Tag Archives: APA

Deadline Extended to Join APAGS Leadership!

Pictured are members of the 2014-2015 APAGS Committee, and staff liaisons

You could be here! Pictured are members of the 2014-2015 APAGS Committee, and staff liaisons.

Great news: Are you interested in joining APAGS leadership? The APAGS Committee is still accepting applications for a Member-at-Large position. This position would focus on a number of issues affecting APAGS members, and in particular serve as the point person for Membership Recruitment and Retention issues.

Timeline: If you apply and get slated for this position, you’ll run an election during the month of April by trying to get the online vote of fellow APAGS members. Your term of service would begin this August and you’d serve for two years, through August 2018. You must be in school through at least Spring 2017 to be eligible.

Next steps: For information on eligibility and application materials, please go to our website. All applications must be submitted to apags@apa.org by 11:59PM EST on 2/15/16.

A Few Good Reasons Why the Internship Crisis Might Get (Slightly) Better

Internship is stressful, so let us bask in some good news for a moment.

For the past 18 years, APPIC has produced forward-looking best-case scenarios about the internship match for doctoral students in clinical, counseling, and school psychology using a point-in-time profile of applicants, doctoral internship sites, and open spots on New Year’s Eve.

APPIC predicts that the imbalance between the number of applicants and positions — what APAGS and others call a crisis — will continue to improve, as it has in 2015 and 2014.

Here is what APPIC shared recently* with the psychology education and training community:

  • There are currently only 148 more registered applicants than available positions (compared to a difference of 498 last year and 1,148 only four years ago)
  • Approximately 200 students withdraw from the Match each year after registering (for a variety of reasons, such as not having received any interview offers, deciding to delay their internship another year, seeking or obtaining a position outside the APPIC Match, etc). This suggests that the number of positions in the 2016 Match could equal, or even slightly exceed, the number of students who submit a Rank Order List. “Please note, however, that this does not mean that all applicants will get placed, nor will all positions get filled.”
  • As a result, the 2016 APPIC Match will likely show the closest balance between applicants and positions of any APPIC Match to date.
  • The number of accredited positions, while significantly improved this year, is far lower than the number of registered applicants. (APAGS reported on match rates using just data from the APA Commission on Accreditation on match day 2015).

APPIC reminds us that it has provided a snapshot as of December 31, 2015, and that numbers change each day.**

APPIC’s optimism is corroborated by Robert Hatcher’s new article in APPIC’s academic journal. Hatcher predicts that “even if the internship growth rate slowed to less than 1%, match rates would be in the mid-90% range by 2018” (2015). The article does paint some complications that we’ll be paying attention to.

Crave even more good news this week? APA just announced that “psychology graduate students now have access to 55 new APA-accredited internship slots, thanks to the accreditation of 11 internship programs that received funds from APA’s internship stimulus package. The new slots were created after APA’s Commission on Accreditation was able to accredit 17 internship programs in October. Eleven of those programs were internship stimulus grantees and the additional six programs will also provide a number of internship slots, but those numbers are not yet available.”

APAGS is well aware that while we have some optimistic news before us, not all qualified doctoral students who desire an internship will receive one, and not all doctoral programs and types are matching their students to accredited programs at comparable rates. APAGS has committed substantial resources to address these concerns, and we’ll continue to see that other groups do the same, until the crisis is effectively ended.

If you want to help address the internship crisis as an advocate, go to http://on.apa.org/internshipcrisis to learn how.


Notes:

*All APPIC information presented here, and much of the verbiage, was provided by APPIC in listserv announcements in January 2016.

**For numbers wonks: As of December 31, 2015, the total numbers of applicants and internship sites registered to participate in the 2016 APPIC Match were: 3,940 registered applicants, 3,792 positions offered by 786 registered internship sites (744 of these registered sites are APPIC members).  Compared to last year at this time, these numbers reflect a decrease of 223 applicants, an increase of 127 positions, and an increase of 14 internship sites.  Furthermore, the number of APA- and CPA-accredited positions has increased by 231. Compared to four years ago at this time, which was the year of the worst imbalance between applicants and positions: The number of registered applicants has decreased by 418 (4,358 to 3,940); The number of registered positions has increased by 582 (3,210 to 3,792); The difference between the numbers of registered positions and applicants has decreased by 1,000 (1,148 to 148); The number of registered APA- or CPA-accredited positions has increased by 590 (2,366 to 2,956); The number of registered internship sites has increased by 74 (712 to 786); The number of registered APPIC-member internship sites has increased by 77 (667 to 744).

