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This document presents the policy on grades and other formal evaluations of students' performance in all facets of the School of Professional Psychology (SOPP) program. The program explicitly subscribes to the comprehensive evaluation of student competence. Accordingly, for the purpose of this policy, the SOPP program includes course work, supervised professional practice, dissertation and Clinical Competency Examination (CCE) requirements, the internship requirement and professional role development of students. In addition, this document details the consequences of professional performance that is below satisfactory or expected levels and provides the procedures for appealing grades, performance evaluations and any actions taken by the faculty as a consequence of unsatisfactory professional performance. Grading and remediation policies are subject to change. If any change occurs, faculty, staff and students will be notified.
The Grading System and Expected Performance Levels
A.1: The current grading system (all grades are permanent unless otherwise indicated)
- A: Outstanding quality work. Above expectancy.
- B: Meeting expectancies in a satisfactory manner.
- C: Unsatisfactory Performance. Failure to achieve at the expected level.
- D: Significantly below expectancy.
- F: Clear failure to achieve at even a minimal level.
- P (Pass): Acceptable or passing performance in a course, seminar, lab or other educational experience graded on a pass (P)/unsatisfactory (U) basis. A grade of P may also indicate proficiency for students who, by arrangement with an instructor, demonstrate proficiency in a content area or skill in lieu of taking a course.
- X: Indicates that a student did not complete a course or officially withdrew. An X grade carries 0 points per credit hour.
- XU: Student attended or participated in a P/U graded class but did not complete the course or officially withdraw.
- U (Unsatisfactory): Indicates failure to perform at a satisfactory or expected level.
- NU: No record that the student attended or participated in a P/U graded class. Student did not attend or officially withdraw.
- I (Incomplete): Temporary grade indicating that a student has not completed some of the assignments or required work in a course, seminar or lab and that prior arrangements have been made with the instructor for the timely completion of all requirements. An Agreement for the Grade of Incomplete Form (PDF) must be signed and submitted by the course, seminar or lab instructor at the time the grade sheet is submitted. Instructors should not assign a grade of Incomplete (I) when a student has submitted work that is not satisfactory in quality or when a student has not made prior arrangements to complete required assignments. In these circumstances, the instructor should assign a letter grade or other permanent grade indicating failure to complete course requirements. A grade of Incomplete must be resolved by the last day of the semester following the semester in which the Incomplete was assigned, or it will be changed to a grade of F. The exception to this is if the incomplete is in the spring and then the student will have until the end of fall semester to resolve the grade. In the case of curricular offerings graded on Pass/Unsatisfactory (P/U) basis, the faculty member who assigned the grade of I will change it to a grade of U. Students should note that once a grade of Incomplete has changed to a grade of F (or U), the grade is a permanent one and will remain on the transcript. If this circumstance arises, the student may retake the course in its entirety and obtain another grade when the course is retaken (See Section B.2). Nonetheless, once the permanent grade of F (or U) is on the transcript, that grade is considered an indication of unsatisfactory professional performance and could be cause for a range of actions on the part of the faculty, including termination from the program (See Section B, Consequences of Unsatisfactory Professional Performance).
- W (Withdrew): Withdrew—students may drop a class or withdraw from the university based on the university’s approved academic calendar. The grade of W may also be assigned on the basis of a successful petition to withdraw. If a student has withdrawn after the approved date, the grade the student had earned in the course at the time of withdrawal will be assigned.
- N: No report--instructor did not report a grade.
- NR: No record student attended or participated in course effort.
A.2: Coursework and Training Experiences Outside the SOPP Program
SOPP students have opportunities to take coursework or engage in training experiences in departments, schools or programs outside the SOPP. Nonetheless, all required and elective courses counted toward the Psy.D. degree must be taken in the SOPP curriculum, with the following exception: Students with prior graduate training in psychology may request credit waiver for some of SOPP’s required or elective courses and, if waiver of credit is granted, these courses will be counted toward the degree. Students may not substitute any course or training experience outside the SOPP for any of SOPP’s required or elective courses, practicum experiences or other program requirements. Similarly, students may not use coursework or training experiences in a program, department or school outside the SOPP to remediate unsatisfactory performance in any course, practicum or other requirement in the SOPP program.
