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  1. #1
    stephisme is offline Registered User
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    Difficulty in choosing an online Counseling Phd or Psy.d program

    Hi everyone,

    I have been skimming through the forums and find them very helpful, but am still finding it difficult to make a choice. I am graduating in May from Walden University with a Master's in Mental Health Counseling .

    I eventually would like to teach at an online university, so some sort of doctorate would be necessary. I am very confused though about if CACREP is really necessary. If it is, it really limits the online options for a Phd in counseling to either Regent University or Walden University.

    Then I could possibly chose to go for a Psy.d. I have the same concern over APA accreditation vs. non- APA accreditation. I was interested in Touro University Worldwide, but it is not for licensure although it has regional accreditation. The price is also nice. Will I need licensure though...

    I then saw on this forum some individuals talking about Phd's through South African schools online, so now I have been researching that.

    I do want to stick online because I have an illness that requires weekly infusions, so it could be challenging to manage a physical school.

    I would just appreciate any advice. I know there are a lot of similar discussions already. I guess I am mostly concerned about the importance of licensure and such.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Jonathan Whatley is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephisme View Post
    I eventually would like to teach at an online university, so some sort of doctorate would be necessary. I am very confused though about if CACREP is really necessary. If it is, it really limits the online options for a Phd in counseling to either Regent University or Walden University.
    Is it possible that a doctorate that wasn't strictly CACREP itself, but that comes from a school with CACREP accreditation for its professional entry programs (e.g., its masters), would meet your needs? That would open up Oregon State, Adams State, Liberty, and perhaps others.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephisme View Post
    Then I could possibly chose to go for a Psy.d. I have the same concern over APA accreditation vs. non- APA accreditation. I was interested in Touro University Worldwide, but it is not for licensure although it has regional accreditation. The price is also nice. Will I need licensure though...
    From the current TUW catalog, here's part of the description, and here are all of the theory courses, for their PsyD program in Human & Organizational Psychology :

    Graduates of the program will possess a discerning understanding of how applied psychology principles from business, organizational psychology , media psychology and systems psychology can inform evidence-based practice. […]

    Core Courses
    Theory - Required (5 courses- 15 credits)
     Scholar Practitioner Model (PsyD 720)
     Applied Social Psychology (PSYD 724)
     Applied I/O Psychology (PSYD 728)
     Applied Cognitive Psychology (PSYD 732)
     Applied Media Psychology (PSYD 736)
    This is psychology – but it's a part of psychology fairly far removed from clinical mental health counseling . I can't find one word in degree or course descriptions in the catalog suggesting the degree is designed even peripherally to train students in mental health diagnosis and treatment.

    People often make category mistakes with psychology : Large parts of the field of psychology don't train to, qualify*to, claim to, or attempt to provide health services.

  3. #3
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Is it possible that a doctorate that wasn't strictly CACREP itself, but that comes from a school with CACREP accreditation for its professional entry programs (e.g., its masters), would meet your needs? That would open up Oregon State, Adams State, Liberty, and perhaps others.
    This means absolutely nothing. Your degree is either CACREP accredited or not. CACREP is a programmatic accreditation. Is the program accredited by CACREP? No? Then you don't get to try to claim the benefits of CACREP accreditation. I earned an Associate of Arts from the University of Scranton . The University of Scranton 's Kania School of Business programs are all AASCB accredited. The AACSB accreditation is immaterial to me, however, because I didn't earn a degree through one of the AASCB programs.
    Last edited by Neuhaus; 03-04-2015 at 05:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Jonathan Whatley is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    This means absolutely nothing. Your degree is either CACREP accredited or not. CACREP is a programmatic accreditation. Is the program accredited by CACREP? No? Then you don't get to try to claim the benefits of CACREP accreditation. I earned an Associate of Arts from the University of Scranton. The University of Scranton's Kania School of Business programs are all AASCB accredited. The AACSB accreditation is immaterial to me, however, because I didn't earn a degree through one of the AASCB programs.
    Do you have any evidence specific to the field of counselor education that what you say holds for someone pursuing a doctorate to advance their teaching opportunities, in counselor education? The "This means absolutely nothing" relationship – or rather, lack of a relationship – that you posit doesn't hold in every field.

