The InPsych program is designed to recruit American Indian/Alaska Native undergraduate students into psychology and recruit, fund and train American Indian graduate students into Clinical Psychology. The ultimate goal is to send licensed American Indian/Alaska Native Clinical Psychologists back to reservation communities and urban Indian health programs to fill the needs for culturally competent care and address health disparities.
Section 217, Title II of Public Law 102-573, titled The American Indians Into Psychology Program, was enacted as a response to the recognized need to educate and train American Indians in Clinical Psychology. This scholarship program is overseen by the Office of Management Support of Indian Health Service.
The InPsych program is designed to recruit American Indian/Alaska Native undergraduate students into psychology and recruit and train American Indian graduate students into clinical psychology. The ultimate goal is to send licensed American Indian/Alaska Native Clinical Psychologists back to reservation communities and urban Indian health programs to fill the needs for culturally competent care and address health disparities. The needs are great. Recent data provided by the American Psychological Association's Graduate Study in Psychology Summary Report on Student Demographics (2017) indicates that 0.7% of the first-year (full-time) students in Doctoral-level Departments of Psychology are American Indian/Alaska Native. The Summary Report also indicates that the proportion of doctoral students in APA-accredited training programs who are American Indians/Alaska Natives has remained static over a 10-year period of time, while the proportions of students from other ethnic minorities have increased substantially. Underrepresentation of American Indian/Alaska Native psychologists is well-documented among psychologists in practice as well.
The Indians into Psychology (InPsych) Program is a central component of the APA-accredited Clinical Psychology training program within The University of Montana’s Psychology Department. The US Indian Health Service sponsors and funds the InPsych Program, with the main objectives to recruit, fund, and train American Indian/Alaska Native students in Clinical Psychology. These students are then expected to provide health care in HIS clinics and clinics that serve communities where the majority of the patient population is composed of American Indian/Alaska Native people. The InPsych Program provides up to two scholarships per year to qualified candidates who are accepted into the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Enrolled members of federally recognized tribes (or those who qualify through the Jay Treaty) are eligible to apply for these InPsych scholarships. The scholarship provides a monthly living stipend, tuition and fees, a book allowance and travel support. Qualification for these scholarships does not guarantee acceptance into the Clinical Psychology graduate program, as the applications to the graduate program are evaluated individually, using a holistic review strategy. Admitted students are eligible to receive the InPsych scholarship for up to four years (with funding in each successive year dependent on ongoing support from IHS). If the InPsych scholar accepts the scholarship, Indian Health Service requires a clinical service pay back of up to four years (or a time frame commensurate with the number of years of InPsych support during graduate school). The University of Montana Clinical Psychology program follows a generalist model and offers a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. The program has an emphasis area in Child/Family and an exposure in the area of Neuropsychology.
The Indian Health Service initially funded the InPsych Program on a three-year cycle beginning August 1, 1997, at an annual budget of $200,000. Dr. Nabil Haddad authored the initial InPsych grant proposal. Dr. Deborah Pace (Blackfoot) was the first Program Director and was succeeded by Dr. Gyda Swaney (Flathead) in August 2000. Dr. Swaney championed the InPsych program for nearly 20 years. She retired in 2019, and tragically passed away in the summer of the same year. Dr. Duncan Campbell is Professor of Psychology in the Clinical Psychology Program and the Director of Clinical Training. Dr. Campbell currently directs the InPsych progam.In the Fall of 2019, the program was awarded a new 5-year cycle of funding, with an approximate annual budget of $240,000.
The Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Montana is dedicated to training psychologists in the scientist-practitioner model. We consider a scientific understanding of human behavior an essential component of training and practice; integrated with critical thinking, it forms the foundation of our program. Our students are expected to demonstrate an increasing and progressive level of competence in their ability to present analysis of psychological issues, both orally and in writing. We seek to train psychologists who will actively integrate science and practice throughout their careers. Our graduates can fill multiple professional roles, including researchers, educators, practitioners, supervisors, and administrators.