Termination Policy

Policy and Procedures Related to Termination from the Ph.D. Program in Educational Psychology (School)

Policy

Candidates are expected to demonstrate the highest professional standards and behavior during their pursuit of the doctoral degree. High levels of professional behavior are particularly relevant and necessary during prepracticum, practicum, and internship. Throughout these applied experiences, the candidate is required to respect and conform to established program, school, and clinic (Psychoeducational, Diagnostic, and Intervention Clinic; Neuropsychology Lab) policies to insure student/client safety and well being, and exhibit professional behavior consistent with the professional standards outlined by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Should it appear that a candidate is seriously deficient in meeting these expectations, a request can be made by either a faculty member, school supervisor, clinic director, or by the university supervisor to terminate the candidate and remove him/her from the program. Reasons for dismissal from the program may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Chronic irresponsibility in fulfilling program requirements (e.g., missing classes, scheduled appointments with clients, or supervision meetings; numerous “Incompletes”; or difficulties completing practicum hours). When behaviors interfere with providing psychological services, place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or make it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective, dismissal from the program will be considered.
  • Behaviors indicative of an attitude of indifference or hostility (e.g., anger control issues or lack of follow through with clients, respect for faculty, or respect for supervisors). When these behaviors interfere with providing psychological services, place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or make it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective, dismissal from the program will be considered.
  • Poor written or oral language skills that interfere with provision of psychological services (e.g., persistent difficulties in administering assessments, difficulties in communicating verbal instructions to clients, numerous errors when writing psychological reports or other communications) and unrelated to issues resulting from being an English Language Learner. When these skills interfere with providing psychological services, place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or make it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective, dismissal from the program will be considered.
  • Inadequate clinical competency (i.e., poorly developed diagnostic skills, interview skills, or assessment skills, chronically unprepared for meetings/conferences, etc.). When there is a demonstrated lack of competency in this area that interferes with providing psychological services, places school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or makes it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective, dismissal from the program will be considered.
  • Interpersonal skills that result in poor interactions with peers, a school's students, clients, faculty, and/or staff (e.g., difficulties developing rapport with clients or consulting with other professionals, social isolation, avoidance of social interactions). When interpersonal skills interfere with providing psychological services, place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or make it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective dismissal from the program will be considered.
  • Violation of program or school policies, procedures, rules, regulations, or code of ethics (e.g., a blatant disregard for school policies or rules, violation of professional ethical codes). When these violations interfere with providing psychological services, place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or make it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective dismissal from the program will be considered.
  • Demonstration of inappropriate professional attitude or behavior in an educational or clinical setting (e.g., use of profanity in a professional setting, being disrespectful to parents, actively defying supervisor requests, sexual harassment, discrimination). When these behaviors interfere with providing psychological services, place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or make it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective dismissal from the program will be considered.
  • Mental health issues (e.g., evidence for or diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, or personality disorder) that interfere with providing psychological services, place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or make it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective dismissal from the program will be considered. NOTE: It is important that the program is informed as soon as possible regarding any disabilities (e.g., learning, physical, psychological) that may impact a candidate’s performance within the program so appropriate accommodations can be developed and implemented. Candidates are required to provide appropriate documentation of a disability through the office of Disability Services prior to receiving accommodations.
  • Conviction of a felony (e.g., stealing, assault, child sexual abuse) while in the program that is considered inconsistent with providing psychological services, that may place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or makes it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements (e.g., school will not allow candidate to complete practicum or internship), dismissal from the program will be considered.
  • Inability to officially document prior degrees (bachelor’s degree, master’s degree). Candidates are admitted into the doctoral program with the expectation that they have completed a master’s degree and/or a bachelor’s. Candidates must demonstrate that they have obtained the master’s and/or bachelor’s degree prior to starting their first semester in the program.
  • Plagiarism (University procedures will be followed if a candidate is suspected of plagiarism.)
  • Addiction (e.g., alcohol, marijuana, gambling) behaviors that interfere with providing psychological services, place school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or make it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements, and because a remediation plan has not been effective dismissal from the program will be considered. 

Procedures for Termination

If the school psychology core committee determines that a candidate has a serious deficiency or problem that interferes with providing psychological services, places school children/clients at-risk or at harm, and/or makes it difficult for a candidate to complete program requirements and could result in termination, the co-director will notify the candidate and the department chair in writing that termination is being considered. As soon as reasonably possible (generally within five (5) school days of such notification) a meeting of the parties will be held. The school psychology core faculty and one member the Department of Educational Psychology Advanced Graduate Studies Committee will participate in the meeting. The core faculty, at its discretion, can invite additional faculty, university supervisors, field-based supervisors, or internship supervisors to participate in the meeting. Two days prior to conducting the meeting, the candidate will be informed in writing of the participants. The candidate also may bring an advocate on his/her behalf. The candidate must inform the co-director, in writing, if he/she will be bringing an advocate and indicate the name of the advocate two days prior to the meeting. Any documents submitted for review during the meeting related to students/clients must be de-identified. After this meeting, the candidate will be informed in writing (generally within five school days) of the specific conditions/remediation that he/she must meet/complete, if any, in order to continue in the program and the period of time within which expected change must occur. Conditions for retention must include clearly identified objectives and time-line for completing the objectives, with all assessments behaviorally anchored.

If, by the end of the established time period for change, the candidate has not met the agreed to conditions/remediation plan, the candidate will be dismissed from the program. A formal letter of dismissal, describing the candidate’s performance, and indicating the reasons for dismissal, signed by the Co-Director and the department chair, will be prepared and delivered to the candidate in a meeting with the candidate convened by the Co-Director and attended by one other core faculty member and the department chair. A copy of the letter will be given to the candidate. The candidate will be dismissed from the program immediately upon delivery of the letter.

In extreme or unusual circumstances, if determined by the core committee to be in the best interests of the program, prepracticum, practicum, or internship sites, and/or the candidate, the core committee may temporarily remove the candidate from the program or field site before developing a remediation plan or initiating the procedures for termination outlined in this policy. In that event, the meeting(s) to be held among the parties under these procedures will be convened at the earliest possible time.

Appeal

If the candidate believes his/her removal from the program, prepracticum, practicum, and/or internship site violated the procedures for termination set forth above, that the decision to terminate was arbitrary and capricious, or that the decision was the result of discrimination, the candidate may request in writing that the decision be reviewed and begin the appeal process as outlined in the Graduate Student Grievances and Appeals Process in the Student Handbook. The process outlines procedures for an appeal and specifies recourse available to graduate students who believe that decisions have adversely influenced their progress in graduate school. It is the intent of Ball State University to address fairly and expeditiously and resolve the appeals of graduate students. Candidates should refer to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities for more information. The two parties in the appeal process shall include the appellant and the decision makers representing the unit having made the original adverse decision to be appealed. Graduate students may appeal adverse decisions impacting their progress toward a graduate degree. There are three permissible reasons to request an appeal:

  • Allegation of violation of approved departmental, collegiate, and/or University policies, including those set forth in the Graduate Catalog.
  • Allegation of unfair treatment on the part of the decision makers.
  • Allegation of discriminatory treatment on the part of the decision makers. 

I have read and fully understand the above termination policy. I also agree with this policy and agree to abide by it while a candidate in the educational psychology (school) doctoral program.

 

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