I was given the task of creating and teaching a new 2-credit course on clinical supervision for the School Psychology Doctoral Program. The new course, titled “Clinical Supervision”, was to be part of a two-course sequence designed to train School Psychology doctoral students to become clinical supervisors. The new Clinical Supervision course would be the first course in the sequence, in which students would develop knowledge about foundations of theory and practice in clinical supervision in school psychology and other mental health fields. It would serve as a prerequisite for the second course, in which students would develop applied skills by conducting clinical supervision of master’s level School Psychology practicum students while under faculty supervision.
The primary goals for this Clinical Supervision course were (1) to develop students’ knowledge of fundamental issues in supervision theory and practice, and (2) to develop supervisory attitudes that will promote students’ effectiveness in future supervisory relationships (as either supervisor or supervisee). The following course objectives were developed to outline what students would know and be able to do upon completion of this course:
- Students will be able to describe common models of supervision used in the field of psychology
- Students will develop an awareness of how personal attitudes and values impact supervision, and will begin to demonstrate attitudes that support effective supervision practices
- Students will identify factors impacting the interpersonal relationship between supervisor and supervisee, and describe steps to promote development of an effective supervisory relationship
- Students will be able to describe various supervision techniques and select appropriate techniques for use in different supervision situations
- Students will understand the role and process of evaluation in the supervisory process, and will be able to select or develop tools for evaluation
- Students will recognize ethical issues in supervision, and will apply ethical reasoning when presented with ethical dilemmas in practice
- Students will develop awareness of challenges and supervision issues that occur in the supervision of psychologists in school settings
- Students will use technology for professional learning and collaboration
The following course activities and assignments were selected to promote student learning and assess students’ attainment of course objectives:
- Students demonstrate understanding of course content and development of supervisory attitudes through participation in weekly class discussions.
- Students listen to a podcast of an interview of an experienced clinical supervisor and write a response to reflection questions posed by the instructor.
- Students work in small groups to create an evaluation tool for use as a supervisor of school psychologists-in-training. Students post a draft of their evaluation tool on Blackboard, provide feedback to peers, and make improvements to their own evaluation tools in response to peer feedback.
- Students analyze vignettes presenting legal and ethical dilemmas in the context of clinical supervision in school settings, apply ethical reasoning to identify a justifiable course of action, and critique peers’ ethical reasoning via Blackboard.
- Students complete a self-assessment and write a reflection paper describing personal goals for professional development in the area of supervision, and identifying possible avenues for obtaining such professional development.
- Students develop deeper knowledge of a topic of choice within the field of clinical supervision by writing a literature review or position paper about the topic.
Course Syllabus SPSY 610 Clinical Supervision ( PDF 53K )