GRADUATE STUDIES IN COUNSELING
CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT OF PROGRAMS AND OUTCOME REPORTS
The Graduate Studies in Counseling (GSC) program engages in a systematic evaluation of its two primary program offerings: Professional School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. One purpose of this evaluation is to determine to what extent our students master counselor competencies as identified by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP). We assess the growth and development of our students' knowledge, skills and demeanor in four stages: Program Entry, Progression through Training, Clinical Field Experience, and Transition into the Profession. Our continuous assessment system utilizes multiple measures including student work samples, examinations, Key Learning Objectives Assessment (KLOA), professor and site supervisor ratings, self-assessments, and other evaluations. To review an outline of our Continuous Assessment System, click here. We invite you to examine our outcome and assessment reports contained in the Evaluation Dashboard by clicking the links below.
Stage 1: Program Entry
Graduate Studies in Counseling faculty review a variety of admissions data to determine if an applicant can be successful in graduate level work and has the potential for a career in the helping profession of counseling. For admission, we require:
• Official transcript(s) of undergraduate work
• Background Check
• Interview with MSC faculty
• Statement of Purpose
• Resume of work and service history
• Three references (academic, employment, and personal)
We analyze undergraduate transcripts (GPA & course of study) to determine the applicant’s aptitude for graduate level studies. We conduct an interview to understand the applicant’s motivation to become a professional counselor and experiences with diverse populations. We review the resume and references to learn of the applicant’s commitment to service and work in helping others. A GRE or comparable exam may be requested if additional information is needed to appropriately determine an applicant's potential for graduate studies.
Stage 2: Progression through Training
We offer Masters of Science in Counseling (MSC) degrees in Professional School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In accordance with standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), we measure and report student learning outcomes as students progress through their training. Students in our two entry level programs are assessed on their mastery of counselor competencies that comprise the core standards of CACREP. These include fifty-six (56) standards of the core professional identity in eight dimensions, i.e., professional orientation and ethics, cultural diversity, human development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment, and research.
We adapted the Key Learning Objectives Assessment (KLOA) system to measure each counselor competency. We assign each competency to one of our thirty MSC courses for mastery and assessment. A measurement benchmark of four on a six-point Likert scale is set for each competency and is considered by our program faculty to represent mastery of that particular competency. In addition, a KLOA score of three or higher represents adequate mastery of that particular competency.
Data from our 2018 KLOA system found that students mastered eighty-four percent (84%) of the one hundred ninety-seven KLOA competencies at the four-point threshold. Our goal is that students will master standards at the eighty percent level; results show that we exceeded this program goal.
In 2015, GSC faculty found that some competencies should be more appropriately assigned to other courses for mastery and assessment. We realigned the competencies and found that our students obtained a higher level of mastery.
In addition, we analyzed how our students performed in each of the eight core professional identity dimensions. We present summary reports by semester. Please review this component of our Continuous Assessment System by clicking the links for each core dimension below.
Stage 3: Clinical Field Experience
GSC faculty assess three areas of field experience: Counseling Practicum, Professional School Counseling Internship, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship. The Practicum experience is designed to develop the counseling skills of students by working with live clients in professional settings. The Internship experience places students in work settings appropriate for their training to allow them to develop overall knowledge,skills and disposition appropriate for their specialty field.
Students in clinical field experiences are assessed on their competencies by both their GSC program supervisors and their site supervisors. Program supervisors use the Key Learning Objectives Assessment (KLOA) system to evaluate student mastery of competencies. Site supervisors use Internship and Practicum rating forms provided by the GSC department and are found in the Practicum and Internship Handbooks. For a review of clinical field evaluation reports, please click links below.
3.1: KLOA of Practicum Field Experience
3.2: KLOA of PSC Internship Field Experience
3.3: KLOA of CMHC Field Experience
3.4: Practicum Ratings by Supervisors
3.5: PSC Intern Ratings by Site Supervisors
3.6: CMHC Intern Ratings by Site Supervisors
Stage 4: Transition into the Profession
GSC faculty compile evaluation data on students as they near the end of their training and after their graduation. Comprehensive Examination, Self-assessment, Professional Evaluation provide data of student readiness to enter the field of professional counseling. Surveys of graduates and their employers offer program faculty an analysis of the GSC training our students receive. To review summary reports of these multiple assessments, click links below.