School Psychology Program Annual Report

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1 School Psychology Program Annual Report Applications/Admitted Students The following is a summary of program applications and admitted students # Applications # Admitted # Minority Students # Male Students Median GPA Median GRE (V+Q) Incoming students for the fall of 2009 are from the following undergraduate institutions: Coastal Carolina University Eastern Illinois University Emory University Florida State University James Madison University Ohio State University (2) Presbyterian College University of South Carolina-Columbia (2) Although the total number of applications received was down this year, the quality of the 24 finalists who were selected for interviews appeared as strong as ever. One disappointment was that very few applications from minority students were received this year and none were competitive enough to interview. It was also disappointing that so few applications were received from males and most of those were not competitive. Two males were offered admission and one accepted. The second indicated that he decided to go elsewhere due to better opportunities for his fiancé. Enrollment/Degrees # Full-Time Students # Part-Time Students # Minority Students # Male Students # Masters Degrees Conferred * # Specialist Degrees Conferred

2 2 Note: Includes two master s degrees to be awarded in August As can be seen, the number of full-time students and the numbers of degrees conferred has risen slightly in recent years. This is mostly the result of very high retention (over 90%). One student who took a medical leave of absence last year returned from her home state of Michigan this year to complete her specialist degree. The one part-time student was a re-specialization student who possessed a prior doctorate in clinical child psychology. She completed five courses, plus a traineeship and internship through Winthrop. The following continuing professional development (PSYC 670 and 690) courses were conducted jointly with the South Carolina Association of School Psychologists (SCASP): Term Topic Presenter Credit # Enrolled Hrs Summer Behavior Intervention (for Teachers) Dr. Gary Alderman Fall 08 Interventions for Slow Learners Dr. Steven Shaw 1 53 School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Dr. Suzanne 1 35 Smitha Spring 09 Ethical Principles For School Psychologists: Dr. Leigh 1 15 A Problem-Solving Approach Armistead Psychopathology of Childhood & Adolescents Dr. Melissa 3 23 Reeves TOTAL Total Enrolled for CPD Credit Alumni All students who graduated in May 2008 sought employment and obtained positions as school psychologists or psychologists. Employment settings included: Charlotte Mecklenburg (NC) Schools (three graduates) Hillsborough County (FL) Schools Richland II (SC) Schools Madison (WI) Public Schools Lancaster (SC) Schools Alexandria (VA) Schools Cherokee County (SC) Schools Guilford County (NC) Schools All students graduating in May 2009 except for one have been offered positions (all in school settings). This may be the first time in over 20 years that all graduates seeking jobs as school psychologists may not have positions within three months of graduation.

3 3 One 2004 graduate of the program is in the doctoral program in school psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Another is in the doctoral program in special education at UNC-Greensboro. A 2002 graduate is nearing completion of the doctoral program in school psychology at USC-Columbia. Curriculum There were no major changes in the curriculum this year. As per previous assessment results, and goals for the year the Diversity in Families course (PSYC 690) was revised but continues to need work based on student and instructor input. The inclusion of two developmental assessment instruments in Advanced Human Development (also a goal for this year) appeared to enhance the integration and applications of course content and help better prepare students for subsequent work with children and families. Accreditation/Approval No accreditation related activities this year. The program is NASP approved and NCATE Nationally Recognized through Field Experiences Eleven students completed paid internships in and ten (10) completed paid second year traineeships. Additionally, one doctoral level re-specialization student and one specialist level school psychology student from the NASP-approved program at the State University of New York at Albany completed internships through us. All field sites were in public schools and all field supervisors were credentialed school psychologists. Faculty Four FTE primary program faculty were devoted to school psychology courses, supervision, and administration this year with three additional adjunct faculty (approximately.5 FTE) assisting with supervision of interns. Dr. Melissa Reeves was moved from an adjunct position to a half-time, non-tenure track appointment. All full-time faculty maintained their state certification in school psychology, as did all adjuncts. Four primary faculty and two adjuncts are nationally certified, and all are members of national and/or state school psychology associations. Collaborations/Liaisons The School Psychology Program continued its strong tradition of collaboration with/service to agencies, schools, organizations, and the profession. For example, the program continued its formal relationship with Carolina Community Action/Head Start this year. Next year, Head Start will fund two graduate assistantships for school psychology students.

