Board of Psychology(CA) Approved Clinical - licensing program

Sep 12, 2014
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Hi all,

It is so nice to find this forum where I can discuss my questions with some of you. :)
Let me briefly introduce myself first. I received a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from one of the UC schools last year. I currently work as an educational researcher/program evaluator. Since I graduated from my program, I have been thinking of moving toward clinical psychology and becoming a licensed child clinician in the future. However, I don't wish to go over another 4-5 years graduate program - clinical programs usually accredited by APA. So I started to search for online programs. I found a number of Board of Psychology (BOP in CA) approved programs-programs qualify their students for BOP regulated license test. I applied the one that is near my home. The program will take me about 3 years to complete as a part-time student and cost about 20,000$. I can afford the tuition as long as I attend the school part-time. Once I reach the stage when I need to do my internships, I can quit my job. This is my plan.

However, I have a few questions about BOP approved program. I truly appreciate your time and help on this.

1. If I want to become a child clinician in the future, should I focus my internship on child-related issues only?
Or what is the best way to pursue this area of expertise? How should I prepare for this?

2.From my understanding of APA-accredited programs and BOP approved programs, students enrolled BOP approved programs cannot look for jobs/internships at Federal level, but can find a job/an internship at CA state and county level. Is it highly competitive find an internship at state/county/local schools/local hospitals with BOP approved training? Or if I am looking for an internship at state/county/local schools with BOP approved training, what is the best way to solve this issue?

3. Does anyone know any facilities/organizations around San Diego will provide internships for students with BOP approved training?

The above questions are very specific. If you don't know the answers and still want to share your thoughts about BOP approved programs and APA accredited program, you welcome to do so. I would be happy to hear your opinions. Again, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me.
 

cara susanna

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Go APA-accredited or nothing. Internship you have to go though a match process and in several years students from non-APA programs will be barred from participating in it.
 

AcronymAllergy

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I would agree with cara susana on this one. While you're in a fairly uncommon situation by coming in with a doctorate in another field of psychology, the APA standards (especially at the grad school level) exist for a reason. I know a few folks who switched over from other areas while in school (Developmental and Bio in particular); none saved much time with respect to their coursework, but all have stated that this was expected and they were grateful this was the case, as otherwise they may not have been truly prepared and adequately trained.

To generally address your questions:

1) Most folks will have worked with both kiddos and adults while in grad school (although will often have focused largely on one or the other), and will then begin to narrow that done more while on internship. I honestly can't definitively say it's the norm for the kiddo folks to typically find child-oriented internships, but I'd be surprised if this weren't the case.

2 & 3) Pretty much everything (internships, postdocs, and jobs) is competitive in CA when it comes to psychology, and having a non-accredited internship isn't going to help. I'm not sure about state/county jobs, but I'd imagine you could search for some of those online and see what sorts of training credentials are required. I'd be surprised if, while they may allow for APPIC/CAPIC-member internships (rather than APA-accredited), they didn't require APA accreditation at the grad school level, as that's essentially become a universal requirement for most jobs.
 
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Thank you for all your answers. The reasons I selected a BOP approved program are: 1) I already have a non-clinical Ph.D in Psychology and I knew how to do research (even if I don't know, I can pick it up quickly by reading top-journal papers/books); 2) BOP requires a clinical psychology degree if I want to apply clinical-related internships; and 3) the online program is cost-efficient. I currently make about 55,000$ a year. If I go to a APA accredited school, I have to quit my job and loan moneys to pay for my tuition. After a couple of years, I will be in approximately 100,000$ debts. And I cannot guarantee that I will land a clinical job with a decent pay after graduation. Anyway, I am not trying to argue with any of you that I have made a best choice. After going over a number of posts in this forum, I realized that I may not know clinical-related things well. I am open to different thoughts and opinions to determine if I should continue the online program. After all, I could still get a job using my Ph.D. degree.
 

cara susanna

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Like I said, the issue is that in several years, people from non-APA programs will not be allowed to participate in the Match. Coming from a non-APPIC internship is likely going to hurt you. And as AA said, those local or state jobs may require having attended an APA-accredited program, even if they don't require an APA-accredited internship.
 
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With the research background that you have, you should be able to get a well-funded clinical PhD spot, I would think. Which would mean that your tuition would be low and you would likely get some stipend for teaching or being an RA. A BOP online doctorate is probably going to close more doors than it opens especially as the field continues to clamp down on the proliferation of diploma mills. A doctorate from a UC school is highly respected in the field, those online "doctoral" programs are at the bottom of the barrel. I really don't know why the BOP in Cali even says they meet their criteria. Also, you would probably not be able to ever practice in another state without APA accreditation.
 

modestmousktr

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I don't know a lot about this path, as I'm just getting my master's degree, but wouldn't OP be a good candidate for a clinical respecialization program? They are housed in programs which offer Clinical Psych Ph.D.s and I think they are oriented for people with doctorates in social psych, developmental psych, etc, who would like to become clinical psychologists. I would imagine they are shorter in length than a typical Ph.D. because they take into account you already have a doctorate. Again, I don't know much about this.

http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/respecialization.aspx

Of all the schools listed, the ones that are not professional schools and also have great reputations, that typically offer stipends to students are:
University of Hawaii
Suffolk University
University of Massachusetts
University of Missouri-Saint Louis
Fairleigh Dickinson University (I interviewed here, it is only 50% tuition remission)
 
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Hi smalltownpsch,

In fact, I don't care about getting another Ph.D. in clinical psych, as I already have one. Gaining a BOP approved online degree, in my opinion, may serve as an entrance for me to apply internships and take the license exam in CA.
However, I have the same doubts as yours. If more and more hiring places are looking for someone with APA accredited schools and internships, why BOP in California approve the online Ph.D. clinical program in the first place?
I sent the BOP an email last Friday and asked them about this question. Hopefully I will get some answers from them. If not, I will call them next week to clarify my questions about the approved online Ph.D. clinical program.
 
