In This Issue

Special feature: Internship Match 2013

The good news: fewer match failures than 2012. The bad news: accredited internships are still too few and hard to land.

The APPIC Internship Matching Program (the “Match”) places applicants into psychology internship positions at training sites in the United States and Canada. The Match is sponsored and supervised by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). After all interviews are completed, each applicant and internship program submits a Rank Order List of their preferences. Using an algorithm, the Match then places individuals into positions based entirely on the preferences stated in the Rank Order Lists. At present, a severe imbalance exists between the number of students seeking accredited internships and the number of available internship positions. This special feature on the Internship Match 2013 begins with the APPIC Match Statistics from Phase I followed by a statement from APA/APAGS on the 2013 Match and an open letter from the Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs’ Executive Board on the CUDCP’s proposal to limit the Match to applicants from accredited programs.

2013 APPIC match statistics from Phase 1, Feb. 22, 2013

Note: Three students seeking EdD degrees were included in the PhD category in order to prevent individuals from being identified.
APA/APAGS statement on the 2013 APPIC internship match

For students in clinical, counseling and school psychology programs, the APPIC Internship Match Day is a critical milestone in their academic careers. The American Psychological Association and American Psychological Association of Graduate Students are encouraged that, during the first phase of the 2013 internship match process, fewer students looking for an internship failed to match than did so last year. However, we also strongly note that the imbalance between the number of students seeking internship and the number of internship positions, particularly accredited internships, is unacceptably high. Helping to resolve the internship crisis is one of APA and APAGS's highest priorities — and will remain so until it is no longer a crisis.

The Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internships Centers released this year's match statistics today:

  • 4,481 students registered for the 2013 match

  • 4,051 students submitted a ranking list

  • 2,515 positions were available at APA- and CPA-accredited internship sites

  • 861 positions were available at APPIC member, non-APA/CPA-accredited internship sites

  • 2,431 students matched to APA- and CPA-accredited internship sites

  • 663 students matched to APPIC member, non-APA/CPA-accredited internship sites

 These data indicate a match rate of 76.4 percent to any internship, and 60 percent to APA- and CPA-accredited internships.

These numbers reveal that the field is continuing to experience an internship crisis, one that in many cases haphazardly affects students who are otherwise qualified and prepared to be interns. We reiterate that this crisis is complex and requires the continued focus of many stakeholders devoted to short- and long-term solutions, such as the ones APAGS outlined in July 2012 with our official position on the crisis and published in Grus et al. (2012).

For those who did not match to an internship this year, APAGS extends our uncompromising support and encouragement. We understand that no matter how many times you have braced yourself for the possibility of not matching, the reality still stings. This news may also lead you to doubt your abilities and feel let down by others. These are natural feelings, and you are not alone. APAGS is pained to hear stories of students in these predicaments. They are happening far too frequently and affect students who would very likely match in a system that had no shortage. We hope you find constructive ways to further your professional development in the upcoming year. APAGS and APA continue to fight for students in these situations where ever possible.

APAGS recently updated its article describing next steps for students who did not match. The article contains links to further sources of support.

Those who secured an internship have reason to celebrate the opportunity to continue your professional training and goals without interruption. We hope that you are pleased with your outcome and that you have a great internship training year.

For all students—present and future—APA is extremely concerned about the APPIC internship match imbalance. We have been involved in a number of steps to address this problem in 2012 and 2013, specifically:

  • APA has funded an Internship Stimulus Package, designed to help currently non-accredited internships achieve APA accreditation. As a result of the advocacy of APAGS and other training groups, APA agreed in August 2012 to fund up to three million dollars, over three years, for this program. So far, APA has funded 32 internships totaling $600,000.

  • We are advocating for reimbursement of services provided by clinical interns. Internship sites in numerous states have had difficulty securing reimbursement for services provided by interns. Such reimbursements could aid in creating and fund internship positions.

  • APA's Commission on Accreditation is at a historic moment in considering revisions to its Guidelines and Principles, providing APAGS with several opportunities to outline our concerns and recommendations related to the internship crisis. We consider each question and comment an opportunity to advance our goal of an APA-accredited internship position for every student in an APA-accredited doctoral program.

At "Courageous Conversations 2," an internship crisis dialogue among APAGS, APPIC and various councils of doctoral training programs, convened in December of 2012, APAGS voiced the needs of its members:

  1. We asked doctoral training councils to encourage doctoral programs to provide financial assistance to students failing to APPIC match. This support could include an assistantship with a stipend or free tuition to students who need to stay enrolled to document full-time status. All training councils agreed to recommend this to their member programs.

