CAPS Internship Program Receives Accreditation

CAPS Internship Program Receives Accreditation
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The Commission on Accreditation for the American Psychological Association conducted a review of the psychology internship program at Counseling and Psychological Services during the commission's meeting on March 30 - April 2. This review included consideration of the May 4, 2020, decision letter informing the program of its "accredited, on contingency" status and the program's response submitted to the commission. The commission voted to award full accreditation to the program for its effectiveness in achieving program competencies while interns are in the program and after completion. This accreditation lasts through 2025, when the commission will come for the next accreditation site visit.  

The psychology internship program represents the capstone of the five-year doctoral degree program, and the program chosen often sets the tone for the beginning of the intern's professional career. The interview process is rigorous, and the results are decided based on the results of a complex algorithm. A psychology internship is a 40-hour week, one-year commitment, making it a major decision for students.

"Attending an accredited program increases the ease of the licensure process and increases employment eligibility. Accreditation ensures that programs are providing quality training at the highest standards, which protects both the public and the standards of education," said Elizabeth Stout, assistant director/training director of CAPS.  

Maintaining accreditation challenges CAPS staff to continue to develop and provide the best possible quality of graduate education and training in psychology.

"APA accreditation is important because it ensures that interns are receiving a breadth of science-based training across all nine profession-wide competencies. There is much more to being a psychologist than providing therapy in an office, and the accreditation ensures that interns receive a much broader training," Stout said.

CAPS has been able to provide quality graduate education and training in psychology due to the supervisors, administrators, staff and most importantly, the interns who worked to help build the program.

Stout noted, "We were the first college counseling center in the state to build a nationally accredited psychology internship, and to my knowledge, we are still the only counseling center to be able to claim APA accreditation." 

Historically, choosing an internship that is close to home has been difficult due to the lack of quality training programs in the mid-South. The consequence of which is that some of Arkansas' brightest talent ends up leaving our state, often accepting jobs where they train and not returning. CAPS hopes that their internship program meets the growing need for mental health services in Northwest Arkansas, attracts highly qualified clinicians to this area and provides a more manageable training option for interns with family or other obligations in the area.

To learn more about the psychology internship program and the services available to you at CAPS, go to health.uark.edu. To read more about accreditation from the APA go to accreditation.apa.org.  

Contacts

Breeanne Carter, assistant director for marketing and communications
Pat Walker Health Center
479-575-7369, bccarter@uark.edu

Scott Flanagin, executive director of communications
Division of Student Affairs
479-575-6785, sflanagi@uark.edu

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