Faculty and Student Perceptions of Clinical Training Experiences in Professional Psychology

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Abstract

This investigation sought to evaluate students’ perceptions of their doctoral practicum/internship training experience, with those of doctoral faculty administrators responsible for the design and implementation of clinical training programs. The participants (n = 1,219 students, n = 30 faculty administrators) completed questionnaires, administered to Time2Track members, regarding their clinical training activities. The resulting sample of student respondents came from all geographic regions in the United States, 92% of whom were from accredited programs of the American Psychological Association (APA) or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). Furthermore, 53% of the student respondents were enrolled in Ph.D. programs and 46% were enrolled in Psy.D. programs. A series of ANOVAs were conducted to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of doctoral clinical training and the experiential nature of student clinical supervision. Comparisons between Ph.D. and Psy.D. students were also conducted to investigate outcome significance of perceived preparedness for professional practice upon the completion of their doctoral studies. Further, differences were assessed between students attending APA accredited versus nonaccredited internship programs. Numerous significant differences were identified among the factors assessed in this study (e.g., students rated their training preparation significantly lower than did faculty for work with multicultural and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] populations). Recommendations for enhancing clinical training relevant to competency based assessment, accreditation standards compliance, and diversity education are presented.

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