AND PROGRAM OUTCOMES
The mission of the Department of Counselor Education is to develop counselors who have professional identities as reflective and ethical practitioners. This mission will be achieved through attainment of the following goals. The Department of Counselor Education is committed to:
- Providing students with highly effective pedagogical strategies in their development as competent and skilled practitioners.
- Guiding students in the development of awareness: of self, of others, and of the systems in which they exist.
- Providing students with educational opportunities to develop diversity competence, including the skills, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and cultural sensitivity necessary to do so.
- Developing practitioners who view clients holistically, incorporate a wellness perspective, and empower clients to become change agents for themselves and others.
- Preparing and empowering students to advocate for themselves, for their clients, and for the counseling profession.
The mission and goals of the Department of Counselor Education are met through the following program objectives, and are directly related to the Department’s Mission and Goals:
- students will demonstrate knowledge of ethical standards of professional counseling organizations/credentialing bodies and applications of ethical/legal considerations in professional counseling
- students will understand the impact of heritage, attitudes, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences on an individual's views of others
- students will understand the systemic and environmental factors that affect human development, functioning, and behavior
- students will demonstrate knowledge of theories and models of career development, counseling, and decision-making
- students will skillfully apply essential interviewing, counseling, and case conceptualization skills
- students will understand the dynamics associated with group process and development
- students will know and implement methods of effectively preparing for and conducting initial assessment meetings
- students will understand the importance of research in advancing the counseling professions, including how to critique research to inform counseling practice
- Clinical Mental Health Students will demonstrate understanding of techniques and interventions for prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues
- School Counseling students will understand how to use data to advocate for programs and students
The Department of Counselor Education train candidates to meet the unit outcomes and standards of the following accrediting boards, state, and national bodies:
- WCU's Conceptual Framework to meet the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)is the nation's premiere professional certification board devoted to credentialing counselors who meet standards for the general and specialty practices of professional counseling.
- Pennsylvania Department of Education
- Academic Foundations, Performance, and Professionalism standards for Secondary School Counseling.
- Academic Foundations, Performance, and Professionalism standards for Elementary School Counseling.
- The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)is an independent agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit master's degree programs in school counseling.
Student Learning Outcomes for the Program
Learning outcomes for our program are grounded in CACREP accreditation standards in which students must demonstrate knowledge and understanding in eight core areas and skill in applying the knowledge and understanding in school/university based service delivery. The eight core areas are:
- Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice
Studies that provide an understanding of all of the following aspects of professional functioning
- Social and Cultural Diversity
Studies that provide an understanding of the cultural context of relationships, issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society related to such factors as culture, ethnicity, race, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, religious, and spiritual values, socioeconomic status and unique characteristics of individuals, couples, families, ethnic groups, and communities
- Human Growth and Development
Studies that provide an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels
- Career Development
Studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life factors
- Helping Relationships
Studies that provide an understanding of the counseling process in various contexts and with different populations
- Group Work
Studies that provide both theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches
Studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation
- Research and Program Evaluation
Studies that provide an understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation
Department Assessment Report
The Department Assessment Report can be found at this link: 2022-2023 Annual Evaluation
West Chester University offers a CACREP accredited program in School Counseling. Last year, there were 37 graduates of West Chester University’s School Counseling program. Our graduates consistently achieve high pass rates on the Praxis II examination required for school counseling certification in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The pass rate for graduates taking the Praxis II examination last year was 100%. Of the admitted students, 86% graduate from the program in the expected time period and 88% of those program graduates responding to surveys who are actively seeking jobs are employed six months after graduation.
In addition, WCU offers a CACREP-accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. In the last year that a cohort graduated, there were 17 graduates of the program. Of the admitted students, 89% graduate from the program in the expected time period and 89% of those graduates who are actively seeking jobs are employed one month after graduation. All 100% of the students who took the National Counselor Examination passed the exam.