Overview

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 undergraduate students into psychology and recruit and train American Indian graduate students into clinical psychology. The ultimate goal is to send trained American Indian Clinical Psychologists back to reservations and urban Indian programs to fill the many needs. The needs are great. For the 1999-2000 academic year, the American Psychological Association's Graduate Study in Psychology 2000 compiled by the American Psychological Association Research Office indicates that 0.8% of the first-year (full-time) students in Doctoral-level Departments of Psychology are Native American. Additionally, the 1999 APA Directory Survey indicates that of the 75,146 members of the APA, 316 (.4%) are American Indian; of the 7,320 Associates of APA , 31 (.5%) are American Indian; and of the 4,503 Fellows, 19 (.4%) are American Indian. In total, of the 86,969 APA membership, 366 (.4%) are American Indian.

The Indians into Psychology (InPsych) Program is a component of the APA-accredited Clinical Psychology Program within The University of Montana’s Psychology Department. The Indian Health Service sponsors the InPsych Program with the main objectives to recruit, fund, and train American Indians in Clinical Psychology and return to work with Indian people. The InPsych Program provides up to two scholarships per year to qualified candidates who are accepted into the Clinical Psychology graduate 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 stipend. Qualification for these scholarships does not guarantee acceptance into the Clinical Psychology graduate program. All applications to the graduate program are evaluated individually. Students are eligible to receive the InPsych scholarship for four years and if the student decides to accept the scholarship, Indian Health Service requires a service pay back (of up to four years). The University of Montana Clinical Psychology Program offers a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with specialty areas in Family and Human Development and Neuropsychology Assessment.

The Indian Health Service 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 successful 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 is an Associate Professor in the Clinical Psychology Program and teaches Multicultural Psychology and Clinical Practicum.