APA Accreditation: Why It Matters
Can you imagine what it would be like to pursue a career in psychology without a built-in quality-control process? It would be pretty challenging and confusing. You could compare the idea to the Wild West—basically, anything goes. In such a difficult situation, graduate students in psychology would have little to go on in choosing training programs. There would be no guarantee that completing your program would lead to your desired outcome: licensure and a rewarding career in psychology.
Thanks to the American Psychological Association (APA), there is an established vetting system called accreditation. This helps you make informed decisions about higher education in psychology.
What is APA accreditation?
Accreditation is a quality-assurance process that determines if a program meets the established standards set forth in a field of study. While an institution may be accredited by a regional accrediting body, this does not guarantee APA accreditation.
Some of the functions of the APA include evaluating training programs based on whether they fulfill clearly defined objectives, deliver high-quality training, and evolve to align with new standards, policies, and research.
Simply put, when you see that a program has been accredited by the APA, you can rely on your educational program to: 1) offer training that coincides with what’s being practiced in the field of psychology; 2) be facilitated by industry experts; and 3) be regularly reviewed to maintain satisfactory standards.
The Value of APA Accreditation
For many students, enrolling in an APA-accredited program is a must. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:
- Helps with the selection process. Knowing which programs are APA-accredited will help you narrow down the options, particularly for students who, for specific reasons, are only targeting APA-accredited programs.
- Ensures high-quality training. You can count on the APA to accredit only those programs that meet or surpass the established standards. Plus, you can be sure your program will steadily meet these objectives over time in order to maintain accreditation. In short, you’ll get the education that you signed up for—not to mention, higher education is pricey. Enrolling in an accredited program at the graduate or undergraduate level guarantees that you will get a return on your investment.
- Facilitates licensure and career placement. Some states only license psychologists who have graduated from APA-accredited programs and have completed APA-accredited internships. Similarly, some employers have the same standards in their hiring processes. Knowing your program is accredited helps you stay on track to reach your career aspirations.
All of the psychology graduate programs at Alliant’s California School of Professional Psychology are accredited by the American Psychological Association. Consider this a stamp of approval that students who enroll in our programs will receive a world-class education that readies them for state licensure and a thriving career in the field of psychology. For more information contact an admissions counselor or call 1-866-825-5426.