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College of Education

Accreditation

Consistent with the 2016 CACREP Standards regarding data-driven program evaluation and modification, the Counselor Education program has designated four key sources of outcome data for consideration. These sources are distinct from evaluation of the program’s pedagogy which are assessed via measurement of student learning outcomes based on course content evaluation rubrics.

Program Objectives

The Ed.S. program in Counselor Education is designed to prepare practitioners in generic counseling competencies, and especially the knowledge and skills needed for proficiency in school counseling, MCFC, or CMHC. The program adheres to the standards of professional preparation as outlined by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP, 2016). Specifically, student development through the program integrates knowledge and skill in eight areas: (a) Human Growth and Development, (b) Social and Cultural Foundations, (c) Helping Relationships, (d) Group Work, (e) Lifestyle and Career Development, (f) Appraisal, (g) Research, and (h) Professional Orientation. This academic work is supported by two clinical experiences: the 100-hour counseling practicum and the 600-hour counseling internship. Ongoing program revision will ensure compliance with the newly published CACREP standards. The following program objectives direct curriculum development and delivery as the program seeks to:

  1. Develop the knowledge of counseling theories and the respective skills and techniques, and their application in counseling relationships with individuals, couples, families, and groups within a variety of practice settings and contexts in a multicultural society.
  2. Develop the knowledge and skills to interpret the results of clinical assessments, evaluate professional research, and apply to counseling practice.
  3. Develop a counselor professional identity, adhere to ethical counseling practice, and promote social justice, advocacy, and wellness.
  4. Develop knowledge of social and cultural diversity, advocacy, human growth and development, career development, and group work, and to apply this knowledge to the counseling process.

 

AY 2020-2021 Systematic Program Evaluation Summary

 

Introduction

The context of this report must begin in the acknowledgement of the tumult generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its effect in early spring, 2020 caused academic institutions to adapt rapidly to the worsening public health crisis and challenged counselor education programs to continue to ensure high-quality, standard-consistent training in light of college and clinical site closures, quarantine protocols, and the rapid implementation of virtual learning. Those adaptations interfered with standing protocols of data collection and so sections of this report may appear lacking in comparison to past documents. This condition carried over through most of AY 20-21.

Consistent with the 2016 CACREP Standards regarding data-driven program evaluation and modification, the Counselor Education program has designated four key sources of outcome data for consideration. These sources are distinct from evaluation of the program’s pedagogy which are assessed via measurement of student learning outcomes based on course content evaluation rubrics.

This data reflects student performance and feedback after completing the program, the input from which will be used to guide program practice and policy. Each section will integrate data for each program, providing indications of program strength and areas for enhancement, followed if appropriate by the intended program modifications. For the purposes of this report, the utilized sources of data include:

  • Counselor Education Program Alumni Surveys sent to graduates of each program (School Counseling, MCFC, CMHC (2021) & Ph.D.) by the Program in the spring of each year
  • Input from Advisory Boards and program employers
  • S. student performances on the National Counseling Exam (NCE); and,
  • S. student performances on the Praxis School Counseling Exam

 

Feedback on the Ed.S. Programs

For this reporting period, the Program received feedback from:

  • 9 out of 10 School Counseling graduates (90%),
  • 3 out of 10 CMHC program completers (30%), and
  • 0 out of 4 MCFC graduates (0%).

 

School Counseling Program

Based on the quantitative data, “strength” was a topic in which at least 80%, or 7 out of 9 respondents, rated the experience as “strongly agree:”

Strengths to itemized questions:

  • UofSC’s Ed.S. program in School Counseling asset is the academic competence of the faculty
  • In general, the quality of the teaching was high
  • In general, the faculty members were very well prepared for class
  • The grading system was fair
  • Ethical standards were continually taught and maintained by faculty and supervisors

Strengths based on write-in comments:

  • Knowledge, clinical experience, and care of the faculty (3)
  • Intentionality of class assignments
  • Readiness for the LPC exam and Praxis (2)

Areas for enhancement

  • Preparation for job hunting, interviewing etc.

Comments on Specific Faculty or Courses:

  • Positive feedback for Drs. Crews, Limberg, and Ohrt

Based on the quantitative data, “area for enhancement” was a topic in which 80%, or 11/14, rated the experience as “strongly disagree:” Based on the feedback gathered for this reporting period, there were no such topics or areas of concern.

 

Marriage Counseling and Family Counseling Program

Given the logistical challenges identified in the 2019 report in terms of collecting data, during spring of 2021, the alumni surveys were virtually distributed during the group supervision in EDCE 805F: Internship in MCFC. Three (3) full-class reminders failed to generate any completed surveys.

Based on the quantitative data, “strength” was a topic in which at least 80%, or 3 out of 4, respondents, rated the experience as “strongly agree:”

Strengths via itemized questions: n/a

Strengths based on write-in: n/a

Areas for enhancement: n/at

Comments on Specific Faculty or Courses: None

Recommendations: None

 

Clinical Mental Health Program

Once again, given the logistical challenges identified in the 2019 report in terms of collecting data, during spring of 2021, the alumni surveys were distributed and collected during the group supervision in EDCE 804: Internship in CMHC to ensure total distribution and collection, and three reminders resulting in a response rate of  only 3 out of  10 (30%) of graduates. Given the low response rate, any collected data could not be assumed to be representative of the perceptions of this cohort.

