June 20, 2000

CONTACT: Ward Mullens


YPSILANTI - The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved the implementation of a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

The degree is the first Ph.D. offered by EMU. The first EMU doctorate, an Ed.D in educational leadership, was initiated in 1990. EMU also has several other terminal degrees, including the Master of Fine Arts and the MFA in drama/theatre for the young.

"It's been a long time coming and Eastern is as capable and qualified as any institution in the country to offer this Ph.D.," said Dr. Kenneth Rusiniak, head of EMU's psychology department.

"The difference between EMU's clinical psychology degree and others is the aim to train Ph.D.s to serve as managers of other mental health professionals," said Dr. James Todd, who worked with Drs. Marilyn Bonem and Carol Freedman-Doan in developing the proposal. Todd was the interim department head of psychology during the formal approval process.

According to a recent surgeon general's report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a large number of adults, children and adolescents in the United States may have a serious mental health problem requiring clinical treatment. The same report estimates that a large number of these groups go unserved, creating a need for a new generation of mental health care delivery.

EMU's program would address these needs by training professionals to function in contemporary mental health care settings.

Two concentration areas will be offered:

A general clinical concentration with an emphasis on assessment and treatment from an insight/psychodynamic orientation; and a clinical behavioral concentration with an emphasis on applied behavior analysis and behavior therapy.

The program is scheduled to begin in the fall 2001 semester with ten students accepted for four years of on-campus lecture and laboratory courses and a one-year off-campus internship. An M.S. degree is earned enroute as part of the training sequence.

EMU's psychology department will seek accreditation for the program from the American Psychological Association (APA).

The planning year cost of the program will be $298,963 and has been incorporated into the 2000-01 general fund operating budget. The non-recurring investment in equipment and the clinical laboratory in the amount of $212,000 will be funded from the FY2000 supplemental appropriation.