Student Fitness and Performance
In The College of Education and Human Development
This policy applies to all students enrolled in the Counseling Program in the College of Education and Human Development and/or who may be pursuing degrees in Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Adult and Higher Education.
Student Fitness and Performance Policy Statement
In order to complete counselor preparation programs and to be eligible to take certification or licensing examinations, students must :
- maintain scholastic performance meeting or exceeding department standards;
- demonstrate the acquisition of and ability to apply counseling skills necessary to work effectively with persons having diverse needs, as generally accepted by practitioners in counseling;
- demonstrate emotional and mental fitness in their interactions with others; and
- conform with the codes of ethics of professional associations in counseling and of the State of Texas. Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 7, Chapter 247, Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators; American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
It is the duty of faculty members in the counseling program to evaluate all students according to these standards in all settings in which faculty members and students interact, in classes, in advising and counseling settings, in personal conversations, etc. It is expected of students that they respond to evaluations, formal or informal, in appropriate ways, in all cases, attempting to conform to standards as these are explained to them. Conformance with standards must be demonstrated by students throughout the period of time spent in the program; events of non-conformance must be followed by faculty judgments that satisfactory adjustments have been made.
Admission to the program does not guarantee fitness to remain in the program to completion. Only those students who meet program standards will be allowed to continue in the program. If and when a student is judged not to meet program standards sufficiently to be allowed to engage in counseling others, that student will be removed from continuation in the program. Please refer to the Graduate Counseling Student Handbook, for a detailed outline of the due process procedures related to this policy.
- The scholastic standard is to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and present grades of C in no more than two courses (neither of which may be EDP 5393 or EDP 5693), that are to be counted toward the degree.
- The standard related to skills acquisition and application will be applied by the instructors of EDP 5393 or EDP 5693 judging student performance in comparison with the student's knowledge of procedures followed by practitioners.
- The standard related to a student's emotional and mental fitness will be applied in all counseling courses as the student's interactions among students, faculty members, and others are evaluated.
- The standard related to codes of ethics consists of those codes referenced in paragraph A.4 above and established by the State of Texas in its standards for school counselors and for licensed professional counselors.
Evaluation for Fitness
- Faculty members, staff, course instructors, program advisors, and field supervisors ("Evaluators") will evaluate students according to the standards outlined above. All faculty may have some input into student performance or conduct.
- The progress of students will be specifically summarized by those Evaluators with whom they have interacted at the time of enrollment in EDP 5213 (Professional Performance Fitness Evaluation: PPFE1 and PPFE2), Counseling Theories, and of enrollment in EDP 5393, Development of Counseling Skills. Near the middle of the semester or term of enrollment in each of these courses, all students will be evaluated on a uniform checklist of standards.
- Individual students may be evaluated, using the same checklist (Professional Performance Fitness Evaluation: PPFE1 and PPFE2), at other times during their progress through the program if and when, in the opinion of one or more Evaluators, significant deviations from the standards have occurred.
Procedures After a Negative Evaluation
- After a negative evaluation by any Evaluator, the student involved will be informed of his or her evaluation by the Evaluator or by the student's assigned Program Advisor and will be advised and given the opportunity to make improvements in his or her performance. Making the necessary improvements will clear the student's record with respect to the specific incident.
- If, at the time of an evaluation summary, it is the opinion of more than one Evaluator that a student is making unsatisfactory progress or is not meeting program standards related to fitness to practice, this evaluation will be reported to the student's Program Advisor. The student will be officially notified of this evaluation by the Program Advisor and will be instructed regarding needed changes.
- The first such notification will result automatic re-evaluation during the following semester or term and, if appropriate, each semester or term thereafter. During this notification, a student will be informed that he or she is in a probationary period until the student corrects his or her behavior or successfully completes a remediation plan as proposed by the student's program advisor.
- If progress is still unsatisfactory at the time of a second evaluation (or a later evaluation, depending upon the severity of the non-conformance) the student may be advised by his or her supervisory committee (the Program Advisor plus two appointed faculty members) to withdraw from the program.
Appeals and Procedures Subsequent to Request for Withdrawal
If a student is advised to withdraw from the program, the student may request a meeting with his or her supervisory committee, at which time he or she may present counter information, may respond to details of the unsatisfactory evaluation, and/or may explain reasons for failure to make satisfactory progress toward fitness to practice.
- Within 10 workdays of such a meeting, the supervisory committee must make a decision, and report to the student and to the Graduate Advisor of Record, that the student should either be allowed to remain in the program or be removed from the program, dropped from enrollment in current courses, and prevented from enrolling in subsequent courses.
- If the decision is to allow the student to remain in the program, the supervisory committee may place conditions on the student's continuing in the program, may set time limits for meeting the conditions, or may make other recommendations.
- Within 10 workdays of receipt of this notification, the student must notify the Graduate Advisor of Record of his or her acceptance or appeal of the committee decisions.
If the student appeals the committee decisions, the Graduate Advisor of Record, after consulting with the supervisory committee and after meeting with the student, will determine whether the student will be allowed to remain in the program.
- Within 10 workdays after meeting with the committee, the Graduate Advisor of Record will schedule a meeting with the student but if he or she refuses or fails to attend such a meeting the Graduate Advisor of Record may proceed to make a decision.
- The student must be notified of the decision of the Graduate Advisor of Record in writing within 10 workdays following the meeting or attempted meeting with the student.
If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Graduate Advisor of Record, he or she may appeal to the Office of the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development by submitting written notice of such an appeal to the dean's office within 10 workdays of receiving the decision of the Graduate Advisor of Record. The dean will consider the matter, based on information submitted by the Graduate Advisor of Record; the dean may meet with the supervisory committee and/or with the student; a decision must be made and communicated to the student and the other parties that were involved in prior decisions within 10 workdays of the dean's receipt of notification of appeal.
Subsequent appeals must follow standard University of Texas at San Antonio procedures related to academic matters. The final decision will be either continuation in the program (with conditions) or dismissal from the program.
- A student who was dismissed from the program may not be considered for reinstatement or readmission until two calendar years have elapsed following dismissal from the program.