Tag Archives: internship

Important notice to users of MyPsychTrack

APAGS recently heard about a change to the MyPsychTrack (MPT) system that could create confusion and lost data. MPT is changing to a new and improved portal (https://app.mypsychtrack.com/) on March 4th, 2016. If you are a student tracking clinical training hours on MPT, unless you logged in recently to record hours, you may be unaware of this change. To maintain all your data, you have to upload your data to the new portal by March 4th. Data logged on the old portal may not be available on or after March 4th.

There is a link on the MPT homepage that provides assistance on transferring hours into the new system. Contact MPT support if you have any questions or concerns and they will walk you through the process.

APPIC believes this will affect about 200 people who haven’t updated their MPT account since March 2015.

Please share this widely with your peers, and of course, it’s always a good practice to back up your data regardless of the system you use!

Match Day: May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

APAGS hopes the odds are ever in your favor. (Source: "The Hunger Games" by duncan on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

APAGS hopes the odds are ever in your favor. (Source: “The Hunger Games” by duncan on Flickr. Some rights reserved.)

For many of us, Match Day is reminiscent of the Hunger Games. We are entering into a lottery for our future, and that is certainly terrifying for many. For clinical, counseling, and school folks, this is the culmination of the better part of a year spent on writing applications, mock interviews, anxiously awaiting interview invitations, traveling the country, Skyping, ranking, and then waiting for the all important email on Match Day.

Today, many students will be thrilled to match; even more thrilled if they match to a top choice! Celebrations kick in and plans for next year quickly begin. For far too many others, the experience will be much different. A heartbreaking email revealing they have not matched and an invitation to participate in yet another round of applications, interviews, and a matching process.

To those who matched this year, congratulations! For those of you who did not, we have some support resources, and we stand in solidarity with you. Whatever your outcome was today, I wish you the best in your next steps.

What We Know Today

Here’s the data APPIC released this morning about the 2016-2017 internship cohort:

  • 3,725 applicants participated in the match (i.e., submitted final rankings). 3,648 of these students were from accredited doctoral programs.
  • 3,235 applicants matched in Phase I; an 87% overall match rate.
  • 84% of applicants who matched got one of their top three choices.
  • There were more available positions (3,800) in the match than applicants who submitted final rankings. At the end of today’s Phase I, 490 applicants remain unmatched, 565 internship positions remain unfilled, and 263 of those are accredited.

For individuals who did not match today in Phase I, this last point provides hope — but may be of little solace to lessen the heartbreak of not matching.  The implications of this imbalance are significant. It hits us deeply in our pockets, as an extra academic year could mean additional unplanned debt. Another year in school could mean delaying other major life events such as getting married, starting a family, or buying a house. While we certainly could look at the “silver lining” of not matching — such as a focused year to complete dissertation and gain additional, possibly specialized, clinical training — the pain and the crisis remain.

An Upswing Since 2011

Since the 2011-2012 match, APPIC has reported a yearly increase in match rates. However, it is important to understand that APPIC only provides data on students who participate in their match, and today’s data is limited to Phase I. For a complete picture of students from accredited doctoral programs who need — and who receive — internships (particularly accredited ones), we turn to data we’ve requested from APA’s Commission on Accreditation. Here’s the information we have:

Internship year Match rate of students from APA accredited doc programs to any internship Match rate of students from APA-accredited doc programs to APA accredited internships
2011-2012 83.1% 51.9%
2012-2013 88.8% 54.6
2013-2014 90.1% 57.7%
2014-2015 93.0% 60.1%
2015-2016 95.3% 68.4%

For current interns, the overall match rate looks good, with 95.3% of students from an APA accredited program matching to any internship. At the same time, we continue to see a sizable gap in students from APA accredited programs who match to APA accredited internships; a mere 68.4% match rate. We are optimistic that the match rates for accredited internships will continue to climb for the 2016-2017 internship cohort. Today’s data from APPIC shows that 72.9% of all ranking applicants from APA and CPA accredited programs matched to accredited internships (this number may look different when CoA releases their data for the 2016-2017 internship year).

Our Advocacy Efforts

For APAGS members, committee and staff, the internship crisis continues to be a grave problem. It is a crisis that remains on the top of the agenda for your APAGS leaders and other advocates within the discipline. The internship stimulus package has supported the growth of internships, and programs continue to reach out for guidance in the development of accredited internships. Champions are tirelessly advocating on behalf of students for the reimbursement of intern services through Medicaid, which could substantially change the status of this crisis along with greatly serving the public. Still, there is much work to be done.

