PhD/PsyD Is it appropriate for me to address non-APA accredited clinical/counseling psych programs as "degree mills"?

Jun 6, 2019
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I am an international student. Now, I decided to write some articles to tell the public in my country that this kind of non-APA accreditated program is not acceptable. Is it appropriate for me to address non-APA accredited clinical/counseling psych programs as "degree mills"?

Background:

Recently, I have found a person from my country goes to a non-APA accredited clinical psych program, which emphasizes "mind, body, and spirituality." The description of this "clinical psychology" program makes me feel I am reading about anything but clinical psychology.

In my country, the training system of clinical psychologists is not fully developed yet, and people who attend clinical psych doctoral programs in the U.S. are highly valued. Thus, I think now some people are beginning to game the system by attending some no threshold "clinical psychology doctoral programs" in the U.S., and then go back to my country by "getting gilded."

I just can't imagine these people will go back to my country, brag they were trained rigorously in the U.S., and practice clinical psychology.
 

AcronymAllergy

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The primary exception to applying the term to all non-accredited programs is that it would also include new programs that may offer great training, but that haven't yet been accredited.

Outside of those situations, it may be accurate, particularly if the programs also have large class sizes, lax academic standards, poor outcomes for its graduates, and high tuition.
 
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WisNeuro

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Agree with @AcronymAllergy , you'd have to add a bit of nuance regarding newer programs, particularly those within an existing reputable university setting.

Additionally, degree mills are not just unaccredited programs, we have plenty of degree mills that are accredited.
 
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ClinicalABA

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Agree with the above. Technically/traditionally, however, degree mills don't really require much effort- you just pay and get the diploma. Some of these non-accredited programs actually do require some work for the largely useless degree.

I'd suggest using more precise language- refer to them as "non-accredited programs that are unlikely to qualify grads for licensure." If you're writing scientific prose, avoid vague or colloquial terms.
 
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Sanman

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Agree with @AcronymAllergy , you'd have to add a bit of nuance regarding newer programs, particularly those within an existing reputable university setting.

Additionally, degree mills are not just unaccredited programs, we have plenty of degree mills that are accredited.

True, otherwise I imagine PCSAS would have thoughts about this.
 
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Jun 6, 2019
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Thanks, everyone, I appreciate your help!

So far, I have rephrased the sentence as "Please avoid those non-APA and non-PCSAS programs which are unlikely to qualify grads for psychologist licensure. Also, please be careful about therapists from those programs."

How does this sound?
 
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Justanothergrad

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That sounds good. I would suggest adding something akin to 'Even in instances where unaccredited programs are able to have graduates become licensed, students who graduate from non-accredited programs (either APA or PCSAS) faced increased scrutiny and difficulty in doing so with both licensure boards, as well as qualifying national exams qualifying them for practice.".
 
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That sounds good. I would suggest adding something akin to 'Even in instances where unaccredited programs are able to have graduates become licensed, students who graduate from non-accredited programs (either APA or PCSAS) faced increased scrutiny and difficulty in doing so with both licensure boards, as well as qualifying national exams qualifying them for practice.".
Thank you for your suggestion, It will be a more thorough and convincing statement.
 
Jun 6, 2019
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Agree with @AcronymAllergy , you'd have to add a bit of nuance regarding newer programs, particularly those within an existing reputable university setting.

Additionally, degree mills are not just unaccredited programs, we have plenty of degree mills that are accredited.
Thank you for your advice. I can see even some APA-accredited programs have horrible outcomes. I will distinguish them later. But first, I would like to inform the public where the threshold should be.
 
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chicandtoughness

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I would just address them as "not APA accredited". I'm thinking specifically of some programs that just don't align with APA standards (ahem, Saybrook, Regent, Pacifica), but they're not "diploma mills" per se because they do require a significant amount of work, have some form of dissertation, etc. Saybrook and Pacifica in particular is for people who align with very specific theoretical orientations. I know a psychologist who went to Pacifica and dose Jungian analysis. He's a very good psychologist who paid his dues appropriately.
 
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