Delaware grants PCSAS parity with APA’s CoA

by The Academy of Psychological Clinical Science

Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell signed new legislation granting PCSAS parity with APA’s CoA in a signing ceremony in his office at 11:00 AM on July 28th. We’re indebted to Bob Simons, Mary Graham, and the Delaware team for this achievement –the first of many to come.

The following remarks were prepared for the signing ceremony by Robert Simons. Chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware):

HB 358 has an amazing “impact to words” ratio. The bill was really about two words – ‘Or PCSAS.’ And with those two words, we give every university in North America that offers Ph.D. training in clinical psychology a choice in what that training will look like. PCSAS accredited programs instantiate training in which research and application are thoroughly intertwined because we believe that public health is best served by clinical psychologists who are scientists and who use their science both to advance basic knowledge AND to develop, evaluate, disseminate and deliver to the public the most cost-effective interventions, assessments, and prevention strategies.

Recognition of PCSAS accreditation gives the University of Delaware and other research dedicated universities the flexibility to decide how they train science-based scholars and practitioners, and at the same time, provides who they train with a pathway to licensure. PCSAS recognition will enable our own students, like Carly and Ariel here, to remain in Delaware after they graduate. It will also enable the State of Delaware to attract graduates of other great programs into our state as teachers, trainers and providers of evidence-based mental health care that is in the best interests of Delaware’s children and families.

The effort to develop PCSAS began over twenty years ago in meetings in Illinois and Indiana, but I’m absolutely thrilled that Delaware has Dared to Be First — in state recognition. Although similar legislation has been passed in Illinois, their Governor (Quinn) is not nearly as nimble as our Governor (Markell) in wielding his mighty pen. With Delaware and Illinois leading the way, we are confident that the remaining 48 states will follow and provide their own recognition to PCSAS programs on behalf of their residents who are equally entitled to the delivery of high-quality, scientifically-informed mental health care.

I would like to thank Governor Markell for his signature and for the public support of PCSAS that a ceremony such as this represents. I would especially like to thank Representative Barbieri for being our champion and thank Senators Blevins, Hall-Long and Sokola and all the co-sponsors of this legislation in both the House and the Senate for their support. I would like to thank our Dean, George Watson, and our Senior Associate Dean, Doug Doren, for all the moral and financial support they have given us over the years — and Stephanie Traynor and the Executive Council of the Delaware Psychological Association for the help they provided. I also thank our attorney, Mary Graham, for her personal commitment to science-based clinical training and for the multifaceted support she has provided to our organization since she incorporated us in 2007.

Lastly, to Jordan Seemans our lobbyist, thank you for putting it all together and working so hard for us over the past three months. Thanks again to everyone involved.