To ensure that grades are awarded with justice and on a uniform basis, all members of the faculty are required to make clear to their students at the beginning of each course the principles which they will employ in determining final grades. A clear statement of grading principles offered by the instructor is the student’s strict right and the instructor’s serious duty. The Institute allows instructors to define numerically what each grade requires as well as assign finer distinctions such as A-, B+, etc. On official transcripts, grade points will be reflected as follows:
Grade Grade Points
NC (No Credit Earned) None
INC (Incomplete) None
IP (In Process) None
W (Withdrawal) None
WP (Withdrawal Passing) None
WF (Withdrawal Failing) None
When a student has been assigned an Incomplete the student must complete all outstanding course requirements within three months following the end of the semester of registration for the course. Failure to complete all course requirements will result in the instructor awarding a grade based upon work completed. Students who receive financial aid and who carry a grade of Incomplete into a subsequent semester risk loss of financial aid for that semester. Carrying an Incomplete course grade reduces the student’s overall grade point average and lowers his/her credit hours attempted-to-completed ratio – either or both of which factors can create a failure to meet the financial aid requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Academic Good Standing
To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. A 3.0 grade point average is required to graduate. Cumulative grade point criteria do not apply until the student has completed six or more credits. The status of the student will be reviewed at the end of each semester by the Registrar who will refer students not meeting the required 3.0 GPA average to the Academic Dean and the respective director of the student’s program, which may lead to the development of a plan for remediation.
In the event of failure to meet the above standard for good academic standing, a student will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation for two consecutive semesters will be subject to academic dismissal. Students affected by this policy may request exceptions to it policy by presenting a written description of their extenuating circumstances and their plan for re-establishment of good academic standing to the Academic Dean. Generally, the Academic Dean will consult with the appropriate program director and Department Chair prior to granting any exceptions. The student will be advised in writing of the Academic Dean’s decision, which will be final.
Clinical Skills Ratings
For courses that involve learning and demonstration of clinical skills, in addition to regular course grades, students will also receive ratings on attainment of specific aspects of clinical practice and skills. An example of the rating form is available in the Clinical Training Handbook.
The clinical courses at the master level include PSY 507, PSY 516, PSY 608, PSY 609, PSY 610, PSY 611, and PSY 613. Additional clinical ratings are made for clinical courses in the Psy.D. Program.
Clinical “At-Risk”/Termination/Due Process Policy
Graduation with a degree in clinical psychology requires more than adequate grades and scholarly ability. Students must reach adequate levels of competency in psychological assessment and psychotherapy, and possess the ability to exercise good clinical judgment, ethical reasoning, and professionalism. It is the solemn responsibility of the Institute to serve as a gatekeeper for the profession and to ensure that students who are unable to meet these standards be terminated from the program.
During each end-of-semester review of students, the Director of Clinical Training will bring to the attention of the faculty any feedback from instructors, and where applicable, externship and internship sites, which indicates that a student is significantly deficient in their professional development. In such cases the Director of Clinical Training will work with the appropriate course instructors and/or placement sites to develop a remediation plan which will include specific areas in which remediation is necessary, and the actions to be taken by the student and by the program to remediate deficiencies. It will also include criteria by which remediation success is to be judged and a time frame by which remediation must be completed. Such a remediation plan will be reviewed with the student.
When such a remediation plan is developed, the Director of Clinical Training and clinical faculty members, following consultation with relevant course instructors and/or placement supervisors, will determine whether the deficiencies are of a serious enough nature as to deem the student to be “at-risk” for termination from the program. If deemed to be “at-risk” the student will be formally notified of such status.
A student determined to be “at-risk” who fails to meet the remediation plan requirements in the designated time is eligible for termination from the program. In such cases, the Director of Clinical Training and clinical faculty members will deliberate and vote on whether or not to terminate the student from the program or alternatively to develop an additional plan for remediation. An affirmative vote to terminate by a simple majority of the current clinical faculty members will result in the student being dropped from the program. The student will be notified in writing of the decision.
In the case of a student who is not deemed to be “at-risk,” but who is placed on a remediation plan, and fails to successfully complete the requirements of their remediation plan in the designated time frame, may after the deliberation of the Director of Clinical Training and the clinical faculty be designated “at-risk.” In such cases the student will be formally notified of such status. The Director of Clinical Training and the clinical faculty will then revise the pre-existing remediation plan noting the requirements which remain unmet and establishing a new time frame for completion. If the student remains unable to meet the requirements of the revised remediation plan in the designated time frame, the Director of Clinical Training and clinical faculty members will deliberate and vote on whether or not to terminate the student from the program or alternatively to develop an additional plan for remediation. An affirmative vote to terminate by a simple majority of the current clinical faculty members will result in the student being dropped from the program. The student will be notified in writing of the decision.
In cases where an affirmative vote to terminate a student from the program is made, the student may appeal the decision to the Academic Dean. Such appeal must be made within 30 days following notification by the department of their termination from the program. The Academic Dean will consider the appeal and render his/her decision within 30 days of receipt of the student’s request for appeal. The Academic Dean’s decision will be final.
Final examinations are scheduled during regular class hours of the final week each semester and on the last day of each summer session. In case of serious illness or emergency, arrangements may be made with the instructor to take an exam at another time. Postponement of a final examination beyond the last day of the semester or of the summer session requires the issuance of an Incomplete grade designation.
Students are expected to write all papers in a manner consistent with the expectations of the academic psychology community. Therefore, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (2010), should be utilized in all course requirements for term papers, as well as other professional writing. The student may access the Manual and associated resources in the library or see the following websites for assistance:
All students, whether full-time, part-time or auditing, are required to attend all scheduled classes. Full-time and part-time students are required to complete all examinations and other requirements. Penalties may be imposed for a student who misses a class, unless the absence is due to serious and extenuating circumstances, and the student notifies the instructor in a timely manner.
Students who miss more than two classes for any cause in a semester are automatically dropped from the class. Students may appeal for an exception to this policy to the program director. The exemption shall be jointly granted by the instructor and the program director. If the appeal is granted, the student may still be subject to penalties and must develop a make-up plan acceptable to the instructor.
Class Cancellations or Emergency Closing
In the event of snow, ice, weather-related or other emergencies, students will be informed in the most expedient manner possible. When feasible, instructions will be provided to students via postings on bulletin boards, in student mailboxes, and/or announcements made in class. Instructions will also be available on the Institute telephone recording, 703-416-1441, ext. 456. The Institute also lists closings on www.wtop.com under “closings/delays.” Every effort will be made to post the announcement of class cancellations or an emergency closing on the Institute telephone recording by 7:00 a.m. on each day impacted by such emergencies.
Internet Use in the Classroom
While the internet is a valuable source of information that can facilitate the learning process, the faculty have found that in the classroom setting it is often a distraction to the important interpersonal activity and learning opportunities that occur there. Therefore, unless otherwise permitted in special cases by a faculty member, students in the classroom during an active class session are not permitted to connect to the internet.
Course Evaluation by Students
Near the end of each semester, students are expected to complete a written evaluation of each course. All evaluations are anonymous and confidentiality is maintained. Student honesty in evaluation of the courses is critical, since the results contribute to improving class design and presentation. Instructors do not have access to completed course evaluation information until after final grades are submitted.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) the Institute is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to any student who has a disability. Any student who has a documented disability may seek access to necessary accommodations by contacting the Enrollment Services Office.