Factors Associated With Accreditation: A Comparison of Accredited and Nonaccredited Psychology Doctoral Internship Programs

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Abstract

The national shortage of psychology doctoral internship programs represents a critical issue for the national psychology training community. Internship programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association are in even shorter supply, and the dearth of those programs creates challenges related to employability and licensure for many psychology trainees. The major professional associations in psychology agree that accreditation is the standard for high-quality training, and it is expected that accreditation will play an increasingly important role in the future of our discipline. This study was the first to systematically examine the factors associated with accreditation success, accreditation readiness, and the barriers to accreditation on a national sample of internship programs. Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Programs (APPIC) member internship programs (n = 688) received a survey intended to identify the key differences between accredited and nonaccredited internship programs, to which 187 programs responded. Data suggest that factors such as funding, administrative burden, and institutional support are key elements related to accreditation success and readiness. These data are the most comprehensive available to date and may inform the development of support strategies to increase the number of accredited internship programs and the sustainability of currently accredited programs.

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