Music Therapy Faculty Perspectives on Grading Processes for Undergraduate Practica

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Administration


Department of Educational Administration


Susan Gardstrom


The purpose of this study was to explore how music therapy faculty navigate the evaluation of undergraduate practica students by reviewing various processes of evaluation along with faculty members' self-reported experiences of evaluating practica students. I addressed the research questions through descriptive phenomenological methodology, and collected data via semi-structured interviews with nine music therapy faculty members. In an effort to include diverse perspectives, I recruited participants who represented six of the seven American Music Therapy Association geographic regions, a wide range of years of supervisory experience, and a variety of academic and administrative roles within programs. Interview transcripts were carefully reviewed to summarize and describe evaluation processes. I employed thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2021) to generate findings regarding participants' lived experiences of the practica evaluation process. At the conclusion of analysis, I generated four themes: evaluators experience various tensions related to the evaluation process, evaluators experience moments of satisfaction related to evaluation, evaluators have a propensity for evolving evaluation processes, and evaluators strive to "do right" by students.


Department of Educational Administration., music therapy, education and training, experiential learning, evaluation, assessment

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