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What is the advantage of APA accreditation in Texas

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Fixer, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Fixer

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    Can someone please explain to me the advantage of attending an APA accredited PhD program in Texas?

    Is accreditation even required for licensure as a psychologist in Texas?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. edieb

    edieb Senior Member
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    You should contact the Texas Psychological Association for such a specific question.
     
  4. docma

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    You definitely should check directly with the Texas Board of Psychology for current requirements. Most states do NOT require APA-accredited internship for licensure; Mississippi and Oklahoma do require it. So the majority of states accept APPIC, CAPIC or other if the site completes a form that confirms "equivalency" with APA.

    The APA issue can be relevant for specific jobs however. The VAs all require an APA internship and some academic positions make it a requirement. There is excellent information on the APPIC website (#17 under FAQs).

    It is your responsiblity as the student to check specifically about license jurisdictions that matter to you; do not trust internet "advice" or even summaries of requirements because changes happen (the ASPPB site sometimes is not accurate for example).

    It can be worth it to go to a non-APA site when it definitely fits your needs and interests (eg: special area, geographical need, etc) and there are many quality sites that simply cannot afford APA accreditations costs but provide excellent training (and employment). So there are some risks taking that path in terms of foreclosing some future opportunities, but the risk could be worth it for the path you are on. Good sites will be happy to anwer your questions about this and talk about where their graduates have gone on to work and be licensed.
     
  5. GiantSteps

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    Well, sometimes one would need something to fall back on in Texas if one's gun failed. Oil, guns, cowboy hats, football, the Bush family, and now APA accreditation. Texas has gone too far!
     
  6. Fixer

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    Is this post helpful? Does it make sense?
     
  7. cara susanna

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    I suppose it does if you think making fun of Texas is helpful.

    Plus George W. Bush was actually born in Connecticut...
     
  8. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    Giant steps post is a joke. people laugh at them, usually.

    you could just read the rules of the board which are posted publicly online and determine for yourself.


    APA accreditation is important in general because:

    1) it provides some assurances of basic core requirements being met which helps with the licensure process. read your state's board rules to learn why.

    2) allows you to become board certified

    3) garners a degree of respect from your peers

    4) places you higher up the rankings for internship match (you should probably learn about match, it's pretty helpful to realize there are only like 13 internships in texas and that you would be competing against UT, A&M, baylor, tech students, etc).

    5) if your school is not accredited, i would be wary about their clinical training. the only program i can think of in texas without apa cred is argosy-dallas, which has it's own pluses and minuses. read the boards to see.

    6) if you are thinking about doing an online degree, DON'T.
     
  9. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow
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    The thought of getting a doctorate online is baffling to me....

    I suppose one question is what if you had to move from Texas to a state that requires an APA program for licensure?
     
  10. Fixer

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    I agree. The online doctorate doesn't make any sense to me either. I was looking at SMU and I dont think they are accredited at this time.

    So as I understand it thus far the advantages of APA accreditation (in Texas) are:

    1. If you want to be licensed in a state (other than Texas) which requires an APA accreditation one would need to attend an APA accredited program.
    *and the states that require APA accreditation are Missippi and Oklahoma
    *don't most (all?) states have reciprocity after a certain number of years of lisensure and full time practice

    2. Some specific employers require a degree from an accredited program

    3. respect from your peers

    4. places you higher up the rankings for APA internship match
    *APA accredited internship is important why?

    What else? What impact does any of this have on those entering private practice?
     
  11. KillerDiller

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    I'm sure there are those on this board who know more about this subject than I do, but I'll give it a shot. Getting an APA accredited internship is important because, once again, it is required for certain licenses and also certain jobs. I think there are states beyond Oklahoma and Mississippi that require an APA accredited internship for licensure, but I'm not entirely sure about that. Definitely if you want to work for the government in any capacity, you would need an APA accredited internship. Beyond that, I know there are many states that require you to prove that your internship site and program provided approximately equivalent training to those accredited by the APA. Demonstrating this can be logistically difficult and require a lot of jumping through hoops (in some cases, not all).

