Psychology Clinical Ph.D. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

Goals: The Clinical Psychology Program at UNR is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is a charter member of the Academy of Clinical Science. We seek to train doctoral level clinical scientists who have a thorough grounding in research and scholarly activities, can develop and utilize scientific knowledge, are skilled in using their critical thinking and analytic tools in problem formulation and solution generation, and have a thoroughly developed repertoire of professional competencies, including applied skills.

Objectives: The program emphasizes creative research and applications of psychological principles to a broad range of applied problems. The program's objectives are that scholars, faculty and students alike, make significant contributions in the areas of research methodology, treatment development, outcomes research, program development, program evaluation and quality improvement, training, supervision, technology transfer, basic behavioral research, and philosophy of science. The program values these behaviors, regardless of the setting in which they occur.

Competencies: Competencies evolve as new the field moves into new domains. Some competencies are universal and include:

  • Accountability to be knowledgeable about the field and its functions in knowledge generation, education, service delivery, and healthcare regardless of location
  • Scientific knowledge and methodology in research, evaluation and healthcare
  • Professional values and attitudes, Individual and cultural diversity
  • Legal and ethical standards in practice, research and policy creation and implementation
  • Assessment including individuals, self, organizations and the context in which these assessments are made
  • Interpersonal skills and communication
  • Evidence based practice
  • Psychological principles of behavior changes
  • Consultation
  • Supervision
  • Systems evaluation and collaboration, quality improvement
  • Strategies for integrating knowledge and practice
  • Critical thinking.

These competencies do not comprise a complete list. As technology evolves and the field articulates with other areas of our culture and society and its institutions, new competencies should and will emerge. Contacting the APA Commission on Accreditation In accordance with the guidelines from the APA Commission on Accreditation, we want students to know that they may contact the committee at the Education Directorate, American Psychological Association, 750 First St. NE, Washington DC, 20002-4242, phone (202) 336-5979,

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the basic and applied science and research that form the foundation of psychology as it relates to behavior acquisition and change.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Completion of a didactic research and statistics sequence that incorporates issues in the philosophy of science, research design and methods, and statistical theory and application relevant to empirical research and theory in clinical psychology
  • Attendance and active participation in weekly research meetings
  • Completion of three comprehensive examinations to facilitate development of scholarly interests and broaden students' areas of knowledge and expertise
Assessment Method
  • Successful completion of coursework at level prescribed by graduate school as assessed by evaluation of exam and classroom performance. Student competency also evaluated by the clinical training committee (CTC) on an annual basis with feedback to student by advisor
  • CTC yearly review of student academic progress with feedback to student provided by advisor
  • Two faculty committee grade each comprehensive examination; passing grade on each comprehensive examination required.

2. Students will be able to skillfully and ethically apply current scientific principles of behavior change or the development of new behavior change strategies.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Knowledge of ethical standards of the field
  • Participation in treatment development settings
  • Competence in applied clinical settings
  • Oral presentations
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of and sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity
Assessment Method
  • Successful completion of ethics course and program clinical course requirements. Attendance and supervision by core faculty in clinical practicum course series. Supervisors' review of proper outcome assessment procedures.
  • Performance evaluation by supervisor on grant or other development related activities with feedback provided by advisor after consultation with CTC
  • Written review by faculty advisor after input of CTC. Written evaluation by program approved externship and internship site directors
  • Evaluated by number of applied presentations in case conferences, national or regional conferences, and workshops. Performance in supervision evaluated by faculty supervisor and reported to CTC with feedback to student.
  • Coursework in clinical interventions with adults and children, diversity (including gender, ethnicity and physical disabilities); demonstration of knowledge of these issues in clinical settings as evaluated by clinical supervisors

3. Students will be able to develop and demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of ethical scientific research.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Oral presentation of research
  • Knowledge of research ethics
  • Knowledge of research design and statistics
Assessment Method
  • Faculty evaluation of presentation at program's annual research festival; presentations at scientific conferences
  • Successful completion of research methodology courses as evaluated by classroom examinations and performance; successful completion of IRB mandated ethics course
  • Successful completion of program methodology and statistic requirements as evaluated by classroom examinations and performance

4. Students will be able to establish independence and demonstrate capacity for scientific creativity.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Successful dissertation proposal
  • Career employment
  • Successful completion of Masters or predoctoral research project
  • Successful dissertation defense
  • Written presentation
Assessment Method
  • Evaluation by examining committee
  • Alumni survey of satisfaction with employment for 3 years following graduation
  • Evaluation by committee
  • Evaluation by examining committee
  • Evaluation by peer review and/or CTC of manuscripts submitted for publication