Graduate Studies in Counseling
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Science in Counseling degree, students in each area of specialty are required to earn a passing score on the GSC Program Comprehensive Examination. The Comp Exam is administered during the last semester of the student’s training.
The Comp Exam challenges students to apply the scope and breath of their training to hypothetical case studies that reflect issues counselors typically face in practice. Student performance is evaluated using a rubric, which consists of five criteria: theoretical understanding, evidence-based application, resourcefulness of methods, awareness of diversity issues and clear writing style. Baseline for a passing score is 70 points out of 100.
Each year GSC faculty analyze student performance on Comp Exams to identify program strengths and areas for improvement. During 2018-19 eighteen (18) students participated in comprehensive examinations. The results indicate the following:
• Students displayed more than adequate theoretical understanding with an 86.3% average.
• Students indicate appropriate level of evidence-based interventions with an 87.6% average.
• Student demonstrated sufficient resourcefulness in counseling methods with an 86.8% average.
• Students exhibited appropriate professional writing style with an 84.0% average.
• Students reveal a slight need for increased awareness of issues facing diverse populations with an 86.2% average.
IMPLICATIONS: Faculty might consider exploring ways to expand learning opportunities that increase multicultural and social justice competencies among GSC students. We have noticed a rise in diversity scores on Comp Exam since we designed a core course called COUN 550: Holistic Counseling in a Diverse World. However, like many counselor training programs, more should be done in this area of counselor education.