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Departmental Policies and Procedures for Clinical Psychology

Mentors/Advisers

Prior to being admitted into the clinical program, students are assigned a faculty mentor. Thus, students are aware of their assigned mentor before accepting an offer to the program. If at any time the student or the mentor decides that the match is not appropriate or optimal, the student may attempt to change mentors. However, the availability of an alternate mentor cannot be guaranteed. If at any time a student secures a new mentor, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the Director of Clinical Training and the Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies of the change. If the assigned mentor is a faculty member in the experimental section, the student will also be assigned an academic advisor from the Clinical Section. The academic advisor is to be a member of the student’s thesis and dissertation committees and be involved in assisting the student with programmatic planning.

Appropriate Titles

In all correspondence outside of the training clinic, students should refer to themselves as Graduate Student as a title. This is to prevent misunderstanding by individuals outside of clinical psychology about the degree status of our students. 

International Student Enrollment

Federal regulations require that international students be enrolled for at least one credit hour in two of the three semesters each year. The policy applies to students both on campus and off campus (e.g., interns). This can be accomplished through registration for dissertation, once other coursework and requirements are completed, or through registration for STDY 9000 while on internship. Students should work closely with Office of Global Affairs and International Studies ensure that they are following all updated policies and procedures for maintaining their status.

Student Representatives

Each year, clinical graduate students select one student to represent them at meetings of the Clinical Section and one student to represent them at meetings of the department faculty. The student representatives are voting members of their respective groups. The student representative to the Clinical Section meetings is invited to participate in all discussions and decision-making of the section, with the exception of the evaluations of his or her peers by the faculty and student grievances that are related to evaluative decisions by the faculty. The student who is the representative to the meetings of the department faculty may also attend Clinical Section meetings if she or he wishes. In addition, the Internship Committee, the Comprehensive Examination Committee, and the Clinic Advisory Committee have student members who are selected by the clinical graduate students. Students also serve on ad hoc committees such as faculty recruitment committees.

Time Limits for Completion of the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees

Students in the doctoral program in clinical psychology typically receive the M.S. degree as a step toward the Ph.D. Most commonly that degree is awarded at the end of fall semester of their third year. The university has set a limit of six years for completing the master’s degree. The six years begin in the semester in which the student enters the program, and the student must graduate by the final semester of the sixth year.

The university has set a limit of seven years for completing a Ph.D. degree. The seven years begin in the semester in which the student enters the program, and the student must graduate by the final semester of the seventh year. The time periods for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees run concurrently.

Students entering the program with a master’s degree have the same time for completing the Ph.D. as those entering with a bachelor’s degree. The university automatically assigns students entering with master’s degrees 34 credit hours when they enter the program.

Degree Conferral and Participation in the Graduation Ceremony

The doctoral degree cannot be conferred until the student completes all of the requirements of our program, including the required APA-accredited internship. This applies to all graduation times (May, August, and November). For students whose internships end after July 1st, but who wish to graduate in August, all requirements of the program, including the required APA-accredited internship, must be on schedule to be completed prior to the dates for completion of requirements as posted by the Registrar. If a student has all requirements except for internship completed, and the internship will be completed prior to the final Registrar date for completion of requirements for an August graduation, the student can apply for summer graduation, and the Graduate Chair can provide a clearance for graduation, pending official notification that the internship has been completed. Students need to communicate clearly with their internship site to make sure official notification is sent to the Graduate Chair immediately upon official completion of the internship, so that the graduation clearance can proceed and the student can graduate in August.

Extension of the Seven-Year Deadline

In the circumstance that a student is not able to complete the doctoral program within the seven-year limit, he/she may request a one-time one semester extension from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (see the Academic Policies section of the Graduate Catalog). Students should note that they are not guaranteed of obtaining an extension if they request one.

Students who require an extension beyond the one-semester extensions must obtain approval for readmission from the Clinical Section (see the Academic Policies section of the Graduate Catalog). To receive an extension or readmission, students must appeal to the section in writing with a rationale for requesting an extension or readmission. Approval by the section requires a positive vote by 2/3rds of the clinical faculty. Criteria for readmission are listed in the Graduate Catalog. As part of the readmission and extension, the section may require the student to complete additional coursework, retake comprehensive examinations, update the dissertation, or fulfill degree requirements that have been added (See the Graduate Catalog).

Oversubscribed Clinical Courses

Rarely, student demand for courses exceeds available space. In an attempt to deal with such situations, the Clinical Section has developed policies for oversubscribed courses.

When clinical courses are oversubscribed, the section (through the Director of Clinical Training) will determine who will enroll in the courses on the basis of criteria that make sense for that particular course. The general basis will be that students who need the course the most will receive enrollment preference. Typically students who are more senior in their programs (i.e., closer to internship) will have priority. Priority given on the basis of seniority may be limited to students who are completing the program in a timely manner and who remain on schedule.

