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All six students in the advanced cohort of Eastern Kentucky University’s doctoral degree program in clinical psychology have been “matched” to internships all across the nation.

The students are in the fourth year of the five-year Psy.D. program and are on track to become the program’s first graduates in the summer of 2018. The final part of the program includes a 12-month (2,000-hour) clinical internship.

“All the students enter a nationwide match, during which they apply for various internships, interview at spots that are interested in them, and then the potential interns and internship sites rank each other,” said Dr. Dustin Wygant, director of clinical training at EKU. “A computer than ‘matches’ the interns to the sites.”

Three of the six students come from counties in eastern Kentucky, which is consistent with one of the program’s goals of preparing the workforce in the University’s service region. They will perform their internships at the University of Kentucky Counseling Center, Lexington, Kentucky; Cleveland State University Counseling Center, Cleveland, Ohio; High Plains Psychology Internship Consortium, Greeley, Colorado; Kentucky River Community Care, Jackson, Kentucky; West Virginia University-Carruth Center, Morgantown, West Virginia; and Colorado Mental Health Institute, Pueblo, Colorado.

EKU’s doctoral program in clinical psychology, the first practice-oriented Psy.D. program at a public university in the Commonwealth, was launched in 2015 to address a significant health care void, particularly in rural Kentucky. The curriculum provides opportunities for specialized training in substance abuse, mental health administration, school-based mental health, suicide risk assessment and prevention, 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 include forensic psychology and applied behavior analysis.

A total of 38 students are now enrolled in the program.

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