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Hi, modestmousktr,

Thank you for your information. I don't know anything about this either Unfortunately, the BOP online program I plan to attend is not on the APA specialization program lists.
Hopefully someone who have known the specialized programs could share his or her thoughts.
 

psycscientist

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Doing a practice-oriented degree online is a pretty bad idea. There is no quality control on practicums, etc. You will basically be setting yourself up to only be able to do private practice. It's very unlikely that medical centers and hospitals will hire someone with an online clinical degree (regardless of whether you have another research Ph.D.) and you would be automatically eliminated from federal employment. Online is even more bottom of the barrel than Argosy, Alliant, etc., so you would be setting yourself up to have the least competitive credentials when it comes to getting a clinical job.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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So....do you have clinical experience (e.g. talk therapy, assessment, etc) already? If not, I'm not sure how an online program will be sufficient.

*edit*

It looks like psycscientist beat me to my point...online training in this area is wholly inadequate and almost universally looked down upon within the field.
 
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Hi, psycscientist,

You also spoke of my concerns. Although the program is cost- and time-efficient, I worry that I will waste my money on the program. Because I don't have any clinical experience, so I plan to attend one to gain knowledge and experiences in clinical field. The program I plan to attend offers a majority of their classes on campus, usually on Fridays or Saturdays. A few classes were offered online because the teaching faculties are outside Southern California. The program does not help students find any internships. I have talked a few of their alumni about where to find internships, some provided me the names of the places giving them internship hours, and some suggested that I just need to beg harder.
 
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Ollie123

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I'd also strongly recommend a respecialization program over the other types of programs you are looking at. Respecialization programs were created specifically for folks in your situation. You don't want to ruin what I presume is at least a reasonably legitimate-looking CV with an unaccredited clinical program, not to mention the fact that there are serious questions about whether such programs adequately prepare people to practice at all.

What are you considering is akin to someone with a PhD in computer science from MIT considering going back for a degree in "technology" from Devry.
 
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Hi Ollie123,

You made me laugh when you said "What are you considering is akin to someone with a PhD in computer science from MIT considering going back for a degree in "technology" from Devry." :)
 
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I just want to say thank you so much for all of your responses and information. I enjoyed chatting with all of you and appreciated your time and help. :)
 

OneNeuroDoctor

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You need to go through one of the re specialization programs. Check with the licensing board. Sometimes you just need to do an internship rather than take additional courses.

A friend of mine had an MS in clinical and a PhD in Experimental Psychology and the Board let him do an internship and he is licensed in Clinical Psychology. He had a very high EPPP score and that helped.
 

erg923

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You need to go through one of the re specialization programs. Check with the licensing board. Sometimes you just need to do an internship rather than take additional courses.

A friend of mine had an MS in clinical and a PhD in Experimental Psychology and the Board let him do an internship and he is licensed in Clinical Psychology. He had a very high EPPP score and that helped.

This doesn't make any sense. 1.) A state board psychology has nothing with granting permission to apply for or complete a predoctoral internship. An intenrship program still had to take him in the match. 2) EPPP score doesnt help one get an internship
 

OneNeuroDoctor

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I guess there may be some variability depending upon states. His university was involved with a teaching Hospital that had an APA accredited internship so he did his internship there as they had openings.

This was 25 years ago so it may be difficult now with the shortage of internships.
 

AcronymAllergy

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I guess there may be some variability depending upon states. His university was involved with a teaching Hospital that had an APA accredited internship so he did his internship there as they had openings.

This was 25 years ago so it may be difficult now with the shortage of internships.

Yeah, my guess would be that things have changed markedly. My understanding is that 25 years ago, not only was the internship situation much different, but so was the re-certification process (I honestly don't even know if formal such programs existed back then). In general, I get the feeling that licensing as a whole as a bi tmore lax. Given the (very slow) move toward universal training standards, as well as the initiation of the APPIC match process and the competitiveness of internships, I'd be surprised if such a path were available today.
 

erg923

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I guess there may be some variability depending upon states. His university was involved with a teaching Hospital that had an APA accredited internship so he did his internship there as they had openings.

This was 25 years ago so it may be difficult now with the shortage of internships.

Might have been important to qualify you statement with that tidbit, as the training and internship landscape is markedly different than it was in the late 80s...
 

DynamicDidactic

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Sue, as others have said, what you are mentioning will likely be a waste of time for you. Respecialization program is really your best option.

I am also unsure what this BOP approved online programs provide? Will it let you be a licensed psychologist? If yes, you would probably only be able to find a poor internship that wont pay you. You need to add that year and debt accumulation (since internship will be full time) into your timeline. Afterward you would only be able to get a license in CA and not be hireable for the vast majority of jobs.

On the other hand, a reputable respecialization program from an accredited program would allow you to be competitive for accredited/paid internships and provide much more job opportunities.
 
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