When seniority conflicts with needs for specialty training, however, students who are in the major area of study for which the course is required (i.e., child or health or neuropsychology) may be given priority over students not pursuing the additional elective training. For repeatable courses (e.g., practicum), priority will be given to more senior students unless they have outstanding PRs for previous offerings of that course.

When feasible, faculty will try to meet demand by adding another section during that semester, but the reality usually will be that such additions to the schedule will occur during a subsequent semester. On occasion, there may be nothing that the section can do until the next time the course is regularly scheduled.

Departmental Student Grievance Procedure

Purpose

To provide undergraduate and graduate students with a procedure for appealing decisions made by faculty, administrators, committees, and sections in the Department of Psychology.

Province

These procedures are to be used for appeals bearing on policies and procedures developed within the Department of Psychology; they are not appropriate for appeals on issues for which the policy or procedure was established by a different administrative unit. For example, a student who wishes to appeal a grade should follow the grievance procedure given in Section IV.C.3 of the Faculty Handbook.

Procedures for Appeals

The first step in the appeal process for an undergraduate student is to discuss the issue with the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies; a graduate student should discuss the issue with the Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies. In either case, the assistant chair will work to resolve the student’s problem. If the assistant chair is unable to resolve the problem to the student’s satisfaction, then, at the student’s request, the assistant chair will notify the Chair of the Judicial Committee of a coming grievance. The Judicial Committee will conduct a hearing (see the departmental policy on the Judicial Committee). If the student or the instructor is not satisfied with the recommendations of the Judicial Committee, either party may appeal to the department chair. If the student or the instructor is not satisfied with the decision of the department chair, either party may appeal to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Special Provisions

Consultation with the Ohio University Ombudsman is available to a student at any stage of a grievance process, although many grievances may be settled at the departmental level.

A grievance against either of the assistant chairs is to be filed first with the other assistant chair. A grievance against the department chair is to be filed directly with the Judicial Committee, which then makes its recommendations directly to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Judicial Committee

Functions

The Judicial Committee acts as an appeals or mediation board upon request by a student or faculty member after normal channels of appeal or negotiation within the Department of Psychology have been used. The functions of the Judicial Committee are (a) to hear requests for reconsideration of decisions made by committees, sections, faculty members, and departmental administrators and to hear grievances on other matters of dispute or concern within the department; (b) to mediate, as may be needed; and (c) to make recommendations for action or for policy change or policy development to pertinent persons, committees, sections, or groups.

Membership

The Judicial Committee has five members, two elected by the Clinical Section, two elected by the Experimental Section, and the Chair of the Judicial Committee, who is appointed by the department chair. The elected members serve two-year, staggered terms. The department chair and the two assistant chairs are ineligible to serve on the Judicial Committee.

Procedures

To initiate an appeal, a person shall present a request for appeal in writing to the Chair of the Judicial Committee, stating in detail the nature of the request or grievance together with his or her reasons for initiating the appeal. The Chair of the Judicial Committee will make arrangements to convene the Judicial Committee to conduct the hearing. The appellant may have a supporting person (faculty mentor/advisor, other student, colleague, university ombudsman, etc.) present at the hearing.

Matters relating to evidence, documentation, witnesses, consultants, records, and reports will be the responsibility of the Judicial Committee. The Chair of the Judicial Committee shall vote only in cases of tied votes among elected members. A summary report of the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Committee will be given to the appellant and to the department chair, as well as to the pertinent persons, committees, or groups.

Grade Appeals

(From Section IV.C.3 of the Faculty Handbook)

The instructor assigned to a class has full responsibility for grading, subject to the appeal process described in this section. In unusual circumstances (e.g., death, incapacity, or indefinite inaccessibility of the instructor), the departmental chairperson is responsible for the final grade, subject to appeal by the student to the dean as described in this section.

The burden of proof for a grade change is on the student, except in those cases involving charges of academic dishonesty. A student appealing a grade must make a concerted effort to resolve the matter with the instructor of the course. Failing such a resolution, the student may appeal the grade to the department chair or school director. The chair/director must attempt a resolution acceptable to both the student and the instructor but does not have the authority to change the grade. The department chair or director may enlist departmental grievance procedures to assist in resolving the grade appeal at the departmental level. If the resolution at the departmental level is unsuccessful within the semester following submission of the grade and the student wishes to appeal, the chair/director shall forward the appeal to the dean of the college for action. If the chair/director is the instructor, the student appeals directly to the dean.

If the dean concludes that the student has insufficient grounds for an appeal, there can be no further appeal by the student. If the dean concludes that sufficient grounds do exist for an appeal, the dean shall appoint a faculty committee of five members to consider the case. If a majority on the committee decides that the grade should be changed and the instructor does not accept the recommendation, the committee can authorize the Registrar to change the grade. The decision of the committee is not subject to further appeal. In appeal cases in which the dean is the instructor, the role of the dean will be assumed by the Provost. In those appeal cases involving courses taught by faculty from more than one college, the Dean of University College will review the appeal and, if necessary, appoint the appeals committee.

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