Greater awareness and funding approved to address internship imbalance
The Education Directorate and the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) worked extensively over the past year to promote more quality internship positions for psychology graduate students. The effort paid off when the APA Council of Representatives approved the allocation of up to $3 million over three years for a small grant program to assist internship sites with the accreditation process. This program will potentially add up to 500 APA-accredited slots to promote quality assurance in training.
APAGS encouraged student leaders in divisions and state psychological associations to ask their council representatives to support the proposal, and APAGS past chair and current board member Ali Mattu, PhD, spoke to the council about the importance of APA's being visibly active in finding solutions for internship quality.
APA also convened stakeholder communities, including the Council of Chairs of Training Councils, to collaborate in helping correct the imbalance and disseminate information regarding the issue, while addressing more extensive professional education and training issues by supporting the interorganizational Health Service Psychology Education Collaborative that released a “blueprint” for the future.
Additionally, APA successfully advocated for appropriations to the Graduate Psychology Education program, the only federal program designed to support the education and training of health service psychologists. Advocacy for psychology’s inclusion in the Affordable Care Act secured an additional $10 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration to expand the mental and behavioral health workforce, including increasing psychology internship capacity.