APA should stop pulling the rug out from under grad students

"Your program is APA-accredited... Psych! now it isn't."

The American Psychological Association should stop pulling the rug out from under graduate students.

I had a chance to talk with two graduates of the California Institute for Integral Studies earlier today. When they started their graduate training their graduate program was APA-accredited. However, their graduate program’s APA-accreditation was revoked before they could graduate (just one or two years before they graduated). While APA CoA does first give a probationary status, the review is typically within 1 to 2 years and so it is quite possible that students entering in under an APA-accredited status don’t have time to graduate before the APA-accredited status is revoked.

These students did their due diligence and agreed to go to a school that was APA-accredited when they entered. There was no grandfather clause for these students; they didn’t get to graduate with a degree that was APA-accredited even though the program was APA-accredited when they started. This is consistent with the policy of the APA Commission on Accreditation (http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/accreditation-process.aspx). However, this APA CoA policy also may be contrary to the US Department of Education’s regulations. Regardless, it is contrary to the common decency you’d expect from a field like psychology.

I believe APA should stop pulling the rug out from under these students. If a school is APA-accredited when a student enters, that student should be allowed to graduate with a degree that is recognized as from an APA-accredited institution. Future students that enter after the accredited status is revoked would of course not be given this same status. Do you agree? Please let the Department of Education know your thoughts; email: ThirdPartyComments@ed.gov

The United States Department of Education is in the process of reviewing the American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation right now.

Scope of recognition: The accreditation in the United States of doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, school and combined professional-scientific psychology; doctoral internship programs in health service psychology; and postdoctoral residency programs in health service psychology. The preaccreditation in the United States of doctoral internship programs in health services psychology; and postdoctoral residency programs in health service psychology.

Here is the notice in the Federal Register related to how you can respond before this Friday. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/03/18/2016-06169/national-advisory-committee-on-institutional-quality-and-integrity-meeting#h-15

Why not send an email expressing your thoughts about APA’s practices?

To: ThirdPartyComments@ed.gov

Subject: Written Comments: American Psychological Association – Commission on Accreditation

Date: (before this Friday April 8th, 2016)


You can also forward it along to “APA Accreditation Staff” Jacqueline Remondet Wall, PhD, (202) 572-3037; Director, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation; Associate Executive Director, Education Directorate