Why A Psy.D. From California Coast Will Work For Me

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Rob Coates, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member

    I am in a rare circumstance that allows me to use a Psy.D. from CCU. I'm a school psychologist in Iowa with 23 years exp. and have a license called a "permenant professional certificate" which basically means I'm certified for life to practice school psyc. in Ia. I have a M.A. in Ed. Psyc. and an Ed.S. in school psyc. both from R.A. schools. In Ia. the highest level of certification (liscensure) for school psycs. is the Ed.S. level. I'm currently a student at CCU in the Psy.D. program. I plan on early retirement in 3 years and then doing private practice as a sch. psyc. and independant contracting. The Psy.D. will help my credibility with clients. In Ia., school psycs are exempt from the psyc. board and can do private practice or work in about any setting a child clinical psyc. can. I rejected the idea of going to an R.A. school for my doctorate due to the hoops I would have to jump through and huge expense when the CCU doc. will serve my purposes just as well. When I recieved my Ed.S. at the U. of S.D., the only difference between the Ed.S. and Ed.D was a dissertation Vs. a thesis. Same course work, same internship etc. With the Psy.D. program from CCU, I will end up with a much higher knowledge base than if I had just done the dissertation at U.S.D. and recieved the Ed.D.
  2. Ike

    Ike New Member

    Good luck. I hope that an unaccredited doctorate in pysychology will meet your current and future needs.

  3. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    The only flaw I see is that your plan seems to require that you stay in IA for the rest of your working life. While that may be possible, it would seem there are a lot reasons that in the future you may change your mind. As has been pointed out, it is the future utility of unaccredited degrees that is hardest to predict. In any case good luck with your studies and future plans.
  4. sulla

    sulla New Member

    Rob Coates wrote:
    Plenty of school psychologists and licensed counselors go after a state approved doctorate for marketing purposes only. This is all and good at first until the buzz starts going around that you have an unnacredited degree. Nowadays people will assume that unnacredited schools and degree mills are the same. Besides, you want to be proud of the school you got your doctorate now do you? I mean, this has to do more than just making more money in private practice. I'm sure you want your doctorate to be respected.

    All in all, CCU has been around for a while and still regarded as one of the best unnacreditted schools out there, and now they are pushing for DETC so I can see how this endeavor might, just might work for you in the long run. Its still a risk though, and you will always have to deal with the fact that a PsyD from CCU will always be considered a substandard doctorate by those who know.

    Good luck,

  5. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Which U.S.D. did you attend, the University of San diego or the University of South Dakota? Both have graduate programs in your discipline.

    Tony Piña
    Faculty, California State University San Bernardino
  6. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member

    It was the University Of South Dakota. With the CCU doctorate, I doubt that I'll have to do as much explaining as I already do with the Ed.S. For years I've found myself having to explain what an Ed.S. is and what level of training it represents.
  7. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Hello Rob,

    I symphathize with your dilemma about the Ed.S. Most people have no idea what it is (well...it's higher than a masters but not quite a doctorate). Even worse is the equivalent non-education version, the C.A.G.S. (certificate of advanced graduate study).

    A friend of mine was also a U.S.D. graduate and I was visitng their website. They seem to have changed their school psychology program since you attended. The doctorate is now a Ph.D. and now differs quite a bit from the Ed.S.

    Ed.S. -- 69 semester units with a thesis/no thesis option
    Ph.D. -- 110 semester units with a dissertation required


    The Cal Coast doctorate will definately be faster and less expensive if you are in a situation where an accredited doctorate is not required. I do not know if the fact that Cal Coast has dropped its doctoral degrees (in preparation for its attempt at DETC accreditation) will be an issue.

    If the DETC recognizes the Psy.D. as a first professional degree, rather than a research doctorate, Cal Coast may still be able to offer it within DETC guidelines.

  8. David Williams

    David Williams New Member

    Hello Rob, welcome to the forum. I'm a licensed psychologist; I'm also a supervisor in an APA-approved pre-doctoral internship program.

    If CCU will get you where you want to go, great. Although as other posts have noted you may well experience limitations. Transportability will likely be a problem if you should ever want to leave Iowa. I'd like to amplify Sulla's observation about the buzz of having an unaccredited degree making the rounds in a professional community. I found this to be the case many years ago after I completed a doctorate in counseling that was at least RA. The response I encountered was something like, he just isn't good enough to get into a real psychology program. I found the onus of having a second class credential so annoying I wound up transferring into an APA-approved counseling psychology program. If your reception is anything like mine you may find yourself having to do more in the way of apologizing for the unapproved doctorate than you do for a perfectly kosher EDS in school psychology. I never found it necessary to make excuses for my MSW.

