EKU Online Student Accepted into New Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program

Juggling a full-time job and other responsibilities, Chris Kidder was drawn to Eastern Kentucky University’s fully online baccalaureate degree program in psychology.

Now, as he prepares to graduate from the program in May, the 31-year-old Lexington resident learned recently he is one of only 12 students admitted to EKU’s new doctoral program in clinical psychology. Out of approximately 70 applicants, he was one of 30 candidates invited recently to the Richmond campus for interviews and the first EKU Online graduate to apply for and be admitted to a clinical psychology doctoral program.

Kidder is an internal policy analyst with Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Human Services. He has served with the Commonwealth since earning a baccalaureate degree in theatre from the University of Kentucky in 2008.

“I was able to do course work from home at night,” Kidder noted, “which made keeping my day job a reality.”

He admits he missed the classroom experience, but added, “It was usually easy to stay in touch with the professors, and the flexibility of working at my own pace was really convenient. I do not think that EKU Online work is for everyone, but if you can self-motivate at home and stand to not be in a classroom, then the e-campus program makes it possible to further your education in a unique way.”

Tim Matthews, executive director for EKU’s Office of e-Campus Learning, said Kidder’s acceptance into the doctoral program proves that the University’s online psychology program “is as rigorous and as exceptional as our on-campus program is in building the same high, doctoral-level competencies expected of our students in this discipline. And why wouldn’t it be? It uses the same faculty and the same curriculum.”

EKU O nline “is designed to make EKU accessible to people who would not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue a college education,” said Dr. Bob Brubaker, chair of EKU’s Department of Psychology. “The faculty and e-Campus staff work hard to ensure that our online students receive a rigorous, high-quality Eastern education. Chris’s success in the very competitive application process for the new doctoral program is evidence that their efforts are paying off.”

Now, as Kidder prepares to return to a face-to-face environment that will allow him to engage directly with faculty and other students on the Richmond campus, he is counting on the doctoral degree paving his way to a second career – as a psychologist. “I love psychology,” he said, “and I have a passion for its ability to help and heal people.”

EKU’s Psy.D. is an applied doctoral degree designed to prepare clinical psychology practitioners. Based on the practitioner-scholar training model for clinical practice, endorsed by the National Council of Schools of Professional Psychology, the program emphasizes the preparation of clinical psychology practitioners who are sophisticated consumers of research and who ground their practice in the empirical research literature.

The new program, the first such program based at a public university in Kentucky, focuses on preparing practitioners to work in underserved rural areas. The curriculum provides opportunities for specialized training in substance abuse, mental health administration, school-based mental health, and working with traditionally underserved populations, including veterans and their families, adults and children with developmental disabilities, and individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. Additional specialized training opportunities will include forensic psychology and applied behavior analysis.

For more information, visit psychology.eku.edu/doctorate-clinical-psychology-psyd.

EKU is an accredited, brick-and-mortar institution celebrating more than 100 years of student success. EKU Online offers more than 30 online degree options in Justice & Safety, Health Sciences, Education and Arts & Sciences. Its online programs have received numerous national accolades for quality and affordability. In January 2015, U.S. News placed them among the Top 50 best online bachelor’s degree programs, the Top 50 best online graduate degree programs in Education and the Top 100 best online graduate degree programs in Nursing. For more information, visit ekuonline.eku.edu.

Published on March 06, 2015

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