Progression Through the Program
In its entirety, the program is 114 graduate credits—75 credits of required courses shared by all students, 12 credits specific to the chosen area of concentration, 12 practicum credits (minimum), six dissertation credits (minimum), and nine clinical internship credits.
Students choose a concentrated area of study as they progress through the program. From a solid foundation in the basic competencies in clinical psychology, the program offers three concentrations: General Practice, Child Clinical Psychology, and Clinical Health Psychology. In each concentration area, the student is first provided with the essential foundation material upon which clinical practice is based, and then moves to sequential instruction and training in a range of assessment and intervention modes specific to the particular concentration. Students choosing to follow one of these concentrated areas of study will complete their Doctoral Practicum II in a site appropriate for their concentration and will complete their Clinical Dissertation in their chosen concentration. The program requires the completion of a practicum progression and full-year clinical internship (see Psy.D. Student Handbook for details).
The practicum progression is designed to provide the student with both depth and breadth of experience. Each student will be expected to gain experience with a range of roles, settings, populations, clients, clinical problems, and techniques. This is accomplished in clinics, hospitals, and other community agencies of the richly diverse greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, as well as in our own community clinic (i.e. La Salle University Community Psychological Services). Prior to external practica, students have a “pre-practicum” experience during their first level in the program. This experience is through direct client assessments (as part of the required assessment courses) at the assessment lab and at the La Salle University Community Psychological Services. The practicum progression is ordinarily a two-tiered experience with slight variations built in for students in each concentration area. The two externships share the same structure and requirements, except that the second level requires progressively more sophisticated skills and may encompass a wider variety of clinical activities. All students will complete at least two years of externship training within the program and may choose an optional third externship year. During the entire practicum training experience, in addition to external placements, students will see clinical cases at the psychology training clinic and will participate in weekly clinic team meetings in which they will receive supervision, support, and guidance from clinical faculty and peers.
The clinical internship is a one-year, full-time (or two-calendar-year, part- time) experience that may be undertaken after the student has successfully completed the first four levels of the program, including all practica and Comprehensive Examination Parts I, II, and III, has successfully defended the Clinical Dissertation proposal, and has been approved by the clinical training committee. The clinical internship is an intensive training experience requiring 36 to 40 hours of service a week over one year or 18 to 20 hours a week over two years in a clinical setting. Detailed procedures and requirements for the clinical internship are provided in the Clinical Training Manual.
The program requires the completion of a Clinical Dissertation that addresses an important original question of relevance to the practice of psychology. It is a training experience designed to provide the student with a guided opportunity for integrating and interpreting findings from existing empirical research as well as designing and carrying out a project demonstrating scholarship in addressing a clinically relevant psychological issue.
Effective Jan. 1, 2007, all APA-accredited programs must disclose education/training outcomes and information allowing for informed decision making to prospective doctoral students. This information can be found at http://www.lasalle.edu/grad/content/doc_psych/psyd_stats.pdf.