4 4 Dr. Alderman continued to provide service and training for a state grant initiative focusing on academic and behavioral intervention. He also consulted on reading and behavior intervention with numerous school districts and presented workshops in South Carolina and Georgia. Dr. Armistead served as psychology consultant to Carolina Community Action (Head Start) in addition to being the chair of the NASP Professional Growth committee, member of the NASP Ethics and Convention Committees and a NASP program reviewer. Dr. Martin-Delaney served as a consultant to several school districts, and as a program reviewer and NCSP case study reviewer for NASP. Dr. Prus continued his duties on the NASP Program Approval Board and served as chair of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE) Executive Board. Dr. Reeves was a member of the NASP PrePARE team and conducted workshops on crisis intervention, RTI, and other topics. Every single faculty member conducted at least one workshop or course for school psychologists, school psychology trainers, teachers, and/or other school professionals in Assessment and Program Evaluation M.S. Comprehensive Examination Nine students took the M.S. comprehensive examination this academic year. Comprehensive exam questions addressed eight key program goals (professional issues/ethics, assessment for intervention, cognitive assessment/intervention, behavioral/social intervention, consultation, counseling, human development, and learning) using a simulation or scenario format. Two faculty members grade each question on a double-blind basis. Grades on the scoring scale range from 0 or Very Poor/Substantial lack of competency to 4 or Excellent/Demonstrates commendable ability, with a mean grade of 3 per question needed to pass. Mean scores and ranges for this year and for the three prior years were as follows: Number of Students Percent Passing (1 st Attempt) 88% 80% 91% 67% Percent Scoring 20 or Higher (1 st Attempt) 44% 60% 55% 67% Percent Passing 100% 100% 100% 100% Mean Score Range Inter-rater Agreement (less than 1 point difference 76% Scores this year were somewhat at the extremes, with both the highest failure rate in recent years but also the highest percentage of students scoring 20 or higher. Two of the students had to retake several questions, and one had to retake the entire exam. Fortunately, all three passed the retakes. Mean grades for each question in the first administration (based on ratings from both reviewers) ranged from a low of 2.66 on the question pertaining academic intervention to a high of 3.41 on the question pertaining to ethics, with four of seven questions having mean ratings of above 3 ( Good/ability consistent with competent practice ). The only question with a mean below 3 both this year and last was the one on assessment for intervention.

5 5 The overall inter-rate agreement (scores that were less than one full point different on a five point scale ranging from 0 to 4 ) for the M.S. exam this year was 76% (the range in the previous four years was 75% to 88%). S.S.P. Portfolio Review/Oral Exam A portfolio review is one of the culmination assessments for the specialist degree in school psychology. The portfolio consists of four case studies completed during field experiences (assessment; counseling; behavioral problem-solving; academic problem-solving), along with a statement summarizing the student s philosophy of school psychology and plans for continuing professional development. Each portfolio is evaluated independently by two faculty, who then meet with the student to ask questions before determining a final grade. The scoring rubric contains specific criteria for each content/skill on a three-point scale, with a 1 being Unsatisfactory and a 3 being Competent (a maximum score of 3.5 may be assigned). Positive impact on students across all four cases is also evaluated. An average score of 2 ( Satisfactory ) is required to pass. Nine graduating students completed the portfolio review and all nine passed. Individual scores ranged from 2.0 to 2.9 with a mean of 2.55 (versus 2.73 last year and 2.81 the year before). Although the mean score was lower than in recent years, there were also four students who scored 2.8 or higher. An examination of disaggregated scores on the areas covered by the portfolio indicates a range from 2.2 for the assessment case to a 2.6 for positive impact on P-12 student learning. The main issues in assessment cases rated low by faculty centered on too much reliance on traditional, standardized assessment and not enough focus on curriculum-based and problem-solving approaches, particularly in one internship site. But the fact that positive impact on P-12 students garnered the highest mean score for the second year in a row suggests that students are better able to not just impact those they serve, but assess and document such impact. Intern Evaluation Results The table below shows the results of the ratings by field supervisors for interns during the Spring 2009 semester. Ratings were very high with 99% of the items on the survey being rated as Commendable or Meet Expectations, with the majority of items being rated as Commendable. Year-End Evaluations by Field Supervisors (2009) (N=9 Evaluations Completed) RATINGS Commendable 88% 2. Meets Expectations 11%

