CalSouthern's PsyD Disclosure Statement

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Garp, Apr 25, 2024.

  1. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I am not sure whether this is mandated by the accreditor or goodwill on the part of California Southern State University but it is very helpful.

    Many psychotherapists seem to earn the degree to give themselves a doctoral qualification probably for personal satisfaction or goals and for marketing and expertise.

    But for those earning the degree to become a clinical psychologist it does help you to make a decision based on where you live or where you want to live. It doesn't specify the specific issue in each state that doesn't accept the degree so you don't know whether it is a course issue, residency issue, or APA issue.

    "CalSouthern has made a determination that this curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification as a psychologist in the following states: CA, CO, DE, HI, NY, OH, TX, VA, WI, WV. Some states may have additional requirements that are not part of the curriculum, but which can be satisfied at CalSouthern

    CalSouthern has made a determination that this curriculum does not meet the state educational requirements for licensure or certification as a psychologist in the following states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, WA, WY"
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2024
  2. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I realize that California Southern University's PsyD is less expensive than some remote or for profit APA accredited programs but it seems to be getting a little pricey at $545 per credit hour. So, approximately $1,600 per class plus texts and possibly fees.

    I checked out a non psychology doctorate at a not for profit Christian School and it was very affordable but discovered that the per class fees that were I think classed as technology fees were significant and added significant cost to the program. It reminded me of the way computer companies started lowering the prices of computers but stripping them down in terms of software and other things so that you had to purchase additional items but had the impression you were getting a great deal on the computer.

    In fact, the guy from the veteran's department at the Christian School was a little sheepish when he explained the additional cost due to the technology fees for class and couldn't really justify them and just kind of laughed acknowledging the reality of the significant increase in cost over the program.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2024
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm not finding "California Southern State University." I found Southern California State University, but it doesn't offer the PsyD. It is accredited by TRACS. (On a side note, I'm a little surprised that a private school invoking the term "state" in its name is permitted in California.) This is obviously not the school this thread is about.

    I did find California Southern University (no "state"). Formerly SCUPS, was the sister institution (same owner) as Northcentral University. It is accredited by the HLC and does offer the PsyD. I find it interesting that it operates in Arizona. Not only is that a geographic incongruence, Arizona is one of the states where the school determined it does not meet licensure requirements.
  4. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    As has been discussed here before (but for the sake of new people), even in States where CalSouthern PsyDs can be licensed the lack of an APA internship and accreditation may limit some more competitive jobs or federal government jobs. Be sure what your plans are.

    Based on some reactions to CalSouthern at the Student Doctor Network (SDN) page, CalSouthern may also face some derision. One guy related a story about a PsyD grad who told a colleague that he graduated from CalSouthern and his colleague thought it was Southern California and was impressed. He said the CalSouthern PsyD did not correct him and he found that to be a bit unethical. I digress but the point is I have often wondered if someone may encounter that prejudice when you look for someone to supervise your post graduation hours.

    On the plus side, Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig is a Distinguished Professor at CalSouthern. Not sure how easy it is to get him as a doctoral supervisor but that would be pretty cool!
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2024
  5. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    The first concern I have about a PsyD from California Southern University is the low amount of credit hours. 66 credits just doesn't seem adequate for a PsyD and pales in comparison to the number of credits the typical APA accredited PsyD programs have:

    Then there is the reputation factor. While I wouldn't take many cues from the unbearable community of know-it-alls at the Student Doctor Network, they do have a point about how the degree will be viewed by other Psychologists in the field. Not being APA accredited is a tough deal, and I imagine most Psychologists in the past 20 years have gone to APA accredited schools. I see enough Psychologists online disparaging certain schools that are APA accredited, so you already know how they're going to view one that isn't. That alone can hurt your chances of employment and/or advancement in your career.

    The licensing concern is real. While there are states that make exceptions for licensing people from non-APA programs, it's been said that those exceptions are few and far between. Interestingly enough, some of the people I've spoken to who are in the know have pointed to how foreign programs have often faired better in this regard than domestic programs. I find that ridiculous, and I have no way of verifying it, but it wouldn't surprise me as little does anymore.

    I knew of a person who got a PsyD from a non-APA program and did manage to get licensed in one state, but she never publicly lists the PsyD and instead only lists her Doctorate in Professional Counseling. According to her, getting the PsyD and getting licensed as a Psychologist was for fun and the added benefit of being able to command higher rates in various counseling apps she draws clientele from. That appears to have worked out pretty well for her because her online booking page frequently states that she is not accepting new clients.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    As I've said before, most people's definition of "degree mill" is any school less prestigious, however slightly, than the ones they themselves attended.
    Michael Burgos likes this.
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    At a summer BBQ one year I found myself deep in conversation with a doctor, friend of my neighbor/friend, who had recently moved to the area. We got on the topic of education after he told me he attended medical school in the Caribbean. I asked him if that ever caused issues with other doctors. His answer "If my colleagues have a problem with it they at least have the decency to have the problem quietly and behind my back."

