University of Central Florida's Psychology Program Receives Accreditation

University of Central Florida's Psychology Program Receives Accreditation
UCF receives an accreditation for its psychology internship program.

In the heart of Florida, University of Central Florida offers a ton of degrees for healthcare professionals, including psychology majors. Now, the Counseling Center's Pre-Doctoral Internship Program in Professional Psychology has just earned official accreditation from the American Psychological Association. This is big news for students and professors who have been apart of the program for many years.

Karen Hofmann, a licensed psychologist and associate director of the training program, said that the Counseling Center is set to a higher standard for the school and its program. Offering a pre-doctoral internship in psychology in addition to a master's degree program gives even more opportunities to their students.

"There's no standard for a master's degree other than accumulating enough hours," said Hofmann." The pre-doctoral internship in psychology is a lot more complicated, and there's a national structure."

The APA has often accredited aspiring programs, asking for a more complicated structure and looking at a program's worth to its students, teachers and community. The book of guidelines is actually 30-pages long. The application is really a self study in which the program prepares a report to evaluate all of its goals and indicate that it meets the accreditation's standards. A site visit is also required to see that everything in the self study is correct. The decision is then made based on all of these materials.

Hofmann, who began as an associate director in 2006, has helped the program to be eligible for accreditation by the APA and Internship Centers in 2007. The center connected the interns to different training programs but also helped with a basis for the accreditation.

"APPIC is also an application process, it's just not as rigorous as APA so that gave us a good indication that we were on the right track and that everything was in place," Hofmann said. "It was our first milestone."

Within a few years, the internship program was able to grow and help UCF get on the map as a top place for psychology majors to study. The accreditation will require higher standards for staff and students in the coming years, which will provide for better trainers for students as well as good counseling, which is what the interns need to learn.

"This national accreditation also helps put UCF on the map as one of the top internships that's being sought after," said Hofmann. "I think that this Is something UCF as a whole will be proud of."

The program at UCF is now nearing its end for accepting new applicants for the fall 2012 semester, but interest students can still find out more information and start thinking about applying for the next term. You can find out more information at http://counseling.sdes.ucf.edu/training-doctoral#a7.

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