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Overview

Accreditation

The College of Psychology Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. Questions related to the accredited status of the program should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Overview

Traditionally, the training model for clinical psychologists has focused on training the graduate student first as a scientist and second as a practitioner. However, with the growing need in society for practitioners, many graduate students have elected to enter directly into the clinical services arena rather than academics or research. Consequently, in the 1960s, proposed alternate training procedures led to the development of programs emphasizing a practitioner informed by science model. This model was officially endorsed at the APA Vail Conference in 1973 as a more viable foundation for the education and training of individuals preparing to enter careers concerned primarily with direct delivery of psychological services and professional practice, as opposed to the research-oriented training they had been receiving.

The Psy.D. program is founded on this practitioner-informed-by-science model, which prepares students to provide empirically supported or evidence-based assessment and intervention methods, and to evaluate their efficacy. The Psy.D. program offers academic, practicum, internship, and research experience directly relevant to the practitioner, while retaining the important scientific base upon which professional competence and knowledge rest. To that end, the Psy.D. program prepares students to be lifelong consumers of research. Clinical skills are molded by a sequence of courses in assessment and intervention, both in theory and practice. These courses are supplemented by a variety of practicum experiences, which include intensive supervision. The Psy.D. curriculum trains students to perform as clinicians, public and private practitioners, supervisors, mental health consultants, instructors of clinical psychology, administrators of human service programs, and members of research teams. The degree of expertise in these various specialties, of course, is contingent upon the individual’s educational concentrations, training exposures, and career aspirations.

The overarching aim of the Psy.D. Clinical Psychology program is to prepare students to enter careers as health service psychologists concerned primarily with direct service delivery informed by the research base. Students will develop proficiencies in the Profession-Wide Competencies and Discipline-Specific Knowledge areas outlined by the Standards of Accreditation (SoA) of the American Psychological Association (APA) through the lens of the practitioner-informed-by-science training model. Accordingly, we aim to train future Health Service psychologists who demonstrate a) an understanding of the breadth of scientific psychology through knowledge of the foundations of the discipline of psychology (or the discipline-specific knowledge areas), including the history and systems of psychology, basic knowledge in scientific psychology, integrative knowledge in scientific psychology, and methods of inquiry and research; b) an understanding of the foundations of practice in health service psychology, including ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, and communication and interpersonal skills; c) entry-level clinical skills and competencies necessary for effective work in practitioner informed by science roles, including assessment, intervention, supervision, and consultation; d) An understanding of and ability to apply research methods and statistics to inform professional practice.
Our program prepares students for entry-level practice as health service psychologists who will be life-long consumers of research. Following degree conferral, our graduates will be eligible for licensure as doctoral-level psychologists. We expect they will be well-prepared to practice in a wide-range of health service psychology settings, including medical, government and community institutions and agencies, and they will be committed to engage in service delivery with diverse clients in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards.

The integration of science and practice is accomplished through the coverage of discipline-specific areas of knowledge (Affective, Behavioral, Cognitive, Developmental, and Social), Profession-Wide Competencies, and the conceptual foundations underlying them. In addition, students are exposed to evidence-based assessments and interventions in courses and through formal practicum/supervision experiences. This integration is furthered through statistics and research methods courses, which provide students with tools to be more effective and critical consumers of scientific research.

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