Working for you

Placing internships, science and leadership front and center. Stemming from a sharper mission and vision passed in late 2012, APAGS is focused on three core initiatives that will shape the work of our graduate student association over the next five years:

  • Ending the internship crisis by advocating for an APA-accredited internship for each student from an APA-accredited doctoral program. (See "Changes ahead for

    internships" for more news on changes to the internship process.)

  • Developing powerful training opportunities for psychology students to ensure that those who want to join the scientific workforce have the skills to do so.

  • Creating a culture of leadership in psychology by increasing the number of students leading, organizing and creating change.

Advocating for fair rates on student loans

In one of its widest-reaching campaigns, APAGS worked with APA's Education Directorate advocacy team to push for fair rates for graduate student federal loans through a grassroots email campaign that generated more than 4,000 responses to the U.S. Congress in June and July. APAGS is also working on a campaign to help ensure that graduate school applicants have accurate information about quality education, accrued debt, earning potential and loan repayment.

Sharing concerns about accreditation

The APAGS Committee submitted comments to the Commission on Accreditation as part of the commission's two-year initiative of rewriting the guidelines and principles that determine how doctoral programs and internship sites are accredited. APAGS is the only stakeholder of critical mass that directly represents students from clinical, counseling, school and combined/integrated doctoral programs.

Within our comments, we advocated for new ways of assessing student readiness to practice (including a competency evaluation different from the EPPP, which assesses content). We would like to see a requirement that students propose their dissertation before applying for internships, so as to help us graduate on time. We discussed the importance of internships providing students with a living wage and a fair number of work hours per week. We advanced our view that diversity preparation needs to remain a unique part of accredited training. We also discussed the various ways in which a program would need to demonstrate quality, including consistent supervision and mentoring. APAGS will continue to meet with students as it drafts future responses, and invites all students to be a part of the conversation.

Providing more resources for diverse students

The APAGS Committee on LGBT Concerns has added two 10-minute videos to its website on how to navigate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in clinical training. They are:

  • "Navigating Self-Disclosure of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity with Clients," which discusses what psychology students and trainees should consider when disclosing sexual orientation and gender identity to clients.

  • "Research with Transgender Communities," which covers how to handle participant recruitment and sampling when conducting research with transgender communities.

Let us know what you think

APAGS encourages its members to take what they need from APAGS and also to leave the field a better place for future cohorts. We need your ideas and involvement. Drop us a line or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.