An international student filed suit against Idaho State University Sept. 16, alleging he was dismissed from the school's clinical psychology Ph.D. program based on his national origin then denied him due process, Inside Higher Ed reports.
Chinese international student Jun Yu was a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at ISU when, in May 2013, the school dismissed him from the program. Yu had been pulled from a non-required externship and a required internship after his supervisors complained his communication skills were inadequate.
One supervisor, John Landers of the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, wrote that Yu "is unable to grasp the communication nuances that are required to build rapport with difficult patients, administer standardized tests with difficult patients."
Another supervisor, at the Center for Autism in Cleveland, echoed concerns about Yu's ability to establish rapport with patients, writing "level of remedial [English language] work required is beyond the scope of this placement."
According to Yu's complaint against ISU, the supervisors who gave him negative reviews were not "culturally competent and specifically competent to supervise an international student whose cultural-linguistic background was different from theirs." It also points out that Yu maintained a 3.69 grade point average in his coursework at ISU and evaluations of his progress there had been satisfactory until the intern- and externship debacle.
"All he had to do was complete one practicum," Yu's attorney, Ronaldo Coulter, told Inside Higher Ed. "Look at it this way—you went through four years of school, you only have one more class to complete, and you're done. That's where [Yu] was at."