APA's Committee on Accreditation (CoA) is requesting input from psychologists and the public on changes it is considering to the standards used to accredit graduate psychology programs.
The proposed changes are aimed at clarifying language in the Guidelines and Principles of Accreditation for Programs in Professional Psychology about CoA's scope of accreditation in "emerging substantive areas." Because the guidelines do not define the term "emerging substantive area," the committee has been reluctant to accredit programs under this provision. In fact, no program has been accredited in an emerging substantive area since the standards were implemented in 1996.
CoA seeks comments on the issue of emerging substantive areas as well as comments on two options that could reduce the ambiguity surrounding emerging substantive areas:
Option One would delete the phrase "emerging substantive areas" from the guidelines, meaning that only programs in or combining clinical, counseling or school psychology could be APA-accredited.
Option Two would direct CoA to develop a definition for emerging substantive areas and accredit programs that meet those criteria.
Because changes to the accreditation guidelines could have a substantial impact on the field, CoA Chair Scotty Hargrove, PhD, and others are urging psychologists and the public to speak up about which direction the association should take. "We want to be reflective of good standards in education and practice," says Hargrove.
All submissions made during the comment period will be public and must be received no later than April 1.