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UTRGV doctoral degree in clinical psychology approved by state coordinating board

By Melissa Vasquez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – MAY 16, 2018 – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to establish a new degree program for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in clinical psychology.

The new PhD program, housed in the College of Liberal Arts in the UTRGV Department of Psychological Science, will focus on producing clinical psychology scientist-practitioners with knowledge about Hispanic cultures in the Rio Grande Valley and the United States.

“Providing new educational opportunities for the students of the Rio Grande Valley is one of UTRGV’s core priorities, so we’re excited to get this program underway,” UTRGV President Guy Bailey said. “Furthermore, the Valley needs more clinical psychologists to meet demand, and this new program should address that.”

Before the program can be offered at UTRGV, it must receive approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), whichis the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states.

The proposed Ph.D. program consists of 96 semester credit hours (SCH) for students entering with a bachelor’s degree, and 81 SCH with a master’s degree. A minimum of five full-time years of coursework, research training, clinical training, and a one-year pre-doctoral internship, will be required for graduation from the program.

In addition, an Integrated Behavioral Health Care option will be offered in collaboration with the UTRGV School of Medicine, which will provide training in the integration of behavioral healthcare with medical care provided in primary care settings. The option also will provide opportunities for research and treatment program development in the predominantly Hispanic region.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, licensed psychologists in 2014 worked in 110 Texas counties. Hidalgo and Cameron counties had 4.2 and 2.3 licensed psychologists per 100,000 residents, respectively, while Dallas County had 25.3 licensed psychologists per 100,000 and Brazos County had 37.5.

To ensure program success, some THECB prerequisites stipulates that UTRGV implement the new program within two years of approval, and hire at least three research-active faculty, including a clinic director, a clinical psychologist and quantitative psychologist.

ABOUT UTRGV
 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Melissa.Vasquez@UTRGV.edu
Communications Manager / 956-665-8926

Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742