Assessment Process

Assessment of student and program outcomes occurs through a variety of formative and summative assessments. This report documents data collected at various target points from fall 2009 through Spring 2013. Whereas the report is not inclusive, it provides evidence of the program’s progress toward a comprehensive assessment plan. The assessment plan includes a student assessment and program evaluation process.


The following assessment process relies on various target points throughout students’ program of study for assessment measures:


Application File (GPA, MAT, References, Essay); Admission Interview (Dispositions)

  • Application File. The Professional Counseling Department admits graduate students annually. Completed applications are due by January 15 to the Office of Graduate Studies for consideration for summer admission. Application materials include the on-line application; application fee, application supplement, COEHS disclosure form, two letters of reference and the reference form, Miller Analogies Test (MAT) (no specific cut-off score currently), official undergraduate transcripts, and current resume.


    • Two of the department faculty reviews each application file using the Admission Application Criteria Rubric. The application review is holistic in nature and does not place specific weight on any of the criteria list. For example, an applicant with a lower GPA that also scored well on the MAT, presented an in-depth, reflective supplement, and provided strong references letters would most likely earn an invitation to the on-campus interviews. However, if two or more criteria do not meet the minimum requirements for admission, the application file could be denied. After all applications are scored, the program faculty invites selected applicants to an on-campus interview process. In the case when faculty is divided on approval of an application, a third program faculty reviews the file.


  • Admission Interviews. The on-campus interview process involves individual and group interviews, and an orientation to the program. Each program faculty scores each applicant using the Disposition Scoring Rubric. Scores are averaged and the faculty meets to discuss each applicant, their respective scores, and overall appropriateness and readiness for the program and graduate studies. Each applicant receives an official letter from the Office of Graduate Studies regarding the admission decision. Applicants that are not invited to enroll in the program are provided specific feedback to inform their future applications and graduate study endeavors.

ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY. Academic Review, Skill Review, Site Supervisor Evaluations, Disposition Review, Portfolio Review

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Admission to Candidacy is a comprehensive student assessment that includes a formal review of each student’s academic performance, skill development, professional counselor dispositions, and program portfolio. Students are eligible to apply for Admission to Candidacy after having successfully completed 15-21 program credits, while enrolled in 794 Counseling Practicum. Students must earn Admission to Candidacy in full standing before enrolling in 797 Counseling Internship I. In addition, students must satisfy the Office of Graduate Studies requirements for Admission to Candidacy, stated in the first section of the Graduate Studies Bulletin.

Beginning in Summer 2014, students will apply for Admission to Candidacy when enrolled in 794 Counseling Practicum. The application includes academic, skill, disposition, and portfolio data. The program faculty will review each application using the Admission to Candidacy Scoring Rubric. The faculty meets as a group to review the application data, and discuss students’ progress in the program and readiness as an intern. Students that earn Admission to Candidacy receive a formal letter of acceptance from the Department of Professional Counseling and the Office of Graduate Studies. Students that do not earn Admission to Candidacy for various reasons either participate in a remediation plan or are counseled into other academic programs and opportunities.

  • Academic Review. Students applying for Admission to Candidacy are expected to meet the Office of Graduate Studies academic requirements, and have completed 15-21 credits, which must include 700 Professional Identity and Ethics (3 credits), 788 Social and Cultural Foundations (3 credits), 702 Counseling Process (3 credits) with a grade of 3.0 (B) or higher, and 731 Group Counseling Process (3 credits) with a grade of 3.0 (B) or higher.


  • Skill Review. Skill data is gathered using modified, developmentally-appropriate versions of the Counseling Skills Scale (CSS) in 702 Counseling Process, 731 Group Counseling Process, and 794 Counseling Practicum. Site supervisor evaluations are also included to 794 Counseling Practicum to assess skill development and readiness for internship. 


  • Disposition Review. Disposition data is gathered from each program faculty that has had the student in a course using the Disposition Review Rubric. Site supervisors also assess dispositions in 794 Counseling Practicum, and 797 & 798 Counseling Internship I & II.


  • Portfolio Review. Program faculty will conduct a mid-program portfolio review at Admission to Candidacy using the Portfolio Review Rubric.

* Program faculty will meet each mid-semester to review student progress. Students may be reviewed more frequently, as needed. During the review, assessment of student academic progress, dispositions, skill development, and transition through the program is discussed. Students identified as not making satisfactory progress due to academic, dispositional, and/or skill concerns meet with faculty to develop an appropriate remediation plan.


Academic Review, Site Supervisor Evaluations, Portfolio Review, Disposition Review, Standardized Exams (CPCE, PRAXIS II, NCE)

  • Academic Review. The Office of Graduate Studies conducts a transcript and program review during students’ final semester in the program. 
  • Skill Review. Site supervisors conduct a skill evaluation of interns during Internship I or II using a modified version of the CSS and internship evaluation form. 
  • Portfolio Review. Program faculty will conduct a final portfolio review at the end of students’ final semester of the program using the Portfolio Review Rubric. 
  • Standardized Exams. All students sit for the Comprehensive Professional Counseling Exam (CPCE)* during Internship I, or their final semester in the program, as needed. Clinical Mental Health Counseling students seeking licensure sit for the NCE the semester before graduation. School Counseling students generally sit for the PRAXIS II exam during their final two semesters in the program. 

* The program implemented the CPCE in Fall 2009 without an official cut-off score. After gathering data on the exam for three years, the program voted to implement a cut-off score of 1.5 standard deviation from the national mean beginning Summer 2014. At that time, students will sit for the CPCE during Internship I. If students do not pass the CPCE, they will repeat the exam in Internship II. Students that do not pass the exam on the second attempt will not graduate and earn a degree. Students may then appeal to the faculty to sit for the exam a third time.


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The program evaluation process relies on the following program data:
Admissions: Admission Files (GPA, MAT, References, Essay); Admission Interviews (Dispositions)
Admission to Candidacy: Academic Data, Skill Data, Practicum Site Supervisor Data, Disposition Data, Portfolio Data
Program Completion: Academic Data, Internship Site Supervisor Data, Portfolio Data, Disposition, Standardized Exams (CPCE, PRAXIS II, NCE), Graduate Student Exit Survey Data
Stakeholders: Student/Intern Evaluation of Site Supervisors, Employers Surveys, Alumni Surveys, Faculty Self-Assessments

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