Clinical psychology doctoral receives accreditation at The U

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota’s doctoral program in clinical psychology was awarded full accreditation for the maximum term given by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation. The accreditation followed a review of the USD program’s self study report, submitted last year, and a three-person team that visited the program last fall.

“The program takes very seriously the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment and continues to institute programmatic changes designed to improve students’ competency in the evolving profession, particularly in research and clinical domains,” said Dr. Susan Zlotlow, director of the APA’s Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation. “Overall, program outcome data demonstrate that the vast majority of students are meeting or exceeding thresholds for program goals, objectives and competencies.” 

The only doctoral program of its kind in South Dakota, the clinical psychology program at USD is recognized nationally for its training emphases in rural community psychology, disaster psychology and diversity.  Through its affiliation with the USD Disaster Mental Health Institute, the clinical program is also the first doctoral program in the nation to offer a specialty track in clinical/disaster psychology and a graduate certificate in disaster mental health. Zlotlow and the committee noted these strengths in its evaluation, particularly the program’s attention to diversity through recruitment, retention, education and evaluation.

“We are proud of our accomplishments in this area and honored that APA has chosen to highlight these programs,” said Dr. Barbara Yutrzenka, Ph.D., professor and director of the clinical psychology program. “We are committed to preparing socially responsible clinical psychologists who demonstrate respect for individual and cultural differences in their contributions to the science and practice of psychology.”

The clinical psychology program recently celebrated its 38th year of continual accreditation by the APA. Having received the maximum term for accreditation following this year’s review, the program’s next site visit by the APA will be during the 2016-2017 academic year.

The program, which includes eight full-time faculty and 17 adjunct faculty and affiliated supervisors, offers graduate training leading to a master’s degree and a doctoral degree within the department of psychology. Currently 39 students are enrolled in the clinical psychology program.  Since 1972, more than 215 clinical students have received doctorates from the program and are now working in different capacities across the United States.  For more information, about the clinical psychology program at USD, please visit the department’s Web site at www.usd.edu/clinicalpsyc or contact Yutrzenka at (605) 677-5353.