Doctor of Psychology Program Granted Reaccreditation

Feb. 27, 1997

WACO, Texas -- The Baylor University doctoral program in Clinical Psychology recently achieved reaccreditation by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.

The American Psychological Association awarded the program reaccreditation for seven years which is the longest term granted before reevaluation. A team of site visitors rated the Baylor program as exemplary in five out of six domains and above average in the sixth. The program is designed to prepare psychologists for professional practice and offers the professional doctorate in psychology, the Psy.D. degree. The Baylor program, which began in 1971, is the oldest and longest accredited Psy.D program in the country.

The reaccreditation process involves a year-long self study which is followed by an on-campus evaluation by a team of site visitors from the American Psychological Association. The areas for evaluation are institutional support, faculty, curriculum, students, facilities and cultural diversity.

The Psy.D program consists of 40 doctoral students, 16 faculty members from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, and 40 practicum supervisors and associates in the greater Waco area. Ten students are selected each year for the program from an applicant pool which averages more than 200. Dr. David A. Kopplin, professor of psychology and director of the Psy.D program, said two particular strengths of the program are "low student-faculty ratio and the practice experience in mental health and human service provided through community agencies."

Dr. Jim H. Patton, professor and chair of psychology and neuroscience, said the practice placements serve two purposes.

"Students know they will not only get excellent training while they are here, but they also extend the availability of high quality psychological services to the community," he said. "It is a good arrangement for both the students and the community agencies."

The students spend three years of full-time study in residence in Waco. They attend classes for half of the week and also provide psychological services 20 hours each week in agencies under the direction of licensed psychologists.

Currently, students work at the Waco Veterans Administration Medical Center, the Heart of Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center, the Methodist Home, the Freeman Center, Waco and Corsicana Headstart programs, the Department of Adult Probation in Groesbeck, LaVega, Midway, and Waco Independent School Districts, Mexia State School, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Prison at Gatesville, and the Baylor Counseling Center.

The final year consists of a full time internship position at an accredited intern training program. Most internships occur in university teaching hospitals. Currently, students intern in five states.

Over the past 25 years, all 217 graduates of the program who took the national Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology have passed and earned licenses in the state of their employment or practice.

For more information, contact Patton or Kopplin at (817) 755-2961.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?