Annual Program Evaluation Report
Master Student Population: Race/Ethnicity
Master Student Population: Gender
During the 2015-2016 academic year, fifty-eight students graduated from our program
Completion Rate: 70%
Certification Examination: N/A
Job Placement Rate: 79% [N=19]
In an Exit Survey given by the School of Education, school counseling graduates were asked to comment on knowledge, skills and dispositions that align with The School of Education Conceptual Framework. Forty recent graduates completed the survey. Of the 40 graduates, 85% self-identified as White, 7.5% as Black or African American and 2.5% as Asian. Five percent of graduates declined to identify. Eighty percent of the respondents were female. Results of the survey are found in the table below:
Steeped in Jesuit values, our school counseling program’s mission includes social justice as a core value. In reviewing the Exit survey results, respondents agreed more strongly to statements about the way our program prepared them with the knowledge and skills to be competent school counselors. Additionally, respondents felt strongly that our program prepared them to practice ethically and be a reflective practitioner. Students felt there were less opportunities for them to develop an understanding around social inequities and to act on issues of inequity. As a result, school counseling faculty collaborate more closely with The School of Education’s Center for Innovation in Urban Education [CIUE]. The CIUE is committed to community engagement and professional development. During the 2016-2017 academic year, school counseling faculty will inform school counseling students of the many opportunities to work with the CIUE so that they can get more involved in issues related to inequity.
III. Knowledge and Skills
At the end of each clinical experience, site supervisors and clinical students complete a survey to report on their perceptions related to the preparation our program provides students in areas associated with direct and indirect services provided by school counselors. The results should be interpreted with some caution as practicum and Internship site supervisors were not disaggregated. Site supervisor perceptions might be somewhat depressed due to the developmental differences that exist between interns and practicum students. For example, practicum students would not have taken career counseling prior to practicum which might contribute to site supervisors believing our program did not adequately prepare practicum students for such activities.
Several areas of perceived strengths were noted from both students and site supervisors. Specifically, student and site supervisors reported that we did an excellent to good job preparing our students in the areas of: 1) Managing a Comprehensive School Counseling Program, 2) Professional Roles, 3) Multicultural Society, 4) Individual Counseling Skills, 5) Understanding the Helping Process, 6) Professional and Personal Behaviors and 7) Ethical and Legal Behavior.
In comparing the clinical students and site supervisor responses some inconsistencies emerged. For one, our clinical students rated the program higher on preparation in career counseling and educational planning compared to that of their site supervisors. One possibility could be that practicum students do not have career counseling prior to taking practicum and the site supervisors’ perceptions were not disaggregated by practicum and internship. In conversation with our advisory committee, members stated that our students should have more preparation in using Naviance prior to internship. With the heavy emphasis that the districts in Maryland place upon Naviance, not being exposed to this online career resource may account for why site supervisors did not rate our program as high in career and educational planning.
Graduate student and site supervisors’ perceptions related to classroom instruction skills were also noticeably different. Students rated the program higher in preparation of classroom instruction while site supervisors’ ratings were lower. Clinical instructors provide direct instruction on classroom instruction and management. Additionally, classroom lesson planning is an outcome of the GC700 Introduction to School Counseling Course. We will continue to work with site supervisors to better understand areas in which they feel our students need more preparation prior to entering practicum and internship.
Lastly our students rank their preparation in leadership and advocacy higher than that of site supervisors. During the 2016 – 2017 academic year the program director along with the coordinator of clinical experiences will invite site supervisors to respond more specifically to how they are assessing skills and knowledge of our students in leadership and advocacy to better understand areas we can improve upon.
Relative weakness for our program were perceptions that site supervisors and our clinical students had about how our program prepared in using assessments and counseling research. With the additional emphasis our that internship places on evidence based practice and evaluation it would be important to mentor students in the application of assessment and evaluation. Over the 2016 – 2017 academic year, we will hold brown bag lunches with our students to mentor them in the use of data and assessments to evaluate their programs and construct interventions.