Any distance learners going for psych license?

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by viper88, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. viper88

    viper88 New Member

    Does any one know if any states allow for licensure to practice as a psychologist after completing a DL degree? For example, here in NC you have to have a certain amount of hours of face to face conatact with faculty members in your program in order to get licensed at the masters level, i'm not sure about the PhD level. This would autimatically disqualify most DL students from getting licensed in this state.
  2. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member

    I am in eastern Tennessee right next door. Where in the North Carolina Regs does it stipulate hours at the MA level? On their wesite it states that an MA student should be in residence for one year and this requires interaction with faculty and other matriculated students. There is no reason why a DL student would not qualify under that requirement. I don't see any hours of f2f specified. I am planning on getting a Ph.D. from Fielding in clinical psyche if they admit me. Fielding states that their graduates have had no trouble getting licensed in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee or Florida. The APA requires a specified number of hours of face to face contact and this is written into the regs of North Carolina and most states. However I did not see any at the masters level. Of course a professional counselor license would probably be better than a psychological associate license anyway. I am sure that DL would be less of a problem for the LPC credential.
  3. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member

    Well here is the North Carolina regulation for licensure at the masters level. My reading of it suggests that there may be some problems with MA level licensure for a DL student. Especially the part about faculty at the "home institution."

    (a) Licensure for the level of psychological associate requires a master's degree or specialist degree in psychology from an institution of higher education. For an individual applying before January 1, 1999, his or her degree program shall be publicly identified and clearly labeled as a psychology program. For an individual applying on or after January 1, 1999, his or her degree program shall meet all of the following requirements:
    (1) The program shall be publicly identified and clearly labeled as a psychology program; such a program shall specify in pertinent institutional catalogues its intent to educate and train psychologists to engage in the activities which constitute the practice of psychology as defined in G.S. 90-270.2(8).
    (2) The program shall maintain clear authority and primary responsibility for the core and specialty areas whether or not the program crosses administrative lines.
    (3) The program shall have an identifiable body of students in residence at the institution who are matriculated in that program for a degree.
    (4) There shall be an identifiable full-time psychology faculty in residence at the institution, sufficient in size and breadth to carry out its responsibilities, employed by and providing instruction at the home campus of the institution.
    (5) There shall be a psychologist responsible for the applicant's program either as the administrative head of the program, or as the advisor, major professor, or committee chair for the individual applicant's program.
    (6) The program shall be an integrated, organized sequence of study in psychology as demonstrated by an identifiable curriculum track or tracks wherein course sequences are outlined.
    (7) The program shall encompass the equivalent of a minimum of one academic year of full-time graduate study in student residence at the institution from which the degree is granted. Residence requires interaction with psychology faculty and other matriculated psychology students. One year=s residency is defined as 30 semester (45 quarter) hours taken on a full-time or part-time basis at the institution.
    (8) The program shall include internship, externship, practicum, or other field experience appropriate to the area of specialty and the practice of psychology. This experience shall meet all of the following criteria:
    (A) It shall have been a planned and directed program of training in the practice of psychology, in contrast to on-the-job training, and shall have provided the trainee with a planned and directed sequence of training integrated with the educational program in which the individual was enrolled. This training shall have been planned by the program's faculty, rather than by the student.
    (B) The training site shall have had a clearly designated and appropriately licensed or certified psychologist who was responsible for the integrity and quality of the training program.
    (C) The training shall have been a minimum of 12 weeks consisting of at least 500 hours of supervised training. At least 50% of the training shall have been spent in the practice of psychology.
    (D) The training program shall have had a written program description detailing its functioning and shall have been approved by the applicant's educational program prior to its occurrence.
    (E) The training site staff shall have provided a minimum of one hour per week of individual face-to-face, regularly scheduled supervision with the specific intent of overseeing the practice of psychology.
    (F) Supervision may have been provided in part by psychiatrists, social workers, or other related professionals qualified by the training site, but at least 50% of supervision shall have been provided by an appropriately licensed or certified psychologist or psychological associate, or other psychologist who is exempt from licensure under the North Carolina Psychology Practice Act.
    (G) Persons enrolled in the training shall have been designated as "interns", "externs", or "practicum students", or hold other designation which clearly indicated training status.
    (9) The program of study shall include a minimum of 45 semester (68 quarter) hours of graduate study in standard psychology courses, including courses drawn from academic psychology (e.g., social, experimental, physiological, developmental, history and systems), statistics and research design, and a specialty area. Of the required 45 semester (68 quarter) program hours, not more than 6 semester (9 quarter) hours shall be credited for internship/practicum and not more than 6 semester (9 quarter) hours shall be credited for thesis/dissertation. No credit shall be allowed for audited courses or courses taken at an institution which does not meet the definition of an "institution of higher education" as defined by G.S. 90-270.2(5).
    (b) An applicant whose credentials have been approved by the Board for examination at the licensed psychologist level may be issued a license as a psychological associate if the applicant fails an examination at the licensed psychologist level but passes such at the psychological associate level. To receive this license, the applicant shall make a written request to the Board for licensure at the psychological associate level within 30 days from the date on which the applicant is notified of his or her examination score.
  4. viper88

    viper88 New Member

    stipulation # 4

    There shall be an identifiable full-time psychology faculty in residence at the institution, sufficient in size and breadth to carry out its responsibilities, employed by and providing instruction at the home campus of the institution.

    There may be two problems for DL students based on the above stipulation:

    1. The faculty needs to be at the home campus and be full-time.

    2. "In residence" could mean face to face interaction as appose to online interaction.

    I guess i need to call the psych board to clear all this up, but thanks for all of your comments and input.

  5. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member

    Glad to be able to help. I may move to NC one day and have been keeping up with their regulations. I love the Boone, Banner Elk, Blowing Rock area and may want to relocate there one day.

    I know Fielding Ph.D. graduates have been licensed in North Carolina. However, Fielding students meet in regular "cluster meetings" every month and for two weeks every year at the main campus in Santa Barbara. I know the APA requires x number of face to face hours of this for a program to be accreditted (and Fielding is APA accreditted). The actual NC regulations specify that the Ph.D. degree program shall be APA accreditted OR meet x requirements in terms of residence, face to face hours etc... So it looks like any APA approved program like the Ph.D. at Fielding would enable one to practice. in NC.

    However things may be different in an MA program with less strict residency requirements. I have looked over the Licensed Professional Counselor credential and it looks like that might be a superior option in North Carolina. The LPC is certainly better than the "psychological examiner" license in Tennessee (roughly analagous to teh psychological associate) which has become a rather useless credential. Interestingly, in Kentucky, the state regulations for licensure at the MA level specifically state that distance learning degrees are fully acceptable to the licensing board.
  6. viper88

    viper88 New Member

    Hey Chris

    thanks again for your input. I'm currently living in Raleigh and love it.

    One more question: why do you think that an LPC is better than a psychological associates license? I do know that getting an LPC is easier to obtain in NC- it just requires an MA degree with 48 semester hours of graduate course work.
  7. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member

    I believe that a psychological associate (the same as a psychological examiner here in TN) still has to have some ongoing supervision by a doctoral level psychologist. In Tenn and most other states you don't need supervision after getting the LPC credential. Also, my understanding is the it is easier to get onto insurance provider panels. PPO's etc.. as an LPC since the LPC licensure often permits independent practice.

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