Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:42-2.1
Authorized By: State Board of Psychological Examiners, J. Michael Walker, Executive Director.
Proposal Number: PRN 2010-220 .
The agency proposal follows:
The New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners (Board) is aware that there are some psychology doctoral programs that do not require students to physically attend classes on campus. The Board believes that students gain from interaction with other students and faculty, interaction that is not always possible if a student is not physically attending classes on campus. In order to address this concern, the Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:42-2.1 to require that, in order to qualify an applicant for licensure, a doctoral program either be approved by specific accrediting entities or meet faculty and physical attendance requirements. While N.J.A.C. 13:42-2.1(e) already requires personal attendance at an institution, the Board is concerned that some schools are interpreting this rule as requiring that students physically attend classes on campus for less than half of the doctoral program and that such physical attendance is not continuous. The proposed amendment clarifies that the personal attendance requirement means that students must attend classes on campus continuously for at least half of their education. The Board also proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:42-2.1 to clarify that an accredited institution is one that is accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education.
The Board has determined that the comment period for this notice of proposal shall be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.
The Board believes that requiring doctoral programs to ensure that students physically attend a portion of the program on campus continuously for at least half of their education will result in more valuable interactions between students and faculty and concomitantly better prepared licensees. Requiring that doctoral programs have faculty who are doctorally prepared in psychology also provides for licensees who are better prepared to provide psychological services to patients.
Requiring that a doctoral program require the physical attendance of students during a portion of their coursework may result in higher costs to students in such programs in the form of possible commuting and higher tuition costs.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendments.
The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will increase or decrease the number of jobs in New Jersey .
Agriculture Industry Impact
The Board believes the proposed amendments will have no impact upon the agriculture industry in New Jersey .
Regulatory Flexibility Statement
Since psychologists are individually licensed by the Board, they may be considered "small businesses" under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq. The proposed amendments apply to applicants for licenses, who are not considered small businesses. As the proposed amendments do not impose any compliance, recordkeeping or reporting requirements on licensees, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not necessary.
Smart Growth Impact
The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact upon the achievement of smart growth or upon the implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.
Housing Affordability Impact
The proposed amendments will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rule would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed amendments concern education requirements for licensure as a psychologist.
Smart Growth Development Impact
The proposed amendments will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rule would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2 or within designated centers under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendments concern education requirements for licensure as a psychologist.
Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus ; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
SUBCHAPTER 2. INITIAL QUALIFICATIONS
13:42-2.1 Application; qualifications to sit for examination
(a)-(b) (No change.)
(c) The institution at which the applicant earned his or her doctorate shall have been fully accredited during the entirety of the applicant's attendance by [an accrediting body generally recognized within the national academic community] a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education . Alternatively, an educational institutional program shall have been granted continuous provisional accreditation by a [recognized regional or national entity] regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education during the entirety of the applicant's attendance, with full accreditation having been awarded within five years of the candidate's graduation.
(d) (No change.)
(e) The doctoral degree must be based upon at least 40 doctoral credit hours earned specifically within the field of psychology and within a doctoral program requiring personal attendance at the degree-granting institution that meets the requirements of (f) below . Thirty-six of the required 40 credit hours shall be distributed across the following areas of graduate study:
1.-6. (No change.)
(f) In order to qualify as a doctoral program for the purposes of (e) above, a doctoral program shall:
1. Be approved by the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association or the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register Joint Designation; or
2. Meet the following:
i. Have full-time faculty who are doctorally prepared in psychology;
ii. Require full-time students to physically attend classes on campus for at least one continuous academic year; and
iii. Require part-time students to physically attend classes on campus for at least two continuous academic years.
Recodify existing (f) and (g) as (g) and (h) (No change in text.)
[page=2229] [(h)] (i) The Board may, in its discretion, accept up to nine credits, taken at a regionally accredited school or university, to remediate a deficiency in the requirements of (e) and [(f)] (g) above.
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