General Standards of Education and Training

The Council of Applied Master's Programs in Psychology exists for the purpose of fostering the advancement of master's training and education in applied psychology. One objective of the Council is to establish and maintain standards of training and education for these master's programs. The following standards represent the consensus of participants at two National Conferences on Applied Master's Training in Psychology (1990 and 1993) and have been ratified by the membership of the Council. The standards exemplify characteristics of a well-designed and high quality program for preparing master's graduates for employment which requires application of the principles of psychology.

I. The program should be identifiable as a Psychology program. This is to be defined primarily in terms of the disciplinary affiliations of those who teach in and administer the program.

II. The program must have a mission statement which guides the structure and content of the curriculum. The mission statement should reflect a commitment to the CAMPP model of practitioners who bring scholarship and reflection to their work, and an understanding of diversity in clientele, methodology and application.

III. The program and its curriculum should have a coherent organization and structure that reflects its mission statement.

IV. The program should be the equivalent of two academic years of full time study. This would normally include a minimum of 40 semester hours, or the equivalent, of program requirements.

V. Typically, the program will include evidence of graduate level education and training in the following areas:

A. A base of general/theoretical Psychology include the following:

  1. Biological bases of behavior to the degree that it is appropriate for the subdiscipline
  2. Acquired or learned bases of behavior
  3. Social/cultural/systemic bases of behavior
  4. Individual or unique bases of behavior

B. Understanding of methodology used to investigate questions and acquire knowledge in the discipline. This could include study in research design and/or methodology, statistics or critical thinking and scientific inquiry. At a minimum, there should be one course in research methods and/or statistics as applied to psychological questions.

C. Applied Psychology

  1. Coursework in the theory, history, and applications of psychological principles and theories appropriate to the sub-discipline
  2. Significant supervised experience appropriate to the discipline
    -For clinical/counseling programs, it is recommended that a program require a minimum of 700 hours supervised experiences of which 40% is direct client contact. Programs not meeting this recommendation need to provide additional documentation of significant supervised experience.
    - Appropriate onsite supervisor: For clinical/counseling programs, on site supervisors should have at least a master’s degree in a mental health field (i.e., psychology, mental health counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy) and at least two years post-masters experience. They should possess credentials appropriate to state requirements (licensure or certification) where required.
    -Supervision ratios and faculty compensation: When individual supervision is provided by program faculty, supervision of five students is considered equivalent to the teaching of one 3-student hour course. Group supervision should be considered a teaching activity and receive teaching credit equivalent to a didactic course.
  3. Ethical and professional standards
  4. Sensitivity to social and cultural diversity, resulting in appropriate assessment and intervention strategies and other professional behaviors.
  5. Teaching of assessment relevant to goals of the training program (e.g., interviewing techniques, program evaluation).

VI. Entrance requirements for the applied master's program in psychology should reflect the responsibility that the program has to the public. Efforts should be made to ensure that students have the intellectual and personal capabilities required to perform as competent professionals in the subdiscipline.

VII. Programs will demonstrate that appropriate procedures are used to assess student competencies and professional behavior consistent with each program's mission statement and goals prior to the completion of the program.

VIII. The program will have a sufficient number of appropriately trained faculty to accommodate the labor-intensive nature of teaching the skills of applied Psychology.

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