App state establishes psychology doctorate, to admit students in fall 2019 asu news bp gas card login


BOONE — Appalachian State University has received approval from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to establish a Doctor of Psychology program, with a primary goal of training students in clinical psychology to serve rural populations. Appalachian plans to begin admitting students in fall 2019.

The program will help address the shortage of providers in North Carolina, where about one-quarter of the state’s 100 counties have no practicing psychologist, according to a 2016 report by the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“The foresight of the board of governors in sanctioning this doctoral program at Appalachian helps us address the ever-increasing demand for psychologists in North Carolina, especially in underserved, rural areas,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “This program also expands our capacity for outreach, research and collaboration with communities. In addition to the health and wellness benefits, the program will strengthen communities through the additional professional workforce.”

The Psy.D. program will be housed in Appalachian’s Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Its curriculum will be designed to meet requirements for American Psychological Association accreditation. The program’s goal is to develop psychologists who are well-rounded practitioners trained in and committed to evidence-based professional practice. The program has already been approved by the university’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Students in the Psy.D. program will gain a broad knowledge in psychology, assessment, intervention, research and other topics, as well as significant applied supervised clinical training in the community. Sites already used as part of Appalachian’s master’s degree program in clinical psychology include area schools through the Assessment, Support and Counseling Centers, founded by Appalachian faculty to reach young people in rural areas; medical practices in the community; and the university’s Psychology Clinic and Counseling and Psychological Services Center.

For example, Curtin said a provider’s recommendation to treat depression through exercise, as supported by research, might not be feasible for a client without access to a gym or safe sidewalks for walking. Or, a client who values self-reliance may have difficulty asking friends and family for support, as a provider might typically recommend, she said. Students in Appalachian’s program would learn how to identify these issues or concerns and find alternatives that work for the client while also adhering to professional standards and evidence-based practice.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to apply for licensure as psychologists and health service providers, with qualification to establish careers in the private and public sectors. These include clinics, hospitals, community agencies, university counseling centers, public schools and private practice. They may also teach in colleges and universities, and provide supervision to master’s level practitioners.