All Derner students are representatives of the Derner Institute and the larger professional community and are expected to follow the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code and the New York State (NYS) definition of professional conduct for psychologists under Article 131, Section 6530. Further, students are responsible for adhering to Adelphi University policies and expectations within the Code of Conduct. These expectations include academic performance as well as professional skills in clinical practice and research.
In order for the doctoral program to carefully monitor student progress and achievement of core competencies, as well as to develop remediation plans when problems emerge, there is an evaluation of students at specific points in the program, in addition to course grades. The program has a procedure for review of student progress that includes academic concerns, professional behavior and student misconduct. It also includes non-academic concerns that have implications for a student’s potential performance as a professional in the field.
Students found to violate the University’s Code of Conduct, to demonstrate poor academic performance or to exercise unprofessional behavior may be subject to a remedial or disciplinary action. These concerns include but are not limited to the following: poor academic performance; poor clinical performance; unprofessional and/or unethical behavior; failure to achieve one or more of the competencies required by the program; failure to fulfill graduate assistant responsibilities; academic dishonesty; substance abuse; violence or other destructive behavior; carrying weapons; behavior that interferes with ability to satisfactorily complete program requirements; and behavior that interferes with another student’s training. Concerns resulting in an action may be initiated by recommendation resulting from a student evaluation meeting or complaint filed by a student, faculty or interested party (outside of this meeting).
- Poor academic performance is defined in number of ways, including but not limited to grades < B or multiple Bs in a semester. Multiple Bs in courses corresponding to a training goal and incompletes may also be considered an indication of poor academic performance.
- Academic dishonesty is outlined in Adelphi University’s Code of Academic Honesty, which states that lying, cheating or stealing are prohibited. Violations of the code of academic honesty will be handled according to University policies and procedures, as well as the policies and procedures of the Derner Institute as outlined below.
- Unprofessional behavior is defined broadly as any inappropriate conduct with regard to clinical practice and research. To define such misconduct, the program adopts the APA Ethics Code, as well as the NYS definition of unprofessional conduct for psychologists under Article 131, Section 6530.
There are two end-of-semester, full-day student evaluation meetings, typically in January and June, which are attended by all faculty teaching in the doctoral program. The intent of the meeting is to evaluate students in the program in order to inform students of their progress. Course evaluations and developmental achievement level (DAL) ratings for clinical and research practica are collected at this meeting and then incorporated in the adviser’s feedback to each student. These also become part of the student’s portfolio review, which is used to establish each student’s competencies and readiness to apply for an internship after the third year of training.
Each adviser meets with his/her students shortly after these meetings to present them with their evaluations and review their progress. When progress is deemed below expectations and there are concerns, the faculty may decide by majority vote to recommend the student for an action, such as concern, warning, probation or dismissal.
Each semester, students and advisers will be advised by individual faculty or supervisors through an early warning system of any behavior that may result in an action.
Students recommended by faculty for actions are subject to an evaluation conference, which is convened by the program director and designed to gather and consider relevant information regarding alleged difficulties or violations and to determine an action, if applicable. The evaluation conference includes individuals who are deemed relevant for all students demonstrating behavior subject to remedial or disciplinary action, including the student and his/her adviser.
At the evaluation conference, the concerns and recommendations are discussed with the rationale for the action and the remedies that the student will take to address the issues. The purpose of the meeting is an opportunity for the student to respond to the concerns, to provide additional evidence and to discuss the action that has been recommended. Further details of this evaluation procedure and due process, including procedures for appeals and grievance, are provided in the student handbook.