APA awarded an average of $20,000 each to 32 internship programs in December to help them gain APA accreditation. The awards were the first round of APA's "internship stimulus package," a program approved last August by the APA Council of Representatives that set aside up to $3 million over three years to help qualified, nonaccredited internship programs take all the steps necessary to become APA-accredited. The grants can be used to pay for application and site visit fees, program consultation, administrative and supervisor support, intern stipends and benefits, and other costs of seeking accreditation.
The stimulus "reflects APA's commitment to helping programs go through a quality-assurance mechanism so that we know that our students are graduating from programs that have met the standards of the profession in the same way as students in other health professions," says APA Education Director Cynthia Belar, PhD.
That's important for overall training purposes, for protection of trainee rights, and for students' job prospects post-internship, she notes. Many institutions, including the Veterans Administration and the federal government, will not hire students who have completed internships that aren't accredited by APA.
Eighty programs applied for the funding. Their applications were reviewed by a grants review group headed by the Board of Educational Affairs (BEA), chaired by G. Andrew Benjamin, JD, PhD, and made up of members of BEA and the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, or APPIC. In the second round of grants, expected to be announced in June, APA will award up to $800,000.
APA is giving priority to programs that seek to increase their number of internship positions, that serve historically underserved populations and that prepare psychologists for working in the 21st century health-care system, such as primary-care settings and community health centers, says Belar.
The awards should make a solid contribution toward righting the internship imbalance, potentially adding 150 programs and 520 new internship positions over the three-year period, adds Jackie Tyson, the APA Education Directorate's associate executive director for administration and lead staff person for the project. In the 2012 internship match, 22 percent of 4,067 psychology doctoral students were not matched at all, and nearly 20 percent were matched in unaccredited internships, according to statistics from APPIC.
"It's really exciting to be a part of an effort to promote quality training for psychologists and to help more programs gain APA accreditation," Tyson says.
The 32 funded programs are:
- AspenPointe Psychology Internship Program, AspenPointe, Inc., Colo.
- APA Psychology Internship, Inland Behavioral & Health Services Inc., San Bernardino, Calif.
- • California Pacific Medical Center Psychology Internship Program, Sutter West Bay Hospitals, San Francisco.
- Central Arkansas Psychology Internship Consortium, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Ark.
- Chestnut Hill College Pre-Doctoral Internship Consortium, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia.
- Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital & Research Center at Oakland, Oakland, Calif.
- Clinical Psychology Internship Program at the University of Vermont, University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, Burlington, Vt.
- Counseling and Psychological Services, University of San Francisco, San Francisco.
- East Tennessee/Southwest Virginia Predoctoral Psychology Internship Consortium, St. Charles Health Council, Inc., Radford, Va.
- Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems, Holcomb Associates, Inc., Exton, Pa.
- Kentucky River Community Care Pre-doctoral Internship, Kentucky River Community Care, Hazard, Ky.
- Kern County Mental Health Psychology Internship Program, Kern County Health Department, Bakersfield, Calif.
- Marin County Health and Human Services Psychology Internship Program, Marin County Health and Human Services, Marin County, Calif.
- • MCCHC-IU Health Consortium of East Central Indiana, Madison County Community Health Centers, Inc., Madison County, Ind.
- Multicultural Psychology Internship Program of Massachusetts, Behavioral Health Network, Inc., Springfield, Mass.
- NMSU Counseling Center Doctoral Internship Program, Regents of New Mexico State University, University Park, N.M.
- PCOM Center for Brief Therapy, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia.
- Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences Psychology Internship Program, Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ponce, P.R.
- Pre-Doctoral Internship in Mental Health & Chemical Dependency, Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek Medical Center, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Walnut Creek, Calif.
- Roberto Clemente Family Guidance Center, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, New York City.
- Rogers Center for Research and Training, Rogers Memorial Hospital Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.
- Starr Commonwealth Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Internship Training Center, Starr Commonwealth, Albion, Mich.
- St. Vincent Neuroscience Institute Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology, St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc., Indianapolis.
- Southwest Behavioral Health Services Psychology Internship Program, Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Talbert House Psychology Internship Program, Talbert House Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio.
- The Derner Institute Internship Consortium, Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y.
- University of Connecticut Counseling and Mental Health Services, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.
- University of Northern Colorado Counseling Center, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colo.
- Venture Psychology Internship Consortium, Summit Pointe, Battle Creek, Mich.
- Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center Psychology Internship Program, Waianae District Comprehensive Health Center, Waianae, Hawaii.
- Western Kentucky Internship Consortium, Pennyroyal Regional MH-MR Board, Inc., Hopkinsville, Ky.
- Will County Health Department Clinical Internship Training Program, Will County Health Department, Will County, Ill.
Tori DeAngelis is a writer in Syracuse, N.Y.
To apply for the next round of internship grants, visit Internship Program Grants.