Based on the quantitative data, “strength” was a topic in which at least 80%, respondents, rated the experience as “strongly agree:”

Strengths via itemized questions: n/a

Strengths based on write-in: n/a

Areas for enhancement: n/at

Comments on Specific Faculty or Courses: none

Recommendations: None

As a synthesis of the feedback from Ed.S. graduates, across the three programs, their perceptions of the core faculty and the quality of their education and clinical preparation can best be described as “incomplete.” The program faculty are confronted with identifying and implementing a mode of data collection that may return response rates to levels equal to or above that of 2019.

It may be anticipated that the return to face-to-face internship classes during spring, 2022 semester might increase the distribution & collection of the graduating surveys to a representative level. Once collected that data could then offer valuable perspectives on programs strengths and areas for potential modifications.

Advisory Board Input

The program arranged a virtual advisory board meeting, inviting representatives of all 3 Ed.S. programs meeting initially and then divided by area of specialization. However, only representatives from the School Counseling program participated.

Specific to the School Counseling program:

Participants: Zan Pender; Trina Offing (School Counselors) ;

Joseph Howell (Ph.D. student);

Dodie Limberg; Jonathan Ohrt (faculty)

Areas for enhancement

  • Enhance training related to:
    • Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, SEL
    • Self-care for counselors

 

Program Modifications as a result of the advisory board input:

Given the specificity of feedback unique to the School Counseling, the Program faculty will await input from representatives of the CMHC and MCFC track to determine whether the feedback is common to students in all 3 tracks, implying a  justification for program modifications in courses required of all Ed.S. students, or requires program modification within the School Counseling program. Such data is intended to be gained through convening advisory board meetings in the spring, 2022 semester.

 

Ed.S. student performances on the National Counseling Exam

This data was to be based on the reports of student performances on the fall, 2021 and spring, 2021National Counseling Exam (NCE). On the spring, 2021 testing the data to be reported is based on 4 MCFC students, and the fall data is based on the performances of 7 CMHC students, and 1 School Counseling students who sat for the exam. Out of those MCFC students, 3 out of 4 students (75%) passed the exam, among CMHC students 7/7 students (100%) successfully completed the exam, and the single School Counseling student successfully completed the NCE.

 

Performances of 4 MCFC Students on National Counseling Exam, Spring, 2021

CACREP Areas Mean Results (% correct) Items
Professional Orientation & Ethical Practice 13 (72%) 18
Human Growth & Development 7 (70%) 10
Social & Cultural Diversity 6 (67%) 9
Helping Relationships 30 (73%) 41
Group Work 24 (75%) 32
Career Development 12 (67%) 18
Assessment 21 (84%) 25
Research & Program Evaluation 6 ((86%) 7
Total 120 (75%) 160

 

Performances of 7 CMHC Students on National Counseling Exam, Fall, 2021

CACREP Areas Mean Results (% correct) Items
Professional Orientation & Ethical Practice 10 (83%) 12
Human Growth & Development 10 (83%) 12
Social & Cultural Diversity 4 (67%) 6
Helping Relationships 35 (76%) 46
Group Work 21 (75%) 28
Career Development 10 (56%) 18
Assessment 18 (69%) 26
Research & Program Evaluation 9 (75%) 12
Total 118 (74%) 160

 

Performances of School Counseling Students on National Counseling Exam

With scores from only 1 student, this table was not completed for this report.

CACREP Areas Mean Results (% correct) Items
Professional Orientation & Ethical Practice    
Human Growth & Development    
Social & Cultural Diversity    
Helping Relationships    
Group Work    
Career Development    
Assessment    
Research & Program Evaluation    
Total    

 

It can be surmised that the 2021 UofSC results confirm the efficacy and effectiveness of the program’s pedagogy and learning experiences across all 8 CACREP core curricular areas. While the minimum national passing grade was 96/160 (60%), on average the MCFC students scored 120/160 (75%), CMHC students scored 118/160 (74%) so, as a total score, all students in each specialization exceeded that minimum pass mark.

In addition, with a national passing mark of 96/160, or 60%, a comparison between that cut-off score and core area performances could indicate any specific content area in which student performances did not meet or exceed that mark. Based on this data, in all 8 of 8 curricular domains, student performance exceeded the 60% minimum criteria and serves to support the efficacy of the current pedagogical practices specific to the UofSC Counselor Education curriculum.

 

Ed.S. student performances on the Praxis School Counseling Exam

The source for this data is the office of the Graduate Director, College of Education. The data to be reported is based on 9 students who sat for the Praxis  exam in spring, 2021 All 9 students (100%) passed the exam with an average score of 175 as compared to the minimum criteria of 156. Once again, these scores can be viewed as confirmation of the efficacy and effectiveness of the program’s pedagogy and learning experiences for the School Counseling students.

 

Feedback on the Ph.D. Program

Of the 6 students who completed the Ph.D. program, feedback was received from none. This result is puzzling as the same data distribution system, which proved so successful in past years was replicated but this year generated no student responses. The program will need to reconsider the distribution and collection process once again to return to the 100% return rate of the 2017 report.

 

Demographic Program Outcomes 2020-2021

Outcomes Reporting School Counseling Ed.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling Ed.S.
Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling Ed.S. Counselor Education and Supervision Ph.D.
Graduates  12 4 46 65
Credentialing Examination Pass Rates  100 100 n/a  n/a
Completion Rate  100 100 100 90
Job Placement Rate  100 100 100  100

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