6 6 3. Needs Improvement 0.6% 4. Unsatisfactory 0 5. No Opportunity 0.6% NTE Praxis II Examination in School Psychology Eleven of eleven (100%) of Specialist degree students graduating in May 2009 and one respecialization student took and passed (at the level corresponding to national and South Carolina certification) the ETS Praxis II examination in School Psychology. The mean score was 761 on the old version taken by eight students and 175 on the new version taken by four students. The following table contains a summary of Praxis II scores for the past five years ( old version only): Number of Graduates Mean Total Score Range Percent of Students Passing at National Level 87.5% 78% 89% 100% 100% in 1 st Attempt Percent of Students Passing at National Level Prior to Graduation 100% 89% 100% 100% 100% An analysis of scores on subparts of the Praxis II indicated that all students scored in the average or above average range in all five test categories on the old version. On the new version, all students scored in the average or above range in all six test categories except for one student who scored in the below average range in Data-Based Decision-Making (but two of four students scored above average in this category, as well as in Research-Based Behavioral and Mental Health Practice). For a complete summary of scores, see the program s annual Praxis II summary report. Exit Survey The results of the 2009 School Psychology Exit Survey of graduating candidates continues to show the high level of quality training experienced by candidates year-to-year. No statistically significant change in ratings of overall program quality was reported by this year s graduating class (Mean rating = 3.6 on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the highest rating) compared to the 2008 results (Mean rating = 3.8). When asked if specific goals and objectives in the program met the needs for preparation, the overall mean was 3.5 on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the highest score. Overall, 11 out of 12 students indicated that they would either strongly recommend or recommend the program to individuals wishing to pursue training in school psychology. One

7 7 student indicated that they were undecided. Program faculty will review the suggestions for program improvement made by the graduating candidates and use these as a springboard for future discussion of modifications to the program structure and/or procedures that might continue to strengthen the quality of training all graduate candidatures experience. Exit Survey Overall Program Quality Meets Goals & Objectives Strongly Recommends &/or Recommends Program 100% 92% Technology Competencies Assessment All eleven graduating students attained proficiency on at least 90% of competencies reflected on the scale prior to program completion. Responses suggest that a few individual items may need to be clarified, eliminated, or added. Since the program designed and implemented its technology competencies assessment seven years ago, every graduating student has met the 90% proficiency threshold. Resources Program resources continue to be strong. As has been the case for the past ten years or so, all students desiring graduate assistantships in received one, and all trainees and interns had paid positions. Continuing income from school psychology continuing professional development and offcampus/special topics courses for professionals helped maintain strong program assessment and technology resources. Program Goals All goals for were accomplished except that one goal that involved sharing examples of portfolio cases was only partially accomplished (samples were shared with students but not field supervisors). Results of the portfolio reviews this year suggest Program goals for include:

8 8 1. Continue to provide continuing professional development opportunities for practicing school psychologists, and work to assure the continuing financial viability of such offerings. Work with the dean and the Associate Vice President for Finance and Business to create a rolling CPD account. 2. Work with field sites to assure continuing paid traineeship and internship opportunities in the face of school district budget cuts. Explore new placement options. 3. Continue efforts toward increased communication/collaboration with traineeship and internship supervisors. In light of the results on the specialist portfolio assessment case, share more information on the expectations and scoring rubric for portfolio cases with both adjunct faculty supervisors and intern field supervisors. 4. Implement new internship log and evaluation tools. 5. Revise employer and exit surveys to be consistent with proposed new NASP standards; conduct both surveys. 6. Follow-up on feedback from exit survey by piloting a new approach to conducting interviews with finalists to the program that includes an opportunity for a group social event with current students as well as individual interviews with faculty. All interviews will be scheduled on Thursday and Friday, and all applicants will have the chance to go to breakfast or lunch with some current students. 7. Revise Traineeship (PSYC 620 & 621) to include some didactic presentations on topics that assessment results, faculty perceptions, and/or field supervisor input suggest are needed. 8. In response to course evaluations, revise Advanced Seminar (PSYC 625) to include fewer student didactic presentations and a few more presentations by faculty and/or guest speakers related to career preparation. Continue case study presentations, which students rate as being very beneficial.

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