Each student must have a Guidance Committee. The purpose of a Guidance Committee is to serve as a personalized mentoring body for a student as she/he moves through the program.  The committee also is responsible for helping the student find solutions when problems occur.  Problematic situations, when they occur, may center around poor grades, difficulties in research or practicum placements, the necessity to remediate comprehensive examinations, or any other aspect of the student’s doctoral work; sometimes these problematic situations include personal or family issues that may necessitate an adjustment or modification in the student’s program.  It is the responsibility of the student to keep the Guidance Committee apprised of any situation that may affect his/her work, performance, or progress through the program.

All students are required to nominate a three-member faculty guidance committee by the end of their first semester, with the appropriate form signed and submitted to the SDSU Program Coordinator no later than March 31st.  Specifically, the role of the committee is to:

  1. Become familiar with the student’s academic goals and needs in order to help the student tailor his/her Joint Doctoral Program experiences accordingly.
  2. Monitor and facilitate the student’s progress through the program, including promptly identifying any areas of difficulty the student may be having, and helping the student design a remedy which addresses problematic areas.
  3. Prepare an annual formal evaluation that is given to both the student and the program directors. The ORIGINAL, signed evaluation completed each spring is required to be submitted to the Graduate Division at UC San Diego;  a copy also must be placed on file in the SDSU JDP office. As with all forms that must be turned in to either the program or the Graduate School, students should make copies for themselves in case a required copy gets lost or misplaced. Failure to comply with having the Guidance Committee meeting and submitting the required report by the published deadline will result in a blocked registration for the next year. Completion and submission of an evaluation form from every student’s Guidance Committee is required each year the student is in the program, including the year a student is on internship.  An annual written evaluation of each student is a requirement of the Commission on Accreditation [Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, Telephone (202) 336-5979; Fax: (202) 336-5978; email: apaaccred@apa.org as well.
  4. Work with the student to ensure timely completion of all necessary steps for proper Advancement to Candidacy prior to the student applying for internship.  The program will not certify that the student is ready for a clinical internship unless he/she has been Advanced to Candidacy.

Each three-member committee will include the student’s major research supervisor and two additional JDP faculty members. Both Universities must be represented on the Guidance Committee and at least one member must be a clinically trained psychologist.  Student requests to have certain faculty members serve on their guidance committees will receive consideration from the Program Co-Directors, who will make the final determination regarding each committee’s membership.  Typically, a student’s mentor will serve as both guidance committee and dissertation chair; if for some reason a dissertation chair is selected who is not a member of the guidance committee, he/she will automatically be added to the guidance committee.  Any other committee changes will be made by the Directors as necessary.  Students desiring to make changes in their committees need to petition the Directors by submitting a formal written request to change the committee.

The procedure to appoint and/or to change/replace a Guidance Committee member is as follows:

  1. Discuss the intended appointment or change with all parties involved; if the desired outcome is to replace a member of the Committee, this must be discussed with the person being replaced before it can be approved;
  2. Fill out the JDP Guidance Committee Form; if the outcome is to replace a member of the Committee, a reason for this request must be provided;
  3. Obtain signatures of all parties involved;
  4. Obtain approval from the Co-Directors for the Guidance Committee changes and,
  5. If a student has already advanced to candidacy and then wants to make a change, the student must have the UC San Diego Co-Director’s signature on the Spring Evaluation form prior to submitting it the graduate coordinator in the UC San Diego JDP office.

Until a Guidance Committee has been formally established, the Program Co-Directors, and the student’s major research supervisor will serve as an ad hoc Guidance Committee should any issues need to be discussed or resolved.



The Guidance Committee meets with a student a minimum of once a year to evaluate his/her progress. The committee also meets at any time when the student, a committee member, or the Co-Directors or Steering Committee requests a meeting. At the end of each academic year, each guidance committee must have a formal meeting to assess the student’s progress. Students should organize and coordinate these meetings in a timely fashion to meet the UC San Diego deadline, which is generally the Friday before Spring Quarter ends. Students should refer to the Spring Student Evaluation webpage (under Student Handbook/JDP Forms) for the most up-to-date evaluation procedure. Students should contact their committees to conduct the meeting sufficiently early to ensure that UC San Diego registration is not blocked because of failure to file the spring evaluation form with the Graduate Division.

In addition to the annual Guidance Committee review of progress, all first and second year students are evaluated by faculty mentors, course instructors, and (where appropriate) clinical supervisors in the late spring of each academic year. All areas of the student’s work are discussed including coursework, research, and practica. The student is informed in writing if everything is proceeding appropriately or if there are areas that need improvement.