Apropos of the Capella University WITHDRAWS their APA Accreditation Application thread http://www.waldenu.edu/c/Files/DocsGeneral/Q-A_Psych_licensure.doc Walden Forum About Psychology Licensure January 26, 2006 Questions and Answers Q. Does Walden assist us in meeting licensure criteria? A. Although Walden’s curriculum is designed to meet the academic licensing requirements of most boards, no graduate psychology program can guarantee licensure upon graduation, and we encourage you to consult the appropriate agency in your state or province to determine specific requirements. Walden does have a staff of trained academic advisors, mentors, field training staff and expert faculty to assist you in the process of completing your academic requirements. All other requirements that fall outside of the curriculum are the responsibility of the student. Q. Does Walden hold both [regional and professional] accreditations? A. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org; 312-263-0456. Accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, ensures that the university meets established standards of quality and that its degrees and courses will be recognized by employers and universities around the world. Walden University licensure specializations in psychology are not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or the American Psychological Association, which may be a requirement for licensure in some states. Because no graduate psychology program can guarantee licensure upon graduation, we encourage you to consult the appropriate agency in your state or province to determine specific requirements. For more information about Ph.D. in Psychology specialization licensure, visit the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards at www.asppb.org/about/boardContact.aspx. For more information about M.S. in Mental Health Counseling licensure, visit the National Board for Certified Counselors at www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap. For any of these programs or specializations, you should also contact your appropriate licensing body. International students are encouraged to identify and contact their appropriate licensing body. Q. What is the impact of the Ph.D. program not being APA-accredited? A. The impact of the Ph.D. program not being accredited by APA [the American Psychological Association] is highly subjective and depends on the individual in pursuit of the degree. Remember, an accredited program and/or internship cannot guarantee licensure for any student. Students must be clear about their personal and professional goals before selecting a program. It is just as important that students continue to stay abreast of any changes made by the accrediting body and/or their state or province relating to licensing requirements throughout their studies in any degree program. According to APA, accreditation is designed to “assure the educational community and the general public that an institution or a program has clearly defined and appropriate objectives and maintains conditions under which their achievement can reasonably be expected. It encourages improvement through continuous self-study and review. It fosters excellence in postsecondary education through the development of principles and guidelines for assessing educational effectiveness.” [APA. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions about Accreditation in Psychology. Retrieved February 6, 2006, from http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/accrfaq.html] Q. Do any states require that the program curriculum be APA-accredited for licensure? A. Yes, there are some states that require that the program curriculum be APA-accredited for licensure. For further detail, please consult the appropriate agency in your state or province to determine specific requirements or go to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards at www.asppb.org/about/boardContact.aspx. Q. Why are you not pursuing APA accreditation? A. It is not in our best interest at this time. The program meets the standards of the APA and meets licensure requirements in many states. Walden’s mission is for broad access, to allow our students flexibility, and APA tends to require us to have more restrictions. Q. If you have designed the program to meet accreditation requirements, why is it not in your best interest to seek accreditation? A. In the decision-making process, we evaluated how APA accreditation might impact the School of Psychology, including the potential gains and drawbacks associated with that status. Although the gains are self-evident, the number of drawbacks—and their severity—was substantial. Following is a discussion of the identified drawbacks: First, in order to pursue APA accreditation, the School of Psychology would have needed to significantly constrain its curriculum. Such constraint would preclude a focus on international views of psychology, as well as other views of psychology that are not part of mainstream academic thought. Consistent with the Walden University social change agenda, the approaches to psychology that consider the individual, social, cultural, historical, economic and geopolitical contexts beyond the borders of traditional Western psychology are critical. APA accreditation would mean foregoing many of those areas of study. Second, Walden is committed to the concept of providing greater access to higher education for the adult learner. In order to accomplish this, it is important to provide a learning environment that is conducive to students who work full-time or part-time and who have personal commitments that would otherwise affect their ability to fully engage in and pursue graduate education in a traditional setting. APA accreditation would have required Walden to limit the number of students admitted to our licensure specializations in such a way that we would be forced to reduce access. Walden University is committed to remaining an inclusive institution and one that continues to provide broad access to diverse learners and to prepare them as scholar-practitioners to facilitate positive social change. The Ph.D. in Psychology program is designed to prepare scholar-practitioners to meet real-world challenges and facilitate positive change in individuals, groups, organizations, and local, national and global communities. The decision to consider alternatives to accreditation is based on these commitments. Specifically with regard to broad access, the School of Psychology would prefer to remain inclusive of students from the international community who are interested in licensure specializations. Additionally, while maintaining our admissions standards, we choose to offer admission to many more students than would be possible within the parameters of APA accreditation. Third, we prefer to offer a high-quality program that is also cost-manageable for students. With restricted admissions in the licensure specializations as a result of APA accreditation, fewer students would be enrolling in courses, thereby resulting in substantial tuition increases across all of the specializations and degree programs within the school. This is inconsistent with Walden’s mission and would bring real economic hardship to too many students. Q. What are the advantages/disadvantages for a student regarding a school being APA-accredited if the student is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology? A. The advantages/disadvantages for a student regarding a school being APA-accredited in pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology are highly dependent upon the specific career objectives and licensure requirements in the state(s) in which the student intends to practice. Since there are some states that will not allow you to pursue licensure unless your program is APA-accredited, it is important to know if this will hinder your career/personal objectives. Many states require that a program be APA-accredited or meet the standards of APA accreditation. You may also find that some states have additional requirements beyond attending an APA-accredited program. To be sure, you must consult the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards at www.asppb.org/about/boardContact.aspx. For more information about M.S. in Mental Health Counseling licensure, visit the National Board for Certified Counselors at www.nbcc.org/stateboardmap.