Accreditation in the profession of psychology: a cautionary tale

Article


Maiden, Robert, Knight, Bob G., Howe, Judith L. and Kim, Seungyoun. 2012. "Accreditation in the profession of psychology: a cautionary tale." Gerontology and Geriatrics Education. 33 (1), pp. 55-74. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701960.2012.640728
Article Title

Accreditation in the profession of psychology: a cautionary tale

ERA Journal ID124646
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMaiden, Robert (Author), Knight, Bob G. (Author), Howe, Judith L. (Author) and Kim, Seungyoun (Author)
Journal TitleGerontology and Geriatrics Education
Journal Citation33 (1), pp. 55-74
Number of Pages20
Year2012
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN0270-1960
1545-3847
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02701960.2012.640728
Web Address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02701960.2012.640728#.VmZicKN--M8
Abstract

This article examines the history of accreditation in psychology and applies the lessons learned to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education's (AGHE) consideration of forming an organization to accredit programs in gerontology. The authors identify the challenges met and unmet, the successes and failures, and the key issues that emerged from psychology's experience with accreditation. Psychology has been accrediting programs in clinical psychology for more than 65 years, and the process has been marked by several false steps, considerable tension, and some controversy and at times significant dissatisfaction. The accreditation process that has emerged today, which includes counseling, school psychology, graduate practica, and postdoctoral practica sites, is generally well received yet some tensions exist. The authors apply the lessons learned from psychology's evolution to AGHE. The experience of psychology suggests a need for clear minimum standards and consistency across programs in training goals, if not in curricula and practica. However, setting standards for specific curricula and practice content may result in a similar contentiousness that has plagued psychology. Ultimately, the authors conclude that the benefits of accreditation of programs outweigh the deficits.

Keywordsaccreditation; self-directed evaluation; outcome-based measures; scientist–practitioner; AGHE
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
390499. Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsAlfred University, United States
University of Southern California, United States
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, United States
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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