differently.

    However one thing that has been overlooked thus far since it is kind of intangible that psychwhy's post reminded me of is opportunity to do what you want to do while you are at that school and bend the program to fit your needs.

    I didn't get into my #1 school, but I still think my education is going to work out extremely well. The school I DID get into has bent over backwards already to allow me to "fit in" there. I'm being co-mentored since I have a sort of hybrid interest (not something that is normally done), I'm funded as an RA not a TA so I can focus entirely on research. They are open to working with the medical school so I can take medical genetics classes and work with people there, and are open to me working with the public health/biostats department to do more advanced stats work than psych departments offer. They have tons of great resources to help students get NRSAs (which I think is a VERY important first step for those of us looking to teach at major universities), etc. It wasn't as big a concern for me but if you're looking at PsyD programs, look into externship and practicum opportunities related to the program, and if they are willing to work with you to find sites that match your interests if there aren't any readily available.

    So there is a very good chance this school would be better for me than many others I originally ranked higher when I was applying. There are plenty of places where you come in and you are expected to be 100% doing your mentor's research, your dissertation is treated as something that is "interfering" with your job, and you have little room for individuality. That wouldn't make me very happy, and I also think doesn't provide adequate training for independent scientists. You're more training an advanced lab tech than a scientist if you don't give people the opportunity to do their own work.

    This is something that will be hard to tell until the interview (and may even be hard to tell then). I got a GREAT feeling from my school at the interview though, and I think its something that is very important to consider.
     
  16. psychRA

    psychRA Psychologist
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    Not always- the APPIC website breaks down the match rates by % of students who matched, did not match, AND withdrew for every year since 2001. You can still get an accurate sense of how a program usually matches, while taking withdrawals and "off" years into account. Match rates shouldn't be the only factor, of course, but I think they're a reliable indicator of program quality.
     
  17. positivepsych

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    Ryokan is a shady school that seems to be more new age than science. There's a lot of questionable places with accreditation, but this one can't even meet that low bar, so I would stay far far away.
     
  18. Dr.Maybe

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    i was curious about ryokan because i've never heard of it, and i looked up their website and "educational philosophy"....yikes:

    According to two different translators of his works, the word Ryokan can mean either good/large heartedness or gentle tolerance. In either case, those quite comparable interpretations describe both the personality and character of Bruce N. Ryokan Ross, after whom the College was named. Bruce was given the name Ryokan when he adopted the ways of Zen just a few years before his untimely death from leukemia, at age 23, in 1978.While it does seem that there is more inquisitiveness about the name than the educational objectives of the College, it soon becomes apparent that the goodness of the monk and the tolerance of Bruce permeate the educational philosophy of the school.

    um. yes. that's a nice story, but i would stay away, far far away.
     
  19. 73BARMYPgsp

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    The Ryokan website looks like my 10 year old step son made it.
     
  20. LaLuna123

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    Haha yes, it looks like a page I had on Geocities or Angelfire when I was 13! It just exudes professionalism!
     
  21. ExpressYourself

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    Which Psy.D programs are funded, if you don't mind me asking? Places like Widener, Spalding, Baylor, etc? I was looking at the top ranking of Ph.D programs in America, and these Psy.D programs were included..I'm assuming they're university-based?
     
  22. nononora

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    IIRC from the insider's guide, the fully funded PsyDs are Baylor, Indiana University at Pennsylvania, Indiana State University and Virginia Consortium. Most PsyD programs have at least a little funding if you are willing to investigate, but these four stood out to me because 100% of their students are fully funded.
     
  23. Ollie123

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    I thought Rutgers offered funding as well? Perhaps I'm mistaken though...
     
  24. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Rutgers definitely is fully funded, good luck getting a spot though (they accept a ridiculously low % of people). :laugh:

    -t
     
  25. Ollie123

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    eh, it was just under 5% last year across all(I just checked), which is not too horrendous in the scope of fully funded programs. Most everywhere I applied to hovered right around there, and quite a few were lower. Since they fund their students it seems unfair to compare their admission rate to schools that don't.
     
  26. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Oh ok. I thought it was somewhere in the 3-4% range, which isn't that far off. :)

    -t
     
  27. Ollie123

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    No, but I'd say still within the "middle 50%" even if it was:)

    Certainly its hard to get into, but it seems to be roughly on-par with a typical, good PhD program. In fact I'm not sure how many applicants there were to my future grad school, but if its similar to last year it has a lower acceptance rate. I think its a great school, but I wouldn't place it in the super-competitive category. Not that I'd have a chance at Rutgers since my experiences are probably not what they're looking for:)

    My point is just that its comparable to most PhD programs, and I'd hate to see anyone scared away because they think its more competitive than it actually is.
     
  28. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Good pt.

    So you're saying I have a shot at Stanford?!! ;)

    -t
     
  29. Ollie123

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    If you got into Rutgers, sure!

    Though they don't actually have a clinical program as far as I know(Stanford I mean).

    I'm convinced acceptance for PhDs is as much a crapshoot as anything else. I was rejected from most of the easier-to-get-into schools, accepted to one of the more competitive ones and wait-listed at another. I know someone a few years ago who applied to 15 places and the ONLY school that accepted them was Wisc-Mad (think I remember the same or something similar happening to someone on this board).
     

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