    He had no problem finding work. He never felt he was treated as lesser by co-workers in his practice (some of whom had ivy league medical degrees). He pointed out, and it makes good sense to me, that most people don't sit around a medical office or hospital constantly thinking about the degree that got them there any more than anyone else in any other workplace.

    We think about it a lot because this is a weird little hobby interest of ours. And psychology students think about it because the education is prominently in the forefront of their minds.

    I asked my wife, just for a few more anecdotes, if she knew where her colleagues who are also licensed mental health professionals earned their degrees. Her answer? No. She can tell you what license they hold (LCSW, LMHC, LMFT etc). But she only had a vague sense of where some of them went to school. She knew one went to NYU but she admitted she didn't know if that was for undergrad, grad or both.

    Reminds me of the old joke "What do you call a doctor who earned all C's in medical school? Doctor." Ask pre-med students and they will tell you that the MCAT is the most important thing in the world. That a bad MCAT score, aside from limiting their prospects, may bring shame upon their household for generations. Ask a doctor how they did on the MCAT and the most likely answer you'll get is "One that was good enough, I guess."

    If you are working in a setting with colleagues then you're hopefully working. And if you're competent at what you do and a generally pleasant colleague then people are likely just going to interact with you like a normal person. If you're a dumpster fire then they'll probably comment on where you went to school. Otherwise? People generally don't just stand around, years after graduation, commenting on where the other went to school and basing serious work decisions on it.

    And if you're in solo private practice there's not really anyone there to judge you.
  8. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Some good points. True about the license issue. Whether someone is and what it is gets noticed more than where the degree is from.

    I know of a Cardiologist in a large practice. His medical degree is from one of the more well known and respected Caribbean medical schools. I only know because I looked him up. Not only did he get a good residency in a competitive field but is board certified. All most people care about is that he is a Cardiologist.
  9. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Come to think about it, it is kind of like grades. I was anal retentive about my grades and ensured that post undergraduate they stayed high. I can count on one hand the times I have been asked about it or anyone even made a comment on it. In fact, mostly the degree is a checkbox that is required for some job. It gets your foot in the door. After that, they care about performance, connections/relationships and so on.

    Psychology obviously has some nuances when it comes to working for the government or some organizations where just having a psychology license is not enough. An advertisement may specifically say that the program must be APA accredited and have contained an APA accredited internship.
  10. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

  11. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    It hasn't changed much. "Or equivalent" typically means that the curriculum is aligned with APA requirements. Similar to the accounting field and the CPA, a degree with programmatic accreditation gets automatic approval. Any degree without programmatic accreditation needs to be reviewed.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I know the answer in my case: never. Why? Two reasons. First, I earned my doctorates later in my career, at a time when employers/clients had a lot more to judge me by than grades. Second, neither of my doctorates had "grades" in the typical fashion.

    At Union, grades were non-existent and even semester hours were optional. I didn't bother. At Leicester, the university doesn't transcript "taught" degrees. The treat them like "big book" degrees and simply certify that you've earned the degree. (Individual schools within Leicester will transcript your degree, but the grading system there is utterly dissimilar to what's used in the U.S.)

    When you're 25 without much work experience, your degrees and even your grades are about all you have to go on. Later on, grades are almost always irrelevant. And, as I've maintained forever, the school you attend--with a few exceptions--doesn't matter much, either.
    Garp likes this.
  13. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I have worked places where it is impressive to see a degree from a top university but that won't even get you an interview. The degree is a checkbox qualification unless it was in a certain area and then that gave you an advantage. Of more importance was the right combination of experience and no red flags in your CV (such as jumping around too much too soon). Next came performance on the interview and any written in-basket material. All of which was far more important than where your degree was from or GPA (really didn't factor in).
  14. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    There is a survivorship bias built into that question. Often, you call a person who earned all Cs in medical school a non-doctor. Above the undergraduate level many programs require a higher average than C to award a degree. A person who earned all low but passing grades in medical school, and did even complete the medical degree, but failed to either pass the medical licensing exam or attain and complete a residency –not uncommon for international or foreign medical graduates – won't become a physician.
    sanantone likes this.
  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    My friend, you are taking the adage too literally.

