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Student Remediation, Due Process, Program Termination and Grievances

PASSING/FAILING THE COMPETENCY BASED PORTFOLIO & TIMELINE

The CPSY program works to assure that all students develop required professional competencies as heath service providers and researchers. Failure to pass any competency based portfolio item requires remediation and may affect your progression and status in the program. Administration of the summer competency based portfolio papers (3A, 6, and 7) will occur during summer, with questions provided approximately the 3rd week of June and responses due the first day of classes in September. There are no exceptions to the dates for completing the competency-based portfolio papers. Late responses will not be accepted. Missing the deadline constitutes a failure of that question. The summer competency based portfolio papers will be rated by a committee of two faculty members using the evaluation criteria and rating sheets provided in appendix F and on our website. A score of 3 or higher represents a ‘pass” of the competency based portfolio paper. Incomplete responses will not receive a pass. Faculty have 15 business days to score your papers.

Failure of these or any other competency elements will require a remediation plan. For summer competency-based portfolio papers the remediation plan will include, at a minimum, a written response and an oral exam with the counseling psychology faculty. Remediation plans are individually tailored to address the student’s situation and the nature of the deficits. Remediation requires substantial time and energy on your part as well as that of faculty. It can also delay your progression toward achieving other program milestones. Dedicating sufficient time and effort to completion of all portfolio elements is critical. Failure to successfully remediate any portfolio competency element is grounds for dismissal from the program.

Once summer competencies are passed, students may apply for Advancement to Candidacy, effective the term after competencies are passed. Refer to the Handbook’s section on Advancement to Candidacy for more details. Once students Advance, they are eligible to register for Dissertation credits.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

If you require special accommodations for any portion of the competency portfolio for a specific disability, then you must provide a written request to your advisor and the Program director. To allow your committee sufficient time to respond, you must submit your request a minimum of 8 weeks before the competency elements are scheduled to be administered. (The only exception is for the oral ethics exam, first year in the program, for which accommodations must be requested a minimum of 1 month in advance). The request should specify the nature of the desired accommodations as well as documentation of your disability from the Accessible Education Center. The faculty must reach a unanimous decision regarding your request. You will be informed of the outcome of the request after the faculty meeting. Your request, along with the faculty response, will be placed in your student file as an official record.

APPEALS RELATED TO COMPETENCIES PERFORMANCE GRADES

You may appeal a comps grade to the full Counseling Psychology faculty. You must submit your concerns in writing and arrange to be heard at the next scheduled program faculty meeting. Should the faculty fail to support your appeal, you may make further appeals following the procedures established by the College of Education Policy B5 (http://education.uoregon.edu/governance/comprehensive-examination).

STUDENT REMEDIATION

In the course of development, students might make errors in judgment. As these errors come to light, the faculty/supervisors involved are expected to meet with the student to discuss the issues involved and work with the student to teach professional principles and behaviors designed to prevent re-occurrence of the error. If such faculty/supervisor/student interactions fail to correct errors, the student, the student’s faculty advisor, and the involved faculty/supervisors will create a remediation plan for the student.

A remediation plan must include contingencies for retention as outlined below in the Remediation/Retention and Termination guidelines. The program reserves the right to require personal therapy as a remediation component and to request that evaluations of personal therapy be forwarded to program faculty for deliberation of student development. The student’s advisor is responsible for monitoring the remediation process and bringing information back to the faculty within the guidelines and timelines established. Failure of the student to satisfactorily complete the remediation plan will result in the student being dismissed from the program.

STUDENT TERMINATION

The termination or threat of termination from a COE academic program is a serious undertaking for the student, the faculty, the program, and often the student’s family. The gravity of termination requires that the COE develop comprehensive and sensitive guidelines to assist programs in developing specific student termination policies.

Students encounter three types of problems that could lead to program termination:

1. Behavioral problems include the student’s inability or unwillingness to follow directions, to accept and respond appropriately to feedback, to work successfully with others, extreme social insensitivity, egregious unprofessional behavior, and other similar mental health or behavioral responses that affect the student’s ability to be a successful mental health professional, instructor, or peer.

