Founded and incorporated in 1968, the Association of Psychology Internship Centers (APIC) was originally constituted as an informal group of psychologists involved in internship training. These trainers banded together for the purpose of sharing information about mutual problems.
Over time, the organization expanded to include postdoctoral residency training directors as well as internship training directors, and in 1992 it was renamed the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).
According to the current mission statement, the APPIC (1) facilitates the achievement and maintenance of high-quality training in professional psychology; (2) fosters the exchange of information among institutions and agencies offering doctoral internships or postdoctoral training in professional psychology; (3) develops standards for such training programs; (4) provides a forum for exchanging views; establishing policies, procedures, and contingencies on training matters and selection of interns; and resolving other problems and issues for which common agreement is either essential or desirable; (5) offers assistance in matching students with training programs; and (6) represents the views of training agencies to groups and organizations whose functions and objectives relate to those of APPIC and develops and maintains relationships with colleagues in those groups and organizations.
The APPIC has a central office in Washington, D.C., which is headed by a full-time executive director. The APPIC board of directors includes seven psychologist members elected by APPIC-member internship and postdoctoral programs and one public member chosen by the other board members. The APPIC also has a number of standing committees whose members are APPIC-member training directors.
The APPIC is a membership and not an accrediting organization. To be accepted for APPIC membership, internship and postdoctoral residency programs must meet specific membership criteria. Membership is automatic for programs accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). The APPIC sponsors a mentoring program to assist new and developing programs in meeting the criteria for APPIC membership. In addition, doctoral-level professional psychology academic programs may choose to become APPIC subscribers, a status that provides specific services to the program and its students.
The APPIC offers a multitude of services. The first APPIC directory was developed for the 1972-1973 training year. At that time, there were 90 internship programs listed and no postdoctoral programs. In the 2002-2003 APPIC directory, a total of 666 APPIC-member programs (588 internships and 78 postdoctoral residency programs) were listed. In addition to the printed APPIC directory, an online and more comprehensive version of the directory was launched in the summer of 2000. The online directory may be updated at any time by training directors, and users may search for programs using a variety of criteria.
Another major service is the facilitation of the internship matching process. For the 1972-1973 through 19981999 training years, the APPIC conducted a standardized internship selection process, which utilized a uniform noti fication date, to structure a previously unregulated process (Stedman, 1989). In 1999, the APPIC instituted a computer-based internship matching program (called the APPIC Match) to place applicants into available positions (Keilin, 1998). Furthermore, beginning in 1986, the APPIC has operated a postselection clearinghouse to assist both unplaced students and programs with unfilled positions. The matching process further improved in 1996, when the APPIC developed a uniform application for internship, the APPIC Application for Psychology Internships (AAPI).
The provision of information is another key service offered by APPIC, and this occurs in multiple ways. The first APPIC newsletter was published in 1980, and it has served as a major communication forum regarding internship and postdoctoral training issues for member and subscriber programs. The APPIC web site (www.appic.org), along with a variety of e-mail news and discussion lists for trainers and students, also aids in the dissemination of information to member and subscriber programs, intern applicants, interns, and postdoctoral residents. The web site currently has sections covering upcoming APPIC events, the directory, APPIC Match, the clearinghouse, training resources for students and trainers, e-mail lists, and problem resolution. Some of the e-mail lists offer the opportunity for discussion of questions related to the internship and postdoctoral residency application process, jobs, and handling of complex training issues, whereas other lists provide information regarding such diverse topics as the APPIC Match, new funding opportunities, and legislative advocacy efforts. More in-depth sharing of information also occurs at biannual membership conferences and biannual continuing education programs.
One service that the APPIC has provided for many years is the handling of formal complaints from APPIC members, subscribers, or students regarding violations of APPIC policies and procedures. The APPIC Standards and Review Committee (ASARC) investigates these complaints and makes recommendations to the APPIC board regarding the appropriate course of action. More recently, an informal problem resolution mechanism has been implemented. This mechanism is available to all relevant constituency groups and offers members, subscribers, and students an opportunity to seek consultation, guidance, and assistance in resolving conflicts and problems related to APPIC policies and procedures and other internship and postdoctoral residency training issues.
