Student Counseling Services (SCS) is actively working to secure an APA-accredited internship program. SCS has the support of the University and the Division of Student Affairs to welcome (tentatively) its first cohort in the Summer of 2018. In keeping with ethical standards, SCS cannot guarantee the timeline of the process but can share the proposed plan.
Auburn University Student Counseling Services (SCS)
Pre-Doctoral Internship Program for Health Service Providers
Intern candidates who would be most satisfied at the SCS site are flexible individuals who are invested in learning and growing in a graduated manner over the course of the year. The candidate would also be a person who values a broad definition of diversity, has a willingness to engage in a wide range of service delivery activities with a positive attitude, and is patient with the process.
The SCS training program is aimed to offer generalist training with the goal of fostering personal and professional growth over the course of the year such that interns are ready to transition into the next phase of their career. Conceptual and experiential training will be provided to ensure that interns have sufficient knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to be competent practitioners. Constructive feedback will be an important part of the internship year as a means of facilitating the greatest possible growth. An effort will be made to integrate interns as a part of the permanent staff while still respecting that interns are trainees and maintaining appropriate professional boundaries between permanent staff members and trainees.
A broad understanding of diversity will be important. It is hoped that diversity will be woven in throughout various aspects of the training experience and not limited specifically to the Diversity seminar. While there are certain training experiences that SCS deem important to be uniform between the interns completing the program, the goal of the SCS permanent staff is to provide space for interns to tailor their internship in certain ways such as choosing the types of groups they co-facilitate, what types of outreach events they provide, and their preferred areas of rotation each semester.
Since the center’s goal is for this experience to be a growth promoting year of professional and personal development, interns are informed in advance that self-reflection and self-disclosure will be expected to meet that goal of growth. While an effort will be made to meet interns where they are at with regards to the depth of self-disclosure, it is important to know that there is an expectation that interns at the center will be open. Interns will actively engage in the process of self-reflection and dialogue about those reflections to improve clinical service delivery and promote professional development.
The specific training areas covered in the SCS program are aligned with standard accreditation standards and will provide a broad range of generalist training that highlights the incorporation of science and practice within a collegial and collaborative environment. Training components will cover areas such as those listed below:
- Individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Emergency coverage
- Supervision of practicum students
- Outreach programming
- Optional Rotations (e.g., Eating Disorder, Group, Diversity, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction,)
- Two year-long seminars of Supervision of Supervision and Diversity
- Multi-week seminars on important areas such as: Groups, Assessment, Outreach, Ethical and Legal Issues, Crisis Intervention and Risk Management, Case Presentation, Career and Job Search
- Specific topical areas covered such as Substance Use/Abuse, Trauma, Eating Disorders
Time for research may also be possible. The time might be used to work on completing the dissertation or work on a project with a SCS staff member or another approved professional.
As SCS progresses toward securing APA-accreditation, the center will post additional details about the program for potential intern’s review. It is the goal of the SCS staff that program materials will provide sufficient information so an informed decision about whether the SCS site would be a good fit for potential intern’s training goals. While another internship site may be a better fit, SCS appreciates potential applicant’s review of the program and what SCS, Auburn University, and the Auburn community can offer.
Wherever potential interns end up for internship, SCS hopes it is a positive, growth-promoting year and look forward to having these new professionals as health service provider colleagues in the near future. In keeping with Auburn University tradition, “War Eagle!”
- March 9, 2017: Materials for Intent to Apply designation were submitted (this means that SCS will pursue accreditation status within 2 years) to APA’s Commission on Accreditation (CoA)
- July 2017: Intent to Apply application materials reviewed by the Commission at their July meeting
- August 2017: Informed that feedback from July review will be sent by mid-August. Incorporate edits from CoA review
- Fall 2017/Winter 2018: Participate in Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Center (APPIC) Match during 2017-18 academic year (as non-APPIC members since SCS cannot become members until SCS secures its first interns on-site)
- Summer 2018: Welcome 1st cohort (likely July start date)
- Summer/Fall 2018: Submit materials for APPIC membership and APA-accredited on contingency status
- Spring/Summer 2019: Work toward securing accredited on contingency status in a timely manner with the goal of the 1st internship cohort graduating from an APA-accredited program (i.e., accredited on contingency status since SCS would not yet have the distal data to apply for full accreditation)
The self-study information has been completed and was submitted on March 9, 2017 to APA’s Commission on Accreditation (CoA) for review under the Intent to Apply designation.
**Intent to Apply is not an accreditation status but allows SCS to have the application materials reviewed by CoA so that SCS can secure feedback on changes the center needs to make to better solidify the program as APA compliant.
The reason SCS is pursuing Intent to Apply is to expedite the review process once interns arrive so that SCS can more likely secure APA-accredited on contingency status by the conclusion of the first intern cohort’s graduation. Again, SCS cannot confirm that the center will be accredited by that specific date, but the goal is to complete as many steps as possible to increase the likelihood that the first cohort will graduate from an APA-accredited program.
Please note that accredited on contingency status simply means that SCS has not graduated interns yet and cannot provide the required distal data that is required to qualify for APA, full accreditation. APA accredited on contingency is an accreditation status.
- SCS plans to welcome the first internship cohort in Summer 2018, likely July, to account for interns who may attend the APA Convention, academic program graduation dates, and job start dates after internship.
- To apply for APPIC membership, a site has to have interns on-site, which is why SCS has to wait and submit materials for APPIC membership once the first cohort arrives.
- APA materials will also be submitted as soon as the interns arrive so that SCS can address any areas needed to secure a site visit as soon as possible within the 2017-18 academic year.
- The SCS objective is to secure APA-accredited on contingency status before the first cohort graduates so that the first cohort, and subsequent cohorts, can graduate from an APA-accredited internship program. While SCS cannot guarantee the specific time frame, an APA-accredited internship program is the ultimate goal.
For questions specific to the Auburn University Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology at Student Counseling Services, please contact:
Student Counseling Services
Brandy Smith, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Training
Auburn University, 400 Lem Morrison Drive, Suite 2086, Auburn, Alabama 36849
For questions about the status of the program or other logistical concerns, please contact the Commission on Accreditation:
APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
TDD/TYY: 202.336.6123 Fax: (202) 336-5978
For more information: American Psychological Association (APA)