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Part 6: Evaluation of Clinic Performance
UMD Practicum Grading Protocol:
The clinic instructors in the CSD Program use the UMD Practicum Grading Protocol, a tool which includes the Clinic Competencies outlined in ASHA Standard IV and is adapted from the Wisconsin Protocol for Assessment of Clinic Competence (W-PACC). A link to the protocol is at the bottom of the Handbook Main Page.
Two Skill-Set Tiers. The Grading Protocol divides skills into two separate tiers.
Students gain experience in skills represented in Tier One faster than those in Tier Two, as skills in Tier One tend to be more general. As such, learning and performance expectations rise more quickly for Tier One skills. This is reflected in the grading protocol.
Sliding-Scale system, depending on student experience. The UMD Practicum Grading Protocol uses a 10- scale rating system, which matches intern performance to numeric values. These values correspond to the level of collaborative competence versus the level of dependency the intern has for the clinic instructor to guide all clinical activity. The clinic competence level, based on ASHA ratings, is a comparison of intern performance to that of a new professional beginning their Clinical Fellowship. Early in their education, students may be expected to perform at level 5, Entry Level, to earn an A. By the time a student graduates, their ratings are expected to be at 8 or 9, the Proficient level for starting their Clinical Fellowship.
Nine is excellent, Ten is unusual. The grading scale is unique in that even the most experienced students are considered to achieve excellent ("A") work at a rating of 9 on the scale. The scale does go to 10, but a 10 is reserved for those occasions when a student performs above and beyond any expectation, given their level of experience. A score of 10 is a moving target, representing the level of competence professionals strive for throughout their careers. A score of 10 indicates the individual is performing at a level of a mentor or a role model for others.
What does it mean to have increased competence in clinic? As a student intern gains experience, the expectation is they will increase their competence in case management. Sometimes students confuse the expectation of “competence” with the definition of “isolation”. Interns who do not consult with their clinic supervisors are NOT demonstrating competence or independence; instead, they are isolating themselves and not using pro-active problem solving in seeking out the expert support in the program.
Interns are NOT expected to manage their caseload in isolation and to the exclusion of their clinic instructor; rather, interns are to demonstrate increased proficiency, knowledge and skills in initiating collaboration and coordination of client care.
As a student demonstrates increased competence, they are being pro-active in getting what they need to help their client; they are seeking out the resources and the professional support from their course instructor to provide the best service to their client.
Guidelines for Rating Performance:
Step ONE: Determine the Intern's Experience Level.
At the beginning of each semester, the intern and the clinic instructor will establish the intern’s experience level. The student will be assigned to one of four Experience Levels based on the following:
Intern Experience Levels
Step TWO: Compare Intern Experience Level with Performance Expectations.
After determining the student's experience level, it can help to compare their experience level with expectations for their assigned Competency Level and have a discussion about supervisor expectations and intern expectations for the semester.
Step THREE: Review the suggested Grade Assignments at each level.
A score on the UMD Practicum Grading Protocol is determined by adding the averages of Tier One Scores and Tier Two Scores, then dividing by 2. These grade parameters are a starting point for discussion.
A student’s grades are based on performance as measured by the UMD Practicum Grading Protocol and the clinic instructor’s judgment. For example, an on-campus clinic instructor considers the student intern’s level of clinical experience and the difficulty of the client/caseload. The clinic instructor also considers the intern’s completion of intern clearances, professional conduct at all times in the clinic, and practicum class participation. Suggested grade assignments are based on the score from the grading protocol, adjusted for the level at which the student is functioning.
*A grade of B– or lower and/or instructor concern of intern performance will result in initiation of the Remediation Procedures.
The above are only suggested grading guidelines, and the clinic instructor has the ability to adjust the grade up or down based on the student’s performance in achieving practicum objectives.
Composite Grades for Muliple Clinical Assignments: If a student has more than one client, or does one or more diagnostic evaluations during the semester, each activity will receive a grade. The final composite grade will then be determined by weighing each grade, based on the amount of time involved in the activity.
Step FOUR: Track Progress
Meetings: Student interns generally will meet with the clinic instructors once each week to discuss their client’s progress and to discuss their clinical growth and expectations.
Clinical Education Goals: As the semester progresses, students may be asked to complete self-critiques of their clinical knowledge and skills. Self-assessment is a critical skill for making effective decisions regarding professional need and clinical expertise. Using self-assessment and instructor input, student interns are encouraged to set personal performance goals with their clinic instructor. Progress toward personal goals is a way to mark progress and learn to self- critique performance.
Mid-term review: Approximately half-way through the semester, the clinic instructor may begin evaluation conferences with student interns. UMD clinic instructors will use the UMD Practicum Grading Protocol (Appendix D) as a part of this evaluation. Students also may be asked to rate their performance using the grading protocol, as a formative assessment exerice. Whether they are asked to do so or not, students may find this a helpful means of determining their strengths and areas for growth, or for stimulating discussions when meeting with their clinical instructors.
Final Performance Review: Near the end of the semester, another conference is scheduled for a re-evaluation. At this time or earlier in the semester, students also may be asked to self-rate their performance. The process is repeated each semester, and written evaluation comments are filed in the student’s department records.
Remediation: If specific concerns are raised about a student intern’s performance in practicum, the Remediation Procedure may be used. This is a process of looking at the difficulties, establishing behavioral objectives for the student intern, then evaluating progress.
Step FIVE: Submit Grade to Clinic Director
The Clinic Director calculates composite grades and submits final grades for interns in the CSD Department.
Variations to the Grading Protocol:
Student Information Release Authorization for CSD Department Communication:
In compliance with the Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 and the Regents´ Policy on Access to Student Records, the CSD Faculty and Staff are prohibited from accessing certain information from your student records, such as information on grades.
You may, at your discretion, grant the CSD Faculty and Supervisors permission to access information for the purpose of fair assessment of student performance. Your authorization release grants permission only to CSD Faculty and Staff, and will be released only if requested by a CSD Faculty or Staff Member.
In order to provide a fair and inclusive student evaluation and to maintain standards of accreditation, the CSD Department requests your authorization to access the following information and resources: