Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS) welcomed its third intern cohort in July of 2020. The SCPS Doctoral Internship Program is now accredited, on contingency.
Auburn University Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS)
Doctoral Internship Program for Health Service Providers
Intern candidates who would be most satisfied at the SCPS 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 SCPS 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. If a candidate is not willing to directly provide and receive feedback, then they are encouraged to look elsewhere for an internship opportunity as SCPS will not be a good fit. SCPS is willing to help Interns grow in the area of feedback, but the Intern needs to bring an openness and investment to the feedback process.
A broad understanding of diversity will be important as well. It is expected 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 SCPS deem important to be uniform among the Interns completing the program, the goal of the SCPS 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 optional 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. The goal of the self-reflection and dialogue about those reflections is to improve clinical service delivery and promote professional development. If an Intern candidate is not interested in engaging in self-reflection and self-disclosure, then another internship site is a better fit. As with feedback, SCPS is willing to help Interns grow in this area, but an openness and investment in the process is needed as a baseline.
Because the internship is intended to be growth-promoting, it is important to remember that to grow involves getting out of one’s comfort zone. Therefore, it is realistic to expect discomfort at times, and SCPS works to normalize that part of the process. SCPS requests that Intern candidates remind themselves how growth can occur through challenge, and that maturity and professionalism facilitate the growth process for all parties involved.
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. While Interns are involved in direct service delivery as an experiential component of internship, there are many training activities throughout the year. The specific training areas covered in the SCPS program are aligned with 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, Outreach, Diversity, Academic/Research)
- Two year-long seminars of Supervision of Supervision and Diversity
- Multi-week seminars on important areas such as: Groups, 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 SCPS staff member or another approved professional.
As SCPS progresses toward securing APA-accreditation, the center will post additional details about the program for potential Intern’s review. The Site visit occurred in May 2019. In August 2019, the program was accredited, on contingency. “On contingency” simply refers to the number of graduated cohorts by the time of the accreditation review and the opportunity to collect distal data from two graduate cohorts. The program has now graduated two cohorts and will be able to be reviewed for full accreditation in July 2021.
It is the goal of the SCPS staff that program materials will provide sufficient information so an informed decision about whether the SCPS site would be a good fit for potential Intern’s training goals. While another internship site may be a better fit, SCPS appreciates potential applicant’s review of the program and what SCPS, Auburn University, and the Auburn community can offer. Intern candidates are encouraged to contact the Training Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wherever potential interns matriculate for internship, SCPS 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 SCPS 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: Participated in Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Center (APPIC) Match during 2017-18 academic year (as non-APPIC members since SCPS cannot become members until SCPS secures its first interns on-site)
- Summer 2018: Welcomed 1st its first intern cohort in July, 2018
- Summer/Fall 2018: Submitted materials for APPIC membership and APA-accredited on contingency status on August 20, 2018
- Spring/Summer/Fall 2019: Make any necessary changes in order to secure APPIC membership and APA-accreditation on contingency status with the goal of the 1st internship cohort graduating from an APA-accredited program (i.e., accredited on contingency status since SCPS would not yet have the distal data to apply for full accreditation)
- May 23-24, 2019: APA-accreditation site visit conducted.
- July 15, 2019: SCPS welcomed its 2nd intern cohort.
- July 21, 2019: The Commission on Accreditation (CoA) voted to grant the SCPS Doctoral Internship Program “accredited, on contingency” status.
- June 1, 2021: In accordance with Section 8.21 of the Accreditation Operating Procedures, SCPS will provide outcome data for trainees in the program and program graduates by the time two cohorts have completed the program.
**Intent to Apply is not an accreditation status but allows SCPS to have the application materials reviewed by CoA so that SCPS can secure feedback on changes the center needs to make to better solidify the program as APA compliant.
The reason SCPS is pursuing Intent to Apply is to expedite the review process once interns arrive so that SCPS can more likely secure APA-accredited on contingency status by the conclusion of the first intern cohort’s graduation. Again, SCPS 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 SCPS 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.
- SCPS welcomed its first internship cohort in July of 2018. The July start date allows interns to 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 SCPS waited to submit materials for APPIC membership until the first cohort arrived.
- APA materials were submitted on August 20, 2018 soon after the interns arrived. This will allow SCPS to address any areas needed to secure a site visit as soon as possible within the 2018-19 academic year.
- The SCPS 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 SCPS 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 & Psychological Services, please contact:
Student Counseling & Psychological 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)