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SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (1959-2007) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (1959-2007)

Historical Note:

Plans for a SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Clinical Psychology first began to germinate in March of 1978, when a meeting between representatives of the two universities resulted in shared interest in its development. In June 1979, a proposal was drafted for a joint doctoral program, “A Ph.D. in Social Work” between UCSD and SDSU’s School of Social Work, in collaboration with SDSU’s Department of Psychology.

A few months later in 1979, the School of Social Work withdrew from negotiations, citing lack of “the proper faculty foundation” for a doctoral program in social work. In October 1980, a preliminary proposal circulated for a joint doctorate between the Department of Psychology at SDSU and the UCSD Department of Psychiatry.

The program continued to take shape for five more years, with numerous committee meetings, proposal drafts, and negotiations. In July of 1985, Governor Deukmejian signed a budget bill to fund the joint SDSU/UCSD doctoral program in clinical psychology.

One key figure in the development of the JDP in clinical psychology was Dr. Alan Litrownik, who served as co-chair of the Proposal Committee from 1981-1985, chair of the Department of Psychology from 1981-1986, and chair of the Joint Doctoral Steering Committee from 1985-1987.

Dr. Litrownik focused much of his teaching and scholarly efforts on the social phenomenon of child maltreatment. These effort included participation as Co-Principal Investigator on two federally funded (Department of Health and Human Services) interdisciplinary training programs, and as Principal Investigator on a federally funded (Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) multi-site 20-year longitudinal research study (LONGSCAN).

The JDP was first accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1990, and has been reaccredited consistently since then. From its inception, the joint doctoral program has adopted the scientist-practitioner (“Boulder”) model, which requires students to receive ongoing supervised clinical and research experience.

The Joint Doctoral Program entered into its 30th year in 2015, and continues in its goal to provide training and education to scientifically oriented research professionals, who will subsequently make significant contributions to the field of clinical psychology in their areas of specialization.

Note Author: Kira Hall

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