Faculty use their expertise and academic judgment when conducting student evaluations. Specifically, faculty broadly evaluate students’ academic standing, which encompasses minimal levels of achievement in coursework, clinical practice, and research; profession-wide competencies; and technical standards – all described in detail below.
Formal evaluation meetings are held twice a year, in December and May. First-year students are discussed at both meetings; all students are discussed at the May meeting. However, when the faculty are concerned about any facet of a student’s academic standing in the program, ad hoc evaluations can occur at any time, as needed. Specifically, the student for which concern(s) exists is discussed in a closed session of the next faculty meeting and in as many subsequent meetings as necessary to address the concern(s).
Academic standing is defined as meeting developmental expectations, including minimal levels of achievement (listed below), in all professional wide competencies (listed below) and technical standards (listed here). As noted, such standing is evaluated by faculty based on their expertise and academic judgment, which are informed by multiple sources of data. These sources include, but are not limited to, direct interactions with students; student performance in the contexts of courses, clinical practica, research labs, and assistantships; and observation of all other areas of professional interaction (e.g., in colloquia, in the Psychological Services Center, with departmental staff, students, and faculty, etc.).
Minimum Levels of Achievement
The program minimal levels of achievement in coursework, clinical practice, and research. Academic coursework will be evaluated on the basis of official transcripts and observational reports from instructors and academic advisors. To remain in good standing in this area, students must satisfactorily complete all required courses with no more than one B- over the entire course of their graduate study. Clinical practica are evaluated by supervisor ratings forms and a rating of 'on par' with developmental expectations is required by the 2nd semester in a placement.
Satisfactory progress on research varies widely based on the nature of different projects, methods, and procedures. Faculty will regularly track and evaluate progress of each student on research milestones and clearly to communicate to students - in evaluation letters - if they are meeting competency in this domain. All students must pass the Master’s thesis oral defense and the Dissertation oral defense.
All students must pass their Comprehensive Examination Portfolio, which addresses many Profession Wide Competencies, including – at minimum – Research, Ethics, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Assessment, and Intervention.
The goal of the clinical program is to produce the next generations of clinical scientists. The program ensures that graduates will demonstrate competence in the Profession Wide Competencies identified by the APA Commission on Accreditation (CoA) Standards of Accreditation (SoA):
- Ethical and Legal Standards
- Individual and Cultural Diversity
- Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behavior
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills
Satisfactory progress on all aspects of profession wide competencies is discussed and judged by faculty - using all relevant and available evidence and based on faculty expertise and academic judgment - at all student evaluation meetings and more frequently, as needed.
In addition to meeting the required academic standing and profession-wide competencies, the Technical Standards set forth the non-academic qualifications the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program considers essential for successful completion of its curriculum.
CLINICAL PROGRAM PROCEDURES
The Director of Clinical Training may form an Advisory Committee at the request of a faculty member, student, or when there is indication that a student is failing to maintain good academic standing. That is, an Advisory Committee might be formed when the faculty use their expertise and academic judgment to determine that a student is not meeting minimal levels of achievement in coursework, clinical practice, and research; any of the profession-wide competencies; and any of the technical standards. The Advisory Committee provides support and mentorship to students to help them remediate knowledge and/or skills to address poor academic standing. We follow best-practice remediation guidelines, such as:
Vacha-Haase, T. V., Elman, N. S., Forrest, L., Kallaugher, J., Lease, S. L., Veilleux, J. C. & Kaslow, N. J. (2019). Remediation plans for trainees with problems of professional competence. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 13, 239-246.
During the designated student evaluation meetings, or in a closed session of another faculty meeting, decisions to terminate a student from the program may arise. These decisions would be based on failure to adequately meet any facet of academic standing described above, despite reasonable and sustained efforts of the Advisory Committee, or in an instance of egregious misconduct of technical standards. In such cases, the clinical program follows the “Termination from the Graduate Program” policy in the Graduate Program Policies and Procedures document.