Follow up to help choosing graduate programs…

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Gordon, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. Gordon

    Gordon New Member


    Thank you for your kind words, and, I do indeed find your posts to be most useful.

    My first choice was to locate a DL school psychology program, however, I believe the MSCE at the University of Western Alabama will meet my needs just fine. In fact, unless a new DL school psychology program suddenly springs up, I will likely be enrolled at UWA for the spring term.

    Although I am excited about pursuing and completing my graduate studies, I find myself having some difficulty identifying or choosing any one specialty over another. I have a rather extensive background working within the larger domain of Children’s Mental Health. My training and expertise within this population cuts across many professional disciplines as well as many areas of psychology, most notably those associated with clinical, developmental and neuropsychological. And, I have come to rather enjoy this eclectic mix of clients, care-providers and treatment paradigms within this ever-changing milieu.

    Nonetheless I do indeed find the area of neuropsychology to be particularly exciting, challenging and rewarding. And, should I find myself in the fortunate position of receiving an offer for acceptance into a PhD program, I believe I will likely pursue the neuropsychology specialty. I will also have a look at the pediatric neuropsychology program you noted, available through the University of Georgia. This too sounds quite interesting.

    Of course this is only if I can shake the rust off…I *know* that it hasn’t been 100 years since I was in a classroom, but it certainly *feels* that way…

    Thanks again,

  2. David Williams

    David Williams New Member


    This is offered by UGA's APA approved school psychology program through the Department of Educational Psychology. Ball State has a similar APA approved program. BSU's neuropsych focus is also offered as a cognate to students in the APA approved counseling psychology program. School psychology seems to be very robust area nowadays; this month's APA monitor has an article about a dearth in academia. From what I gather the job market is so good for practitioners that few elect to pursue academic careers. In the US many school psychology doctoral students do 'clinical' internships. Anecdotal reports say that some states have a bias against awarding clinical licensure to school psychology grads. I can't attest to this one way or another. One structural downside is that the largest source of pre-doctoral internships -- the Veteran's Administration -- accepts only candidates from counseling and clinical psychology programs. Although, the student has to be a US citizen which makes this a moot point in any event for Canadians. Gordon, if you're interested in the implications of US acquired school psychology training as regards neuropsychology practice in Canada (at least Alberta) leave me a private message and I'll see if I can locate my friend and if she's willing to consult with you. I don't feel comfortable identifying her in this public forum.

  3. Gordon

    Gordon New Member


    Thank you for the kind offer to locate your friend on my behalf, and I may yet ask you to do so. I am indeed interested in the implications of US acquired training in relation to neuropsychology practice in Canada. Towards this end, I have found a local private-practice psychologist who trained in the US, as well as another practitioner who completed his post-doc in neuropsychology from the Fielding Institute. I shall try these local individuals first and if neither is available (or helpful...), then I shall contact you via private message regarding your friend.

    The information you provided regarding school psychology was quite interesting and I look forward to reading the December APA Monitor. A very similar situation appears to be in place here as well. Typically, the local school boards have their own psychology departments, which include PhD level Psychologists, as well as Master’s - level Psychological Associates. I am told that these psychology departments cannot keep up with the referrals for assessment, and, the balance of these referrals is being contracted out to private practitioners and agencies. In fact, my associate, who is the former (retired) HOD from the local hospital, informs me that the hospital has had a vacancy for a psychometrist for almost two years!

    As mentioned, I will likely enrol in the MSCE program at the University of West Alabama. Through private correspondence I have been informed that the program will include a detailed examination of the MMPI-2, as well as the Wechsler Intelligence Scales. Other instruments that are investigated include tests of intelligence, personality, achievement, and neuropsychology.

    In addition, I have arranged to spend time with a local private psychology clinic that handles a lot of psycho-educational assessments. My interest here is two-fold: to gain additional training and expertise, and, to gain exposure to those assessment instruments that might not be covered by the UWA program.

    The University of Georgia pediatric neuropsychology program caught my attention as it was, well, pediatric-based, which I felt might fit nicely with my background in Children’s mental health. Towards this end, the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa and the Institute of Neuroscience at Carleton University (also in Ottawa) offer a behavioural neuroscience option through a collaborative program. While I am presently investigating, my understanding is that the option exists to pursue pediatric neuropsychology.

    David, I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your posts / replies and also the insight, erudition, and encouragement that you have offered.

    Thank you once again,


    PS: BTW I currently reside in Ontario. However, as Spencer Johnson might offer, I think the ‘writing is on the wall’ regarding a move to Alberta…
  4. tenbsmith

    tenbsmith New Member

    Gordon, you sound like you are well on your way. As David(?) said, there are many 'Schools of Education' offerring APA accedited clinical degrees. This is a pretty good backdoor since they come from recognized schools, but getting accepted is generally easier than at schools of psychology.

    I'll never forget be frad school interview on the way into my MA degree. I described a research project I had worked on in undergrad. The prof interviewing me asked "what was the dependent variabe?" Talk about rust, I had dealt with that stuff in 4 years 'cause I had been working counseling adolescents. When I didn't anser right away, he started asking another quesetion. I told him to hold on a minute, thought about it, and answered correctly. definitely do some work to get the rust off.

    I will be waiting for another 1.5 years--possibly a little longer--as my wife gets her MBA. My current approach is to network into local U's with the possibility of a PhD in either Psych, Public Health Policy, or Epidemiology. This will depend on finding a situation that will allow me to go part-time and dove-tail with my current job. If I can't find that, then I'll consider DL. My boss knows a prof at Fielding, he might be willing to pay part of the tuition, in which case I'd try that. If not that, then I'd seriously consider an accredited UK school and PhD by research.

    I've just tracked down my old prof from GSU. She sent me an e-mail Friday, and I need to respond today. Perhaps I'll call. One question she asked, "Are you free to re-locate?" Well, not really. Not sure how she'll take that. She may be sympathetic or she may think that I'm not serious enough about it...


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