The publication of research data relevant to internship and postdoctoral training has been another service offered by the APPIC research committee. Research findings have been made available on such topics as the supply and demand imbalance or balance (Keilin, Thorn, Rodolfa, Con-stantine, & Kaslow, 2000), the internship matching process (Keilin, 1998, 2000), and the value of formalized postdoctoral training (Logsdon-Conradsen et al., 2001).
There are myriad ways in which the APPIC has been actively involved in the larger national and multinational psychology education, training, and credentialing communities. The APPIC has ongoing liaison relationships with doctoral, internship, and postdoctoral training councils, as well as credentialing organizations. The .APPIC participates actively in various interorganizational groups, including the Council of Chairs of Training Councils, Psychology Executive Roundtable, Council of Credentialing Organizations in Professional Psychology, Trilateral Forum on Professional Issues in Psychology, and Commission on Education and Training Leading to Licensure. The APPIC also has two seats on the Committee on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA).
The APPIC has taken a leadership role in national and multinational psychology conferences. In 1992, the APPIC hosted the National Conference on Postdoctoral Training in Professional Psychology in Ann Arbor (Belar et al., 1993). This conference led to the formation of the Interorganiza-tional Council (IOC), of which the APPIC was a member. The IOC utilized the Ann Arbor document as the basis for formulating recommendations for the accreditation of postdoctoral training programs. As a result of the work of the IOC, since 1996 the Committee on Accreditation of the APA has been accrediting postdoctoral residencies. In response to the supply and demand crisis in psychology, which was related in part to the imbalance in the number of intern applicants and internship positions (Dixon & Thorn, 2000; Keilin, 2000; Keilin et al., 2000; Oehlert & Lopez, 1998; Thorn & Dixon, 1999), in 1996 the APPIC and APAcospon-sored the National Working Conference on Supply and Demand: Training and Employment Opportunities in Professional Psychology (Pederson et al., 1997). This conference drew attention to the crisis and led to the development and implementation of multiple strategies designed to reduce this imbalance. Current data suggest that, at least with regard to internship positions, this crisis has improved significantly. In November 2002, APPIC took the lead, hosting, with multiple other sponsoring groups, Competencies 2002: Future Directions in Education and Credentialing in Professional Psychology in Scottsdale.
Belar, C. D., Bieliauskas, L. A., Klepac, R. K., Larsen, K. G., Sti-gall, T. T., & Zimet, C. N. (1993). National Conference on Postdoctoral Training in Professional Psychology. American Psychologist, 48, 1284-1289. Dixon, K. E., & Thorn, B. E. (2000). Does the internship shortage portend market saturation? 1998 placement data across the four major national training councils. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31, 276-280. Keilin, W. G. (1998). Internship selection 30 years later: An overview of the APPIC matching program. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 29, 599-603. Keilin, W. G. (2000). Internship selection in 1999: Was the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers' match a success? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31, 281-287.
Keilin, W. G., Thorn, B. E., Rodolfa, E. R., Constantine, M. G., & Kaslow, N. (2000). Examining the balance of internship supply and demand: 1999 Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers' match implications. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31, 288-294.
Logsdon-Conradsen, S., Sirl, K. S., Battle, J., Stapel, J., Anderson, P. L., Ventura-Cook, E., et al. (2001). Formalized postdoctoral fellowships: A national survey of postdoctoral fellows. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 32, 312-318.
Oehlert, M. E., & Lopez, S. J. (1998). APA-accredited internships: An examination of the supply and demand issue. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 29, 189-194.
Pederson, S. L., DePiano, F., Kaslow, N. J., Klepac, R. K., Hargrove, D. S., & Vasquez, M. (1997). Proceedings from the National Working Conference on Supply and Demand: Training and Employment Opportunities in Professional Psychology. Paper presented at the National Working Conference on Supply and Demand: Training and Employment Opportunities in Professional Psychology, Orlando, FL.
Stedman, J. M. (1989). The history of the APIC selection process. APIC Newsletter, 14, 35-43.
Thorn, B. E., & Dixon, K. E. (1999). Issues of supply and demand: A survey of academic, counseling, and clinical programs. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 30, 198-202.
Nadine J. Kaslow
Emory University School of Medicine
W. Gregory Keilin
The University of Texas at Austin
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