WVU counseling psychology students matched to top choice accredited internship programs for the third year in a row

For doctoral students in the West Virginia University counseling psychology program February 19, 2017, also known as “Match Day,” was a day where anxieties ran high as students waited to hear if they were matched to their accredited internship of choice. 

The Match is an internship matching program which places applicants into psychology internship positions at training sites in the United States. The program is sponsored and supervised by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.

According to Dr. James Bartee, teaching associate professor in counseling psychology at WVU, this is the third year in a row his students have been 100% matched within their top three choices.

“The Match is an extremely competitive program. This year there were 752 more student applications than there were accredited positions,” said Bartee.

The four student applicants in WVU’s program, Steve Craig, Melissa Foster, Brittany Shannon, and Chelsey Morgan, will be starting internships at either their first or second choices this August. Craig will be interning at the University of Delaware Counseling Center, Foster at the College of William & Mary Counseling Center, Shannon at VAMC in Dayton, OH, and Morgan at the Grand Valley State University (MI) Counseling Center. 

"The Match process is both an exciting and anxiety-provoking time for applicants. That said, I am relieved to have achieved this significant milestone in my education. I look forward to new adventures to come as I continue my training at the College of William & Mary next year," said Foster.

Applicants to The Match program spend their time preparing transcripts, essays, recommendations, and cover letters. Then, WVU’s program coordinators are required to confirm the accuracy of each student application. 

Prior to this process, students have also completed three years of coursework, four to six semesters of practicum experience, 450 hours of direct client experience, and 150 hours of one-on-one supervision by a licensed psychologist.

Once each student is confirmed, they are invited to participate in interviews with choice organizations across the country. Following this extensive interview process, students and organizations are invited to rank each other.  Neither students nor programs know how they are ranked. The Match program then, using a computer algorithm, matches student applicants to an organization. 

“We are so proud of our students for this achievement. The APPIC Match is a highly competitive program and it is impressive that not only have our students been matched within Phase I, but they have been matched to their first or second choices,” stated Gypsy Denzine, dean of the WVU College of Education and Human Services.  “Also, typically students receive two to three interviews, whereas our students received eight to twelve.”

According to Bartee, 652 of total Match applicants were left unmatched in the first phase of the process this year.  These applicants will enter a phase II of the matching process.  

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