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APA Accreditation: Why It Matters

Alliant International University
Published 10/30/2018
4 minutes read
The content of this page is only for informational purposes and is not intended, expressly or by implication, as a guarantee of employment or salary, which vary based on many factors including but not limited to education, credentials, and experience. Alliant International University explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy of the information provided by any prospective employer or any other website. Salary information available on the internet may not reflect the typical experience of Alliant graduates. Alliant does not guarantee that any graduate will be placed with a particular employer or in any specific employment position.

Can you imagine what it would be like to pursue a career as a psychologist 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 little hope that completing your program could lead to your desired outcome: licensure and a rewarding career in clinical psychology, or any career within the psychology field. 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.

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What is APA accreditation?

The accreditation process is a form of quality-assurance that determines if a program meets the established standards set forth in a field of study.1 While an institution may receive accreditation status from a regional accrediting body, this does not guarantee a program’s accredited status.2

Some of the functions of the APA Commission on Accreditation include evaluating university training programs based on whether they fulfill clearly defined objectives, deliver high-quality training, and evolve to align with new standards, policies, and research.3

Simply put, when you see that a program has been accredited by the APA, you can rely on your educational psychology program to:

  1. Offer training that coincides with what’s being practiced in the field of psychology.
  2. Be facilitated by industry experts.
  3. Be regularly reviewed to maintain satisfactory standards.

The Value of APA Accreditation Standards

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 psychology degree programs are APA accredited will help you narrow down the options, particularly for students who, for specific reasons, are only targeting an APA accredited program.
  • 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 an accreditation status. 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 in professional psychology.

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Areas of APA Accreditation

There are different areas of focus when it comes to a program’s accredited status. Knowing all 3 areas and which one you would like to choose will help you as you move forward in your APA accredited program. The 3 areas of accreditation are:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology
  • School Psychology

Alliant International University Accreditation

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 helps prepare them for state licensure and a thriving career as a psychologist. For more information contact an admissions counselor or call 1-866-825-5426.

Sources

1ABET, “Home,” What Is Accreditation?, accessed November 2, 2021, https://www.abet.org/accreditation/what-is-accreditation/

“Understanding Accreditation,” Accreditation: Why It Is Important, What It Means, and Who Accredits, accessed November 3, 2021, https://www.collegesanddegrees.com/accreditation.

“Why Accreditation Matters,” American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association), accessed November 3, 2021, https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2004/04/accreditation.

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