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The Assessment Profession in Higher Education: Addressing the Varied Professional Development Needs of Practitioners.

Jennifer Ann Morrow“I am very grateful for the support of my UT and AALHE colleagues who encourage my passion for teaching and engaging in quality higher education assessment work. I look forward to continued collaboration with my students and colleagues in this important area.”

The report was released by the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE) and Watermark. The organizations stated a mission to work collaboratively in striving to develop resources that help assessment practitioners and institutions advance the practice of meaningful assessment, provide opportunities for assessment professionals to connect, as well as conduct and share research on current assessment practices and results.

AALHE and Watermark explained the report provides insights into several area of assessment including:

  • practitioners’ perceptions of assessment
  • the roles/positions and activities conducted by assessment practitioners
  • practitioners’ professional development needs

The report authors – Laura Ariovich, Conna Bral, Patricia Gregg, Matthew Gulliford, and Jennifer Ann Morrow – provided practical recommendations for institutions and professional organizations to better support assessment practitioners, particularly in the area of professional development.

  • Collaborative sharing across institutions and assessment personnel should be examined as a viable method for supporting the work of assessment practitioners.
  • Professional associations, individual institutions, and consortia should offer professional development opportunities in a wide variety of delivery methods to meet the varied needs of practitioners.
  • Topics addressed in professional development offerings must include both assessment tasks, such as conducting data collection and analysis activities, and more complex assessment work, such as creating assessment cultures and facilitating change in higher education organizations.

“We see a real alignment in our organizations to advance the practice of assessment and help institutions use better data to improve student learning and institutional outcomes – an area that is of critical and growing importance to the future of higher education,” said Monica Stitt-Bergh, AALHE President. “We share the belief that this collaboration has been mutually beneficial for our organizations and higher education more broadly.”

“We have a great deal of respect for AALHE, its researchers, and the leadership it provides for the higher education community,” said Kevin Michielsen, CEO of Watermark. “This study underscores our commitment to supporting and empowering higher education with the kind of information and insight needed to drive decision making that ultimately improves student and institutional outcomes.”


About AALHE
Founded in 2009, the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education is a non-profit professional association for assessment practitioners at colleges, universities, and higher education support organizations. It serves the needs of those in higher education for whom assessment is a tool to help them understand learning and develop processes for improving it. AALHE provides resources and a forum to support assessment practitioners’ professional development and the research, documentation, open discussion of issues, strategies, policies, and processes associated with the use of assessment to improve student learning and institutional effectiveness in fostering student success. For more information and to become a member, visit www.aalhe.org.

About Watermark™
Watermark’s mission is to put better data into the hands of administrators, educators, and learners everywhere in order to empower them to connect information and gain insights into learning which will drive meaningful improvements. Through its innovative educational intelligence platform, Watermark supports institutions in developing an intentional approach to learning and development based on data they can trust.


(ACA) Graduate Student Ethics Competition.

The ACA Ethics Committee explains this competition allows graduate students to critically analyze a scenario and create an appropriate decision-making plan to respond to the ethical dilemma.

Read below to learn about their experiences throughout this competition.


Kertesha Riley

What was it like working with your cohort?
The competition started early fall semester, so we still were new as a cohort and new to the program. Looking back, there were times I second guessed our decision – wondering if it was naïve of us to take on this challenge while adjusting to our first year as doctoral students! Early on, we each had strong opinions about what we should be considering in the case and solutions to the prompt, and that caused some interesting debates throughout the six weeks of the competition. In the end though, I think it helped us learn more about each other’s personalities, our (growing) counselor educator identities, and even our working styles. Ultimately, I believe that helped us connect in ways we may missed if we had not done something like this.

How did it feel to win this award?
When we were first notified, we were definitely excited about the news! However, I don’t think we understood the gravity of the announcement until word reached our department. Our team was the first team from UT Knoxville to place first in the competition! The congratulations we received from faculty and other students was like icing on the cake after all of the hard work we put into the competition. Also, with me being a part-time student, it made me feel like I was truly a part of the program now.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
When we first signed up for the competition, I said “we better at least get first” LOL It was joke (sort of!), but I believe that statement ended up motivating us throughout the competition. It was tough, but I really appreciated the perspectives and commitment each of my cohort members brought to the team, and I believe that’s what helped us secure first place!


Wes Allen

What was it like working with your cohort?
It was exciting, and challenging at the same time. I appreciated that we felt comfortable enough to challenge each other, and were able to do so in a way that ultimately brought us much closer together.

How did it feel to win this award?
I was relieved that all our our hard word was really worth something. I don’t think much of it sank in until our professors explained to us what an honor it was to be selected.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
I’d like my teammates and cohort members to know that even without the win I think they are exceptional people, counselors, and scholars.


