The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology is designed to meet the needs of working professionals by providing rigorous doctorate level education and training through an applied active learning model to produce professional practitioners who are able to integrate theory, practice, and research to provide leadership excellence in the career domains of Education, Mental Health, and Human Services.
The Psy.D. program expands the development of APU’s existing Master’s of Science in Counseling Psychology (MSCP) to the terminal degree level, providing doctoral students with individual attention through a combination of short-term residencies and individual contract instruction as they prepare to become leaders for the fields of psychology, education, and human service work. This model of learning offers the advantages of allowing working professionals to craft a degree plan of professional training in collaboration with doctoral-level advisors and mentors.
APU’s Doctoral Program consists of a 7 to 10-day summer residency (10 days for entering students, 7 days for returning students), two weekend residencies (seminars) in the fall and spring semesters of each of the three years, and individualized contract learning in program delivery. The degree requires 60 credits of course work beyond the 60-credit Master’s degree entry requirement, including a culminating thesis or project, called Project Demonstrating Excellence (PDE), and 1500 hours of a pre-doctoral internship. The program curriculum of Track 1 is designed to meet requirements leading to licensure as a psychologist in Alaska and elsewhere. Track 2 is designed for students not desiring licensure as a psychologist in Alaska but wanting a terminal degree in an area of Counseling Psychology that allows them to be creative in designing a personal educational experience emphasizing practical application in a specialized area. The program for both tracks is organized around the following learning themes each year:
Year One: Theory and Application
Year Two: Research and Practice
Year Three: Professional Experience and Internship
Mastering the following competencies are the degree objectives of APU’s Psy.D Program:
Counseling Skills (CS): Demonstrates the ability to understand, and intentionally and authentically use culturally relevant and appropriate prevention/ intervention skills for positive change with individuals, groups, and programs.
Creative Expression (CE): Demonstrates the ability to express one’s passion positively in one’s own voice or through one’s own talents and/or share one’s self or world in unique ways, and helps others to do the same.
Self Understanding (SU): Demonstrates the ability to identify, understand, and value one’s unique way of being in the world, as well as actively working towards reaching one’s full potential, and helps others to do the same.
Critical Thinking (CT): Demonstrates the ability to understand the fullness of things, including the abilities to consistently analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and research, to understand and challenge assumptions, as well as to design, implement, and evaluate projects, and helps others to do the same.
Activism/Leadership (AL): Demonstrates the ability to create significant positive influences on others and/or one’s environment through practice, writing, speaking, or other change modalities.
Professionalism (P): Demonstrates the ability to use professional skills and to live by the APA professional codes by displaying behaviorally that one values responsibility, public service, accountability, clear communications, respect, excellence, and compassion in one’s work.
Knowledge of the Discipline (KD): Demonstrates the ability to identify, interpret, and apply facts, terms, concepts, theories and processes germane to the field of Counseling Psychology.
Research and Evaluation (RE): Demonstrates the ability to use knowledge and skills in scientific inquiry to inform counseling decisions and to impact the larger community positively.
The general requirements for admission to graduate studies at APU are found at the beginning of the section describing graduate programs. In addition there are several specific requirements for the PsyD program.
- For the licensure track (track 1) – Completion of a 60 hour Masters degree in counseling or related field. The program of study should have been designed to lead to licensure as a professional counselor or similar level of professional license. The program should have included a significant internship and/or practicum.
- For the non-licensure track (track 2) – Completion of 60 hours of graduate work that provides a base of understanding necessary to undertake the Psy. D. at APU. Graduate courses should typically include graduate level work in abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, research methods and counseling skill courses.
1. Current Professional CV or Resume.
2. 2. Letters of recommendation (note recommendation letters should include an appraisal of your ability to work in a significantly self-directed program at the doctoral level as well as your critical thinking, analytical, creative expression, and communications skills. Letter writers should include the writer’s address, telephone number(s) and e-mail and their relationship to you.
3. 3. A one or two page autobiography (personal as opposed to professional) that highlights your strengths.
4. 4. An essay that addresses the following questions:
a. a. What are your reasons for wanting a Psy. D.from APU at this time?
b. b. What are your short and long term personal and professional goals? How do you see yourself contributing to the improvement of the community or larger society with the doctorate.
c. c. Describe your abilities and desires regarding rigorous independent work within a cohort setting or model along with your plans to enter into Track 1 (license eligible as psychologist) or Tract 2 (non-traditional counseling psychology models)
d. d. Describe your plan to balance graduate school, work, and personal life should you be admitted to the program.
5. 5. If licensed as a counselor, mental health provider, or social worker, provide proof of licenses and a statement that no license actions have been taken against you if that is the case. If there have been license actions against you, please explain the circumstances and the resolution.
6. 6. Interview. Once all completed applications are reviewed a limited number of well-qualified applicants will be contacted for a personal interview.
7. 7. Application Deadline. The deadline to submit an application is March 1stth.
Enrollment will be limited. This is to ensure the quality of the educational experience.