will have a direct impact on current and future students at
non-accredited doctoral programs. “We hope that this is an
opportunity for students to advocate within their doctoral
program to encourage them to achieve accreditation,” says Eddy
Ameen, PhD, APAGS assistant director.
There are also changes afoot to streamline the process
internship programs must go through to gain accreditation.
For one, programs will be able to function as accredited while
completing the accreditation requirements, rather than waiting
until all phases are complete.
“All of this will help create new internships and newly
accredited ones, which will shift us away from the old two-tiered
model,” says Mattu.
Another important change is in the works: APAGS has
committed to educate applicants to psychology graduate
programs about how the programs stack up in such key areas as
the number of students accepted, the attrition rate, internship
match rates and more. Such information is publicly available but
can be difficult for applicants to find and interpret, according to
Nabil Hassan El-Ghoroury, PhD, associate executive director of
APAGS. He hopes that, armed with better information, students
will be able to make more informed decisions about programs
“If your program has a 10 percent match rate, know that,”
he emphasizes. “And know that if you take an unaccredited
internship, you many never work at a VA in the future.”
APAGS also asked the graduate councils to call for graduate
programs to provide financial support for unmatched students
who find themselves in school for another year — and accruing
the associated costs.
“Financial support could take a lot of different forms,”
says Catherine Grus, PhD, deputy executive director of APA’s
Education Directorate, including allowing an extra year of
funding through teaching assistantships, reducing tuition and
keeping students registered full time to keep loans in remission.
“Schools might allow an extra year of funding through
teaching assistantships or reduce the amount of tuition an
individual has to pay,” she says.
Ultimately, such transitions should benefit the match system
and the field itself, says Mattu.
“There will be some growing pains and consequences,” he
says. “But all of the changes that are happening are going to affect
far more than our generation of psychologists and their students;
it’s going to change the next 30, 40, 50 years of what we do. We
have to do what’s right for the field and for our patients.” n
Alice G. Walton, PhD, is a writer in New York City.
For more information on APA’s new resolution on accreditation, see
the October issue of the Monitor.
The internship process is being revamped to ensure
quality and help more students get the slots they need.
BY ALICE G. WALTON
Stats on the internship mismatch