Department of Psychology and Counseling

Dr. Charles R. Barké, Chair

The Department of Psychology and Counseling offers three graduate degrees: (1) The Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Psychology, with optional specializations in school psychology or neuropsychology; (2) The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling Psychology, with an optional specialization in marriage, couples and family counseling; and (3) The Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Counseling.

Admission

In addition to the Graduate Admission Requirements listed in the Graduate Section of this catalog, to be considered for admission to graduate study in a Psychology and Counseling program, applicants must submit:

  1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores 5 years of age or less on the General Test (verbal reasoning, analytical, and quantitative reasoning);
  2. Complete transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework;
  3. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from persons who have directly observed the applicant's academic and/or career performance; and
  4. An Application for Graduate Studies (university) and a Psychology Information Sheet (departmental).

An official transcript and Application for Graduate Admissions should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. All other materials, including a second transcript (official or student copy), should be sent to the Senior Graduate Advisor, Department of Psychology and Counseling, UT Tyler.

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis. Admission is competitive and based on multiple criteria including letters of reference, work experience, GRE scores, undergraduate grade point average (GPA), and GPA in the last sixty hours of undergraduate work. Successful applicants usually have a GPA of 3.0 or better (on a four point scale) and a satisfactory score on the GRE. Students who have not participated in traditional educational experiences may find that their performance on standardized tests does not adequately reflect their ability for graduate study. Applicants who believe their grade point average or their scores are not valid indicators of their ability should explain their concerns in a letter to the psychology graduate advisor. The department may elect to require additional assessments, including interviews, of individual applicants. Consideration for admission is also given to one or more of the following: the applicant's demonstrated commitment of his or her chosen field of study, socioeconomic background, multilingual proficiency, geographic region of residence, first generation of family to graduate from an undergraduate program, and involvement and level of responsibility in other matters including extracurricular activities, employment, community service, or family responsibility of raising children.

Comprehensive Examinations

Students will complete an oral comprehensive examination.

The objective of the oral comprehensive examination is to determine the degree candidate's diagnostic and therapeutic skills, clinical insight, understanding of ethical and professional practices and standards, and to ascertain the candidate's general readiness to enter clinical practice. The examination may be scheduled only during the student's last semester of enrollment. During the oral examination the examination committee may elect to question the student's understanding of any part of his or her curriculum of study.

The student must pass the comprehensive examination. If the student does not pass, then he or she will have a second opportunity to take the examination after completing any remedial preparatory work required by the exam committee. Failure to pass the comprehensive examination a second time may result in termination of the student from the master's program or extensive remedial work.

Psychology and Counseling Retention Policy

Comprehensive Evaluation and Retention Policy

Faculty, training staff, supervisors, and administrators of the Psychology and Counseling graduate programs at the University of Texas at Tyler have a professional, ethical, and potentially legal obligation to: (a) establish criteria and methods through which aspects of competence other than, and in addition to, a student-trainee's knowledge or skills may be assessed (including, but not limited to, emotional stability and well being, interpersonal skills, professional development, and personal fitness for practice); and, (b) ensure, insofar as possible, that the student-trainees who complete our programs are competent to manage future relationships (e.g., client, collegial, professional, public, scholarly, supervisory, teaching) in an effective and appropriate manner. Because of this commitment, and within the parameters of our administrative authority, our faculty, training staff, supervisors, and administrators strive not to advance, recommend, or graduate students or trainees with demonstrable problems (e.g., cognitive, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, technical, and ethical) that may interfere with professional competence to other programs, the profession, employers, or the public at large.

As such, within a developmental framework, and with due regard for the inherent power difference between students and faculty, students and trainees should know that the faculty, training staff, and supervisors of our programs will evaluate their competence in areas other than, and in addition to, coursework, seminars, scholarship, comprehensive examinations, or related program requirements. These evaluative areas include, but are not limited to, demonstration of sufficient: (a) interpersonal and professional competence (e.g., the ways in which student trainees relate to clients, peers, faculty, allied professionals, the public, and individuals from diverse backgrounds or histories); (b) self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-evaluation (e.g., knowledge of the content and potential impact of one's own beliefs and values on clients, peers, faculty, allied professionals, the public, and individuals from diverse backgrounds or histories); (c) openness to processes of supervision (e.g., the ability and willingness to explore issues that either interfere with the appropriate provision of care or impede professional development or functioning); and (d) resolution of issues or problems that interfere with professional development or functioning in a satisfactory manner (e.g., by responding constructively to feedback from supervisors or program faculty; by the successful completion of remediation plans; by participating in personal counseling/therapy in order to resolve issues or problems). [Adapted from the Comprehensive Evaluation of Student-Trainee Competence in Professional Psychology Programs statement developed by the Student Competence Task Force of the Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC), (http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/cctc.html), approved March 25, 2004.]

Evaluating Student Fitness and Performance
Members of the faculty, using professional judgment, continuously evaluate each student's fitness and performance. Students receive information related to their fitness and performance from faculty members, their advisors, and their supervisors. The criteria used by the faculty to make such judgments include instructor's observations of course performance, evaluations of students' performances in simulated practice situations, supervisors' evaluations of students' performances in practice situations, and the disciplines' codes of ethics. Students are formally evaluated at least annually by the program faculty. Detailed information about procedures for student evaluations, progress review, retention, and for addressing concerns about student progress are available at the department website: http://www.uttyler.edu/psychology/.

Students who are not making satisfactory progress or who are not meeting program standards should consider withdrawing from the program. In this context, the term "unsatisfactory progress in the program" refers to an academic judgment made regarding the student's fitness and performance. It is a determination that the student has failed to meet academic and/or professional standards.

Minimum grade requirements

In addition to the Graduate College policies on GPA requirements, probation and suspension, the Department has additional criteria for satisfactory progress and graduation, as follows. Regardless of GPA, no more than two (2) graduate courses with grades of "C" may be counted toward the graduate degree in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology or School Counseling. No courses with a grade lower than a C may be counted toward the graduate degree in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology or School Counseling. After receiving a third "C" grade, or a single "D" or "F" grade, a student will be placed on Probation. To be reinstated from probation, the student must retake one of the courses in which a "C" or lower was earned (under the University grade replacement policy) in the next semester, and achieve a "B" or better grade. Students on academic probation may not enroll in or begin their practicum course(s) until the probation has been removed. After an unsuccessful attempt to replace a grade, the student will be suspended for a minimum of one semester. A petition for reinstatement must then be submitted, and approved by the advisor, Department Chair and College Dean for a student to be reinstated. If reinstated, the student must first enroll only in courses in which "C" grades were earned, and successfully replace them, leaving no more than two "C's", and no grade lower than a "C". If a student fails to be reinstated from suspension, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Dismissal from Program

The department may dismiss students from their degree programs for failure to make satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Students may also be dismissed for violations of the ethical and professional standards of the American Psychological Association or the American School Counselors Association.