MSAP IE Report
Institutional Effectiveness Report
Academic Year 2006-2007
Sam F. Broughton, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Program Effectiveness
John R. Hester, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department
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Mission and Goals
Francis Marion University is responsive to the needs of the region by offering the Master of
Science in Applied Psychology (MSAP) and proposing program modifications in this
professional degree as indicated. Graduates of the MSAP program will develop the knowledge
and skills necessary to work as professionals in clinical, school, health, and other community
settings as scientist practitioners. The MSAP program adheres to the standards of training of the
Council of Applied Master’s Programs in Psychology (CAMPP), is accredited by the Masters in
Psychology Accreditation Council (MPAC), and is approved as a specialist-level training
program by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Students and graduates
of the MSAP program bring scholarship and reflection to their work, and an understanding of
diversity in clientele, methodology, and application. MSAP faculty produces scholarship that
enhances teaching, involves students, and contributes to the profession of psychology. MSAP
faculty consults with and renders academic and practical assistance to local human service
agencies, hospitals, and regional schools.
The program monitors admission and graduation rates and quantitative characteristics of
applicants and matriculated students.
Consistent with our mission and goals, best practices for training master’s level psychologists are
monitored from NASP/NCATE for School Psychology, CAMPP and MPAC for
clinical/counseling psychology. The evolving standards for licensure of Professional Counselors
and Psycho-Educational Specialists by the SC Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional
Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists are monitored,
so that graduates will meet didactic training requirements for the appropriate license upon
Practica are associated with specified applied courses. The number of required practica varies
with option. Practica require a specified number of clock hours of practice and prescribed
clinical experiences in association with classroom learning. Students are required to maintain
logs of activities, receive case supervision and consultation throughout practicum, and to submit
a portfolio of work samples and supervisor ratings at the end of each practicum.
First year and second year students in the school psychology option take both a written and an
oral examination at the end of spring semester to monitor knowledge and skill development as a
function of progress through the program. The oral examination requirement has been ongoing
for several years. This was the first year for the use of the written examination. Oral and written
exams are used to monitor student growth in knowledge and skill throughout he program as well
as to determine correlations with later performance on the Praxis exam.
The performance of all graduates is evaluated during and at the conclusion of their required
internships by field supervisors. Interns also provide work logs and samples/portfolios
(assessment reports, treatment/intervention plans, counseling/consultation notes, project
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summaries) that are evaluated by field supervisors and by the faculty formatively as part of the
internship seminar and summatively at the conclusion of internship.
School Psychology graduates complete the Praxis Exam required for certification as a School
Psychologist II and licensure as a Psycho-Educational Specialist.
The level of faculty scholarship, community service, and student involvement in faculty research
is obtained from activities reported in the annual faculty reports.
During the 2006-2007 academic year (Fall and Spring) 20 newly accepted students enrolled in
the program (10 in clinical/counseling and 10 in school psychology). This compares to 21
students that entered the program the previous academic year. Average GRE scores were 494
(GRE-Verbal) and 534 (GRE-Quantitative). The average Verbal score increased 23 points and
Quantitative increased 19 since 2005-2006. In a two-year span (2004-2005 to 2006-2007)
average GRE scores for entering students have decreased 7 points on Verbal and decreased 35 on
Quantitative. In reviewing several years of data 2004-2005 scores were relatively high and in
general scores are relatively stable. Financial aid in the form of scholarships and graduate
assistantships remain an issue in attracting students and retaining them. This year’s average
overall undergraduate GPA was 3.5 and Psychology GPA was 3.6 as compared to 3.3 and 3.4
last year. As with GRE scores GPA is relatively stable. Overall, headcount enrollment in the
program is 59 compared to 54 the previous year. Nine students graduated from the degree
program during 2006-2007 (4 clinical/counseling and 5 school). This compares to 13 last year.
So while the number of graduates decreased the overall size of the program remained stable.
The written examination taken by school psychology option students consists of 90 multiple-
choice questions and was designed to be similar in content and format to the Praxis examination
required for certification and licensure. The mean items correct for first year students was
51.43 (SD=6.90). Second year students averaged 47.78 (SD=5.63), while third year students
averaged 57.83 (SD=8.08). The relationship of mean scores between the first and second year
classes was not as expected. Further analysis of the results is underway to relate items on the test
to Option objectives, NASP practice domains, and Praxis Skill areas. Following oral
examination, portfolio review, and transcript review, all first year students were approved for
advanced course work, and all second year students were approved for internship. Details of
performance ratings and rubrics for the oral examination are provided in a separate report.
