Psy.D. Degree

Comprehensive Clinical Examination

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Introduction

photo of students in a classroom

The purpose of the Clinical Competency Examinations (CCEs) is to assess the student's competencies in general psychological practice, including those identified by the American Psychological Association in their Standards of Accreditation such as Research, Ethical and Legal Standards, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Assessment and Intervention. The CCEs also aid in identifying areas of strength and weakness in performance that may inform and guide the student's clinical training and provide feedback to the faculty on the performance level of students and success of the curriculum. To that end, the CCE has three (3) separate components: The basic science competency exam (BSCE), the assessment competency exam (ACE), and the intervention competency exam (ICE). Students must pass all three competency exams before approval is granted to apply for internship. If a student is on an approved accelerated plan or has an approved academic plan extension, then the timetable will be adjusted accordingly.

If a student does not pass any portion of the CCEs, the following actions will be taken. Upon the first failure of the BSCE, the student will be given an opportunity to remediate by retaking the exam. After the second failure, the student will be required to meet with his/her advisor to determine what steps need to be taken to better prepare for the second re-take of the exam. Then the exam process will be repeated. If a student fails the exam a third time, a Hearing for Termination will be scheduled. If a student fails the ACE or the ICE, the student will be required to meet with his/her advisor to determine what steps need to be taken to better prepare for the re-take of the exam. Then the exam process will be repeated. If a student fails the exam a second time, a Hearing for Termination will be scheduled. If a student fails or misses the last CCE offering for the year, s/he must extend his/her program.

If any student is in need of accommodations for any of the exams, it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the Office of Disability Services (937-775-5680) in a timely manner. Unless the Office of Academic Affairs receives notification of accommodations for a student from Office of Disability Services, or from the student, at least one month prior to the exam date, no accommodations, such as extra time, will be provided.


Basic Science Competency Exam (BSCE) Policies

Purpose

The BSCE assesses student's competency in basic knowledge and application in the basic sciences courses.

  1. Prior to sitting for the BSCE, students must pass or waive all basic sciences courses with a grade of "B" or above. These are areas of competency delineated by our profession.
  2. For the purposes of the BSCE, the following courses are considered to be basic science courses:
    1. Human Development
    2. Neuropsychology of Affect and Behavior
    3. Psychopathology
    4. Statistics
    5. Research Methods
    6. Multicultural Lab
    7. Social Psychology
    8. Theories of Personality and Psychotherapy
  3. The BSCE will be offered up to three times per calendar year.
  4. Students must demonstrate the knowledge level of a second-year SOPP student, as represented by a score of 70% or above, in order to pass the exam.
  5. If a student engages in academic dishonesty, an automatic failure will result. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Coming to the exam after the designated arrival time
    2. Talking to classmates during the exam
    3. Looking over at another classmate's screen
    4. Talking to classmates about the exam during breaks
    5. Logging off computer without saving the results
    6. Bringing or using any electronic devices during the exam or breaks
    7. Bringing or using study materials during the exam
    8. Other questionable behaviors observed by the proctors in accordance with the SOPP and WSU Code of Conduct (see Academic Code of Conduct)

Basic Science Procedures

  1. The exam will be administered to all students on the same day.
  2. Prohibited items and behaviors:
    1. Cell phones are not allowed in the exam room. Students are not allowed to access phones at any time during the exam administration, including breaks. If a student needs to be reached regarding an emergency during the exam, an emergency phone number will be provided. Proctors will be notified and provide the student with the message. In the event that the student needs to make an emergency phone call, exam time will continue to run.
    2. Students are prohibited from accessing email, social media, and any messaging service during the exam administration.
    3. Students are prohibited from leaving exam premises until they have completed the exam. If an emergency arises, please inform a proctor. If a student must leave for an approved emergency, s/he/they will be required to retake the exam on the scheduled retake day.
    4. Food and drinks.
  3. Each student's work will be scored electronically.
  4. Students and their advisors will be notified of the student's scores within 10 business days via an e-mail from the Basic Science Committee chair.
  5. Students who fail will be provided domain specific information about their performance within 15 business days. 
  6. Exam Specifics:
    1. The test will consist of 100 multiple choice questions (4 answer choices)
    2. The test will be group administered by computer
    3. The test will be taken in a computer lab on campus
  7. Duration of the exam will be four hours.
  8. Timing and spacing of the exams:
    1. May: First exam
    2. August: First retake exam
    3. October: Second retake exam

Assessment Competency Exam (ACE) Policies

Purpose

The ACE portion of the CCE assesses student's knowledge and skill in psychological assessment and related competencies.

