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Assessment Training

Required Training for Clinical Psychology, PsyD

Coursework and Practicum

Part of the clinical training at Ferkauf offers basic training and skills in a variety of assessment techniques. Students have the opportunity to be exposed to types of assessments, testing settings, and diverse populations throughout their five years at (1) the University clinic (four years, beginning first year); (2) externships (two years required, second year and third year; fourth year externship is optional); and (3) during internship. Assessment Courses include Clinical Interviewing (first year), Cognitive Assessment (first year), Personality Assessment (first year), and Clinical Assessment I and II (second year). Each of these courses includes smaller group supervision in labs (for a detailed description of labs, see page 25). First year graduate students, in the context of their course in interviewing, are required to do one or more intake interviews with individuals seeking treatment at the Parnes Clinic. As part of the second year assessment sequence, all students administer, score, and write up the results of two complete psychodiagnostic test batteries given to two clients who are currently being seen for psychotherapy in the Clinic. Students must pass Assessment Competency I & II in order to matriculate from the program. Assessment Competency I (ACER-I) is completed at the end of the first year. Instructors and Faculty directly observe as the student completes a clinical interview and administers measures to confederates. Students are also rated on their scoring and interpretation of assessment measures learned in the first year sequence. Assessment Competency II (ACER-II) is completed at the end of the Spring semester in the second year. In this competency, students are rated by faculty on a practice assessment battery report.

Practicum Experience

Each year, students are required to take a lab in conjunction with their assessment course load. Lab is usually conducted on a 2-hour weekly basis with a small group of students (4-7 students) who work with an instructor. These labs are required and complementary to the courses in the clinical curriculum. Students must allow time in their schedules for lab sometimes including extra time for transportation. The labs are scheduled at the convenience of the instructors. First and second year labs are focused on assessment, including administration, scoring and interpretation.  

First Year Labs (Assessment): The first year labs are part of the first year assessment track. Cognitive Assessment (first semester) and Personality Assessment (second semester) have a lab to complement the lecture material and provide the students with intensive review of testing administration, scoring and interpretation procedures. This lab is taught by advanced Ferkauf students and is offered on Wednesday evenings (6-8) in the Fall semester and Thursday evenings (6-8) in Spring. It is held at the Ferkauf Graduate School. Additionally, the Clinical Interviewing Lab sections were added for some of our major lectures, which provide more time for discussions and role-play outside of the didactics. Clinical Interviewing lab allows students to review intake evaluations with an adjunct faculty member. Finally, students are required to take Basic Psychotherapy Skills Practicum while they are enrolled in Clinical Interviewing.

Second Year Lab (Assessment): The second year lab is part of the second year Clinical Assessment I and II course sequence. These labs are taught by adjunct faculty and are used to complement the Clinical Assessment I and II year long course. The second year assessment lab provides students with intensive supervision in a small group format. Students learn both conceptual and applied skills to administer and integrate a variety of assessments into a cohesive, integrated report.

Assessment Sequence:

Cognitive Assessment w/ Practicum
PSC 6441 Dr. Roberts

This course provides a conceptual and practical introduction to cognitive assessment in psychology. Students will be provided with the basic knowledge necessary for the administration, scoring, and interpretation of standard cognitive tests, an introduction to psychometric issues guiding test construction and usage, and empirical examinations of the function and parameters of the intelligence construct. Students will be guided through the administration and scoring procedures of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV while completing exercises to ensure standardized administration (and avoidance of common errors associated with these steps). Students will then consider common procedures for interpreting test results and synthesizing these results with information from multiple data sources. The course will also include examination of the controversial history of intelligence testing and its implications for current practice. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the impact of power dynamics between “examiner” and the “assessed” and implications for test interpretation and ethical practice. Students will also be introduced to other areas of cognitive assessment (e.g., memory, learning, executive functioning). The eventual goal is to develop foundational skills to answer a referral question by presenting a complete evaluation of an individual in a cohesive and comprehensive assessment report.

Personality Assessment
PSC 6442 Dr. Roberts

This course provides an overview of personality assessment with a primary focus on the use of projective measures with adults. We will focus on basic administration, scoring, and interpretation of the Rorschach, as well as other projective personality assessment tools such as the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). In addition, the course will review the criteria for referral for testing, test selection, and the initial integration of cognitive performance, as measured by the WAIS-IV in a psychological report. Finally, we will examine support for and critiques of the Rorschach and other projective tests.

Clinical Interviewing with Practicum Lab
PSC 6435 Dr. Passman

This course is designed to teach first year doctoral students basic skills in clinical interviewing. It is expected that by the end of the semester students will have begun to develop skills in the following areas: development of a psychotherapeutic stance, interviewing and diagnostic skills, mental status evaluation, SCID administration, case disposition, as well as case presentation, conceptualization and report writing. Material in the course will be presented without emphasis on any one particular theory or orientation. However, case formulation and treatment planning skills are essential and will be understood from various perspectives

Clinical Assessment with Practicum I
PSC 6446 Dr.Zweig

This year-long course provides an overview of the interpretation and integration of measures of cognition, personality, and psychopathology. Basic interpretation of traditional measures (e.g. WAIS-IV, Rorschach, MMPI-2) and their integration will be reviewed. Students are also exposed to less traditional measures (self-report, projective, interview-based, etc) and techniques for integrating data from quantitative and qualitative measures. The course will emphasize procedures for drawing inferences from interview and test data, analyzing individual differences, integrating results, and writing reports that summarize findings. Labs include supervision in administration and interpretation of psychological test batteries for patients referred for testing by externship or the Parnes Clinic.

Clinical Assessment with Practicum II
PSC 6447 Dr. Khadivi
See PSC 6446

During both Year One and Two, students are required to take a lab in conjunction with their assessment course load. Assessment labs are usually conducted on a 2-hour weekly basis with a small group of students (4-7 students) who work with an instructor. Assessment practicum includes:

  • Clinical Assessment Practicum
  • Cognitive Assessment Practicum
  • Personality Assessment Practicum

Advanced Clinical Assessment
PSC 6452 Dr. Termini

This course provides students with advanced training in administration, interpretation and integration of measures of cognition, personality, and psychopathology. There will be an emphasis on deepening students’ knowledge in interpretation and integration of measures of cognitive, personality, and psychopathology. Assessment competencies to be addressed include procedures for drawing inferences from interview and test data, test selection, integrating results, and report writing

Dr. Kailey Roberts
Dr. Richard Zweig
Dr. Vicki Passman (Clinical Interviewing)
Dr. Ali Khadivi

For more information on the Assessment Training Program please email us at or

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