Examination of practicum logs, work samples, and field supervisor ratings showed that all
students met or exceeded minimum requirements for acceptable performance and contact hours
in course-related practice settings.
To assess our goal of developing professionals with skills necessary to work as applied
psychologists the Department assesses the internship experience. End-of-Internship ratings of
school psychology interns by field-based supervisors for 5 interns (all degree seeking students)
who completed their one academic year internship in Spring 2007 produced a mean composite
rating of 5 on a 5 point scale, with a rating of 5 representing competence at the level of
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unsupervised practice and 4 representing a requirement of minimal supervision. All five interns
received composite ratings of 5. This compares favorably to 2005-2006 when internship
supervisor ratings for school psychology interns produced a mean composite rating of 4.8. One
hundred percent of the work samples/portfolio materials submitted for summative evaluation at
the end of the internship seminar were rated as satisfactory or higher by the faculty for interns in
the school psychology option. Community supervisor rating forms for the 4 clinical/counseling
interns who completed internships in 2006-2007 were evaluated and produced a mean overall
rating of 4.5 which is favorable on a 5 point scale. Two interns received a rating of 5 and two
received a 4. As with the school interns, a rating of 5 represents competence at the level of
unsupervised practice and 4 represents a requirement of minimal supervision. Last year, the
average was 4.6, so the results are relatively similar. Written comments by supervisors for both
school psychology and clinical/counseling interns were positive, indicating overall satisfaction
by supervisors with the nature and level of intern preparation within the options, and with intern
performance while on internship.
Scores on the Praxis Examination necessary for certification and licensure in school psychology
were received for all 5 students completing internship in the School Psychology Option. The
mean score for these 5 completers was 696, with individual scores ranging from 660 to 750.
This year’s average score was 16 points lower that for 2005-2006. However, an unusually high
score of 800 during the 2005-2006 academic year raised that year’s mean. A score of 660 is
required in South Carolina for certification and licensure. A score of 620 is required for
certification in North Carolina. When evaluated against these cut-scores, all 5 graduates met or
exceeded the criterion for their state of anticipated employment.
Program Evaluation Reports were not solicited from members of the School Psychology
Advisory Committee or Internship Supervisors who participate in and monitor practicum and
internship sites during the 2006-2007 academic year.
Exit interviews and program evaluation rating scales were obtained from school psychology
option graduates. Graduates’ evaluations of course and practicum quality were generally
favorable, with the mean rating for all items being 4.13 on a 5–point scale, where 4 represented
“very helpful, very adequate,” and 5 represented “extremely helpful, more than very adequate.”
Course-related items produced a mean of 4.23, while practicum related items produced a mean of
3.80 and the greatest variability of any category. Graduates’ evaluation of the faculty’s teaching,
advising, and guidance produced the highest average rating at 4.45. Evaluative ratings of
internship also were obtained from school psychology option graduates using the same 5-point
scale as for courses and practica. Graduates’ evaluations of internship experience quality were
favorable, with the mean rating for all items being 4.28. Details of all ratings are available in a
School psychology option graduates also were asked to rate the extent to which they assessed
their course, practica, and internship work as addressing NASP skill domains. A 5-point scale
was employed where 3 represented “general competence,” 4 represented “considerable
competence,” and 5 represented “complete competence.” Across the 11 skill domains, course
and practicum ratings averaged 3.68, while internship ratings averaged 4.32. Details of
individual domain ratings are available in a separate report.
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Faculty scholarship, professional activities and community involvement continued as reflected in
the annual reports of individual faculty members. (See undergraduate report)
As mentioned in last year’s report, during the 2004-2005 academic year a survey of MASP
alumni was conducted. Surveys were sent to 233 graduates and 63 completed surveys were
returned. While the overall quality of the program was rated favorably (4.14 on a 5.0 scale) the
areas of financial assistance and computer availability were lower rated areas. This year’s exit
interviews and ratings by school psychology option students indicated relatively lower ratings
regarding technical resources, as well. This is mentioned because the Department continues to
addresses the issue of financial assistance and the upgrading of technology resources.