  2. We will educate applicants to doctoral programs about the internship match so they can make fully informed decisions about their education and training. APAGS premiered these materials in January 2013 and will continue to develop and share information at conferences, on the Web and through its Campus Representative network. 

Source: American Psychological Association. (2013). APA/APAGS Statement on the 2013 APPIC Internship Match. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/appic.aspx. Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychological Association. Reproduced with permission.
Council of Directors of School Psychology Programs (CDSPP) Executive Board’s response to the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP) proposal to limit the APPIC Internship Match to applicants from accredited programs

Greetings colleagues,

First of all, thanks to those who weighed in on the recent recommendation to APPIC from CUDCP to limit the APPIC internship match, beginning in 2015, to applicants from accredited programs. CUDCP requested that CDSPP endorse this proposal to APPIC. Therefore, CDSPP shared the request with the membership for input. The request from CUDCP is grounded in the national dialogue about the doctoral psychology internship imbalance among those entering the APPIC/APA match.

We received a range of responses and a great deal of dialogue from CDSPP membership. What follows is a summary of the highlights from this dialogue. Several program representatives elected to respond via the List-serve, while others replied offline and the summary that follows integrates both sources of feedback. Overall, 15 school psychology doctoral programs weighed in on the proposal from CUDCP. Seven programs responded in favor of the proposal or indicated that their programs would not be impacted, while eight were against the proposal. Several of those not endorsing the proposal voiced strong feelings about not endorsing the proposal. The most common reasons cited for failing to endorse the proposal were as follows:

  1. The internship imbalance would not be greatly improved by limiting the match to those from accredited programs because a very small percentage of students who match to APA-accredited internships are from non-accredited programs.

  2. Limiting the match to those from accredited programs would stifle and possibly harm the development of new programs, particularly those moving toward accreditation. Applicants would avoid programs that are not accredited, creating a situation whereby newer programs could not establish themselves and create a pool of high-quality graduates.  

The sense was that CDSPP should not endorse the recommendation unless safeguards are established for protecting doctoral programs in the process of securing accreditation (e.g., granting provisional status to programs that have submitted a self-study and are approved for a site visit and allowing their students to participate in the match).

School psychology is in a unique situation because there are far fewer accredited internships in schools, where most school psychology students complete internships and work. Furthermore, restricting participation in the match would not help school psychology students.

Respondents supported putting energy and resources into creating accredited internship slots in schools as a fruitful and better resolution to the problem.

Respondents supported establishing minimum benchmarks for those applying for internships, such as requiring the successful completion of the dissertation proposal and comprehensive exams, and argued that this would not only limit the number applying for internships on an annual basis, but also contribute to timely program completion, all issues very important to APA and accredited programs.

Therefore, given the variety of mixed feedback received and the valid concerns raised, the CDSPP Executive Council is not able to endorse the CUDCP proposal to limit the match to those from accredited programs (beginning in 2015) in its current form. However, the CDSPP Executive Council would be very open to entertaining a revised proposal that would include students from currently non-accredited programs that are at various stages of pursuing accreditation (e.g., submission of a self-study, completed site visits, etc.) Perhaps a process establishing benchmarks for "provisional status" similar to internship sites pursuing accreditation could be undertaken.

CDSPP also endorses the expansion of high-quality doctoral internship training sites, including those that meet the recently adopted CDSPP doctoral internship guidelines, as well as APA accredited/APPIC training sites. CDSPP is also committed to prioritizing the establishment of minimal requirements for internship readiness, which may include the successful completion of a dissertation proposal and comprehensive exams.

While CDSSP cannot endorse the CUDCP proposal at this time, we are very open as a training council to exploring other avenues that address the internship imbalance and ensure high quality internship training for all of those in applied specialty areas.

Sincerely,

CDSPP Executive Council

Pamela Fenning, Loyola University, Chicago (Chairperson)

Abigail Harris, Fordham University
(Chairperson-elect)

Cyndi Riccio, Texas A & M University
(Treasurer)

Dan Olympia, University of Utah
(Secretary)

Michael Vanderwood, UC Riverside

Christine Malecki, N. Illinois University

Ex Officio Members

Gary Stoner, University of Rhode Island

Carlen Hennington, Mississippi State University

This message from the CDSPP Executive Board was posted to the Div. 16 Listserv March 9, 2013. Reproduced with permission.