Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology Program Granted Accreditation, On Contingency.


The USF Health Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology program at the University of South Florida has been granted accreditation, on contingency, by the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation(CoA). Obtaining this status is the result of two years of dedication by Heather Agazzi, PhD, MS, ABPP, USF Health psychology internship director, and her team. This is the highest status a year one program can achieve. By the time two cohorts have completed the program, the outcome data of trainees and program graduates must be provided for the Commission to review and determine if it is sufficient to grant full accreditation status. Any feedback from the CoA which identifies areas of the program that require additional attention must also be addressed.

“Being an accredited program is very important from a prestige and academic rigor standpoint,” Dr. Agazzi, said. “This accreditation will make the program eligible to compete for grant funding in which it is a requirement to be accredited by the APA. The accreditation means we will be able to compete for the brightest of interns and we will train interns who will be eligible for fellowship training and academic jobs. Most fellowships and academic positions require interns to have graduated from an APA accredited program.”

Heather Agazzi, PhD, MS, ABPP, USF Health psychology internship director.

According to the CoA, compliance with the Standards of Accreditation means that, “the program serves a patient population that is large, diverse and appropriate to the program’s aims of training interns in assessment and treatment of children and adolescents presenting with a wide range of diagnoses, problems, and needs. Training activities align with program aims and promote achievement of profession-wide competencies (PWCs). Interns are carefully selected to ensure appropriateness and adequate preparation for the program, and interns are provided with ample opportunities for socialization. Faculty and staff are appropriately credentialed to serve in their capacity with the program. Public materials are comprehensive to ensure that interested parties are well-informed about the program.”

The Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology program, part of the Department of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, is designed as a full-time, 12-month pre-doctoral internship providing interns with clinical training. Embracing a Scientist-Practitioner Model of education, interns utilize data-driven methods to provide high-quality assessments, interventions, and progress monitoring across a variety of clinical and community settings. The major goal of the internship is to provide an integrated, individually tailored, and coordinated series of learning experiences that will serve interns with a variety of opportunities. The internship offers major rotations in child and adolescent assessment and therapy, and a minor rotation in infant and early childhood assessment and intervention through the birth-three Early Steps Program.