Justanothergrad

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Interesting step. Glad to see they're doing this. We needed things to help stem the issue of unaccredited programs. I don't think this fixes the issue as many poor programs are still able to gain accreditation, but still. It's a step.

APPIC would like to provide this reminder about important changes to the APPIC Match that will affect students from non-accredited doctoral programs two years from now, beginning with the 2017-18 application cycle which culminates in the 2018 APPIC Match. These changes were announced in 2013 but not scheduled to take effect until the 2017-18 application cycle. The changes described here will have no impact on any student’s participation in the current (2015-16) or next year’s (2016-17) application cycles.

In 2013, the APA Council of Representatives passed the “Resolution for Programs that Prepare Psychologists to Provide Health Services” (links to the resolution and FAQs are provided below), which stated that doctoral programs that train health service psychologists should be accredited within five years of the resolution. In conjunction with that resolution, APPIC established a policy on Doctoral Program Associates (see link below) which states that, effective with the 2018 APPIC Match (i.e., the 2017-18 application cycle) for internship positions beginning in 2018 or after, doctoral programs must meet any one of the following criteria in order for their students to participate in the APPIC Match or Post-Match Vacancy Service (PMVS):

1. The doctoral program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). Regional or state accreditation or designation by any other entity is insufficient to meet this criterion; or

2. The doctoral program is not accredited but has been granted an initial accreditation site visit by APA or CPA. Students enrolled in such programs may participate in only the two Match and PMVS cycles that immediately follow the date that the program is notified of the site visit, and are eligible for placement at APPIC-member internship programs only during this period, unless and until the program achieves accreditation; or

3. The doctoral program is a re-specialization program in which the underlying doctoral program is accredited or in the process of gaining accreditation, as outlined in the preceding two paragraphs. A respecialization program offers training for individuals who already hold a doctoral degree in psychology in one area and who wish to change their specialty.

Thus, students who are matriculating through doctoral programs that don’t meet any of the above criteria by the 2017-18 application cycle will not be permitted to participate in the APPIC Match or PMVS, nor will they be permitted to attend an internship at an APPIC-member program beginning in 2018.

APPIC is invested in ensuring that students who attend non-accredited doctoral programs are informed of these important changes to ensure that they plan accordingly. Directors of Clinical Training of non-accredited doctoral programs are asked to ensure that their students understand these changes and to make this information available in the program’s public materials. Questions or concerns about this policy may be directed to the APPIC Chair, Dr. Jenny Cornish, at [email protected] .
 
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I think it's an unfair move for new programs who are in the APA-approval process, especially when many professional programs have lowered their standards and are flooding the applicant pool.
 

irish80122

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I think it's an unfair move for new programs who are in the APA-approval process, especially when many professional programs have lowered their standards and are flooding the applicant pool.
APA is about to implement the new Standards of Accreditation (SoA, aka the rules to get accredited) and they include something called contingent accreditation for new programs. This is where a program may apply for accreditation without all of the long-term data (such as having students on internship, dissertations, etc.) that is currently required for APA accreditation. Because of this, new programs should be able to become contingently accredited before students apply for internship.

With the change, it actually makes it more fair for new programs. As many know, I am a DCT at a fairly new program, and we have our students applying for internship for the first time this year. It is amazing the number of internships that have told us that they won't consider our students because we are not yet accredited despite being a R1 state university. I wish the SoA was in force now, I would have applied under it so that my students would have the benefit of applying from an accredited program. As it is, this year will be a bit tougher, but soon it will be fixed for us and other new programs, which is awesome.
 

MCParent

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APA is about to implement the new Standards of Accreditation (SoA, aka the rules to get accredited) and they include something called contingent accreditation for new programs. This is where a program may apply for accreditation without all of the long-term data (such as having students on internship, dissertations, etc.) that is currently required for APA accreditation. Because of this, new programs should be able to become contingently accredited before students apply for internship.
Is contingent status being applied to doctoral programs? Last I heard it was not going to be; only internships. They could have changed it though.
 

bmedclinic

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Looking forward to this. I think this is a good Step 1. Then, increase requirements via SoA that make these shoddy programs no longer profitable... and honestly, you'll likely have taken care of your imbalance, I'd think.
 

AcronymAllergy

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Agreed, and I appreciate their inclusion criteria 2 because it A) allows new programs the opportunity to participate in the APPIC match, but B) places a significant time restriction on the criteria.

Although my disillusioned/pessimistic side wonders if perhaps the affected or endangered programs may just decide to eschew APPIC participation (e.g., for CAPIC or something similar), and then throw a bunch of lobbyist money around to adjust licensing standards accordingly.
 

PsyDr

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Love it.

But my money is on an alternative to APPIC being made by these schools.
 

cara susanna

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I think it's too little, too late. Better than nothing though.
 
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MCParent

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With the new SoA contingent comes to doctoral programs.
Are you totally sure about that? I just got the email with the call for public comments and it only lists
  • “Accredited, on Contingency” IR for Internship Programs
  • “Accredited, on Contingency” IR for Postdoctoral Programs
Not doctoral programs.

I might have just been out of the loop not being in governance now, but I thought doc program contingency was taken off the table years ago....
 

AcronymAllergy

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Are you totally sure about that? I just got the email with the call for public comments and it only lists
  • “Accredited, on Contingency” IR for Internship Programs
  • “Accredited, on Contingency” IR for Postdoctoral Programs
Not doctoral programs.

