Diagnostic Teaching Clinic
Cathy L. Crossland, Ed.D., Professor & Director
The Diagnostic Teaching Clinic was created in order to meet two important needs — to provide a source of comprehensive psycho-educational assessments for students who exhibit learning and learning-related problems, and to provide a means of training graduate-level classroom teachers and school psychologists in the methods of educational diagnosis and prescription appropriate for classroom application.
Every student, regardless of intellectual ability and extent of academic, physical and/or emotional disorders is entitled to an opportunity to learn to his/her maximum capacity. It is the responsibility of the educational system and professional educators to apply the most rigorous and relevant diagnostic techniques and skills toward the identification of those capacities (as well as limitations) upon which a responsible, individualized educational program may be built. The teaching of the skills to accurately diagnose learning capacities, and the skills to tailor the expectations of the learning environment to maximize these learning potentials, is a fundamental part of teacher preparation. The Diagnostic Teaching Clinic allows prospective classroom teachers and school psychologists an opportunity to participate in the diagnostic/prescriptive process with experienced professionals in the field of educational assessment and instructional program development. Learning these skills in a one-on-one clinical situation, where such skills can be sharpened under critical observation, is a necessary preparation for the classroom.
Program and Services
The Diagnostic Teaching Clinic offers service to students who have experienced learning and/or behavioral difficulties in conventional classroom situations at all grade levels. The program of services offered by the Clinic is developed individually around the assessed needs and capacities of individual students. These needs are defined in terms of the individual's measured learning abilities (using psychological and achievement tests), an assessment of the social and family situation within which the student lives, and (if necessary) the classroom or school situation where the student is enrolled.
Typically, the assessment process will involve two or three visits to the Clinic for a period of one to three hours each visit. Parents are encouraged to observe educational testing in progress. If necessary, a psychological assessment will also be arranged by Clinic staff. Once the assessment process is completed, a full, written report will be prepared and discussed with the parents or guardians of each student accepted for assessment. An intervention plan will be recommended and assistance will be provided for making arrangements for its implementation if parents wish.
Access to Clinic Services
Any parent, teacher or other school or medical personnel may refer a school-age student to the Diagnostic Teaching Clinic for evaluation. Priority is given to students for whom immediate program or placement decisions must be made.
Cost of Clinic Services
The Diagnostic Teaching Clinic was established in 1983 with a grant from the US Department of Education through the Division of Personnel Preparation. Currently, the Clinic derives its funds from client fees. Financial support is also obtained through private contributions from individuals and philanthropic foundations.