Rage Against the Machine

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by kibbles_n_bits, 09.21.14.

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  1. kibbles_n_bits

    kibbles_n_bits

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    The faculty at my program (a very well respected research based program) informed us that they will likely not seek APA accreditation moving forward. My program, along with a few others, feel like we don't need APA accreditation since some states are starting to recognize PCSAS along with the VA system, so our programs should capitalize on the momentum and spearhead this shift.

    I am a first year, having just started last month, so this would potentially affect me quite a bit. I agree change needs to happen but I am certainly feeling worried about what this will mean for me when I join the workforce.

    What are your thoughts?
     
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  3. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    Not a smart move. Will likely adversely affect you, as the change will move slowly.
     
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  4. Rivi

    Rivi 7+ Year Member

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    To be clear, your program is currently APA-accredited, but is considering switching to PCSAS?

    This seems really, really risky to me. Not having APA accreditation will hurt you much more than PCSAS accreditation will help you. PCSAS doesn't have much recognition currently, both by employers and licensing boards. If they do gain recognition, which I don't think will never happen on a major scale, it will be 10-20 years from now at the earliest IMHO.
     
  5. kibbles_n_bits

    kibbles_n_bits

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    Yes, we are currently accredited.

    So, even considering that I come from a top 6 program (US News ranking), with top of their field faculty and all of their connections, I can still be vulnerable? My understanding is that most states don't require APA accreditation, as long as you've completed APA-equivalent requirements.
     
  6. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof 5+ Year Member

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    This change has benefits and risks, I am very happy to see this starting up. However, I also recognize it may be a little hasty. Research heavy clinical science programs do not really need APA accreditation. The name and reputation make their graduates very competitive for research positions (e.g., University of Chicago is not accredited period). However, it limits graduates from those programs for clinical positions (and particularly internships).

    I would encourage your program to delay the shift until the an incoming class of students knows that they will not have accreditation upon graduation before acceptance into the program. Meaning that if accreditation will expire before your class graduates would be inappropriate because you were not properly informed before your acceptance. However, as long as any new students understand the potential of expired accreditation then its completely appropriate. Actually, I would champion such a change.
     
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  7. MCParent

    MCParent Bronze Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Until the VA and federal systems recognizing it is on paper and 100% confirmed (and, ideally, a set of PCSAS people does through VA internships), it sounds like a bad a idea to me and jumping the gun.

    This doesn't really make sense; it's not a clinical or counseling program so it's not accredited, just like no social or cognitive psych programs need to be accredited (or, even can be; there's no mechanism to even do it).
     
  8. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

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    I would agree that it seems hasty. I like the idea of the message it sends (i.e., "APA, we're well-respected, we disagree with what you're doing, and we don't need you"), but I don't think it's fair to current students to forego accreditation when it was (inherently) understood that they were accredited when you accepted your admission offer.

    As for whether it will adversely affect you, depends on your career goals. I don't know of many/any states that explicitly require APA accreditation of grad programs, but there can be a lot of hoops to jump through if the licensing board doesn't accept PCSAS as equivalent to APA. Things like needing to list out all of your courses, along with summarizing content and possibly providing syllabi; documenting all supervision provided and in which settings; etc.
     
  9. CheetahGirl

    CheetahGirl Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Rage against the machine...indeed.

    Are you funded by your program or is it a for-profit institution? That would also affect my ultimate decisions on ''should I stay or should I go now' - w/ The Clash right back at you ;).

    In fact, I would rally your fellow first-yrs together...request an ad hoc meeting with the program director to informally say 'What's going on, serusly?' :wtf:, but in a polite, mature manner and ask about the implications for your career prospects. And I would be so bold as to ask "hypothetically, if one were to decide personally against the program change, would the program write you a gleaming reference letter if you wanted to transfer out/apply to an APA accred program (not that you will, but add'l info is key to making an informed decision, esp. if you feel deceived by this new info).
     
    Last edited: 09.21.14
  10. kibbles_n_bits

    kibbles_n_bits

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    In fairness, during the interview process, my advisor mentioned this was something that had been talked about. I wanted to work with this person and I had confidence in the reputation of the program. It wasn't clear that this was going to happen right away and that it would impact my cohort so I was surprised when it was brought up during our first departmental meeting. Now that it seems pretty official, of course I am second-guessing everything. I primarily want to work in academia but it was nice to have a plan b in clinical work, especially with how few academic positions there are.
     
  11. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    This could backfire as we are aware of students filing class action lawsuits against programs including faculty. There needs to be some sort of interim phase allowing current students to graduate. You probably would have accepted admissions to a different program, had they made this disclosure to your cohort.
     
  12. QAsPsych

    QAsPsych

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    I would not particularly care to have my career put on the line as the guinea pig for this so my program can be "at the forefront" of any kind of change. Of course I think PCSAS accreditation is built around ideas worse than those of the APA, so that may cloud my judgment. But I don't think so. I think I would hate it because it would be my career and my livelihood on the line, not the university or the department.
     
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  13. CheetahGirl

    CheetahGirl Clinical Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I'd second-guess this move also...but make sure it's not buyer's remorse...like, if you knew about it, and now you're in, don't get cold feet, just make the best of it.. at your Top 6 school. If they are funding you, it may be good to just go more academic/less clinical (b/c who is monitoring your ability to treat clients/patients now!?...externships placement sites? Will they take you from an non-accred program...and did someone say you had shoe-in placements to VAs?? - go after those placements for sure, if so) and make sure you are a TA...so you get some teaching experience in...it is your Plan A, right? And seek out/publish your academic research/work regardless...helps with all other stages.

