The Boston University School of Education’s PhD program in Counseling Psychology has received accreditation through the American Psychological Association (APA).
According to program director and Associate Professor Kimberly Howard, APA accreditation is an indication that SED’s program meets the high standards of training expected by the profession.
“It allows us, as a program, to be a member of professional training groups that support doctoral programs in their efforts to provide quality training to their students,” Dr. Howard said. “APA accreditation also allows our students to access the best practicum, internship, and post-doctoral training sites.”
Dr. Howard added that the accreditation facilitates professional licensure for graduates of SED’s program.
“More and more, states are requiring that psychologists seeking professional licensure must have graduated from APA accredited programs,” she explained.
The accreditation process, Dr. Howard noted, was extraordinarily comprehensive.
“Our program completed a self-study in which we examined every inch of our goals and objectives, our curriculum, our clinical training, our student and faculty processes, our successes, our challenges, etcetera,” she said. “The resulting report was very detailed and included approximately 700 pages of materials.”
Once the self-study was completed and accepted by the APA Commission on Accreditation (CoA), the program participated in a site visit by three psychology faculty, who in turn submitted their own report of their findings.
“Our program was then asked to respond to a few remaining questions that the CoA had, and then ultimately we were granted accreditation,” Dr. Howard said.
She added that the accreditation process was truly a group effort made possible by faculty, staff, and administrators at SED and BU at large.
“Every single faculty member in the Counseling Psychology Applied Human Development cluster contributed to the visioning, to the writing, and to the preparation of the self-study and to the site visit as well,” Dr. Howard said, adding that the program’s doctoral students were great partners, too, as many of them met regularly in a working group to identify tasks that they could take on to facilitate the self-study process.
“This is a big step for the Counseling Psychology program, and for the School,” Dr. Howard said. “We’re excited for the implications that is has for our students and for our impact on the profession.”