Jessica Marzi

What was it like working with your cohort?
It was good yet hard because we were trying to coordinate schedules, which feels even harder when everyone is a doc student. The nice part was collaborating together and seeing each other in a different capacity from class.

How did it feel to win this award?
It was extremely satisfying because UT Knoxville hasn’t won it before, and we felt we were able to contribute something that shows the strength of the program.


Gerald Spangler

What was it like working with your cohort?
I enjoyed working with our team because of the flexibility we displayed. This competition was our first project together, but outside of that, we all had, and still have, different personal and academic requirements and timelines. However, each member’s personal flexibility allowed us to work past those considerations and focus on the competition. Collectively as a group, I thought that flexibility allowed us to bring a wide range of views, experiences, and ideas to the table.

How did it feel to win this award?
It felt great to win this award and I am proud of what we accomplished as a team. There are a lot of great ways to describe this experience, but I had a chance to see individual leadership and team-oriented qualities shine during this process. It also feels pretty good realizing that I was a member of a team of future professionals headed to the counselor education field.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
I am proud of my cohort and glad that I was given an opportunity to learn through and with them during our time together. They are solid professionals and I look forward to future projects and challenging opportunities.



To become a licensed psychologist, all school psychology doctoral students must have completed an internship. Internships accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) are highly sought out, yet a large number of applicants go unmatched. In 2018, over ten percent of applicants were not matched with an APA-accredited internship.

Read below to see where each of the five will be interning and their experiences of the process.


Kendall B. Hauck
Tennessee Internship Consortium
Sweetwater City Schools

What was the application process like?
The application process was somewhat complex because I had to be really diligent and organized in order to keep up with all of my clinical hours, school-based hours, and specific demographic information of the clients that I saw/with whom I worked. Thankfully, our program set us up to be successful by devoting an entire class to preparing us for the application process. Also, from day one of the program to year four, we were regularly encouraged to diligently track our hours so that we would be ready.

How do you feel about being matched?
I’m happy and thankful, because one of my career goals is to become a licensed psychologist. We were also strongly encouraged to complete our internship year at an APA-accredited internship

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
I will act as a school psychologist at my internship site. I view this as “on-the-job training,” since I want to eventually work in a school district in Tennessee. I also find it very comforting that I will have a lot of supervision at this site.

How do you feel about staying in Tennessee?
I fell in love with Tennessee after spending so many years in this state. Also, I am planning to settle down in Nashville since that is where my fiancé is working.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I think that this will be a good opportunity for me. I look forward to applying the skills that I have learned so far in a new setting that resembles the kind of work that I want to do once I complete my internship.


Pete Ignacio
Tennessee Internship Consortium
Anderson County School District

What was the application process like?
The application process was stressful and complicated. There were a lot of details to go through, and a ton of deadlines to meet. However, Merilee McCurdy, associate professor, teaches a course where we completed every step of the way together as a cohort. The course was incredibly helpful and I can’t imagine being in a program without that support.

How do you feel about being matched?
It feels great. Being matched with an APA-accredited internship gives us the most amount of options as we start our careers. Completeing a non-APA internship wouldn’t be taking full advantage of the program here at UT.

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
I’ll be doing assessment and consultation at an elementary school. There’s a big need for behavioral consultation both for specific students and classrooms, as well as school and district wide interventions.

How do you feel about staying in Tennessee?
I feel great about staying in Tennessee. Knoxville has really grown on me and I’m looking forward to staying a little bit longer. Plus, my wife has a job here with UT so staying local so she could keep her job was a big priority.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’m really excited, a good friend of mine is currently at the site I’ll be at come the fall, so we can have a really well coordinated hand-off. I think it’ll be a great opportunity to continue working on some projects that were started last year, and to go in my own direction as well.


Maya Mingo
Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium
Tangipahoa Parish School System

 

 

What was the application process like?
The application process was a real rollercoaster drop! It required a lot of organization and detail, but was also very fun and anxiety inducing! Considering all that was required, I felt that Merilee McCurdy’s, associate professor, timeline and oversight made getting all the required materials in order a lot less stressful. However, traveling to different states and catching multiple flights during the winter months certainly can take a toll on your nerves! Overall, I enjoyed traveling to new places, meeting new people, and learning that our program had truly prepared me to succeed during this process.

How do you feel about being matched?
I am delighted and overjoyed to be matched with an APA-accredited internship site. Not only that, but I was also matched with my top choice! It doesn’t get much better than that! During the application and interview process, it’s so easy to psych yourself out and start fearing that you won’t match anywhere at all. In the end, though, everything worked out perfectly for me, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome!

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
During my internship year in Louisiana, I will in many ways serve in the traditional role of a school psychologist at three different schools. As such, I will serve as a member of a Pupil Appraisal Team. My roles on this team will include administering assessments to determine eligibility for special education services, providing psychological services for students whose IEPs require them, assisting with behavioral interventions, and attending collaboration and consultation meetings with multidisciplinary teams within the schools.