As a result of last year’s assessment several improvements were made, to include those listed
This year a clinical faculty member was named to be Coordinator of the Clinical/Counseling
The Department successfully completed a search for an experimental psychologist in the area of
cognitive psychology. A highly qualified psychologist will be joining the Department in the Fall
Analysis of the curriculum and the reassignment of one of the school psychology faculty to
administrative duties, resulted in the Department requesting a new faculty position in school
psychology to enhance the development of the School Psychology portion of the MASP program
and prepare for moving to a specialist degree. The position was approved and a new school
psychology faculty member has been hired to begin in the Fall of 2007.
Major revisions of the Psychology Department’s portion of the graduate catalog were undertaken
during 2006-2007 as the result of program evaluation data from previous years and evaluation of
MPAC and NASP/NCATE accreditation standards. Courses were renumbered to reflect the
strictly graduate nature of the program and to more clearly delineate course sequences and
prerequisite relationships. Some course titles were revised to more clearly describe course
content. The first assessment course, which previously had been offered for both
clinical/counseling and school psychology students, was revised into two separate courses to
accommodate divergences among the specialties. Courses within the final 30 semester hours of
study for School Psychology option students were renumbered to the 700 level to reflect the
specialist level training that these courses represent. The Substance Abuse Counseling
Concentration was discontinued.
A formal plan to create a specialist degree was presented this year to the Department and the
administration. The Department approved a proposal and the Provost’s Office has assisted the
Department in reviewing accreditation issues.
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An Institutional Review Board has been established and is chaired by a senior Psychology
faculty member. The IRB will review all human subject research and will add considerably to
the Department’s research efforts.
A Psychology faculty member has been appointed as a NASP/NCATE program
A faculty retreat was held prior to the Fall 2006 semester and important strategic planning
The Department maintained recent gains in terms of improving financial assistance to graduate
students. The Department now offers or works with other University offices (Counseling Center,
Career Center) in offering eight graduate assistantships and 5 scholarships. Fund raising for the
Dr. Gary W. Hanson Scholarship continued this year. A golf tournament to benefit the
scholarship was hosted by the FMU Foundation raising over $30,000 to be split with a
University endowed chair. While it has not been finalized, plans are for the Scholarship to
benefit Psychology graduate students.
A new and enhanced graduate governing body was approved by the University to review
graduate curriculum, review admissions, etc. This Graduate Council will replace the current
Graduate Advisory Committee and allow curriculum changes to move from the Department to
the Graduate Council, Faculty Senate and then the entire Faculty. The Graduate Council will be
University wide with a majority of members from academic units with graduate degrees.
Curriculum review remains under the direction of faculty both in the Department and at the
The Department continues to be central in the development of the Center for the Child.
Highlighted activities related to the Department include:
A floor plan was developed to include a clinic with four assessment/intervention rooms
with observation capabilities. The clinic will be used to train school and clinical
/counseling graduate students. The floor plan also includes two FMU classrooms
contiguous to preschool classrooms. Such provides for the opportunity for faculty to
lecture FMU students and then pull back a curtain and directly observe from the
classroom preschool children. Faculty estimated that ten graduate courses and seven
practica will have graduate training activities at the Center. Since the program currently
has no campus clinic, the Center for the Child has tremendous possibilities to improve
A Child Care Director was selected.
Psychology faculty continue to play central roles in the development of the Center. The
Chair of the Department serves as Director of the Center and other faculty have been
central to architectural plans.
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The Department will request approval to hire and again search for an experimental psychologist
with expertise in biological issues.
A senior clinical faculty member plans to retire and the Department will request approval to
replace the individual with either a clinical or counseling psychologist. Institutional
Effectiveness Reports and the curriculum will be reviewed and discussions will be held as to
whether to hire a clinical or counseling psychologist.
Efforts to endow the Gary W. Hanson Scholarship will continue with the goal of being able to
offer scholarships by 2008-2009.
Program recruitment efforts will be emphasized. Plans are to develop a new flyer to be
distributed to psychology programs across the country. The application process will be reviewed
to consider revisions as to requirements and the application process.
Development of a specialist degree in school psychology will continue. Additional catalog
course descriptions and numbers will be modified as a result. On the basis of analysis of NASP
domains and feedback from several years of graduate exit interviews, a new course addressing
systems level intervention and crisis intervention will be proposed. The Department will
continue to work with the Provost’s Office and Office of Graduate Programs to determine
university and program requirements for bringing a specialist degree to reality. The new school
psychology faculty member will be actively incorporated into program development and