    Take law. In some contexts, an LL.M. from a law school with ABA approval for its JD is significantly more valuable than an LL.M. from a law school with no program accredited by the ABA.

    This fact is actually written into law, in the laws (or regulations) governing bar admissions in some states. If a candidate has their first degree in law from outside the U.S., several states allow them to qualify through the pathway of taking a suitable LL.M. from an American law school with ABA approval for its JD.

    This holds even though the ABA, emphatically, takes this position:

    Quote Originally Posted by ABA Council Statement
    The American Bar Association’s approval of a law school extends only to the first professional degree in law (J.D.) offered by a law school. […] ABA approval does not extend to any program supporting any other degree granted by the law school. Rather the content and requirements of those degrees, such as an LL.M., are created by the law school itself and do not reflect any judgment by the ABA regarding the quality of the program.
    I don't know enough about counselor education to say that a relationship similar to the ABA-school-LLM thing does exists in counselor education , which is why my statement was conditional.

    But do you know enough from counselor education to say that it doesn't exist? Schools hiring adjuncts for their counseling programs reasonably might value a doctorate from a program that has a CACREP master's, more than a doctorate from a program with no program accredited by CACREP. This would be a reasonable thing to make inquiries about among counselor educators.

    The possibility doesn't seem to merit your dismissal, unless you know more about counselor education specifically than you've indicated here.

  5. #5
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Take law. In some contexts, an LL.M. from a law school with ABA approval for its JD is significantly more valuable than an LL.M. from a law school with no program accredited by the ABA.

    This fact is actually written into law, in the laws (or regulations) governing bar admissions in some states. If a candidate has their first degree in law from outside the U.S., several states allow them to qualify through the pathway of taking a suitable LL.M. from an American law school with ABA approval for its JD.
    If you are going to quote the ABA, you should really quote the entire paragraph, not just the sentence that you think supports your conclusion:


    ABA accreditation does not extend to any program supporting any other degree granted by the law school. Rather the content and requirements of those degrees, such as an LL.M., are created by the law school itself and do not reflect any judgment by the ABA accrediting bodies regarding the quality of the program. Moreover, admission requirements for such programs, particularly with regard to foreign students, vary from school to school, and are not evaluated through the ABA accreditation process. The ABA reviews these degree programs only to determine whether their offering would have an adverse impact on the law school's ability to maintain its accreditation for the JD program. If no adverse impact is indicated, the ABA "acquiesces" in the law school's decision to offer the non-JD program and degree.
    Contrary to your assertion, an LL.M. program offered through an ABA approved school IS reviewed by the ABA and PROVIDED that the program wouldn't impact the J.D. accreditation, the ABA "acquiesces" to the program.


    I don't know enough about counselor education to say that a relationship similar to the ABA-school-LLM thing does exists in counselor education, which is why my statement was conditional.
    You also don't seem to know enough about legal education , or accreditation in general, to make a cogent argument.

    The ABA doesn't actively accredit the LL.M. But they still review it and have a procedure to deny a school the ability to offer it (no law school would jeopardize their approval of their J.D. to offer an LL.M. the ABA didn't approve of).

    Conversely, CACREP DOES accredit doctorates. So it is really an odd comparison to attempt to make. Why would CACREP accredit doctorates only to then say "Well, if you earn a doctorate from a school where we've accredited a Masters degree, that's OK too?"

    But do you know enough from counselor education to say that it doesn't exist? Schools hiring adjuncts for their counseling programs reasonably might value a doctorate from a program that has a CACREP master's, more than a doctorate from a program with no program accredited by CACREP.
    I never addressed what a school may, or may not, do in hiring faculty. A number of CACREP programs have faculty with degrees in Psychology or Social Work (and a quick search verifies these programs are not dually accredited by CACREP and APA or CSWE). So clearly it is possible for a person to teach in a program like this without a CACREP accredited doctorate.

    And, like most answers to the "can I get a job in academia with a degree from X" we see on these forums, the answer is:

    "Yes, no, maybe. It depends on the school who would be hiring you."

    The possibility doesn't seem to merit your dismissal, unless you know more about counselor education specifically than you've indicated here.
    The possibility you presented is that a school's programmatic accreditation would, but some miraculous undertaking, extend to a program at the same school that is not accredited. That is not how programmatic accreditation works.

