Program Evaluation and Improvement
The counseling programs at Columbus State University strive to prepare professional counselors who through their training, have the knowledge and experience necessary to be effective contributors to the counseling profession. Faculty members, with many years of practice, research and training, are contributing members of professional counseling organizations and provide direct training and supervision to students. The faculty's primary objective is to serve the students in the program and prepare them to be effective counselors in a variety of settings and to achieve their professional goals. Through a variety of learning experiences, including coursework, lectures, experiential activities and direct counseling experiences through practicum and internships under supervision, students reach these goals. The program serves a diverse student population. The counseling faculty works closely with students to provide the tools necessary to construct a professional counseling identity.
Comprehensive Assessment Plan
In addition, faculty work to insure quality teaching and clinical support for all entering the program. In order to achieve this mission, the program is evaluated on a systematic and continuing basis.
This continuous and systematic student learning and performance process is modified as new data are evaluated. This process also includes clinical assessment of applied skill in the counseling discipline. The following illustration shows the process of continuous and systematic student learning and performance that is in turn tied to program and accreditation objectives. This graphic shows this process.
Each graduate student is assessed on a continual basis throughout the program. Faculty advisers meet with students on a regular basis to discuss the student’s academic and professional development throughout the term of their academic career.
Program Evaluation Results
The following information is a result of the latest program evaluation from stakeholders, supervisors, students and graduates:
In general, the data from all sources (alumni, students, teaching evaluations, Portfolio/Exit Exam, site supervisors) reveal positive results. The Counseling program appears to meet the needs of the students and the community by training well-prepared and culturally competent counselors. However, as counselor educators we strive to continually improve our program and the following recommendations are based on the assessment data we have reviewed:
Most recent survey of program quality:
List of Recommendations for Improving Program Quality
Though the program quality is very strong, we continue to look for ways to make improvements. Current initiatives include:
• The professional counseling faculty should continue to meet on a regular basis to review program issues and make recommendations for improving program quality.
• Implementation of LiveText as an assessment tool for alignment of course objectives and accreditation standards for strategic counseling courses and supervision assessments.
• The program faculty should continue to assess students in both formative and summative staffing evaluations for each student in the program each semester. Students receive assessment data from the faculty in written form.
• Implementation of an exit interview process aligned with the College plan.
• Consideration for practicum and internship forms input to become online documents once security can be assured.
• Informal discussions by faculty, including collaboration regarding teaching techniques and approaches are conducted and faculty make use of the video production facility for producing in class and online supplemental video.
• Faculty provide opportunities for students to engage in research activities leading to publications and presentations at regional and national conferences.
List of Recommendations for Improving Program Productivity
The faculty works to improve the curriculum, courses, and resources offered to students. Recommendations to improve program productivity are:
• Continue to monitor Student Results on the National Counselor Examination and the CMHC exam. Results are provided to the faculty of students taking this examination twice yearly. It compares our student results with other CACREP programs and provides a breakdown of core areas designed into our curriculum.
• Continue to maintain close working relationships and partnerships in the community with those who provide additional supervision and training for our students during practicum and internship.
• Continue recruiting initiatives to increase the numbers of students in the program. Market the graduate/undergraduate introduction to professional counseling course for all majors at CSU.
• Continue to maintain and further develop the program website as a source for information for new and current students. And to move all forms and other sources of information to an easily downloaded and accessible site.