    Good luck! :luck:
     
  14. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof 5+ Year Member

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    Its a nontraditional program in that sense. University of Chicago has a person every once in a while go out for accredited internships and earn a degree to qualify for licensure. A few years ago my old internship accepted one of their students (as they did for Harvard before accreditation). You can also check APPIC to see that whenever this happens the students get APA accredited internships. As we know, this is a research heavy program and one that would fit the model of PCSAS.
     
  15. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    With no previous practicum training? How is that possible? How is it ethical, actually?
     
  16. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof 5+ Year Member

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    The students get clinical training. The program is just not called "clinical" psychology.
     
  17. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    I have known of newly developed doctoral programs who only accept students who already have the MS degree for their initial cohorts. Since the students already have met their practicum requirements in their MS degree and their MS Thesis they accept this research as their dissertation. They then may complete coursework and teach classes before doing internships. The programs I have seen do this are normally counseling and school psychology programs that develop the doctoral program from their already establish MS/EdS programs.

    Some combined and some new clinical program do this for their initial cohorts. Usually the students already hold MS level licensure.

    One of the interns in my internship cohort had his MS in counseling and he was the first student accepted into their university new PhD Counseling Psychology. He mostly took administrative classes and taught MS level courses but did not have any additional practicum and did not have any psychological evaluation courses before applying for internship. Being a MS counseling program prior to doctoral program initiation they had to hire faculty with psychological testing training. Thus, he had to learn IQ, Achievement, and personality testing during internship, and this was a problem. He finally graduated a year and a half later and he recently applied for postdoctoral supervision after returning to his program to take the evaluation course that were now being taught.

    Many of the research oriented clinical psychology program continue to focus on research/teaching with limited practicum placement and some programs have all of the practicums on campus rather than in the field with practicum supervisors being only faculty members. So their first out of program supervisor is during internship.
     
  18. cara susanna

    cara susanna 7+ Year Member

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    Isn't APPIC going to bar students from non-APA programs from participating in the match in several years?
     
  19. Ollie123

    Ollie123 7+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure I'd say "many"...this seems incredibly rare and neither my program nor any other one I know operates that way. I do know 1-2 people who graduated having only received supervision from faculty, but it was deliberate on their part and some actually did occur in the field (vs. a department clinic).
     
  20. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    So. many. Stories.
     
  21. kibbles_n_bits

    kibbles_n_bits

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    Where did you get this idea? My research oriented clinical program has amazing practicum opportunities, supervisors who are in the field (not faculty members), and have externship opportunities at some of the best facilities in the country. I'm a first year so I haven't started clinical work just yet, but the more advanced students in my program have received excellent clinical training.

    Weird.
     
  22. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller 7+ Year Member

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    I'm just curious about this, because it seems strange. Is the program you're talking about housed in the psychology department? The psych department there grants degrees in developmental, social, cognitive, and integrative neuroscience--all of which seem to be pure research disciplines. Is it the integrative neuroscience students who are getting some clinical training? It just doesn't seem ethical that a person could be licensed as a psychologist without completing the requisite coursework and practical experience inherent in the applied psychology programs. A person with such a degree should be required to do a re-specialization if they want to become licensed. Not saying you're incorrect with your information at all, just kinda miffed if anyone is taking this back door into becoming a licensed psychologist--even if the back door is also competitive.

    Anyway, a degree in a non-applied field should not be equated with a research-heavy degree in clinical or counseling psych. Students from the latter do not focus on research at the exclusion of clinical training.
     
  23. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    This was my question as well. Who is teaching them the requuired ethics course? Who is teaching them assessment and basic theories of conseling/psychotherapy. Is the program really able to tailor and arrange all this at will/wishes of the student? What exactly is in it for the program?
     
  24. MCParent

    MCParent Bronze Donor 2+ Year Member

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    The recent appic pdf has two people listed as having applied in the years covered, and says the program is a "clinical phd."
     
  25. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof 5+ Year Member

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    Unfortunately, all I know is there are indeed students from UofC getting clinical psychology training and go out for internship. I have no further details about how the programs is structured and where it is actually housed. I have no idea about the quality of the training or the prerequisite courses. All I know is that they do indeed get practicum experience and go out for accredited internships. From the information I have received in the year I spent in Chicago I assumed that students applied to one of the research programs but went above and beyond to receive the requisite training necessary to make it to internship. Conversely, there are a few research heavy programs around the country that allow clinical students to leave with a research degree (e.g., personality psych) instead of fulfilling the clinical/internship portion of the degree.
     
    Last edited: 09.24.14
  26. swolecat

    swolecat 2+ Year Member

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    What is the APA doing that is causing schools to move away from seeking it's accreditation? A link would be great ( I don't know enough to search for it effectively apparently)
     
  27. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    It accredites schools that suck.
     
  28. deadmau5

    deadmau5 5+ Year Member

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    but they are already accredited so, the APA one won't expire for some time. maybe the higher-ups will change their mind by then and stick with APA.

    this situation is weird because once you have accred., isn't very easy to just get renewed lol. the hardest part is obtaining APA accred. for the first time.
     
  29. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Yeah, I'm with others, this is not true in the slightest sense. Myself and many of my colleagues are from R1's and some of the prac opportunities have been amazing. All of our prac's were off-site outside of the campus clinic. Our supervising faculty still saw patients on a part-time basis as well.
     

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