2. Academic factors may include the student’s inability or unwillingness to acquire and demonstrate competence in program content, or to comply with program, college, course, and university procedures for fulfilling competencies.

3. Legal/ethical factors may include the student’s use of inappropriate language or actions, and violation of university rules (such as cheating, plagiarism, lying, and other offenses detailed in university and college policy and published in the Schedule of Classes each term), or violation of APA’s Ethical Principles or state laws governing professional behavior which demonstrate the student does not meet professional standards.

The following policy emphasizes accountability, prevention, equitable treatment, and early remediation. The first line of defense is to avoid serious situations where students are not performing adequately or are not making adequate progress toward degree completion or licensure.

These procedures are designed to require programs to operate so that student problems and potential problems are identified early and students are offered assistance to remediate problems unless the gravity of the problem is such that faculty believe the specific problem(s) is not possible to remediate such that professional standards will be met. For example, remediation efforts for a student who commits an ethical violation that potentially harms a client may not be possible without risking harm to future clients. In situations where problems are not possible to remediate or remediation efforts are not successful, programs are encouraged to redirect students to other options that could be more successful, including program termination. Nothing in this policy or supporting program policies and procedures obligates program faculty to follow or provide specific procedures or activities because each situation will be unique and efforts and decisions must be individually tailored to the student’s situation.

RETENTION/REMEDIATION & TERMINATION GUIDELINES:

1. A written description of the personal and professional criteria students must meet successfully to complete the program is provided (see APA Ethical Standards and Practices, Minimum Competency Benchmarks, Student Evaluation forms, UO Practicum student evaluations, practicum syllabi, externship template). When possible, these criteria should be grounded in the standards of licensing or other professional organizations.

2. Relevant and high admission and retention standards.

3. Early screening procedures to assure admitted students have the necessary skills to succeed.

4. Written procedures for developing action plans to assist and support students who do not perform adequately on screening/admission procedures and clear timelines for demonstrating adequate correction when remediation is an appropriate alternative to immediate termination.

5. Ongoing student evaluation to assure early detection of problems that may interfere with student performance and progress.

6. Specific written procedures for developing action plans when serious deficiencies are noted. When serious deficiencies are noted, students will be notified in writing by the appropriate faculty member or program coordinator. Similarly, when serious deficiencies are noted in practicum, GE, or field study, appropriate supervisors and practicum/program coordinators will prepare in writing for the student:

    • A description of the issues to be addressed,
    • A plan for addressing each issue or rationale for why the faculty believe the issue is not amenable to remediation,
    • A description of any previous efforts to address or prevent each issue,
    • Criteria for determining if the issues have been remedied or resolved, and
    • A timeline for review.

7. Specific written procedure about future options for counseling psychology students who are not making adequate progress according to item 6. Programs may choose to include the following options: additional remediation of unsatisfactory work or deficiency; offering alternative strategies for moving forward; assistance in transferring to another program; and termination from the program.

When this process results in a decision to terminate a student from the program, the Department Head will forward a letter to that effect through the SSC to the Director of Academic Supports and SSC who will forward it to the appropriate university office. If the student wishes to contest the remediation plan or a termination decision, she/he may choose to work with involved faculty/supervisors and the faculty advisor to present information to faculty. Information may be in verbal or written form. The student may ask the Director of Training for time to appear before the faculty to present his/her position. Of course, the student has the right not to present his or her position on an alleged behavioral or ethical violation. But, this choice on the part of the student does not preclude the faculty from proceeding to make a decision on the students’ disposition using all available evidence and information present before the faculty.

All COE and University policies and procedures regarding student grievance rights apply throughout the termination procedures described here.

CONFLICT/PROBLEM RESOLUTION AND STUDENT GRIEVANCES

Student Grievances are handled within the Program and Department per processes and procedures identified above and per APA professional standards of practice. When these resources and levels of intervention are not adequate for students, the College of Education provides the following guidelines to support students through a student grievance (https://education.uoregon.edu/academics/student-grievance).   The University of Oregon Graduate School also offers additional processes and procedures for students to solve problems and conflicts or to enact a grievance, should all other paths for problem resolution not be successful or be restricted in some other fashion (see https://gradschool.uoregon.edu/problem-resolution).