A combined doctoral training program in psychology prepares general practice, primary care, and health service psychologists who are competent to function in a variety of professional and academic settings and roles. Kean University’s Psy.D. Program in Combined School and Clinical Psychology achieves this goal by intentionally combining education and training across the two practice areas of school psychology and clinical psychology, providing students with a wide breadth and depth of training in both psychological practice areas. By deeply integrating these two practice areas throughout the curriculum, the combined training program model prepares students to function as clinical or school psychologists in a wide variety of professional and academic positions, thus increasing career flexibility and marketability.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has accredited “combined” programs in psychology since the 1970’s. We are pleased to share that in 2016, Kean University's Psy.D. in Combined School and Clinical Psychology was awarded American Psychology Association (APA) accreditation.
Our Psy.D. program faculty are dedicated and committed to the education, training, and mentoring of our doctoral students. The program is committed to exceptional education and training of doctoral students, and as such, supports the highest standards of quality assurance, engages in the ongoing assessment of program outcomes with a commitment to ongoing program enhancement, and is actively self-reflective. In addition to rigorous academic coursework and training experiences, the Psy.D. faculty value close student mentorship, as we believe that the development of highly skilled professionals involves more than a compilation of coursework and training hours, but also requires close interaction with, and guidance from competent, enthusiastic, and professional faculty members. At Kean, we work toward this value by ensuring that each doctoral student works closely with a professor from the early stages of his or her graduate career. This is made possible by only accepting a small cohort of students into the program each year (12 maximum). Career planning and development begins in the first semester of Year 1, with graduate students participating in a weekly professional seminar.
The Psy.D. program at Kean University respects a scientific approach to the practice of professional psychology, and endorses the application of an evidence-based practice of psychology. The program has adopted a practitioner-scholar training model and provides multiple opportunities for clinical and research experiences. Our training model emphasizes our belief that science informs practice and in turn practice informs science. As such, training in both research and practice is integrated and interwoven throughout the program, and faculty support students every step of the way toward becoming competent and ethical practitioners and scientists. The program strives to offer a balance of professional training opportunities that fit well with the practitioner-scholar model, fit with each student’s individual career goals, and prepare them for competitive internship placements and successful careers in professional psychology.
With regard to research experiences, both the curriculum and opportunities to participate in faculty research provide early and rich exposure to and experience in the science of psychology, and in particular the way in which psychological science informs professional practice. From the first semester of Year 1 in the program, students and individual faculty members meet weekly in small research teams in which theoretical discussions and literature reviews shape a wide variety of on-going, student led and faculty supervised research activities. Scientific inquiry and research participation are expected throughout all program levels, and all students are required to complete a formal doctoral dissertation. Students are highly encouraged to present their research at regional and national conference proceedings and publish their research in peer-reviewed journals.
With regard to clinical experiences (in both school psychology and clinical psychology), the program takes advantage of the numerous opportunities and the natural diversity of the NY/NJ metropolitan area, as students are exposed to a variety of rich training opportunities. Campus-based practicum sites devoted to clinical training and community service (e.g. department training clinic, student counseling center, child study center) offer exposure to a wide variety of clients, allied professionals, and clinical experiences. From the summer of the first year through the end of the fourth year of the program, students gain extensive clinical experiences at our on-site, state-of-the-art department training clinic. At the training clinic, all students provide diagnostic evaluations and psychological treatment to children, adults, and families. These training experiences occur under close faculty-student supervision in the context of small group “treatment teams.” In addition, students are exposed to clinical training opportunities across a wide variety of off-campus clinical, community, and school based externship settings, including school districts, medical centers, university counseling centers, and community health care facilities. These off-campus externship sites allow students to obtain an array of additional clinical experiences with diverse populations under the close supervision of licensed psychologists and other health care providers, requiring ongoing inter-professional collaboration.
The Psy.D. program is proud to be one of the very few PsyD programs to offer full tuition assistantships to several qualified students each year. The assistantships cover full tuition and fees, plus a stipend which requires 15 hours per week of work for the department and/or University-at-large, and allows for undergraduate teaching opportunities as well.
Updated August 2016