Students must be approved to engage in coursework or other training opportunities outside the SOPP, including involvement in certificate programs or other degree programs. Students wanting to be approved to pursue outside education or training should contact the Office of Academic Affairs to obtain the forms for the academic advisor to review and sign. Once the approval of the academic advisor has been obtained, the forms should be returned to the Office of Academic Affairs for the approval of the Associate Dean along with disposition of completion. Any unsatisfactory or unacceptable performance in a department, program, school or training program outside the SOPP will be treated in the same manner as performance deficits exhibited in the SOPP program (see Section B, below).
A.3: Expected Performance Level
The expected level of performance for students will be reflected in the attainment of a grade of B or better (or P) in all facets of the program in which grades are assigned. Grades of C or below, including a grade of U, are considered failing grades and indicators of unacceptable performance. In addition, evaluations indicating less than acceptable performance levels on the CCE, practicum, internship or on evaluations of the dissertation are considered unacceptable. Students who believe that their performance evaluations in any aspect of the program are not accurate may appeal these evaluations (see Section C below). As noted above, the SOPP program is defined as all formal program requirements which are part of the school's curriculum as approved by the faculty, which includes professional role development of students. Unacceptable performance, or a pattern of unacceptable performance, in any or all aspects of the program may result in requirements for remediation, probation, or an immediate hearing for termination from the program (see section B below).
A.4: Grading of Required and Elective Courses and Labs
With few exceptions, student performance in all required and elective courses and labs is evaluated on a letter grade basis. The exceptions are Professional Development (PSI 8080), Practice Tutorial (PSI 9080), Professional Dissertation (PSI 9980), Practicum (PSI 9971-PSI 9974), Internship (PSI 9990), Applied Teaching Practice (PSI 9940) and Directed Study (PSI 995) all of which are graded on a Pass (P)/Unsatisfactory (U) basis. Instructors may petition the curriculum committee if they wish to deviate from these standard grading formats.
A.5: Grading of Supervised Experience (PSI 9971-PSI 9974)
Grading for Practicum (PSI 9971-PSI 9974) is on a Pass (P)/ Unsatisfactory (U) scale and is managed through the Office of Clinical Training (OCT). Details concerning the assignment of grades for PSI 9971-PSI 9974 are provided in the Practicum section under the SOPP Academic Policies and Procedures.
A.6: Grading of Internship (PSI 9990)
Grading for Internship (PSI 9990) is on a Pass (P)/ Unsatisfactory (U) scale and is managed through the Office of Clinical Training (OCT). Procedures and standards for the assignment of grades for Internship are outlined in the Internship section under the SOPP Academic Policies and Procedures.
A.7: Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)
To remain in good standing in the program, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher. Students whose grade point average (GPA) falls below a 3.00 will automatically be placed on probation for the following semester, based on the Graduate School's policy. In addition, students whose GPA falls below 3.00 may lose scholarships, tuition waivers and other sources of financial aid. Failure to improve the GPA to at least a 3.00 within two semesters will result in dismissal from the program.
A.8: Temporary Grades
A grade of I is a temporary grade. To remain in good standing in the program, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher.
Unsatisfactory Professional Performance
B.: Consequences of Unsatisfactory Professional Performance
Unsatisfactory or unacceptable performance in any facet of the SOPP program, including related professional role development of students, may result in a faculty review of the student, placement on a remedial plan (see B.2-B.5 below), probation (see B.1 below), and/or a hearing for termination from the program (see B.6 below). The Associate Dean also may impose an emergency suspension when a student’s behavior poses a significant threat to the safety of others or threatens to disrupt the educational process of the SOPP or University (see separate policy on Professional Integrity and Conduct of Students). In addition, unsatisfactory or unacceptable performance in any program of study outside the SOPP, whether in another department or school at Wright State University, or in a program or training experience outside the university, will be treated in the same manner, in terms of the consequences detailed above, as performance deficits exhibited in the SOPP. Students taking coursework outside the SOPP must also understand that any remediation of unsatisfactory performance will be dictated by the policies and procedures of the outside program in which the unsatisfactory performance was exhibited. The SOPP will not be responsible for remediating unsatisfactory performance in any course, educational or training experience outside the school.
