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WKU accepting applications for psychology doctorate

WKU is accepting applications for its newly-approved Doctor of Psychology in Applied Psychology program. The first cohort begins this fall and enrollment is already strong.

The Psy.D. program focuses on training clinical and school psychologists, according to Rick Grieve, Coordinator of the Clinical Psychology Master’s Concentration. It is a three-year post-master’s program with a focus on training supervisors for master’s-level practitioners.

“The mission of the program is to train competent doctoral-level practitioner/scholars who have core foundations in interpersonal and scientific skills and mastery of clinical practice and evidence-based interventions, and who can apply their knowledge and skills within a range of settings, including rural and underserved populations,” he said.

“Coursework will be tailored and individual mentoring will allow students to select coursework that best matches their interests and allows them to pursue the career path they want to pursue,” Dr. Grieve said.

The program at this point is tailored to non-traditional students, he said. Classes will be offered in the evening and on weekends and alternate delivery methods, such as interactive television and online, may be used later.

Dr. Grieve said graduates are expected to fill the need for doctoral level practitioners in the western region of Kentucky, especially in underserved areas.

Dr. Gordon Emslie, WKU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said WKU is extremely pleased to offer the Psy.D., its fourth practice-based doctorate.

“This new doctoral program will provide state-of-the-art education, delivered by world-class faculty, in an area that is so critical to the quality of life in our community and nation,” he said.

The program focuses on evidence-based practice, and training supervisors, using a cognitive-behavioral orientation. The Psy.D. is an applied practice degree in the behavioral (or mental) health field. It follows a practitioner/scholar model of training, promoting application of the foundational knowledge of the science of psychology to clinical practice and the development of interpersonal and scientific skills for use in implementing and evaluating practice.

Upon completion of the internship, graduates will be eligible to apply for licensure as psychologists. The program will require two capstone experiences—a dissertation and a pre-doctoral internship. The dissertation serves to document the student’s mastery of scientific skills while the pre-doctoral internship serves to document the student’s ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills in community settings and evaluate practices.

Psychologists trained within this practitioner/scholar model program will be qualified to establish careers in the private and public sectors, including clinics, hospitals, community agencies and schools. They may also teach in colleges and universities and provide supervision to master’s level practitioners.

The 48-hour program has a 27-hour core set of courses and two possible specializations: Clinical Psychology and School Psychology, each consisting of 21 hours. Students will select one specialization.

“The program is designed to have a low student-faculty ratio so that admitted students can receive close individual mentoring from faculty members,” Dr. Grieve said.

The Psy.D. program is housed in the Department of Psychology in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Contact: Rick Grieve, (270) 745-4417

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