Counseling (CNS)

The Counseling Department offers graduate degrees, career exploration courses, and an undergraduate minor in health and human services.

Learning Outcomes for Students Earning the MA in School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

The MA in Counseling is accredited by CACREP, the Counseling profession’s accreditation organization . The following learning outcomes are consistent with the CACREP requirements.

Acquire knowledge and skills to practice effectively and ethically:

  1. Educate students to be highly skilled and competent counselors first and counseling specialists second.
  2. Ensure excellence in curricular experiences in all eight common core areas of CACREP: professional orientation and ethical practice, social & cultural diversity, human growth & development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment and research & program evaluation.
  3. Transmit currency and diversity in the presentation of theoretical approaches so that students might begin to develop personal models of counseling and consultation.
  4. Teach the use of technology to obtain, evaluate and present data to enhance and inform the practice of professional counseling.
  5. Seek to encourage habits of minds that ask “why” that evaluate evidence are open to new ideas, that attempt to understand and appreciate the perspectives of others, that accept complexity and grapple with it, that admit error, and that pursue truth.
  6. Instill an understanding of ethical and legal issues in counseling and a commitment to practicing within those parameters.
  7. Prepare students to work the most effectively with diverse populations.

Value professional diligence and life-long learning:

  1. Understand the necessity of practicing ethically, staying current, and using an evidence-based conceptual framework for work with clients.
  2. Develop an awareness of the need for life-long learning and the value of continuing to seek opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Excel as community leaders, advocates and practitioners:

  1. Encourage students to become actively involved in professional organizations such as ACA (American Counseling Association, NCCA (North Carolina Counseling Association) and Chi Sigma Iota.
  2. Illustrate by faculty example the importance of leadership in professional organizations and in school and community settings and in crisis situations.

Possess a deep awareness of themselves and of their impact on others:

  1. Remain small in size in order to function as a community of learners in a cohort environment with collegial relationships between faculty and students.
  2. Enable students to develop their fullest potential through a transformation process that challenges the student intellectually, emotionally and professionally.
  3. Promote personal growth by providing experiences that encourage self-examination and an openness to the perspectives of others.
  4. Emphasize the appreciation and celebration of the similarities and differences of others.

Commit to the compassionate service of humanity and foster the well-being of people at the local, state, national and international level:

  1. Produce counselors who believe in the potential and worth of all human individuals and who are committed to removing barriers that impede those potentials.
  2. Teach the importance of advocacy, social responsibility and the rejection of hatred and bigotry in any form.

Learning Outcomes for Students Earning a minor in Health and Human Services.

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Graduate students are assessed by faculty members each semester in individual classes in regard to the above areas. Assessments are stated explicitly in course syllabi. To maintain CACREP accreditation, the department tracks student assessment using the software LiveTask, which is populated with CACREP standards and some rubrics specific to the types of assignments that are used to demonstrate student outcomes in a specific standard. If there are deficiencies they are immediately addressed. The software allows the Department to track students’ progress across courses so that it can monitor the objectives for the program and each course.

Furthermore, students must take and pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam, a national test of counseling knowledge administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors as a final comprehensive test.

Also graduate students take the National Counselor Exam, an optional test for state licensure, at the end of their program. No student has failed either test in the history of the program and usually aggregate test score averages are a standard deviation above the national norm.