PCSAS’s annual operating budget of about $200,000 is modest when compared to other accreditation agencies. Still, funding any new system is a challenge. Our basic expenses are personnel (one staff member – a part time Executive Director); costs for Board of Directors’ and Review Committee meetings (typically one face-to-face meeting per year); the cost of site visits to applicant programs; travel to make presentations about PCSAS at different venues; and the basic overhead costs of operation.
During our initial start-up, PCSAS could not possibly generate enough revenue from its accreditation activities alone to cover these costs. PCSAS depended on the generous support from educational institutions, individuals, corporations, and granting agencies who share PCSAS’s values. We now are re-opening up those early fundraising programs to new contributors:
- Founders’ Circle: For Universities and other relevant organizations. PCSAS invites all universities and associations who support PCSAS values in advancing public health through science-centered education and training to join the PCSAS Founders’ Circle.
The Founders’ Circle represents a “pay forward” approach to building a financial foundation for PCSAS. To join, a university or other organization pledges $15,000 per year for five years.
To date, these seventeen pioneering universities have joined the Founders’ Circle:
- Duke University
- Harvard University
- Indiana University
- Northwestern University
- Purdue University
- Stony Brook University
- The Ohio State University
- University of Arizona
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Delaware
- University of Illinois–U/C
- University of Kentucky
- University of Missouri
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Southern California
- University of Wisconsin
- Washington University in St. Louis
In addition, PCSAS has received Founders’ Circle support from:
- The Academy of Psychological Clinical Science
- The Association for Psychological Science
- The Society for Research in Psychopathology
We know that associations can afford to make different levels of contributions and we are happy to work with association leaders on the proper amount.
As the number of PCSAS accredited programs increases over time, we will become self-supporting. Until then, all organizations are encouraged to join the Founders’ Circle.
FAQs ABOUT THE FOUNDERS’ CIRCLE FUND:
- Q. Why should a university consider joining the Founders’ Circle?
A: PCSAS accreditation focuses on “outcomes”–e.g., the production of high quality clinical scientists–rather than on “inputs”–e.g., specific course requirements. PCSAS is aimed at freeing programs and departments from arbitrary requirements. Our intent is to promote innovation and improve scholarly quality and to enhance public health. PCSAS-accredited programs are designated publicly as successful science-centered doctoral programs. These programs benefit from differentiating themselves from others in clinical psychology and help PCSAS-accredited programs attract the best science-oriented students and faculty. Ultimately, the public benefits from having improved access to top-quality mental health care.
- Q: How will the Founders’ Circle funds be spent?
A: These funds will go directly toward meeting our annual budget. Meanwhile, we will be working to establish a more permanent funding base by seeking gifts from patrons, benefactors, and other sources. The goal is to should sustain PCSAS for the longer term and, importantly, to ensure the integrity of PCSAS’s accreditation decisions by isolating them from the pressure to accredit more programs in order to raise operating funds.
- Q: What do Founders’ Circle members receive?
A: Founders’ Circle programs Circle pay no application fee or site visit expenses when they apply for PCSAS accreditation. If accredited, they pay no annual dues for their first five years. These contributions do not influence the PCSAS Review Committee’s evaluations, as all applicant programs are reviewed on the same basis, but institutions in the Founders’ Circle will be recognized publicly by PCSAS in appreciation for their pioneering support. Above all, Founders’ Circle members will be able to take pride in knowing that they were leaders in the effort to advance public health through the promotion of science-centered doctoral education and training in clinical psychology.
- Q: What if fundraising efforts fall short, either initially or in the long term?
A: PCSAS represents the best opportunity in our lifetime to create a new, science-centered accreditation system in clinical psychology aimed at reforming doctoral education and advancing public health. It cannot be allowed to fail. PCSAS will continue to operate on the available funds until it succeeds.
- Q: How does an institution join the Founders’ Circle?
A: The process often begins with the faculty of the clinical science program meeting to discuss a request to support PCSAS. The program’s leadership then typically asks for the department’s backing. Finally, the program and departmental leaders meet with appropriate university administrator, present their case, and ask the university to pledge its support. If the university agrees, its pledge is documented in writing to avoid future misunderstandings, and the university transfers its pledged funds to PCSAS annually for five years.
- The Patrons’ Fund: For Private Individuals and Personal Estates. Individual donors who share the values and goals of PCSAS may contribute at whatever level their personal circumstances permit. Personal donations to PCSAS are fully tax deductible. PCSAS publishes a report in which it acknowledges donors and expresses gratitude. Larger contributions to PCSAS would receive a distinctive recognition. All donations from private contributors are welcome. Potential patrons also are encouraged to consider making future donations by including PCSAS in their estate plan.
PCSAS is grateful to all our friends who have made significant contributions. Those contributors who have allowed their names to be used include (*donates contributions in multiple years):
Gregory A. Miller
John McSweeny Levine
Henry L. Roediger
Richard and Kathleen McFall*
Alan Kraut and Jane Steinberg*
Robert Simons and Mary Graham
- Benefactors’ Fund: For Corporations and Institutions.PCSAS also is eager to tell its story to the business community and other entities that may have an interest in contributing funds to the improvement of public health and to promoting science-centered education.
- Grant Funds: Finally, PCSAS is interested in possible grant support from federal agencies, from private foundations, and from other sources of grant support.
Summary: PCSAS must rely on a patchwork of funding sources for the resources it needs to cover its operating costs. Although we will generate increased revenue over time, it is unlikely that these funds alone will be sufficient to cover PCSAS’s operating costs in the shorter term. Financial support from institutions and individuals is critical to PCSAS’s future success.
Contributions and all inquiries should be directed to:
Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 402
Washington, DC 20036-1218 USA