Organization of the Clinical Section
- Admissions Committee
- Comprehensive Examination Committee
- Internship & Training Committee
- Clinic Advisory Committee
The Clinical Section comprises all full-time clinical faculty (both Tenure-Track and Instructional faculty who are involved at least 50% FTE in the instruction/mentorship of clinical graduate students via courses, practicum supervision, or research mentorship) and is chaired by the Director of Clinical Training. Members of the Clinical Section and its student representative meet regularly to conduct the business of the Clinical Section, though much of the work of the section is handled individually by the Director of Clinical Training or by one of the four standing committees. The four standing committees are described below.
All members of the Clinical Section are eligible to vote on any student-related issues. The student representative attends the meetings to provide a student perspective, gather and present student concerns and input, vote when appropriate on behalf of the clinical student body, and provide summaries of relevant topics of discussion to the clinical students after each meeting.
The Admissions Committee is composed of four faculty members, two from the general clinical area and two from the child elective area of study and one additional clinical faculty member who chairs the committee. Faculty members are appointed to the committee for two-year terms by the Director of Clinical Training, although term lengths may vary dependent upon faculty workload and other staffing concerns. The term of appointment for a committee member begins with the start of the academic year. There is no student representative to this committee, but the department funds an overload work assignment for interested students who would like to assist in coordinating the Visitation Days for admission.
The chair of the committee is appointed by the Director of Clinical Training for a term of one year. The chair is eligible for a second, consecutive one-year term. Of note, these term lengths may vary dependent upon faculty workload and other staffing concerns.
The purpose of the admissions committee is to select new students for admission to the clinical program. The committee determines on a yearly basis the number of students who are to be admitted to an incoming class, in consultation with the Department Chair and the Assistant Chair of Graduate Studies. The committee reviews application materials submitted by candidates according to the criteria the committee has set for admission. The committee also makes preliminary phone calls to interview some candidates. The Chair of the committee then works with the Director of Clinical Training, the Assistant Chair of Graduate Studies, and the rest of the section members to coordinate visitation days and to collect feedback about applicants who are interviewed to share with all potential mentors. The Chair also works with the Department Chair, Assistant Chair of Graduate Studies, and Director of Clinical Training to determine the final size of any incoming class and to distribute scholarship and fellowship offers.
Procedures for Selection of Potential Candidates
Our minimal criteria for accepting an applicant into the program are that both the quantitative and verbal GRE are at the 50th percentile or higher and the undergraduate GPA is 3.00 or higher. Committee members review all materials and note whether applicants meeting minimal criteria have good fit for our program and seem acceptable for an interview. Qualified applicants should be directed to appropriate mentors by committee members. Potential faculty mentors may wish to call qualified applicants to phone interview them or may choose to invite them directly for visitation days. In addition, a committee member in each of the two areas (general, child) will conduct a preliminary telephone or videoconference interview with all students who self-identify as members of diverse/underrepresented groups with regard to race/ethnicity and who meet our eligibility criteria. If the student has identified a particular mentor, that mentor could also be the one to make the phone call.
Because we know that applicants may not be accurately represented by just three scores, we include exception criteria to consider those candidates who may be excellent candidates, but who did not achieve the minimal criteria. Faculty may invite students who meet the criteria defining exceptions below. If a faculty member would like to accept one of the applicants on the exception list, the faculty member must present the applicant at a section meeting and the majority of faculty must approve the acceptance offer prior to notifying the student that they are accepted. The exception criteria are:
- One of the two GRE scores is less than the 50th percentile but greater than the 40th percentile, the other is at or above the 50th percentile, the undergraduate GPA is equal to or greater than 3.0 and the applicant has qualities that compensate for the lower GRE score. These qualities may include:
- Data inconsistent with the lower GRE score. For example, an applicant may have a quantitative GRE score less than the 50th percentile but high grades in multiple math and statistics courses.
- Evidence that the applicant has the potential to bring diverse and unique perspectives to our training environment (e.g., this may include being a member of an under-represented racial/ethnic group; English as a second language; person who has acquired diverse experiences that are likely to enrich clinical training and the department).
- An undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 and a graduate school GPA in psychology of 3.5 or greater.
The Comprehensive Examination Committee is composed of three faculty members from the Clinical Section, created for each student. The student representative for the Clinic Advisory Committee, who is elected by the students, also serves as the student representative for this committee. The Chair committee is appointed by the Director of Clinical Training at the beginning of each academic year. The Chair selects the rest of the comps committee for each student, trying to prioritize an even distribution of the workload for faculty but also trying to match known competences and areas of research interests with the student to facilitate grading.
The Chair receives student proposals at one of the two proposal deadline dates (March, September) and selects a committee for each student. The committee members have 2 weeks to approve the proposal. The Chair also receives part 1 and part 2 of comps from students at one of the two dates (September, March) and distributes them to the students’ committee members. The committee members have a month to grade comps. The Chair is responsible for compiling and giving feedback to the students and for serving as a third grader if there are grading discrepancies. Once the examination has been completed, the Chair reports the final grade to the Director of Clinical Training and a letter about the results is placed in student folders. The student member of the committee solicits feedback from students regarding comprehensive exams to relay concerns and information to the committee. More details about the actual procedures for comprehensive exams can be found in Section V.D. of this document.
The Internship and Training Committee is composed of three faculty members from the Clinical Section and one student representative. Faculty members are appointed for a two-year term by the Director of Clinical Training. Term lengths may vary based on faculty workload and staffing concerns. The student representative for the Clinic Advisory Committee also serves as the student representative for this committee; the student is elected by their peers for a one-year term and should be at least a third-year student. Appointments begin with the beginning of the academic year.
The chair of the committee is elected for a one-year term by the members of the committee. The election is held at the beginning of the academic year, and the chair takes office immediately after the election. The chair is eligible for a second, consecutive one-year term. As noted above, term lengths may vary dependent upon faculty workload and staffing concerns.
The purpose of the Internship and Training Committee is to support the students regarding both internship applications and interviews and traineeship applications and interviews. If necessary, the Internship and Training Committee also can serve an advisory role to the Director of Clinical Training and the Clinical Director regarding placement in clinic practica. The student representative can also assist in reviewing student materials.
With regard to internship, the Internship and Training Committee offers advice about the accuracy and appropriateness of application materials provided by prospective interns (more details about the process for internship applicants can be found in Section V.F of this document) and advise students about the appropriateness of their choices for internship. For example, the committee can review all sites selected by students applying in a given year and note any overlaps in choices among students. The Committee will also offer support regarding the interview process at the end of the Fall Semester, which may include interview preparation meetings. Finally, the Committee offers a spring semester meeting of potential internship applicants with the prior applicant class providing advice and feedback/support.
With regard to traineeship, the Internship and Training Committee will also offer advice about the accuracy and appropriateness of student materials for traineeship placements. This process typically occurs in the beginning of Spring semester. Details regarding the process students should follow can be found in Section X.L. The Committee will also offer a traineeship interview preparation meeting in late January/early February.
The Clinic Advisory Committee consists of the Clinic Director, at least two members of the clinical faculty, and a student representative (who also serves as the student representative to the Comprehensive Exam and Internship/traineeship Committees). The committee meets as needed, according to the needs of the Clinic Director; the student representative serves as the liaison to the students, bringing issues to the Clinic Director for the committee to address and reporting back details of meetings and decisions from the committee to the student body.