Placement of a student on probation indicates that the student has not successfully met SOPP program expectations or requirements. There are many ways in which a student may be placed on probation. For example, when a student receives two unsatisfactory grades or performance evaluations (e.g., coursework, practicum, dissertation, CCE, and internship, and required professional role development), the student will be immediately placed on academic probation. In addition, a hearing for termination conducted as a result of unsatisfactory professional performance or violation of any SOPP or university policy may result, in part, in the student’s being placed on probation in lieu of him/her/them being terminated from the program (see section B.6 below). Finally, by university policy, students’ whose grade point average falls below 3.00 are automatically placed on probation. Students must raise the grade point average to 3.00 or better within two terms; failure to do so results in automatic dismissal from the University.
Probation represents a change in a student’s status in the program. Typically, it represents an intermediary step between good standing and termination from the program (see section B.6 below). A student who is on probation is not considered in good standing in the program. When a student is placed on probation, a formal probationary plan will be initiated by the Associate Dean and the student’s advisor within 45 days which specifies the time period over which the probationary status will extend as well as any requirements that must be met for the probationary status to be lifted and the student to be returned to good standing in the program. The probationary plan must be approved by the vote of a simple majority of the core faculty within 60 days. In addition, a simple majority of the core faculty must approve any modifications to, or departures from the approved probationary plan, and removal of the student from probationary status requires the approval of a majority of the core faculty. A student who is on probation may not apply for the Psy.M. degree until the formal probationary remedial plan is completed and the student is returned to good standing in the program. In addition, a student who has been placed on probation will not be permitted to enroll in coursework or other training outside the SOPP, start or apply for internship, sit for the CCEs, serve as a teaching assistant, serve as a volunteer on faculty research or service projects, represent students on SOPP committees, or represent SOPP to the University or the larger professional/academic community. For a student on probation, any further instance of unsatisfactory performance in any aspect of the program, including violation of SOPP or University policies, will result in an automatic hearing for termination from the program.
B.2: Course Remediation: Required Courses
Required courses are those courses that are intended to develop basic competency in the knowledge, attitudes, and skills fundamental to psychological practice. Because mastery of the required courses is essential to satisfactory performance in practicum (PSI 9971 - PSI 9974 or PSI 9990), all required courses must be taken in the SOPP unless course credit waiver from another graduate program is granted prior to entry to the SOPP program; with the sole exception of approved credit waiver from a prior graduate program, no coursework taken outside the SOPP curriculum may be substituted for a required SOPP course. Similarly, neither SOPP directed studies (PSI 9950) nor any form of independent study may be substituted for a required course in the SOPP curriculum.
All required courses must be passed with a grade of B (or P) or better. Performance below a grade of B (or P) in any required course must be remediated until it is determined that the student has sufficiently mastered the material and is able to proceed with the curriculum. Required courses that are considered prerequisites for Practicum (PSI 9971-PSI 9974) must be successfully remediated prior to the initial placement on clinical practicum. Required courses and the requirements of the Comprehensive Clinical Examination must be met in a satisfactory manner prior to the Internship Readiness Review. (See the complete list of requirements for Internship Readiness in the Internship section under the SOPP Academic Policies and Procedures.)
After assigning a grade of U, C (or lower) in a required course, a faculty member must file a remediation plan with the Office of Academic Affairs no later than the third week of the subsequent academic term. The remediation plan may take many forms including, but not limited to, requiring the student to: Retake the course in its entirety, retake a portion of the course, retake examinations, rewrite papers or complete a special project to demonstrate proficiency in the content area. Once the student has completed the remedial plan, the instructor will inform the Office of Academic Affairs in writing. Failure to successfully remediate a required course will result in an immediate hearing for termination from the program (See section B.6.a, below). When a remediation plan requires a student to retake the required course in its entirety, the course number and the grade earned when the course is retaken will appear on the transcript and the new grade will be included in the GPA. It is important to note, however, that the original grade will also remain on the transcript and will be included in (and not removed from) the GPA. Students may not remediate a required SOPP course by taking a course in another program in the University or in any program outside the SOPP. If remediation does not require retaking the course in its entirety, only the grade earned when the course was originally taken will appear on the transcript and this grade will be included in the GPA.
B.3: Remediation of Practicum
Remediation is required if a student is not judged to be performing at the program's expected levels of competence in Practicum (PSI 9971-PSI 9974). Unsatisfactory performance may be indicated on the Training Progress Report (TPR) or in other written communications between the supervisor and the Director of Clinical Training and the student. Remediation will be required when ratings on the TPR indicate unsatisfactory overall performance, when performance in any domain(s) evaluated on the TPR is judged to be unsatisfactory, and/or when other written evaluation from the supervisor indicates unsatisfactory performance. Based on this information, a remedial plan will be developed by the Director of Clinical Training in consultation with the student’s practicum supervisor and academic advisor. The process of developing and monitoring remediation of practicum is detailed in the practicum section under the SOPP Academic Policies and Procedures. Failure to successfully remediate practicum will result in an immediate hearing for termination from the program (see Section B.6.a, below).