How do you feel about moving to Louisiana?
I’m ecstatic to have been matched to an internship site in Louisiana! Especially because I had already lived there for 12 years before attending grad school at UT. I have so many great friends and so much support already available to me in that area that I can’t imagine a better place to be able to bring closure to this final leg of my doctoral journey.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’m just looking forward to building upon the great foundation of knowledge that has already been imparted to me by my professors and supervisors at the University of Tennessee. I hope to make them proud and to serve as a positive reflection of our School Psychology program.


Kala Taylor

Kala Taylor
Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology
Boys Town Behavioral Health Clinic

 

 

What was the application process like?
It was just like applying to graduate school, lots of paperwork!

How do you feel about being matched?
Very happy, it will also make the licensure process much easier!

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
My placement is in the Boys Town Residential Track, so most of my time will be spent conducting individual and family therapy with youth with a wide variety of referral concerns. I will also be facilitating group therapy and providing consultation to Boys Town staff.

How do you feel about moving to Nebraska?
Both nervous and excited. Omaha is a neat city; I’m excited about the opportunity to explore a new place and grateful I get to return home to Knoxville after my year there.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I am thankful to have matched with an internship that will allow me to expand my clinical skills. Additionally, I am so grateful for the strong training I received through UT, and the amazing mentors who encouraged me and helped me to achieve my goals.


Victoria Vanmaaren

Victoria VanMaaren
Tennessee Internship Consortium
Lenoir City Schools

 

 

What was the application process like?
Applying and interviewing for internships was definitely stressful when combined with a busy year – despite the stress, though, I felt incredibly supported by our faculty as well as my cohort. I always had someone to talk to about any detail of the process and I can’t say enough about everyone’s support!

How do you feel about being matched?
It feels incredible! Throughout my time at UT, I have always had matching with an APA-accredited internship and becoming a licensed psychologist as a goal, and it feels great to be one step closer.

What type of work will you be doing at your internship?
I will have a traditional school-based placement, which involves completing initial evaluations and re-evaluations for special education services and consulting with teachers and other school staff.

How do you feel about staying in Tennessee?
I have absolutely fallen in love with Knoxville during my time here, and I’m overjoyed to be staying here. I can’t imagine going through this process anywhere else with anyone else!

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I’m excited to get started! Also I’d like to give a shout out to everyone who has supported me through this journey – I couldn’t have done it without any of you! Let the journey begin!

 


Williams receives Joe Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award for 50 years of service

“This award suggests my career accomplishments are relatively unique within the university. I was the only faculty member to receive it this past year.”

Williams joined UT in 1967, and has been with the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling through multiple name and organizational changes.

He said, “I particularly enjoyed sitting by the university president during the luncheon. I had an opportunity to ask him a lot of questions about his family and career. I learned that his father taught at the university level until he was 89. I asked the president why his father retired at that point, which turned out to be a physical rather than a mental problem. With or without any awards, my career at UT has contributed greatly to my life-long joy and meaning.”


EPC Facebook page.

Andrea Lucia Arce-Trigatti
PhD in Education – Learning Environments & Educational Studies

Jillian Mei-Li Blueford
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

James Michael Cantu
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

Sue Culpepper
MS in Educational Psychology – Adult Education

Stephanie Krider Daniels
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Amanda Ellen Dascomb
PhD in Education – Learning Environments & Educational Studies

Rosite Kendra George Delgado
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Jaewoo Do
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education

Sinead Angela Doherty
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Isabel Cecilia Farrell
PhD in Counselor Education
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education

Janelle Shalon Galbreath
MS in Education – Instructional Technology

Katherine Victoria Graham
MS in Counseling – School Counseling

Justin Wade Hawkersmith
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Baileigh Anne Kirkpatrick
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Rebekah Grace Livingston
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Lauren Kelly Mchenry
MS in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Mykel Lauren Moody
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

Anne Leslie Skutnik
PhD in Education – Learning Environments & Educational Studies

Kimberly Lynn Stafford
MS in Education – Instructional Technology

Nancy Elaine Thacker
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Nancy Teresi Truett
Graduate Certificate in Grief, Loss & Trauma

Shelby Dawn Wright
MS in Educational Psychology – Applied Educational Psychology

*If you are one of the graduates listed above and would like to have your photo added to our EPC Graduates Facebook album, then please email your picture to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu.

**If you were an Educational Psychology and Counseling student who graduated during this time frame, yet have unintentionally been omitted from this list, please send your name, degree, and major/concentration to Synthia Clark sclark41@utk.edu. We will add you to the list after receiving this information from you and confirming your graduation status.

Educational Psychology & Counseling Department
College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

535 Bailey Education Complex
1122 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996-3452
Phone: 865-974-8145 Fax: 865-974-0135