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Counseling and Psychological Services

Evaluation Philosophy and Procedures

Evaluation Philosophy

Evaluation of intern progress with consequent feedback is a primary task of the training program at CAPS. The purpose of such evaluation is to facilitate clinical, counseling and professional growth throughout the training year. Towards this end, feedback is provided in an ongoing and timely fashion. Training staff and supervisors have a duty and responsibility to evaluate the competence of interns in a comprehensive manner. Performance across all areas of clinical and professional functioning is evaluated.

The training program recognizes that developmental stressors are inherent in the transition from graduate school to a full-time clinical training setting, as well as during the course of the intern’s participation in the program. During the training program, interns are exposed to clinical practice, typically involving a full and challenging caseload as well as responding to client crises and agency requirements. Furthermore, intern supervision is often intense, concentrated and frequent. This may increase the intern’s sense of personal and professional vulnerability. Thus, while the training program represents a critical professional opportunity for interns to learn and refine skills, increase their professional confidence and enhance professional identity, it is also a time of increased stress and vulnerability. Since interns make significant developmental transitions during the training program and may need special types of assistance during this time, it is the responsibility of the training program to provide activities, procedures and opportunities which can facilitate growth and minimize stress. Such measures include, but are not limited to, extensive orientation meetings, individualized support, clear and realistic expectations, clear and timely evaluations that include suggestions for positive change, and contact with support individuals (e.g., supervisors, professional staff members, residents in psychology).

Evaluation Procedures

Interns are fully informed about the evaluation procedures during the two-week orientation process that occurs upon arrival, including a detailed review of the intern and supervisor evaluation forms. Supervision evaluations are a comprehensive process, wherein supervisors evaluate interns, and interns evaluate supervisors. Interns further engage in self-evaluation during each written evaluation period, and supervisors, interns and training director have access to self-evaluation data in order to compare and discuss differences. Interns also evaluate seminars and the entire training program at the conclusion of the training year. All evaluation forms are completed and submitted in an electronic format. The following describes the timing and processes of the evaluation procedures:

Baseline Evaluations (Written):

  • Supervisors complete baseline evaluations of interns approximately two months after the beginning of the internship year (mid-October). Interns similarly engage in self-evaluation of the same objectives, skills and associated competencies at this time. Each supervisor-supervisee dyad discusses the baseline evaluation, as well as differences between it and the self-evaluation conducted by the intern. The baseline evaluation does not serve as a basis for performance review, rather it gives supervisors and interns a sense of each intern’s current competency levels, as well as a point of comparison as interns develop over the course of the training year.
  • Staff Review Meeting: The staff meets in Supervisors Meeting to discuss the baseline evaluations of each intern.
  • Intern Review Meeting: The Training Director meets with each intern individually and discusses trends and patterns noted in the above meeting.

Mid-year and End-year Evaluations:

  • Evaluation of Interns: In February and July, supervisors complete the Evaluation of Intern form. This form is used as an outline to structure and accompany the supervisor’s verbal feedback to the supervisee, iteration of goals and competencies, and discussion of the supervisory relationship. Following the feedback session, both parties sign the form and submit it to the Training Director.
  • Evaluation of Supervisors: In February and July, interns complete the Evaluation of Supervisor form. This form is used as an outline to structure and accompany the supervisee’s verbal feedback to the supervisor and the dyad’s discussion of their working relationship. Following the feedback session, both parties sign the form and submit it to the Training Director.
  • Staff Review Meeting: After the supervisors and supervisees meet to discuss the evaluation forms and engage in verbal feedback, the staff again meets to review the progress of each intern.
  • Intern Review Meeting: Following the staff review meeting, the Training Director meets with each intern to review and discuss the feedback.
  • All evaluation forms are submitted to the Training Director and kept electronically on file. Seminar evaluations are submitted to the Training Director and de-identified synopses of numerical and narrative results are shared with staff at mid- and end-year.

Verbal Evaluations:

  • Evaluation of Interns: In April of each training year, each supervisor-supervisee dyad discusses the intern’s progress as related to the explicit goals and competencies, as well as the status of the dyad’s working relationship.
  • Staff Review Meeting: After the supervisors and supervisees meet to discuss the evaluation forms and engage in verbal feedback, the staff again meets to review the progress of each intern.
  • Intern Review Meeting: Following the staff review meeting, the Training Director meets with each intern to review and discuss the feedback.

End-of-Year Program Evaluations (Written):

  • Evaluation of Seminars: Interns complete the Seminar Evaluation Form for each seminar that occurred over the course of the training year. This form is used to evaluate the reading materials, effectiveness of the presenter/facilitator, degree of attending to issues of diversity and difference, and overall quality of the meetings.
  • At the end of the training year, each intern completes a detailed Program Evaluation that is part of exit requirements. Additional verbal feedback is welcome by the Training Director during the Exit Interview, by which time the Program Evaluation has been completed.
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