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4.5: Graduate Survey Report

Survey of GSC Program Graduates
2019 Summary Results

C-N Graduate Studies in Counseling faculty conducted a survey of Professional School Counseling (PSC) and Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) alumni who graduated since the last survey in 2017 when we received CACREP accreditation. A biennial survey was distributed to thirty-three Graduate Study in Counseling (GSC) graduates that the Department had on file to gather their perceptions of satisfaction and quality of counseling training in terms of preparing them for their respective career fields. Twenty-five out of thirty-three graduates (seventy-five percent) responded to the survey. Feedback was also requested on other areas where improvement to counselor training could be made.

Satisfaction Level: Graduates were asked to share their level of satisfaction with the overall counselor education experience they received at CNU. The survey used a 5-point Likert Rating Scale: (1=very unsatisfied, 2=unsatisfied, 3=neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 4=satisfied, 5=very satisfied, DK=don't know). Summary of satisfaction levels are presented below:
     • Ninety-six percent (24/25) of graduates responding indicate satisfied or very satisfied or Satisfied with the overall quality of experience in GSC programs.
     • Ninety-two percent (23/25) report satisfied or very satisfied with the overall mentorship into the counseling profession provided by GSC faculty.
     • Ninety-six percent (24/25) of GSC graduates say they are Satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of academic advising and feedback they received during training.
     • 100% percent (25/25) of graduates responding to the survey state that they would recommend the C-NU Graduate Studies in Counseling to others considering counseling as a career.

Counselor Competency Rating: Graduates surveyed were ask to rate how well their training prepared them in twenty-seven areas of counselor competencies. Survey respondents used the 5-point Likert Rating Scale described above. We calculated an average rating score for each competency area and then ranked them from highest to lowest scores. A summary of the survey results is presented below:
     • Counseling Ethics (5.0 avg.), Counseling Children (4.9 avg), Case Conceptualization & Treatment (4.9 avg.), and Reflective Practice (4.9 avg.) were the competency areas that GSC graduates rated the highest.
     • Group Counseling Skills (4.8 avg.), Addiction Disorders (4.8 avg.), Understanding Marginalized Populations (4.8 avg.), Client Assessment & Diagnosis (4.8 avg.) Consultation Skills (4.8 avg.) and Use of Research to Inform Practice (4.8 avg.) received high marks from GSC graduates.
     • Crisis Counseling (4.3 avg.), Technology Skills (4.5 avg.) and Self-care (4.5 avg.) received the lowest ratings.

Additional Comments: Graduates surveyed provided additional comments and messages to GSC faculty. Building confidence and listening effectively, establishing genuine and caring relationships with clients, and attending to clients were often mentioned by graduates as skills they most appreciate receiving during their training at CNU. Graduates mentioned that they wish they had received more information about the mental health job market and the professional licensure process.

Summary: Graduates report high satisfaction with the overall counseling training they received at Carson-Newman University and are highly likely to recommend CNU to others considering a career in counseling. Specifically, they report receiving quality training in most of the counseling competencies required to be effective and successful as a professional counselor, in either an agency, community, or school setting.

Implications: Counseling graduates offered many high ratings and positive comments to the GSC faculty. We are pleased to hear how well our graduates are performing in their respective careers. As one graduate commented, “I was appointed to my school’s Leadership team after my first year as a school counselor.”

We also recognize areas where we need to provide more training and mentorship, for example in the areas of self-care and counseling technology. We recently placed the crisis counseling course in the required offerings for all counseling students. We also enhanced the course content by including school crisis subject matter. We believe this will address concerns about crisis counseling by past graduates.

College Rankings Best Baccalaureate College 2015 Yellow Ribbon Participating School