Missouri State University President Clif Smart and Burrell President and CEO C.J. Davis signed a memorandum of understanding Feb. 10 to to begin a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program in Springfield. (Photo courtesy of Missouri State University)

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by Michele Skalicky, KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio

Missouri State University will offer a Doctor of Psychology program in Springfield in collaboration with Burrell Behavioral Health.

The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday.

Burrell president and CEO Dr. C.J. Davis said in a news release that, with a nationwide shortage of workers and an ongoing mental health crisis made worse by the pandemic, “there’s never been a greater need for psychologists.” He said the new program will provide a “much-needed influx” of psychologists to the regional workforce.

Burrell will contribute $500,000 over the next few years to help establish the program and will provide clinical opportunities and training support for students. MSU will create and operate the program.

The MSU Board of Governors is expected to approve the program Feb. 16.

The university will then seek formal approval from the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development and the Missouri Higher Learning Commission and accreditation from the American Psychological Association.

MSU hopes to begin the program in 2023.

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