    In addition to problems with portability and prestige, you may well find that HMO panels will not accept you as a provider. Which may also be an issue with other stable sources of revenue such as social security disability work and work for the courts. Given how competitive psychology has become its nice to have as many options as possible.

    Rob, I wonder if one way out of your dilemma would be to fast-track a doctorate in school psychology with your background and take a clinical internship. Which is a fairly common and perfectly acceptable trajectory for licensure as a clinical psychologist. I was able to fast-track and spend only one year on campus. Perhaps you might be able to do something similar in school psychology? Is the USD program APA approved?

    How does the CCU program manage the issue of internship in your case?

  9. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    Sorry to interrupt. CCU required 7 years relevant work experience for admission to doctoral programs. I am not sure how they evaluated the relevance.
  10. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member

    You're right, the USD program has changed considerably since I attended. I have toyed with the idea of stretching my CCU Psy.D. program out for the full five years they allow to complete it in the hopes that if DETC accreditation for the Psy.D. occurs in the future, I might be able to do the additional work or requirements and have it accredited. I'm perfectly fine however, with a state approved Psy.D. as it will suit my purposes as well as an accredited Psy.D. would.
  11. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member


    As I mentioned in my original post, I'm already certified at the highest level possible for a sch. psyc. in Iowa. In other words, there is no separate higher level of cetification for someone holding a doctoral degree Vs. an Ed.S. I already have the authority to practice as a school psyc. in the private or public sector and I currently do occasional work for a number of public agencies such as Disability Determination Services (Social Security or SSI), Dept. Of Human Services, County Case Management ect. Concerning HMO or Insurance riembursement, I'm quite sure that even if I had a Psy.D. in school psyc. from a R.A. program I still would not be covered, so that's a moot point. I also don't believe portability is that big of an issue. I've checked with at least one other state (South Dakota) and found that I could be liscensed as a sch.Psyc. with my Ed.S. and still use Psy.D. behind my name as long as I refer to myself as a "certified school psychologist." I don't have to do an internship with the CCU program because I don't need one. I believe the program is mainly intended for people like me who are already established professionals.
  12. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Good luck.
  13. David Williams

    David Williams New Member

    Another suggestion, Rob. If what you're after is having the initials behind your name and you're OK with being restricted to practicing under the aegis of school psychology you might be able to fast-track a doctorate in psychology from one of the legitimate foreign universities. From what many posters report the tuition can be negligible and, who knows, already having the EDS may get you there very quickly. In point of fact, Jack Tracey is working on a PhD in South Africa. Any advice for Rob, Jack?

    Should you reconsider and decide you'd like to become licensed as a clinical psychologist it is perfectly legitimate to do so with a doctorate in school psychology and a clinical internship. I have a several friends who did their doctorates in pediatric neuropsychology at the University of Georgia where the program is housed in school psychology. Ball State has the same arrangement. They all did clinical internships and obtained licensure in both clinical and school psychology.

    In any event, I hope this information is helpful and I wish you well.

  14. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    I'm usually willing to offer information but reluctant to offer advice, especially when it's contrary to the person's stated intentions. If Rob wants to get his doctoral degree from CCU that's OK with me and I won't try to change his mind. With my MSW and license to practice I could have made similar plans. Instead I've gone to another school. I'll have questions to answer the first time I apply for a job with my doctoral degree on my resume (assuming this ever actually occurs) but at the same time, I know that I'll have the answers to these questions. I work in a place where people are "credentialed" up one side and down the other. I've checked into it and I know my degree will be accepted. So, with all this being said, my advice to Rob is, "Look both ways before crossing the street."
  15. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member


    Just out of curiosity, how much hassle was it to get into the South Africa program, and how low is the cost if I might ask? Are you required to do much course work or mainly just the dissertation? Do you have to do any residency?
  16. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Active Member

    While your CCU doctorate will never really be accredited, IMHO it will still lend credence to the degree to be able to say that the Bachelor's degrees and Master's degrees at CCU were accredited by DETC (of course assuming that they do eventually achieve DETC accreditation).
  17. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    I answered Rob's questions by PM and then realized that I had not made comment on the UOVS admission process. It was rather straightforward and easy. The required materials were just what you'd expect: an application, transcripts, copies of diplomas, etc. I took the liberty of including a detailed version of my resume as well as a formal description of my current job and the work setting. The SAQA examines all foreign qualifications and while this slowed the process a bit, it was faster than I thought it might be. In short, no hassle at all.
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I concur!

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