  1. Students must pass the BSCE prior to sitting for the ACE.
  2. Students must have at least four (4) test batteries in their Assessment Portfolio in order to sit for the ACE.  These batteries must be on file with the Office of Clinical Training (OCT) at least two weeks prior to sitting for the ACE.  Please see the Assessment Portfolio Policy and Procedures for test battery criteria.
  3. Students who do not have the required test batteries in their portfolio for the first administration will have an opportunity to take the exam during another offering when they have completed the above requirements. Missing prior offerings will not be counted as fails.
  4. The ACE will only be offered twice per academic year. 
  5. Students must demonstrate the knowledge, attitudes and skills of a third-year SOPP student, as represented by a score of 70% or above, in order to pass the exam.
  6. If a student engages in academic dishonesty, an automatic failure will result. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Coming to the exam after the designated arrival time
    2. Talking to classmates during the exam
    3. Looking over at another classmate's screen
    4. Sharing resources during exam administration
    5. Talking to classmates about the exam during lunch or breaks
    6. Failure to upload the document by the posted deadline
    7. Bringing any assessment report from practicum, Practice Tutorial, or other clinical experience, whether or not it contains personal health information (PHI)
    8. Shutting down computer without uploading the report to the electronic system
    9. Other questionable behaviors observed by the proctors in accordance with the SOPP and WSU Code of Conduct (see Academic Code of Conduct)

ACE Procedures

  1. The exam will be administered to all students on the same day.
  2. What will be provided:
    1. Interpretive materials (manuals, photocopied charts) for the tests used in the exam will be available for students to reference. Due to a limited number, interpretive materials will be shared. Students may check out interpretive materials from the proctors for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time. Proctors will check in interpretive materials after each use, prior to another student using the same manual.
    2. At the start of the evaluation period, students will be provided an ACE evaluation packet containing Instructions, Client identifying information, Referral information, Background information, and Test data.
    3. A place to store belongings not allowed during the exam (e.g., phones, bags).
    4. With 30-day advance notification, a laptop will be provided for student's use during the exam day if s/he/they do not have one to bring to the exam.
  3. Prohibited items and behaviors:
    1. Cell phones are not allowed in the exam room. Students are not allowed to access their phones at any time during the exam administration, including lunch and breaks. If a student needs to be reached regarding an emergency during the exam, an emergency phone number will be provided. Proctors will be notified and provide the student with the message. In the event that the student needs to make an emergency phone call, exam time will continue to run.  
    2. Students are prohibited from accessing email, social media, and any messaging service during the exam administration.
  4. What to bring:
    1. Laptop with Wi-Fi access.
    2. DSM-5.
    3. Scratch paper and writing utensil, if desired.
    4. Beverages and food to eat during the exam day (e.g., lunch, snack). Food and drink are allowed in the room during the exam.
    5. Electronic and/or physical resources the student may want to reference during the exam day to complete the integrated report. Note: Proctors reserve the right to review resources brought to the exam.
  5. Students are prohibited from leaving exam premises until they have completed the exam. If an emergency arises, please inform a proctor. If a student must leave for an approved emergency, s/he/they will be required to retake the exam on the scheduled retake day.
  6. Students are required to write an integrated psychological evaluation report (i.e., test results, summary, diagnosis, and recommendations) based on the information provided in the ACE evaluation packet.  The completed psychological evaluation report is due by end of the exam period, or sooner, the day of the ACE evaluation.
  7. Each student's work will be anonymously evaluated by two independent evaluators. Evaluators will primarily include SOPP fully-affiliated faculty.
  8. Duration of the exam will be eight and a half hours.
  9. Timing and spacing of the exams:
    1. November: First exam
    2. March: Retake exam
  10. Students will receive official notification of ACE disposition and feedback from the OAA via a formal letter.
  11. The OAA may share a summary of the results of the CCE, especially recommendations for further training, with the student's current or next practicum site and/or the internship.