 

The Texas State Capitol Building. (Source: StuSeeger on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

Tackling the Internship Crisis Through Legislative Advocacy

The Texas State Capitol Building. (Source: StuSeeger on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

The Texas State Capitol Building. (Source: StuSeeger on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

They say everything is bigger in Texas, but there is at least one exception: The window for getting new legislation introduced and passed is tiny!  Despite the fact that the legislature only meets for 140 days every two years, the Texas Psychological Association (TPA)–with the help of its Student Division–was able to find legislative sponsors for the “Intern Bill” and mobilize TPA members and their representatives to support it.

This bill authorizes licensed psychologists to delegate services to a pre-doctoral psychology intern under their supervision.  Allowing licensed psychologists to delegate services to their interns is the first in a series of steps toward making internships more sustainable. As the Director of the TPA’s Student Division, I was given the opportunity to play a key role in advocating for this legislation.

Climbing the legislative ladder

At my first TPA Board of Trustees meeting as the Director of the Student Division, I learned they were planning to find legislators to sponsor the Intern Bill.  After having seen the video created by APAGS about the internship crisis, I was well aware that the lack of internships for qualified doctoral students had reached alarming proportions, with up to 29 percent of applicants not matching during the last five years.  I coordinated with TPA’s Grassroots committee to mobilize students to support this bill and ended up becoming personally involved in advocating for this legislation.

My efforts began by mobilizing the Student Division’s Board of Directors and Campus Representatives to begin spreading the word to colleges and universities across Texas about this bill and what it could do for psychology students.  One of the difficult things about advocacy is that you rarely get feedback about how your message is being received and whether it inspires others to take up the challenge.  I learned that our message was effective after TPA invited its members to spend a day together at the capital with legislators, speaking with them about bills we are sponsoring.

Students turned out in record-breaking numbers for this event, ready to take on the challenge of advocating for this much needed legislation.

I headed back to the capital a few weeks later, along with other key TPA members, to testify before the Texas Public Health committee about the importance of passing the Intern Bill.  This was an exciting opportunity.  I prepared my testimony by doing a little research and getting feedback from students who had not previously matched to an internship program.  After all this work, the amount of time I was allowed to testify was reduced from 10 minutes to about 2 minutes!  I had to be very concise, but I was able to speak about my most important points during this time (To watch, find the testimony from  04/07/2015 under Public Health, starting at 14:25).

Representative Garnet Coleman and Senator Kevin Eltife have been very supportive of the profession of psychology.  Their sponsorship of House and Senate versions of this bill, combined with the persistence of students and TPA members, led to a majority vote with almost no opposition by the House and Senate. The bill became law in June 2015.

The power of student advocacy

My advice to those involved with other organizations interested in promoting similar legislation falls into three categories: awareness, student involvement, and focus.

Awareness: Even in academic settings, people are largely unaware of the severity of the internship crisis.  Laying out the numbers gives people a clear view of the problem.  Once they have been armed with the facts, people are more likely to become involved in changing the situation.  For me, presenting the percentage of students who did not match to accredited internship programs had the greatest impact.  These statistics can be found on the APPIC website.

Student involvement: Students are willing to get involved in legislative advocacy.  When reaching out to them, it is important that you to provide several avenues to express their support.  Those who have the resources to travel to their state’s Capital (or live nearby) should be encouraged to make their position known in person before legislative committees, or set up appointments with their representatives individually.  Providing links to online petitions and to the contact information for the state’s representatives can help others get involved.  Also, encourage your peers to address these issues with their professors and advisors.

Focus: When giving testimony before legislators keep the focus narrow enough so that you don’t become bogged down in unfamiliar jargon.  Present a brief overview of the statistics and then turn your attention to the impact the internship crisis has on individual students and their constituents.  Once they understand that billing for interns will lead to increased access to mental health care for their state’s residents, supporting the legislation becomes that much easier.

Don’t be afraid to ask

If you are a student, it is important to be involved in both a national organization, such as APAGS, and your state psychological organization.  It was through APAGS that I discovered that the internship crisis existed, which prompted me to get more involved with TPA in trying to do something about it.  All I had to do was ask TPA to help with the Intern Bill–they were ecstatic that a student was willing to get involved.

