On February 21, the Dean of the UAA College of the Arts & Sciences recommended elimination of the MS in Clinical Psychology program at UAA.

We at ACMHS are VERY alarmed by this possible program elimination. Graduates with this degree do the most work directly with clients in the behavioral health field in Alaska.

There will be a public comment period regarding this decision from March 9 – March 18.  There are two ways to comment:

*Send letters of support for the program BY MARCH 18 to uaa_chancellor@alaska.edu, cc gdeldrige@alaska.edu, esmurphy@alaska.edu, and jcochran@acmhs.com

*Attend a public comment session on March 11, 6 to 7:30 pm at the Lucy Cuddy Center on the UAA campus in Anchorage.  (#6 on this map)

Talking Points:

  • At ACMHS, we hire more graduates from this program than from any other master’s level program in or out of Alaska. 20% of our master’s level clinical staff in Anchorage graduated from this program.
  • This program specifically trains its graduates to serve high needs populations, including young children.
  • Inability to hire qualified trained staff is already our biggest barrier to expanding to meet the needs of Alaskans. The Alaska department of Health and Social Services estimates the need for an additional 800 jobs for substance abuse, behavioral health and mental health counselors by 2026. Eliminating this program will make it hard to even maintain current levels.
  • We are excited to learn of the proposed enhancement of the MSW program, which also produces excellent graduates for the behavioral health workforce in Alaska. However, the UAA MSW program is a generalist program and only a portion of its graduates go into the mental health field. The MS CP program is specifically designed to train clinical therapists.
  • We cannot serve clients without qualified staff. Elimination of this program would hinder our ability to continue to provide services to our client base of 2000+ Alaskans.

 

Thank you for helping us advocate on this important issue.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions.