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Students and Alumni Find PAU Continuing Education Beneficial

  Palo Alto University’s Division of Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS) provides world-class continuing education and professional development opportunities to students, alumni, and the broader community of mental health professionals.   The Division offers more than 300 on-demand webinars, 30-plus upcoming live events, and eight professional certificates.    Several PAU students and alumni have taken advantage of more than one webinar. They could be called super-users of the resources CAPS offers.   Ruby McCoy is a PhD student in the clinical psychology program. She has taken courses on dialectical behavioral therapy, suicide assessment, tele-mental health, working with diverse populations, including the LGBTQ+ community, and she completed the Foundations in Digital Therapy course with PAU faculty member C. Barr Taylor, MD.    McCoy utilized a CAPS course to explore her educational options within her degree program. “I watched the Suicide Risk Assessment and Intervention for a Diverse Population when I was exploring research lab applications,” she said. “I wanted to know a little more about Dr. Bruce Bongar and Dr. Joyce Chu, such as the type of educators and lecturers they are, the data they found to be pertinent, and even their mannerisms in presenting a didactic. I was so impressed with their work and consider myself extremely lucky to have been offered a spot in Professor Bongar’s Clinical Crises and Emergencies Research Laboratory.”   CAPS courses allowed McCoy to dive deeper into the subjects addressed in her courses as well. “There are often subjects which are generally addressed in class which draw my interest,” she said. “Having trainings available on-demand, and at an affordable price for students, means I can take the initiative to expand my education and clinical knowledge on my own time and in the comfort of my own home.”   McCoy was not aware of the the continuing education offerings before coming to PAU, but said, “It is an excellent way to increase indirect support hours, to expand understanding of current clinical research and practices, to improve awareness of ethics and practitioner responsibilities, and to explore new areas or theoretical models at a great price.”  
Jodie Pierce

Jodie Pierce is a graduate of the MA in Counseling program and another super-user of PAU’s Continuing and Professional Studies Division. She has taken workshops on police and public safety, suicide assessment and telehealth, counseling and chronic illness, and several others including collaborations with The American Board of Police and Public Safety Psychology (ABPPSP).   Pierce is focused on courses related to law enforcement so she may better support police, first responders, and the public who interact with law enforcement. “The two June workshops on Police and Public Psychology were most beneficial,” she said. “The speakers and the topics were helpful while still working in the law enforcement field. I feel these specific courses bridge the gap between clinical [work] and law enforcement.”    Since graduating, Pierce has continued to take advantage of the broad array of topics offered by CAPS. “I think the courses are a huge benefit to students and to alumni,” she said.   PAU students are eligible to take 150 hours of free on-demand training through CAPS and are also eligible for complimentary registrations to many of the live webinars upon request. Alumni receive a 50% discount for most on-demand and live webinars, as well as certificates.   For more information on CAPS and the many professional development opportunities available to students, alumni, and other mental health professionals visit