    In the example you cited, the accreditor still has an approval process despite not formally accrediting LLM or JSDs. Again, CACREP has an approval process for doctorates.

    So, if you can think of a situation where programmatic accreditation extends to programs not evaluated and accredited by the accreditor, I am all ears.

    Since you've not raised a relevant example of accreditation functioning in such a manner, I would say that your statements, while not necessarily warranting dismissal, do warrant an intense amount of scrutiny.

  6. #6
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    In my original posting, I did include a bit of information as to why I'm posting here which didn't make it through the final edit.

    I have had a tertiary interest in mental health work for a while and so I've done quite a bit of research on what I would have to do to achieve my desired goal. My wife is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York State (who had to jump through hoops because her Masters was non-CACREP but was approved in a state where she lived before we met).

    I am also a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) which I did full-time before joining the Navy and earning business degrees.

    Neither makes me an expert on counselor education . My statements about your theory of accreditation transubstantiation come from my interest in matters surrounding accreditation. Again, I'm not saying what schools would accept for a faculty member.

  7. #7
    Jonathan Whatley is offline Registered User
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    This is interesting: This December 2012 press release from Adams State, about the fall 2013 launch of their Ph.D. in Counselor Education , says both that CACREP matters for faculty in counseling ,

    Quote Originally Posted by Adams State University
    Adams State's master of arts program in counselor education recently renewed its CACREP accreditation under more stringent standards. CACREP sets the standard for counseling programs and for counselor licensure requirements in all 50 states.

    "The demand for qualified graduate faculty is increasing," noted Program Chair, Dr. Susan Varhely. She explained CACREP now requires their accredited programs to hire only doctoral graduates from CACREP accredited programs.
    and that they're pursuing CACREP accreditation specifically, programmatically, for the doctorate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adams State University
    Once the program is established, Adams State will pursue accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
    From other reading I think "requires" and "only" are overstatements, that there isn't an absolute rule. (See the distinction between "core" and "non-core" faculty in CACREP standards.)

    But it does seem fair to indicate a strong relationship – especially for new hires. Some or all of the faculty with non-CACREP doctorates we see listed may have been grandfathered in. The OP is aspiring to become a new hire.

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  9. #8
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    All right, this is just wild speculation on my part, but if you are going to hire non-CACREP degreed faculty, I would think there would be other factors that would weigh in.

    For example, if you have a non-CACREP accredited doctorate but that's because you hold a D.S.W. accredited by CSWE or a Psy.D. accredited by the APA that, to me, would be a bit different than having a Ph.D. in Counseling that is just RA (non-CACREP).

    But now we're veering into the "how is this degree perceived" field which is highly speculative.

  10. #9
    Jonathan Whatley is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephisme View Post
    I eventually would like to teach at an online university, so some sort of doctorate would be necessary.
    stephisme, what sort of online teaching ? At what level, and in what specific subjects or departments? For example, you might already soon meet the baseline academic requirements to adjunct in undergraduate Human Services or similar at some schools, especially lower division/community college, with an MS in CMHC. If you wanted more opportunity to teach courses like undergraduate Intro to Psychology , that would suggest one route. If you wanted more opportunity to teach in a graduate counseling program, that would suggest another, different route. Etc.

  11. #10
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    If you are going to quote the ABA, you should really quote the entire paragraph, not just the sentence that you think supports your conclusion:

    Contrary to your assertion, an LL.M. program offered through an ABA approved school IS reviewed by the ABA and PROVIDED that the program wouldn't impact the J.D. accreditation, the ABA "acquiesces" to the program.

    The ABA doesn't actively accredit the LL.M. But they still review it and have a procedure to deny a school the ability to offer it (no law school would jeopardize their approval of their J.D. to offer an LL.M. the ABA didn't approve of).
    Jonathan and Neuhaus,

    Note there is one exception: The ABA does actually accredit (vs. “acquiesces”) one, and only one, military law school LLM … e.g., U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School (LLM in Military Law) at the University of Virginia ... and the USAJAGLCS only confers the one LLM degree.
    Major56
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  12. #11
    Jonathan Whatley is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by major56 View Post
    Note there is one exception: The ABA does actually accredit (vs. “acquiesces”) one, and only one, military law school LLM … e.g., U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School (LLM in Military Law) at the University of Virginia ... and the USAJAGLCS only confers the one LLM degree.
    Well noted. :)

  13. #12
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Thank you.