B.4: Remediation of the Internship Requirement
Students who are not performing at expected levels of competence while on internship will be dealt with according to the policies and procedures of the internship site. Appeals of internship supervisor's evaluations, remedial plans developed, evaluation of performance on remedial plans and/or dismissal decisions should be directed to the director of the internship or elsewhere in accordance with the policies and procedures of the internship site. Students who are dismissed from an internship will be automatically reviewed for termination from the SOPP program.
B.5: Remediation of Elective Courses, and Other Program Requirements
Remediation of elective courses may be required if the faculty determines that such is necessary for satisfactory completion of a particular student's program of study. In any event, if a student earns an unsatisfactory grade in an elective course and does not remediate, the elective course will not count toward graduation from the program. If a student remediates unsatisfactory performance in an elective course, this will be reflected on the transcript and GPA in the same manner as described in section B.2 above for required courses. As with required courses, students may not remediate an SOPP elective course by taking a course in another program in the university or in any program outside the SOPP. Similarly, neither SOPP directed studies (PSI 9950) nor any form of independent study may be used to remediate an elective course in the SOPP curriculum. In addition, the faculty may require remediation of any program requirement, such as all or portions of the CCE, or either or both of the written or oral portions of the Dissertation, if a student's performance is judged to be below acceptable standards (e.g. professional competency issues).
B.6: Termination from the Program
Unsatisfactory performance in any facet of the program, as indicated by a letter grade of U or a C or below, or other formal evaluation indicating unsatisfactory performance, may be cause for a student to be terminated from the program. The cumulative receipt of three unacceptable grades or performance evaluations, whether remediated or not, will be viewed by the faculty as a sustained pattern of unacceptable performance and will result in an automatic hearing to terminate the student from the program. When a hearing to terminate a student from the program is scheduled, the following procedures will be followed:
B.6.a: Faculty Hearings for Student Termination
Procedures: A hearing to terminate a student from the program requires the presence of a quorum (2/3) of the core faculty and will be conducted according to the procedures outlined below:
- The student will be informed by the Associate Dean in writing and at least seven business days prior to the hearing, that the hearing has been scheduled.
- The student will be permitted to have a faculty advocate to assist in the review process. The faculty advocate may counsel the student and assist in preparing for the meeting. The faculty advocate may also assist in preparing an appeal. The faculty advocate may not directly question members of the faculty during the meeting except to request clarification.
- The student will be permitted to address the faculty and to present information bearing on the issue(s). The student may ask others to present information to the faculty. The student may also question faculty members or others who are presenting information bearing on the issue(s).
- In considering whether to terminate a student from the program, the faculty will conduct a complete review of the student's performance in all aspects of the program. The Associate Dean will coordinate this review as identified at the beginning of this section. To facilitate this review, the Associate Dean will compile a summary of the student’s professional performance while in the program. This summary will be disseminated to the core faculty one full business day prior to the hearing. At least five business days prior to the date of the hearing, the student must provide the Associate Dean with several pieces of information related to the hearing. If the student fails to submit any of these within the five-business day deadline, s/he/they loses the opportunity to have them available for the hearing. First, the student should provide the Associate Dean with any written information or formal written statement(s) the student would like disseminated to the faculty prior to the hearing. To avoid duplication of effort, confusion and disorganization, the Associate Dean will disseminate all materials to the core faculty. The student should not send information directly to the members of the faculty prior to the hearing. At least five business days prior to the hearing, the student should also inform the Associate Dean if s/he/they would like to address the faculty personally or would like to invite other individuals to present information on the issue. Finally, the student should inform the Associate Dean if s/he/they will have a faculty advocate present and who that individual will be.
- After all information has been presented in the hearing, the faculty will deliberate in executive session and decide whether to terminate the student. Comments made by faculty during discussion of the student’s performance and deliberation shall remain strictly confidential. A decision to terminate a student from the program must receive the approval of a simple majority of the core faculty present at the hearing.
- The Associate Dean and the advocate will communicate the decision to the student after the meeting face to face and in writing, within seven business days of the date the decision is made.
