APA gives full accreditation to Rowan’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program

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Rowan's clinical psychology program has received full accreditation by the American Psychological Association. - Graphics Editor / Julia Quennessen

The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Rowan University has achieved full accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA), after a meeting in late October 2023. 

The program’s initial accreditation date was on April 7, 2019, and after that, the program was labeled under, “accredited on contingency” which meant the program had not yet been fully accredited, but was on the path to being. 

In a meeting that took place from October 25-28, 2023 the APA Commission on Accreditation was able to assess the Clinical Psychology Program and its data, which eventually led to them approving full accreditation. Rowan University now joins four other fully accredited universities in N.J. 

The APA serves as the largest group of psychologists in the country, and when a school gets fully accredited by the association, it aids Ph.D. students in getting a job in the future. APA-accredited programs prepare students with a license to practice psychology that meets the standards of multiple employers, giving them a better chance of an entry-level position. For Rowan, this is a massive achievement, and for the clinical psychology program, this becomes a first-time accomplishment. 

The full accreditation will be permitted for up to ten years, which means that it ends in 2033. The clinical psychology program also gets regular site visits, where an APA site visitor visits the university to see if the program is up to APA standards. The last visit was in June 2023. 

With this new status given to the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program, the director of the program, Jim A. Haugh, Ph.D., believes this step is in the right direction for success.

“I would love to see us continue. To develop and grow our research reputation throughout our country. I think we are well respected regionally.” Haugh said. “We’ve got students throughout the country already in a very brief time that you’re doing wonderful things.”

Haugh works with the Associate Director of the Clinical Psychology Department in training, but also they are responsible for the curriculum, sites for students, and aiding students in getting internships. 

He explains that with the accreditation process comes a lot of observation of the program. The program’s curriculum is reviewed to ensure that students are receiving efficient mentorship. They examine the faculty involved in the clinical psychology program by making sure that they are consistently meeting goals with students. Another important aspect of the program that is checked is if students are getting jobs. 

The purpose of the APA accreditation and why it is a huge achievement for Rowan University is that it allows students to obtain licenses more easily so that they can get into their psychology careers as soon as they graduate. The program is evaluated on whether students are meeting the outcomes, obtaining those licenses, and if all those parts of it are achieved, they received accreditation. 

Now, students can get more support and for their future employers, they can demonstrate they attended a rigorous program accredited by the APA. President of Psych Alliance, Summer Niceta shared how she gets lots of help from the staff from the entire psychology department. 

“Our professors work so hard to prepare students for graduate school and or careers we want to pursue. They’re constantly working together by letting us experience different opportunities by getting involved with internships, jobs, and research,” Niceta said. “It is very hands-on which has benefitted us all greatly.” 

Currently, there are around 200 accredited Ph.D. programs, which marks a big accomplishment for this region of the country. The clinical psychology Ph.D. program takes seven students per year as it is a highly competitive program as well. 

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