    As expected with the Department of The Army being such a large governmental agency … such incorporates a whole lot of impact even with the ABA…
    Major56
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  14. #13
    stephisme is offline Registered User
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    Thank you to the responses everyone. I didn't mean to cause an argument or anything!

    I never thought about whether or not having other programs approved by CACREP would make a difference. If that was the case, it definitely would give me more options. Oddly, Liberty 's PHD program is CACREP at the physical school, but not online. They do require some face-to-face intensives, which typically would make them CACREP approved, but for some reason they are not.

    I probably should have been more specific in what I wanted to teach. While I would love to teach Master's level counseling student's I would be okay with teaching undergrads in counseling related fields. I am not sure exactly if that would mean I do not need a PHD.

    I am located in New York as well, and according to some of the online schools I spoke with, that means I live in a "problem state". I did call up the NY department of education to ask about getting a license from a non APA school, but they said they could not provide that information until after the degree is obtained... They then sent me a list of approved schools, but it only included state schools (although I specifically asked for a list of out of state schools).

    Someone also recently mentioned getting an Education doctorate in counseling ... I am so lost!

  15. #14
    Jonathan Whatley is offline Registered User
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    Remember that your doctoral degree would only be part of your requirements for licensing in psychology . I believe a qualifying psychology internship of one-year full-time, occasionally two years part-time, is required by every state. This would be beyond any internships or similar in your education as a counselor.

    Whether that internship is APA-approved is often material to licensing and/or to future opportunities in the practice of psychology . Many sources at the highest levels of psychology describe an "internship crisis" ("internship match crisis"), where there are far fewer APA internships than there are APA doctoral candidates competing for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephisme View Post
    Someone also recently mentioned getting an Education doctorate in counseling... I am so lost!
    I'd say consensus here is that the difference between a PhD, EdD , and PsyD in the sort of context you're looking at, while it may exist, is much less than the difference in quality and reputation between different schools and programs.

    Choosing a PhD from a lower-quality or lower-reputation school/program over an EdD or PsyD (or in business a DBA, etc.) from a significantly higher-quality or higher-reputation school/program because of some sense that the title PhD has a higher reputation is, to my mind, generally misguided. This difference between degree titles might be a legitimate factor to include within your decision matrix, but it probably shouldn't drive your decision.

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  17. #15
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephisme View Post
    I am located in New York as well, and according to some of the online schools I spoke with, that means I live in a "problem state". I did call up the NY department of education to ask about getting a license from a non APA school, but they said they could not provide that information until after the degree is obtained... They then sent me a list of approved schools, but it only included state schools (although I specifically asked for a list of out of state schools).
    There are a number of licenses:

    Licensed Mental Health Counselor - CACREP Masters required (or a program that substantively equivalent or registered with NYS as licensure qualifying)
    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist - COAMFTE Masters required (or a program that is substantively equivalent or registered with NYS as licensure qualifying)
    Psychologist - The state doesn't address whether APA accreditation is sufficient. Presumably it would weigh in your favor, but NYS is pretty clear that if it isn't one of their approved programs, you are on the defensive trying to show that your degree is substantively equivalent to an NYS approved program. See here

    Psychoanalyst - You need to have a Masters (any field) and complete a two year, non-degree program accredited by American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis or registered with NYS as licensure qualifying (or one you can show which is substantively equivalent).

    So, the first issue is:

    What license are you trying to obtain? Your CACREP Masters qualifies you to be a LMHC (there is still an experience component to be licensed). If you want to be a psychologist , it can be a bit trickier and it may not be enough to simply say "APA Accredited = Licensure Qualifying"

  18. #16
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    I can't imagine why the state would be so difficult in this matter. As far as I know licensure is generally controlled by some branch of the state dept. of public health. I'd go to them first. Also, I think these things are ultimately a matter of statute and you should just be able to look up the state law governing licensure.
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