    I've seen lots of people say they want to go into private practice and thus they think it doesn't matter as much what training they get. However, keep in mind that unless you want your clients to pay out of pocket (trust me, this is a rare clientele indeed) then you have to have approval by insurance providers to provide reimbursable services. Insurance companies like to have some quality control standards too. In fact, sometimes their motivation is to reject private practitioners if they feel they already provide enough services in your area. In general, you're casting yourself in a better light and setting yourself up better by going to an APA approved program.
     
  12. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    fixer,


    i initially responded, and then spent a total of 83 seconds on the SMU webpage.

    SMU is most likely going to get APA approved in summer 2009. it is on their webpage. you would have been well served by reading the departmental webpage. it is incredibly disconcerting that you did not take the 5 minutes to find that item.



    i am fairly certain that you are not there now, so that means you would be applying until 2009, at which point you would marticulate there under an APA approved program.


    as for my other points:


    A) i did not specify APA approved internship. i was referring to ALL internships.

    internship is required to graduate from ANY program. there is a shortage of internship sites (see other posts or APPIC statistics or APA publications). and a surplus of students. the easiest way to eliminate some of the surplus of the applicant pool is to remove those from non APA approved programs.


    B) once you graduate from school, it is not as simple as "going into private practice". you will then have to get a post doc. many employers, myself included, frown upon non APA approved graduates (i actually just throw the letters inthe trash). again, there is a surplus of graduates seeking employment. when you have a yale applicant and argosy dallas applicant, who are both willing to work for the same amount, the choice is easy.

    C) then almost ALL insurers require you to be licensed for 3 -5 years before they will allow you to APPLY to their panel (i.e., get paid by them). so you then have to either work for someone (again, apa approval become a factor), or locate a pool of self pay patients. it takes a significant number of patients to keep a private practice profitable. 35% goes straight to overhead (office rent, etc). you are then proposing to get those individuals with self pay to choose you over someone who went to a better institution. who maybe accepts their insurance. or is prettier, or closer to their house, or has been in practice for 20 yrs. see where schooling is going to be a factor? also, to locate such patients you kind of have to have some charisma. i have seen many individuals assume that they will simply hang a shingle and compete. it is hilariously not so.


    C) you will be asked about APA approval on other things like credentialing forms for hospitals, etc.

    D) you will be asked about apa approval if you ever have to testify.


    so apa approval helps:

    1) getting ANY internship
    2) get a post doc so that you can get licensed
    3) get credentialed at hospitals
    4) respect from peers
    5) some degree of credibility when testifying
    6) gets some respect from employers who will be necessary to obtain a license in texas, and get you on insurance panels
    7) many board certifications require you to attend an APA approved school and/or internship
    8) credentialing so that you can work in a hospital regularly asks about APA approved status.

    good luck.
     
  13. Fixer

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    Thanks for replying to my post.

    I am fully aware of the information on the SMU website. Incredible disconcertion is unnecessary. I have also vistited the APA website where I did not find mention of scheduled visit or application for accreditation. It is unclear how often the SMU department website is updated (and the information concerning acceditation has changed in the past couple of months) so the actual current status of their application is unclear. Regardless, "Most likely going to get APA approved..." is no garantee of matriculating under an APA approved program so at this time one must consider SMU un-accredited. I am aware that it may be accredited by the time applications are accepted next year.

    I have not contacted the program or APA directly. Right now I am just curious about accreditation in general rather than the SMU program in particular. However, if anyone has information specific to the SMU program, feel free to post.

    With a shortage of internships, what do the people who do not get internships do? Again, just curious.
     
  14. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    people who do not match enroll in something called clearinghouse. it is basically one day wherein everyone is scrambling to find an internship, applying, to sites, making calls, faxing, etc. again, there are more students than sites.

    if that fails, then the individual is put in a position to wait a year before they can apply again.

    i would imagine that if the individual did not match a 2nd time he/she would run into time limits on program completion. i guess if he/she ran out of time for completing the program he/she would leave with an MA...
     
  15. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student!
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    I think that for most programs the time limit is 10 years, so you might technically have a few goes, depending. some programs say they take 5 years to complete but in reality it's a good 5+ to get your dissertation done, nevermind internship.
     
