Evaluation of Student Progress
Each semester, student progress is evaluated in both academic and dispositional domains. The faculty of the Department of Counseling & Student Affairs reserves the right to terminate the training or supervision of any candidate who does not show himself/herself to be capable of achieving an acceptable standard of personal and/or professional behavior as outlined in the Department Policy on Evaluating Student Progress as a Professional.
- First Notice: Upon receipt of the first grade in a graduate course below "B," the graduate student shall receive a "letter of academic warning" from the Dean of the Graduate School with copies forwarded to the student's graduate advisor(s) and/or departmental chair(s).
- Second Notice: Upon receipt of the second grade below "B," the graduate student shall receive a "letter of academic probation" from the Dean of the Graduate School. In those cases where the student receives more than one grade below "B" in a single semester, the student shall be immediately placed on "academic probation," with no notice of "academic warning."
- Dismissal: Upon receipt of the third grade below "B," the graduate student shall be dismissed. The letter of academic dismissal shall be written by the Dean of the Graduate School with copies and/or appropriate notification being sent to the university registrar, the graduate student's advisor(s), and departmental chair(s). This dismissal shall occur upon receipt of the third grade below "B" even in those cases where the second and third grades below "B" shall have occurred in the same academic semester.
Preamble. As concerns that conduct of a Master's degree student in counseling or student affairs which is pertinent to counselor and student affairs professionalism- the current policy and procedure document is intended to supplement Article 4: Due Process, and Article 5: Judicial System as set forth in Chapter One, Document on Student Rights and Welfare, (The Key, 2010-2011).
Purpose. A broad range of factors influence counselor and student affairs practice, from the development of a sound knowledge base to personal qualities fundamental in relationship development. Ongoing evaluative feedback is an essential component of counseling and student affairs degree programs. Assuring the due process rights of counselors and student affairs professionals-in-training while simultaneously protecting the welfare of clients and potential clients is the intent of this policy. The following guidelines have been constructed in accordance with counselor education and student affairs professional standards of practice and in light of relevant nationwide research on counseling and student affairs graduate student remediation and retention.
Scope. All students enrolled in counseling or student affairs graduate programs.
Evaluative Elements: Criteria considered in evaluation counseling and student affairs students include problematic behavior in any of the following nine areas:
- Openness to New Ideas and Feedback
- Cooperation with Others
- Self/Other Awareness
- Acceptance of Responsibility
- Expression of Feelings and Thoughts
- Attention to Ethical, Legal, and Academic Standards
- Initiation and Motivation
- Cultural Sensitivity
Note: Please refer to the Student Academic Performance Evaluation Rubric for the criteria by which students are evaluated and for descriptive behaviors or attitudes.
Evaluative Arenas and Procedures. Students will be evaluated by counseling and student affairs faculty for professional competency in all academic, practicum, and field experience courses. An evaluation of each student will also be conducted by the faculty advisor at the time of the student's candidacy, and by the faculty supervisor during a student's field experience.
In the event of unsatisfactory student performance, a Student Academic Performance Evaluation Report (SAPER), will be filed. In most cases, the student will meet in person with the faculty issuing the SAPER in order to discuss the reported issue(s) and to collaboratively construct an agreement to address the issue(s). It is to be anticipated that the majority of unsatisfactory performance concerns will be remediated through agreements between the student and the issuing faculty. The student shall be given the opportunity to agree with the proposed remediation, or to issue a response or rebuttal. In the event that the student gives consent to the remediation plan, s/he will sign the SAPER and the issuing faculty, in consultation with the student's advisor or other faculty, as needed, will monitor the remediation process.
Remediation of Unresolved Problematic Student Behavior: In the event that a student contests the findings of the SAPER, a departmental review will be instituted. In addition, problematic student behavior not addressed by a SAPER report may come to the attention of faculty that will warrant departmental review.
In the event that a mutual understanding is not reached, the faculty will follow remediation policy specified below.
Remediation, Retention and Dismissal Policy
Development of Remediation Plan: In the event of unresolved problematic student behavior, a committee of the counseling and student affairs faculty will create a behaviorally focused remediation plan based on the criteria of the Student Academic Performance Rubric. This plan will incorporate the following elements:
- Identification of the problematic behaviors-identify deficits and state behavioral competencies to be achieved.
- Establishment of remediation activities-specify tasks for student to accomplish in order to meet competencies.
- Integration of formative feedback-provide ongoing opportunities to discuss progress and concerns related to remediation plan.
- Determination of individuals who will participate in the plan-identify faculty members who will be involved in remediation activities and supervision.
- Establishment of timelines for accomplishing plan-specify timetable to accomplish remediation tasks and to achieve behavioral competencies.
- Inclusion of right of appeal-indicate to student of their right to appeal the remediation plan and not sign the document.
- Provision for immediate dismissal-inform student that other legal, ethical, or policy violations may supersede the remediation plan and warrant immediate dismissal from the program, according to university policy.
- Documentation and signatures-student to sign the plan in the event that she/he demonstrates understanding of the plan and gives her/his consent for the plan to be implemented.
Remediation Activities: In accordance with counselor education and student affairs standards of practice, remediation activities may include, but are not limited to the following: personal counseling to address particular issues; meet with faculty advisor, course instructor, or site supervisor; write a substantive essay addressing relevant topics; attend professional development workshops; complete additional coursework.
Due Process: Students will be given a written copy of the remediation plan. Students have 14 days to present a written rebuttal statement if challenging the decision. They are entitled to request a personal appearance before the committee within this time, and shall be apprised of their date to appear before the committee no later than 7 days prior to the meeting. Student failure to request a meeting with faculty, or respond in writing to a recommendation within 14 days are assumed to accept the decision. In the event of a student rebuttal, the committee shall be required to reconsider their original decision in accordance with the original steps. Reconsideration decisions shall be communicated in writing in accordance with the original steps. This reconsideration decision is final.
Evaluating Remediation Efforts: Within fourteen (14) days of the expiration of time granted for remediating deficits (or sooner at the student's request), the committee shall evaluate the student's status. The student's efforts to successfully address the committees' recommendations for remediating deficits should be given primary consideration during this evaluation. Formal notification by the department, signed by the department chair, shall be made (if the committee decides to accept the student's remediation efforts as satisfactory) regarding the department's decision. The committee's decision after the first appeal is considered to be final within the purview of this document. All copies of notification and remediation plans will be forwarded to the Dean of the College of Education, and, when appropriate, to the Dean of Student Services.
Dismissal: The Department of Counseling and Student Affairs reserve the right to terminate any student from the program who fails to meet remediation guidelines within the specified time frame in accordance with university policy. The department also reserves the right to immediately terminate any student in the event of serious legal, ethical or policy violations committed by that student. This right supersedes any remediation agreements then in effect with that student in accordance with university policy.