Intervention Competency Exam (ICE) Policies

Purpose

The Intervention Competency portion of the CCE assesses student's knowledge and skill in therapeutic intervention and related competencies

  1. Students must pass the ACE prior to sitting for the ICE.
  2. Students must also pass Dissertation Prospectus prior to taking the ICE.
  3. The ICE will be offered once per calendar year with one retake opportunity. The exam must be successfully completed by July 31st within the same year of when the initial exam was administered in order for the student to be approved to apply for internship that Fall.   
  4. Students must demonstrate the knowledge, attitudes and skills of a third-year SOPP student as represented by a score of 70% or above in order to pass the exam. Student performance will be evaluated based on the APA Standards of Accreditation (SoA), Developmental Achievement Levels (DALS), and expected level of clinical competency of a third-year student.
  5. If a student engages in academic dishonesty, an automatic failure will result. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Coming to the exam after the designated arrival time
    2. Other questionable behaviors observed by the proctors in accordance with the SOPP and WSU Code of Conduct (see Academic Code of Conduct)
    3. Failing to de-identify written documentation

ICE Procedures

  1. The exam will be administered students on the designated day. Students are required to take the exam after the spring semester of their third academic year in the program.
  2. Students are required to present a de-identified clinical case for panel review and evaluation.  The case sample will be selected from work generated at one of the student's practicum sites. There are two components to the ICE - a written and an oral component.  The written case conceptualization will be standardized based on a set of information guidelines and target a comprehensive reflection of the client's status and clinician's skill level. The case conceptualization should include a video or audio recording of a session. If a video or audio recording cannot be obtained due to site restrictions, a transcript must be provided. The oral part of the exam will address competencies in the domains identified in the Intervention Narrative (see below).
  3. At least three weeks (15 business days) before the exam is scheduled, the student must submit three copies of the following packet of materials to the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) for the panel members' review. Each packet should include the following:
    1. Cover sheet with student name and date of exam
    2. Case Overview (demographic information, scope of treatment, current status)
    3. Intervention Narrative (addressing presenting problem, clinical plan, therapeutic relationship, ethical considerations, assessment data, diversity factors, research, case management/supervision issues, and consultation [if applicable])
    4. Reference list for any citations used
    5. Video/audio recording or transcript
    6. Students must provide documentation client releases have been obtained.
  4. The materials will be distributed to ICE panel members two weeks ahead of scheduled oral examinations.
  5. The oral exam will be held with each student meeting with a two-member panel. Members may include SOPP fully-affiliated faculty members, SOPP staff psychologists, psychology field supervisors and/or clinical faculty members. Students' current supervisor(s) or supervisor of the identified case are not eligible to sit on the panel. Students will NOT be notified of their panel members before the exam.
  6. More specific instructions about the exam process will be distributed prior to the exam.
  7. The panel will question the student on the Intervention Narrative domains, as well as any areas warranting follow up. Once the oral exam is completed, the student will be dismissed for a short time so the panel can meet in executive session. The student will then be invited back into the room for discussion and clarification, if necessary.
  8. Results of the exam will be provided to the student at the conclusion of the ICE. Following the exam, exam materials and evaluation documents will be forwarded to the Office of Clinical Training.
  9. The OAA may share a summary of the results of the ICE, especially recommendations for further training, with the student's current or next practicum site and/or the internship.
  10. What to bring (optional):
    1. Scratch paper and writing utensil, if desired.
    2. Beverages.
    3. Physical resources (for example, the DSM-5) the student may want to reference during the exam day. Note: Proctors reserve the right to review resources brought to the exam.
  11. Students are prohibited from leaving exam premises until they have completed the exam. If an emergency arises, please inform an examiner. If a student must leave for an approved emergency, s/he/they will be required to retake the exam on the scheduled retake day.
  12. Duration of the oral exam will be 1.5 hours.
  13. Students who do not pass the first exam will be expected to coordinate a retake with their evaluating committee members. Students may consult with the Office of Academic Affairs regarding alternatives in committee composition.  
  14. Timing and spacing of the exams:
    1. April/May: First exam
    2. Completed by July 31: Retake exam