and Clinical Practice Examination
The Clinical Psychology Program (CPP) at the Ponce School of
Medicine and Health Sciences utilizes two broad measures for the
formative evaluation of student learning, the Comprehensive
Examination (CE) and the Clinical Practice Examination (CPX).
The CE focuses on the assessment of knowledge acquired on the
foundations of the discipline, the profession and in research.
The CPX is designed to assess clinical competencies related to
relationship, clinical and psychological assessment and
diagnosis, intervention and consultation.
Comprehensive Examination (CE)
The CE is offered by the end of the second year. All students
must take the CE, even those who are admitted after completing a
master’s degree program from other institutions. Students must
have approved all the courses of the first two years of the
program, equivalent to 49 credits, and must be in satisfactory
academic progress, as described elsewhere in this catalog.
The format of the CE is similar to the licensing examination
prepared by the Board of Registration of Psychology of Puerto
Rico. It is designed to cover the following three areas:
Foundations of the profession, clinical application and
knowledge of research, data gathering and data analysis. The
test is administered in one day with the foundational and
clinical components offered in the morning and the research area
in the afternoon.
The areas covered under the foundational aspects of the
Psychology, Social Bases of Behavior, Neurobiological Bases of
Behavior, History of Psychology, Cognitive and Affective Bases
of Behavior, and Human Growth and Development.
The areas covered under the
clinical components of the discipline are:
Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Cognitive Assessment, Objective and
Projective Personality Assessment, Cognitive and Cognitive
The areas of the CE covering
the research and data analysis components of the discipline are:
Descriptive and Inferential Statistics, Quantitative Research
Methods, Research Proposal Development
Students receive a letter notifying them of their scores on the CE.
They must obtain a general score of 70% and passing scores in all
areas of the test to approve the CE. Failure to obtain a global
passing score of 70% requires the student to repeat the CE. Students
who obtain a global score of at least 70% but fail to approve one
area of the test, will repeat that specific area during a subsequent
administration. However, students who obtain a passing score on the
global test but fail two or more areas, fail the CE and must take it
again. A remedial plan may be developed to assist students to
address their deficiencies as detected from their performance.
Clinical Practice Examination (CPX)
students must approve the CPX before beginning their pre-doctoral
internship. To be able to take the CPX, students must have approved
a minimum of 60 credits and must have approved the Comprehensive
To approve the CPX, the student must obtain a minimum global score
of 70%. They should obtain 70%, or the established passing score, on
each of the following sections of the test: Relationship skills,
clinical and psychological assessment and diagnosis, intervention,
and consultation. Students receive a letter notifying of their
scores on the CPX. Failure to obtain a global passing score of 70%
will require the student to repeat the CPX. A remedial plan will be
elaborated with the student’s advisor and other faculty members as
assigned by the Program Director, to help the student overcome the
deficiencies noted through the test.
If a student obtains a global score of at least 70% but fails to
approve one area of the test, he/she will engage in a remedial plan
to address the deficiencies noted in that specific area. However, a
student who obtains a passing score on the test but fails two or
more areas does not approve the CPX and must repeat the entire exam.
A remedial plan will be elaborated to assist the student to address
the detected deficiencies.
Unjustified absence or tardiness to CE or CPX
A student who arrives 15 to 30 minutes late to the CE will have to
complete the rest of the exam within the same period of time given
to other students, except when the tardiness is justified. However,
a student who arrives over 30 minutes late will not be allowed to
take the exam unless the tardiness is objectively justified A
student who does not take the CE on the assigned day will not be
able to take it until the next administration of the test, usually
during the following year.
Tardiness to the CPX will prevent the student to see the patient
assigned for that period of time and will receive a grade of “0” on
that particular exercise. A student who does not take the CPX on the
assigned day will not be able to take it until the next
administration, usually during the next year.
Academic Honesty related to CE and CPX
and the CPX are complex assessment methods developed by program
faculty and implemented through a staff of employees. These
evaluation techniques are costly and time consuming in terms of
preparation, implementation, scoring and reporting. Therefore, any
violation to the honor code is considered a serious offense that
will usually result in dismissal from the School. Violations include
cheating during the CE or sharing the content of the test with other
students. Divulging information of the CPX to students waiting in
the reception area may result in immediate suspension from the test
and from the program.
Students Annual Evaluation and Feedback
At the beginning of their fist year in the program, an
Academic Advisor is assigned to each student. The main objective of
the academic advising process is to help students with their
academic and/or educational needs and to offer guidance and support
while progressing through their training program. The academic
advisor seeks and receives information from the student and from
other faculty members regarding the student’s academic performance
and the professional roles expected for the student’s developmental
level. Based on such information, the advisor evaluates the
student’s performance each year using the “Standard form for student
end of year evaluation”.
Every student signs an “Advisory Contract” during their first year
in the program. Advisor and advisee will meet at least once per
year. Any faculty member who has any concerns or comments about a
student’s academic or clinical performance or professional behavior
should present these in written form to the student’s assigned
advisor. In case of a serious deficiency or concern, the advisor
will refer the situation to the program director for analysis and
remedial action. The program procedures and institutional policies
are used in cases of academic problems, unprofessional behavior, or
other concerns related to the student’s performance.
At the end of year each student meets with his/her advisor to
discuss and to complete the “Standard Form for Student End of the
Year Evaluation”. The student will get a signed copy of the
evaluation and the advisor will keep a copy in the student’s file.
Evaluation of Student Non-Academic Competence
Our program has adopted the complete statement on evaluation of
student non-academic competence developed by the Council of Chairs
of Training Councils.
Students in psychology training programs (at the doctoral,
internship, or postdoctoral level) should know—at the outset of
training—that their faculty, training staff, and supervisors have a
professional, ethical, and potentially legal obligation to: (a)
evaluate the interpersonal competence and emotional well being of
student trainees who are under their supervision, and who provide
services to clients and consumers, and (b) ensure—insofar as
possible—that the trainees who complete their 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,
professional psychology education and training programs, faculty,
training staff, and supervisors strive not to “pass along” students
with issues or 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.
Therefore, within a developmental framework and with due regard for
the inherent power difference between students and faculty, students
and trainees should know that their faculty, training staff, and
supervisors will evaluate their competence in areas other than
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 students 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 problems or issues that
interfere with professional development or functioning in a
satisfactory manner (e.g., by responding constructively to feedback
from supervisors or program faculty; by participating in personal
therapy in order to resolve problems or issues).
Our faculty will attempt to assist any student who presents any
difficulties in any of these areas. If this assistance is not
accepted or fails to produce the desired results, the Program
Director will refer the student to the Professional Behavior
Committee of the program for their recommendation on further action.
The Program Director will decide on the most appropriate course of
action to be taken according to the process outlined in the Student
Referral Process and according to the situation presented by the
student. The academic advisor will assist the student with this
Students will identify
themselves to patients, to the public and to any other person both
verbally and in written form by using the designation “Clinical
Psychology Doctoral Student”. This designation will change when the
student enters an internship program at which time the following
title must be used “Clinical Psychology Predoctoral Intern”.
Students will use whichever title is assigned or customary in
internship site outside our program or our institution. Students
will not present themselves as “doctor” and will not allow others to
address them with such title. Failure to follow this rule will be
considered as an ethical violation.
Use of cellular phones
While attending lectures or any other official activity of
the program cellular phones will be turned off or changed to
vibration mode. Students need to inform the professor when he/she is
expecting an important call during class.