I might have just been out of the loop not being in governance now, but I thought doc program contingency was taken off the table years ago....
It would be a bummer if so, as I've felt for some time now that's an area APA needs to address/remedy.
 

MCParent

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It would be a bummer if so, as I've felt for some time now that's an area APA needs to address/remedy.
I think contingent accreditation for doc programs had been taken off the table bc people were suggesting we did not need for doc programs to be accredited faster, only internships and post-docs.

They could very well have added doc programs back; I just never heard about it.
 
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Am I missing something here? I was under the impression that in order to be awarded a site visit, you had to have students placed on internship. Now, in order to have your students be eligible for internship, you have to have a site visit scheduled? If both of those statements were true, that would effectively kill the possibility of any new doctoral programs, no?
 

DynamicDidactic

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Now, in order to have your students be eligible for internship, you have to have a site visit scheduled? ?
this is not what is happening.

this is applicable to APPIC process only. If a new program is not accredited, they can still have students go to internship, just not through APPIC. This change places responsibility on the programs to find internship opportunities for their students. Up till now, the onus has fallen on the students and the programs could admit students without having to take into consideration whether the program can prepare competitive interns. Now, a new program has to add that to their calculus.

It seems we are unsure whether contingent accreditation for doctoral programs will become a designation. I am unsure which side I fall on for this change. I can definitely see the disadvantages and the barrier that not having this designation creates. I think at this point, I would want to see new programs be very, very prepared for the rigor needed to become accredited. That means getting students and being able to find them internships 5 years later. At that point, the program can have the reward of being accredited and be allowed to use APPIC. Otherwise, we have a greater chance of creating shoddy programs interested in tuition $ rather than the preparedness of their students.
 

irish80122

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Are you totally sure about that? I just got the email with the call for public comments and it only lists
  • “Accredited, on Contingency” IR for Internship Programs
  • “Accredited, on Contingency” IR for Postdoctoral Programs
Not doctoral programs.

I might have just been out of the loop not being in governance now, but I thought doc program contingency was taken off the table years ago....
I am positive. Note that the IR for doctoral contingency is under public comment now. This is going to happen. http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/newsletter/2015/05/public-comment.aspx

EDIT: For those of you who don't speak APA, IR stands for implementing regulations. There are the accreditation rules, which are listed either in the old G&P or the new SoA, and then the IRs tell you how to implement those rules. For those who want more info, here is the approved draft of the Accreditation Operating Procedures (AOP) that were up for public comment a year ago. They outline the procedure for contingent accreditation http://apps.apa.org/AccredComment/attachments/Accreditation Operating Procedures_Approved 62015.pdf.
 
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MCParent

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I am positive. Note that the IR for doctoral contingency is under public comment now. This is going to happen. http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/newsletter/2015/05/public-comment.aspx

EDIT: For those of you who don't speak APA, IR stands for implementing regulations. There are the accreditation rules, which are listed either in the old G&P or the new SoA, and then the IRs tell you how to implement those rules. For those who want more info, here is the approved draft of the Accreditation Operating Procedures (AOP) that were up for public comment a year ago. They outline the procedure for contingent accreditation http://apps.apa.org/AccredComment/attachments/Accreditation Operating Procedures_Approved 62015.pdf.
Oh, gotcha. Not at all that I didn't believe you, it was just that a few years ago this was expressly OFF the table. Odd that it came back. Good for new programs but good for the for-profits too, unfortunately.
 

irish80122

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No worries, I don't mind the checking in. I should have cited my sources earlier :). I think that the rule that you must be from an accredited program to be in the match is what forced contingency being an option for new programs.

Regardless, I don't think new programs are the issue (though I am biased as DCT at one of them). We take 4-6 students per year in the state with the fewest psychologists per capita in the US. I think what would help the situation is to put a greater emphasis on students being funded. If programs only accepted the students that they could fund that would go a long way. Then again, can you imagine how selective clinical psych programs would be then? We are a new, not yet accredited program in a rural area and we already have an acceptance rate of 22%! I don't know how the programs that get 300-400 applications decide who to take.
 
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this is not what is happening.

this is applicable to APPIC process only. If a new program is not accredited, they can still have students go to internship, just not through APPIC. This change places responsibility on the programs to find internship opportunities for their students. Up till now, the onus has fallen on the students and the programs could admit students without having to take into consideration whether the program can prepare competitive interns. Now, a new program has to add that to their calculus.

It seems we are unsure whether contingent accreditation for doctoral programs will become a designation. I am unsure which side I fall on for this change. I can definitely see the disadvantages and the barrier that not having this designation creates. I think at this point, I would want to see new programs be very, very prepared for the rigor needed to become accredited. That means getting students and being able to find them internships 5 years later. At that point, the program can have the reward of being accredited and be allowed to use APPIC. Otherwise, we have a greater chance of creating shoddy programs interested in tuition $ rather than the preparedness of their students.
Well sure, you can go outside APPIC, but it gets a lot harder to place all of your students. Those non-APA, non-APPIC internships are surely not up to par with what is available through APPIC, meaning that these students from not-yet-accredited programs are theoretically getting (relatively) inferior training on internship. So, reduced access to internship placements and reduced quality of training will lead to poorer outcomes and make it a much harder road to licensure.

Admittedly I have a personal bias in this subject as I graduated from a newlly-formed, recently accredited PhD program. Let me tell you, it's an uphill battle at every stage of the process so I'm a little leery of increased restrictions. I'm totally on board with the push to get rid of the diploma-mills, but I'd hope that the process of doing that doesn't also harm well-trained students who happen to come from newly formed programs.
 
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