    The point is after medical school your grades don't matter. The question isn't about what happens to a person who gets Cs. It's specifically asking what you call a doctor, a graduate of medical school who is licensed, despite any academic stumble they had in the past. And it doesn't matter because academically they have achieved the goal amd nobody cares about grades past that point.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  16. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    After residency. Medical school should almost be called pre-med part II. Medical school doesn't do much on its own without admission into residency, completion of residency, and receipt of an unrestricted license. The main exception will be going from a competitive research-oriented medical school to a research career.

    I cheer on the people who became medical doctors in spite of stumbles and through non-traditional means. It was a privilege of my life to study among them at Harvard Extension. Any aspiring doctor reading, I would tell to examine alternatives and not to give up hope easily, but also to examine those alternatives critically and not to over-weigh hope in a specific and competitive outcome. It isn't uncommon for a student to become a physician via offshore medical school, but neither is it uncommon for a student who could be successful in many projects to wash out of offshore medical school with no degree or with a practically unlicensable degree, and with five or six figure debt.
  17. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I agree. However, there is a difference between that in general versus the matter of becoming a Psychologist. There is more validity for the detractor's position when licensing issues are involved, or when a school provides a much lower amount of training toward becoming a licensed Psychologist.
  18. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I think it goes without saying that there is a big difference between how people view and value an MD compared to a PsyD. In the medical field, people know that to become an MD there is an uncommon level of rigor and measures that one has to get through no matter which school they studied with because the states and the medical authorities that oversee the profession impose their own strict measures. The rigor required to become a PsyD is quite tough as well, but a program like CSU's leaves doubt in that regard because of its abnormally low credit amount for its program type, and the way the program is run. To add on to that, the workload (not necessarily quality) that an MD from a Caribbean school would get is nearly if not fully identical to the standard program a U.S. based MD would get because those schools know their bread and butter is aligning with the requirements of U.S. states so Americans can get licensed.

    With a 66-credit PsyD, which is more than below average in the credit department for a license-eligible Doctorate in Psychology, you're going to get much less needed depth than you would with a program that has a credit load around the average. Because being a Psychologist is of course much more than counseling, a program with low credits is going to be missing many of those components.

    Any place in the field that hires Psychologists is likely going to have some knowledge of these non-APA degree programs, non-APA accredited internships, and the APA issue overall, so it's bound to have an effect on job prospects. A quick search on Indeed brought up over 3,000 results for APA accreditation alone, so I don't think this is a minor matter like it would be in other situations in other fields. Private practice may help you avoid most if not all of that, but not initially, and you can bet that the person in charge of that unit for Psychologists went to an APA-accredited school and knows what to look for when you apply. Going into private practice and being successful at it is no easy feat and you'll normally have to be working for some company/practice for some time to accumulate the state-required hours for licensing before you can even go the independent route, plus you still have to pass the EPPP and you won't be adequately trained from the unaccredited degree program to do that. Then even if you get past all of that, you'll have to build a client base which isn't easy and takes time as well.

    So after saying all of that, if a person wants to take a shot at the CSU program and there is no other option for them, I say go for it. But it's good for them to know that there are some very real issues to consider with it (very low possibility of ever being licensed, greater difficulty of landing a respected internship, no possibility of landing an APA-accredited internship, difficulty landing an internship at all which will directly affect their ability to get licensed since they need the hours, lower possibility of being hired, a lower or outright lack of respect from Psychologists in the field).
  19. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Agree, and it applies elsewhere. "I have a lot of experience, so no one looks at my education anymore." This is also a generational bias. People who say that are often near retirement now and entered the job market when fewer jobs required or preferred degrees. They also entered the job market when fewer people had degrees, so there was less competition. Younger people are wondering how to get relevant experience to begin with, and most people end up working in a career that isn't related to their degree. Those who were able to work in the same field as they studied and can now say they have 20 years of experience are the survivors.

    Being an elder Millennial, I try not to forget what I had to go through in my 20s and be out of touch with people entering the job market now. It's not really helpful to tell them that, 10 years from now, no one will care about your degree. They need a job now, and they need to get a job in their field to eventually gain those 10 years of experience.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  20. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I am not sure that CalSouthern's number of credits required for the PsyD is abnormally low. I think you may be missing the fact that a lot of APA PsyD programs require a bachelor's degree for admission and hence a lot more credit hours (saw a couple that award a Masters along the way).

    CalSouthern requires a Masters degree for admission and hence the 66 credit hour PsyD.

    Its biggest issue is the online nature and lack of APA.

    I recall years ago talking to a Psychologist about Saybrook and Fielding. She looked very concerned that I was even considering them (too non traditional).

    At SDN, they look down on even APA accredited McUniversities. Of course, they still have more general utility than a non APA accredited institution.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2024

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