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Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Part 6: Evaluation of Clinic Performance

Grading Performance in Clinical Education Courses:

A student’s grades are based on performance as measured by the grading protocol and the clinic instructor’s judgment, and other course assignments. 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. Finally, clinic courses included assignments such as setting personal learning objectives, presenting cases, and participating in clinic seminar.  These factor into the students' final grades.

Clinical Education Grading Protocol: The clinic instructors in the CSD Program use a grading protocol based on Program Learning Objectives and ASHA 2014 Certification Standards. Students completing clinical courses on campus will access the protocol via a Web-based tracking system.  For 2014-2015, students completing off-campus courses will use a paper version of the UMD CSD Grading Protocol.  Contact the University Liaison for paper copies of the grading protocol.

Three Categories. The grading protocol divides skills into three categories.

  • Evaluation Skills
  • Treatment Skills
  • Preparedness, Interaction, and Personal Qualities

A student' proficiency in clinical performance is determined in part by the average rating of performance in each of these categories. 

Sliding-Scale system, depending on student experience. The grading protocol uses a 5-point scale that 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. 

Rating Scale (used with permission from, 2014):

  1. Not Evident: Skill is not evident most of the time.  Student requires direct instruction to modify behavior and is unaware of neeed to change.  Supervisor must model behavior and implement the skills required for client to receive optimal care.  Supervisor provides numerous instructions and frequent modeling (<25% of the time).
  2. Emerging: Skills is emerging but is inconsistent or inadequate.  Student shows awareness of need to change behavior with supervisor input.  Supervisor frequently provides instructions and support for all aspects of case management and services (skill is present 26-50% of the time).
  3. Present: Skill is present and needs further development refinement, or consistency.  Student is aware of need to modify behavior, but does not do this independently.  Supervisor provides on-going monitoring and feedback; focuses on increasing student's critical thinking on how/when to improve skill (skill is present 51-75% of the time).
  4. Adequate: Skill is developed/implemented most of the time and needs continued refinement or consistency.  Student is aware and can modify behavior in-session, and can self-evaluate.  Problem-solving is independent.  Supervisor acts as a colllaborator to plan and sugggest possible alternatives (skill is present 76-90% of the time).
  5. Consistent: Skill is consistent and well developed.  Student can modify own behavior as needed and is an independent problem solver.  Student can maintain skills with outher clients, and in other settings, when appropriate.  Supervisor serves as consultant in areas where student has less experience; minimal guidance on ideas initiated by student (skills is present >90% of the time).

The grading scale is adjusted to the course in which the student is enrolled, reflecting the experience level of the student intern.

Letter Grade






8597, 8697, 8797, 8897, 5097



*A grade of B– or lower and/or instructor concern of intern performance will result in initiation of the Remediation Procedures.

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. 

What does it mean to have increased proficiency in clinic? As a student intern gains experience, the expectation is they will increase their independent ability to collaborate and be proactive in case management. Sometimes students confuse the expectation of “independence and proficiency” with the definition of “isolation”. Interns who do not consult with their clinic supervisors are NOT demonstrating proficiency or independence; instead, they are isolating themselves and not using pro-active problem solving in seeking out the expert support in the program.

Instructors are here for the intern, to support the the intern's learning. 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 independence and profiency, 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.


Tracking 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. Clinic instructors will use the grading protocol 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. 


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:

  • Input on performance from CSD clinic instructors
  • Input on performance from CSD faculty
  • Input from off-site supervisors related to completion of coursework in CSD


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Last modified on 10/29/14 10:56 AM
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