APAGS has been working tirelessly over the past years on advocacy efforts related to the internship crisis. Here are the areas where we have focused particular energy:

  • The $3 million internship stimulus package has helped to create 157.5 accredited internship positions at 29 different sites as of January 2016.
  • We produced a video about the internship crisis, highlighting student experiences and the devastation of not matching.
  • A panel at the 2014 Annual Convention brought together students and other stakeholders to discuss the internship crisis and to explore creative approaches to end the crisis, resulting in an academic paper. Work on these ideas is ongoing.
  • We have been meeting with members of various psychology training councils to prioritize accredited internship development in places with untapped potential for growth; for example, university-based psychology training clinics, community colleges, and school districts.
  • We provide information to applicants to graduate school on how to find a program that best meets their needs, and how to interpret publicly available data about programs, including match rates.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Unlike The Hunger Games where there is only one winner, Match Day brings a winning outcome to many participants. While the odds are improving, it’s up to each of us to change the nature of this game.

  • Please encourage your program to become active in advocating for the development of an internship program.
  • Talk with your practicum sites about the value of hosting an accredited internship.
  • Share the APAGS video about the internship crisis with everyone you know, along with the administration at your school.
  • Engage your state psychological association to become involved in the advocacy efforts for medicaid reimbursement.
  • Share your experiences with us through a guest blog post.

We would love to hear your internship story and your advocacy efforts (additional ideas here). The more we can share ideas, collaborate on solutions, and raise a loud collective voice, the sooner we can end this crisis.

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.


*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. 

What does the site you're applying to say about its LGBTQ training opportunities and affirmative environment? (Source: Kurious on Pixabay. Some rights reserved.)

Internship and Postdoc Sites Share LGBTQ Climate and Training Data

What does the site you're applying to say about its LGBTQ training opportunities and affirmative environment? (Source: Kurious on Pixabay. Some rights reserved.)

What does the site you’re applying to say about its LGBTQ training opportunities and affirmative environment? (Source: Kurious on Pixabay. Some rights reserved.)

Are you applying for internship?

Are you interested in finding out more about LGBTQ climate and training opportunities at internship and postdoctoral sites?

If so, check out our new resource created by the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity and Division 44’s Student Representatives! (Special thanks go to Julia Benjamin, Skyler Jackson, Elizabeth Ollen, and Eric Samuels for their leadership on this project, and to willing training directors for their time and insight.)

We conducted a survey on APPIC-registered internship and postdoctoral sites this summer with the intent of collecting information about how friendly these sites were for people of diverse sexual orientations and genders, and about LGBTQ-focused internship training opportunities that the site might offer.

We received responses from 120 internship sites, 22 postdoctoral sites, and 45 combined internship and postdoctoral sites, from a total of 36 states as well as Washington DC, and three Canadian provinces.

Feel free to explore and manipulate the Excel file here! (last updated 10-1-2015) 

  1. You’ll be prompted to download an Excel file after clicking the link above.
  2. Please note that the file has two sheets; the first is introductory and the second is raw survey data.
  3. Note: If you can’t open .xlsx files, you can first download the file and then use a free online site (like this one) to convert the file to other formats, such as .csv or .pdf.

Data points are organized into broad categories including information on general site information, health insurance, staff diversity trainings, expression of identity, LGBTQ training focus, LGBTQ climate for clients, and overall area and site LGBTQ-friendliness. Additionally, for ease of reading, colors have been used to signify specific answer types.

In finding a site that is right for you, we encourage you to consider all sites in their totality, across domains presented here and in combination with other factors available in the APPIC directory and materials made available by each site. Further, we ask that you refrain from making conclusions about sites that did not or could not complete our survey by its deadline.

APAGS CSOGD and Division 44 plan to periodically update this database to provide the most up-to-date information for internship applicants. We hope you find it to be a helpful resource!

Editor’s note: Other APAGS tools that might help intern and postdoc applicants include webisodes on the APPIC application process, a climate guide (PDF) in workbook format for evaluating sites independently on LGBTQ criteria, a new resource guide for LGBTQ students, and  much more.