The Counseling Division faculty comprehensively reviewed the M.A. Counseling program over the past three years in preparation for application to the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for accreditation.
The anticipated self-study submission date is early fall 2018. The following components were included in the review:
- Analysis of full-time faculty teaching load and overload.
- Pursuit of fourth M.A. Counseling faculty hire for the 2019-20 academic year.
- Research and comparison regarding the title of the M.A. Counseling program in relation to other similar programs at other institutions.
- There is variation in the titles of counseling degree programs, but many schools are still utilizing the M.A. Counseling title.
- The decision was made to retain the M.A. Counseling title for the degree program.
- Review of the M.A. Counseling Student Learning Outcomes Curricular Map.
- Developed new key performance indicators (KPIs) and professional dispositions to be used for assessment measures.
- Added the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) as an assessment measure in COU-785: Internship II.
- Assessed curricular requirements in relation to CACREP and state licensure alignment.
- Added COU-662: Human Growth and Development to the core program requirements.
- Removed COU-521: Marriage and Family Counseling from the core program requirements and moved it to the interdisciplinary specialization.
- Removed the student and family ministries specialization and the small group and discipleship ministries specialization.
- Analysis of the textbooks used for each M.A. Counseling course and consistency among residential and online courses.
- Selected new textbooks for many courses that align with CACREP standards and have been published within the last five years.
- Evaluation of all course student learning outcomes.
- Developed new student learning outcomes for every course and aligned them with CACREP standards.
- Review of all practicum and internship course documents.
- Revised the M.A. Counseling Student Handbook.
- Compiled four different practicum/internship manuals into one comprehensive manual.
- Created new electronic assessment forms for the student evaluation of the site supervisor and site placement, student self-evaluation and site supervisor mid-point and end-point assessment of the student.
- Assessed the needs of site supervisors for orientation and ongoing training.
- Created Site Supervisor Resources Moodle course which includes programmatic information and supervisor educational resources.
- Assessed the needs of adjunct faculty members for orientation and ongoing interaction with core faculty.
- Created Moodle course to provide orientation and programmatic information to adjunct faculty members.
- Engaged in the faculty search process for two new counseling faculty.
- Hired Dr. Jenny Chien and Dr. Kendra Jackson as M.A. Counseling faculty.
Number of Graduates
Cornerstone University (GRTS) graduated 20 students from the M.A. Counseling program in the 2017-18 academic year.
Pass Rates on National Counselor Examination
The pass rate for the NCE as given by the State of Michigan for graduates of Cornerstone University (GRTS) is 100%.
The State of Michigan provides NCE pass rates for any counselor who has a Michigan license (limited or full). The State of Michigan does not track NCE pass rates for those who have never applied for a license.
The National Counselor Examination (NCE) is offered through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). The NBCC does not track pass rates for those that take the NCE; they only track those who take the exam as part of the National Certified Counselor (NCC) process.
Program Completion Rates
The six-year completion rate from 2011-17 for students who began in the M.A. Counseling program and graduated with an M.A. Counseling degree is 55%. Another 9% graduated after the six-year term, 9% are still in progress and 5% graduated with a different degree.
Job Placement Rates
M.A. Counseling alumni surveyed 18 months post-graduation reported a 100% employment rate in 2017. Of the respondents, 60% were employed as counselors and 40% were employed in Christian higher education.
The five-year alumni survey distributed in 2016 for all alumni of the M.A. Counseling program for the past 20 years indicated a 96% employment rate.
Employer Survey Results
In summer 2018, a survey was sent to a sample of known employers of Cornerstone University (GRTS) graduates. The survey was sent to 11 employers; five employers completed the survey. Employers were asked to rank their level of satisfaction in given areas. The following average results were obtained from the five-point scale.
- Role of the Counselor: 4.4
- Interorganizational Consultation: 4.4
- Ethical Standards of the Profession: 4.8
- Social Justice and Advocacy: 4.2
- Multicultural Competency: 4.4
- Human Development Across the Lifespan: 4.2
- Effects of Trauma: 4.2
- Process for Engaging Career Development: 3.8
- Interrelationship Between Work and Other Roles: 4
- Counselor Characteristics Influencing Counseling: 4.4
- Counseling Skills: 4.4
- Treatment Planning: 3.8
- Group Counseling Facilitation: 4
- Utilization of Assessment Tools: 3.6
- Diagnosis: 3.4
- Utilization of Research in the Profession: 4
- Record Keeping and Third Party Reimbursement: 3.4
- DSM V Utilization: 3.6
- Techniques and Interventions for Mental Health Issues: 4.2
Site Supervisor Survey Results
In summer 2018, a survey was sent site supervisors of Cornerstone University (GRTS) M.A. Counseling interns from the past three years. The survey was sent to 24 site supervisors; six site supervisors completed the survey. Site supervisors were asked to rank their level of satisfaction in regards to student competency. The following average results were obtained from the five-point scale.
- Role of the Counselor: 4
- Ethical Standards of the Profession: 4.3
- Multicultural Competency: 3.6
- Human Development Across the Lifespan: 3.8
- Effects of Trauma: 4
- Process for Engaging Career Development: 3.6
- Counseling Skills and Techniques: 3.8
- Treatment Planning: 3.8
- Group Counseling Facilitation: 4.2
- Use of Assessment Tools: 3
- Utilization of Research in the Profession: 3.6
- Record Keeping and Third Party Reimbursement: 3.6
- DSM V Utilization: 3.6
Open-ended comments from the site supervisors regarding the strengths of the program included:
- "Complex and nuanced faith integration into counseling process, foundational humanistic counseling skills and willingness to learn from supervisors and peers."
- "The strength of the M.A. [Counseling] program is the bibliotherapy, spiritual and CBT training."
- "Students are clinically prepared for a variety of clients. They are also eager to learn. Students are also culturally competent."
- "Intentional and disciplined in meeting the mental health needs of the community."
- "The faculty supervisors are very supportive of meeting the needs of the practicum and internship students by lending extensions when necessary."
Alumni Survey Results
Cornerstone University (GRTS) surveys alumni on a five-year cycle. The M.A. Counseling alumni survey was completed in 2016 and included the following highlights for those that responded:
- 96% employment rate.
- 83% have pursued and obtained licensure as an LLPC or LPC.
- 34% had successfully completed the National Counselor Examination.
- 35% have their own private practice.
- 41% are licensed and/or ordained as a minister.
All alumni are also surveyed approximately 18 months post-graduation. The 2017 survey produced the following summary of responses from M.A. Counseling alumni:
- 80% pursued and achieved a limited or full counseling license.
- 100% employment rate.
- On a 1 (not satisfied) to 5 (very satisfied) scale, alumni reported the following averages:
- Faculty Knowledge of Material: 4
- Faculty Advising/Access to Faculty: 4
- Faculty/Student Relationships: 4.2
- Course Availability: 3.8
- Overall Academic Quality: 4.2