The bottom line is: Don’t be afraid to ask.  Ask your state psychology organization to introduce an Intern Bill; ask other students and psychologists to support it; ask your state government to pass it.

It is my hope that the success we have experienced in Texas will make it easier for other state governments to say yes to an Intern Bill.

Amanda Phillips

Editor’s Note: Amanda S. Phillips is a doctoral student in clinical health psychology at the University of North Texas. She is also the 2014-2015 Director of the Student Division of the Texas Psychological Association. 

living wage

Repost: Is the Minimum Wage a Psychological Matter? (Spoiler Alert: Yes)

From Psychology Benefits Society, A Blog from the APA PI Directorate • November 6, 2015

By Gabriel Twose (Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer, APA Public Interest Government Relations Office)

8737158552_6dc25f9c46_zDo you think that the field of psychology has anything to say about the minimum wage?  In a recent article in American Psychologist, Laura Smith of Columbia University argues that psychology has much to contribute.  Psychological research contributes to our understanding of poverty by highlighting its developmental and health risks for low-income Americans, and how stereotypes about poverty affect that population.The Facts about the Minimum Wage
The federal minimum wage in the United States was established in 1938 as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act, aiming to ensure “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” It reached its peak buying power in 1968, but has failed to keep up with inflation.  The minimum wage was raised to $7.50 per hour in 1999, which is where it stands today.  This is far from a living wage – it is not enough to lift a full time worker with a child above the poverty line.  Although a number of states tie their minimum wage to the cost of living, the federal government has not instituted such an index.

Psychological harms of poverty
Poverty and economic adversity can be difficult environments.  Substantial psychological evidence has outlined the potential harms that can accrue. For example, low-income children and adults are more likely than those living in more affluent circumstances to be at risk for developmental, emotional, and behavioral disorders and worse academic outcomes, with negative implications for success later in life.

Marginalization and exclusion
Psychological research has also looked at other facets of the debate around the minimum wage. Stereotypes about individuals shape others’ reactions to them and opportunities provided to them. We know that the poor are often stereotyped as lazy and stupid, and both politicians and the general public tend to ignore the structural factors that create and perpetuate their circumstances.  Low-wage workers are often treated worse than other workers; you can probably think of examples in your own life, as you’ve seen how people can speak to fast-food workers, janitorial staff, or manual laborers.  Dr. Smith cites a study in which participants rated applicants for a position in a parent-teacher organization; when the candidate was described as working class, she was rated as cruder, more irresponsible, and less suited for the position.  These kind of biases and stereotypes, often unconscious, can lead to marginalization and social exclusion.  This exclusion can make it more difficult to get a job, and has additional harmful effects; excluded people tend to behave more aggressively, make more high-risk, self-defeating decisions, and score worse on logic and reasoning tasks.

Policy Solutions
Dr. Smith points out that several cities have already begun experimenting with increased minimum wages in order to lift workers out of poverty, including San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and Santa Fe, NM.  Additionally, there are a number of relevant federal bills, several of which have been supported by APA.

  • Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) have introduced legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 ( 1150/H.R. 2150).
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) have called for an increase to $15 an hour ( 1832/H.R. 3164).
  • Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2014, which would prohibit employers and employment agencies from discriminating against unemployed job-seekers by refusing to consider them for employment. Although this bill was not passed, it has been incorporated into the recently introduced Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Act of 2015 (R. 3555).

Get involved!
Psychological research has an important role to play in the conversation around the minimum wage, explaining both the negative effects of poverty and the ways in which we marginalize the poor, deeming them unworthy of our help.  The minimum wage is a natural focus for psychologists’ advocacy, and we encourage you to get involved.  A great way to do this is to sign up for APA’s Federal Action Network, joining 123,000 members and affiliates in raising psychology’s voice as one.

Image source: Flickr user Michael Fleshman on Flickr, under Creative Commons

Candice

Getting a Tenure Track Position

While there are many jobs that psychologists can do well after graduation, tenure track professorships are among the positions that many students aspire to. Getting a tenure track faculty position right out of your doctoral program is not easy, but it can be done. Here, five new assistant professors in counseling psychology share tips on what they believe helped them be successful during the job application process last year. These (now) assistant professors were asked, “What made you competitive for a tenure track job?”

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