B.6.b: Further Appeals Process
The student may appeal the faculty’s decision to the Dean of the School if s/he/they believes new information has come to light that was not presented in the hearing, but that bears directly on the issue that was the focus of the termination hearing, or if s/he/they believes either that s/he/they were not granted due process or that her/his/their rights were otherwise violated in the hearing. The mere fact that a student dislikes or disagrees with the outcome of a hearing is not sufficient grounds for an appeal (see Section C.2 below).
C.: Appeal Processes
A student may appeal a course grade, practicum evaluation and any other formal evaluation made by faculty members in connection with the CCE, dissertation or other program requirement when s/he/they believes that the grade or other evaluation was made on grounds that reflected a violation of the grading or evaluation procedures, inaccuracy in grading or evaluation, discrimination or other violation of students' rights. The mere fact that a student is not happy with or disagrees with a particular grade or evaluation does not constitute adequate grounds for making a formal appeal of the grade or evaluation. Students appealing grades or other formal evaluations made by faculty members are required to be very clear and explicit about the grading or evaluation violation that has occurred, and how this placed her/him/them at a disadvantage relative to other students so graded or evaluated. The process and procedures for these appeals are provided below.
C.1: Appealing a Course Grade, Practicum Evaluation or Other Formal Evaluation
A student who decides to appeal a course grade or other formal evaluation, including formal evaluations associated with the practicum and the CCEs, the dissertation requirement or other program requirement must first make a good-faith effort to appeal directly to the course instructor, clinical supervisor or other faculty member(s) responsible for the grade or evaluation, via email with a carbon copy to the Associate Dean, within 20 business days of when the grade or evaluation was posted or the right to appeal will be forfeited. The student initiates the appeal process by submitting a written appeal to the professor. If the issue is not resolved at this level, the appeal must be made to the Associate Dean. When appealing to the Associate Dean, all prior written materials must be submitted along with the premise for the appeal. Appeal of grades or other evaluations by the Associate Dean should be directed to the Dean, who will render a decision. If the appeal is related to a grade assigned by the Dean, the appeal should be directed to the university provost.
Any appeal must be submitted within 20 business days of when the grade or evaluation was posted or the right to appeal will be forfeited. As noted above, the written appeal must be very clear and explicit about the grading or evaluation violation that has occurred, and how this placed the student at a disadvantage relative to other students graded or evaluated in the same course, same or similar practicum experience, other educational experience, dissertation or CCE. The Associate Dean will render a decision in the matter following investigation and, at his/her/their discretion, consultation with other faculty members. The Associate Dean will respond to the appeal, in writing, within 45 business days of receipt of the appeal. If the outcome of the appeal is a recommendation for a change in a grade or other formal evaluation, and the appeal is upheld, the Associate Dean will direct the faculty member(s) involved in the grading or evaluation to change the grade or modify the evaluation to reflect the outcome of the appeal. In all cases, faculty members directly involved in the appeal, as well as all core faculty members, will be kept informed of the appeal process and outcome.
A student who believes that the outcome of the appeal reflected inaccuracy, discrimination or other gross violation of student rights may appeal the decision to the Dean of the School (see C.2 below). The Dean's decision in the matter will be final.
C.2: Appealing Faculty or Associate Dean Decisions to the Dean
The student must submit any appeal to the Dean including clear and explicit reasons for the appeal. The written appeal must be presented to the Dean within seven business days of receiving the letter notifying the student of the decision by the Associate Dean(s) or faculty. The Dean will review the relevant documents and other information. The student will be informed, in writing, of the Dean's decision within 20 business days of receipt of the appeal. Failure to appeal within the allotted time renders the decision of the Associate Dean, or faculty, final.
The Dean's decision is final in all instances except when the decision by the faculty and/or the Dean is to terminate the student from the program. Only in instances of termination, or when the appeal relates to the Dean, does the student have the option of appealing the Dean's decision to the Provost of the University.
C.3: Appealing the Dean’s Decision to the University Provost
A written petition must be presented to the Provost within seven business days of receiving the letter notifying the student of the Dean's decision. As is true at all levels of the appeal process, clear and explicit reasons for the appeal must be detailed in the written document presented to the Provost. The Provost’s decision is final. Failure to appeal within the allotted time period renders the Dean's decision final.
Adopted by the Faculty 17 February 2010, updated 20 August 2012, 6 February 2019