My name is Angela McMillen, and I am a Navy veteran.

I enrolled at the University of the Rockies, which became Ashford University during my attendance. I want to share that my concerns about Ashford should have been prevented with better oversight. I obtained a Masters in Psychology, Health & Wellness from the school in 2014 and transitioned into a Ph.D. program. Despite promises, the school failed to obtain accreditation from the American Psychological Association. The school also converted the Ph.D. program I enrolled into a Psy.D. program but failed to provide the curriculum that is necessary for a Psy.D. degree. After seven years at the school and over $140,000 in loans, I ended up with only a Masters Degree that no one even recognizes as a Psychology degree.

When I embarked at the school, I was assured the institution was getting APA accreditation. Regrettably, these assurances remained unfulfilled.

Further, while I was enrolled, the doctorate program changed from a Ph.D. to a Psy.D., which altered the focus of the curriculum. As someone deeply passionate about research in psychology, this change did not align with my academic and career aspirations. Plus, the Psy.D. program did not include the clinical work that is necessary for a Psy.D. degree. My dissertation was supposed to include work with clients, but there were no clinical hours.

The longer I attended, the more I realized I had been duped. I ended up withdrawing from the Psy.D. program. After leaving, I was unable to transfer or build on any of my credits because other schools do not view my Master’s Degree as a Psychology degree. I learned that all of my psychology courses were designated by Ashford as “ORG” for organizational program courses, instead of “PSY” for psychology program courses.

I am sharing my story because I think oversight agencies should have understood that what the school was describing to students was not actually what the school was providing. I thought I received a Masters in Psychology and transitioned to get a Ph.D. in Psychology. Certainly, the school’s accreditor should have understood that what was being offered by the school would not be recognized by any other institution as a Psychology degree and, at least, should have known that a Psy.D. program requires clinical hours.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Angela McMillen Comments