  16. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Wait, and reapply the next year. Some take unpaid internships (which shouldn't be allowed), lower accredited internships, and/or go for MA/MS level licensure (not available in many states) and forego licensing as a psychologist.
     
  17. biogirl215

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    Really? That just seems a waste of all that extra assessment training that they then wouldn't be legally allowed to use. :(
     
  18. Therapist4Chnge

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    Agreed....but I think it would take a few mis-steps to put yourself in that kind of position.
     
  19. biogirl215

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    True. Are the people that go the route typically ones that have ended up unmatched multiple times?
     
  20. psychmama

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    Every year people don't match, and it's not just the ones who don't go to a
    accredited programs. I know of two people who went to good programs who didn't match last year. One decided to take a non-accredited but well established internship at a counseling center. The other person chose to wait a year and reapply this year. The person who did not non-accredited internship has a few limitations -- such as not being able to work at a VA or research university. For that person, this is not much of a hardship, since they will probably combine some sort of work in college counseling with a private practice. The other person who's reapplying spent the year finishing her dissertation and working as a clinician for a hospital. She should have more experience this year, and I bet she'll get a good match.

    Bottom line is that APA accredited internships are important, but they are not everything.
     
  21. psychmama

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    Every year people don't match, and it's not just the ones who don't go to
    accredited programs. I know of two people who went to good programs who didn't match last year. One decided to take a non-accredited but well established internship at a counseling center. The other person chose to wait a year and reapply this year. The person who did not non-accredited internship has a few limitations -- such as not being able to work at a VA or research university. For that person, this is not much of a hardship, since they will probably combine some sort of work in college counseling with a private practice. The other person who's reapplying spent the year finishing her dissertation and working as a clinician for a hospital. She should have more experience this year, and I bet she'll get a good match.

    Bottom line is that APA accredited internships are important, but they are not everything.
     
    #20 psychmama, Dec 21, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  22. biogirl215

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    Psychmama, I take it the counseling center is APPIC but not APA? And it's true that good applicants from good programs with excellent credentials can end up unmatched (like our amazing mod, for example... I'm still a bit shocked about that one, honestly!)
     
  23. psybee

    psybee Psychology Grad Student!
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    i've known great people too who have not matched, but i've never seen thier transcripts or applications. what do you think are the main factors that can lead a qualified applicant to not match? or the other side, what factors do you think make one more likely to match?
     
  24. psychmama

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    I've often asked myself that. In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I'm currently applying to internship programs and want very much to match -- so I definitely appreciate the anxiety around this whole process.

    Sometimes I think applicants are too selective in the schools they apply to and rank. I think this can hurt your chances of matching. Similarly, some people have geographic limitations, or they have narrow clinical interests that limit the chance that they will find a program with a good "fit" for them.

    Some people don't interview well -- which is definitely a problem when one considers that a lot of programs interview 10 times the applicants for which they have intern slots. I have to say that I truly think there's also a randomness factor -- with the match rate at under 80%, there are just some individuals who, although qualified, get the short end of things on match day.:(
     
  25. Therapist4Chnge

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    1. Geographic restrictions (this happens a lot to NYC'ers and/or other people who only apply to a region...many of which are super competitive).

    2. Bad "fit" for the site. For instance, if you are an analyst and apply to Behavioral Health sites that primarly look at 1-3 sessions. A more common example is someone who wants to work at a college counseling site, but doesn't have any direct experience and/or work with similar populations. People do match every year without having previously worked in a college counseling center, but people can put themselves in a tough position if most/all of their sites are counseling sites.

    3. Too picky. Most people would love to get Brown, Duke, Albert Einstein, etc....but they are very competitive. It sometimes comes down to numbers, and I don't mean who has the highest GPA. Top placements get the pick of who they want, so a very qualified person can very easily slip through the cracks if they do not diversify their choices.

    4. Lacking in an area. For instance, some places will want a minimum # of integrated reports written.....and while they don't come out and say, "you need to have completed at least ## reports"....they may show a history of never taking anyone with less tha 15 integrated reports. The APPIC data can be helpful in this regard.

    --

    I'll comment on my particular stuff in a bit....gotta get some paperwork done, blah!
     

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