APA's Council of Representatives has approved a $3 million internship stimulus package to help psychology internship sites earn APA accreditation over the next three years. This funding could result in up to 530 newly accredited positions, says Nabil El-Ghoroury, PhD, APAGS associate executive director.
"So many jobs in psychology, and even licensure in some states, require an APA-accredited internship, but there just aren't enough of them," he says. "This funding from APA has the potential to increase the quality of training and open up career opportunities for the next generation of psychologists."
Last year, about 30 percent of students seeking internships did not secure one, due in large part to a dearth of positions. The lack of accredited internships is particularly severe — with accredited internships having increased just 2 percent over the last four years, while unaccredited internships increased 14 percent. The APA stimulus package will help close that gap by providing funding for intern stipends, plus site visit fees and other APA accreditation costs.
Though the stimulus is a "big step in the right direction," the internship match imbalance will continue to delay or even derail the education of many psychology graduate students for years to come, says APAGS Chair Matthew FitzGerald. "Accreditation is only one facet of a large, system-wide problem," he says.