Annual Report

Executive Summary

Fall 2021 – Summer 2022

Program Mission and Goals

The mission of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is to graduate competent entry-level clinical mental health counselors who play an active role in enhancing community wellness. Graduates of the program should be interpersonally skilled and culturally competent counselors who are prepared to work in a variety of settings, and to meet the needs of those who are underserved. The program is designed to be accredited and is based on humanistic values, honoring the worth, dignity and potential of all people.

Students graduating from Emory & Henry with an MS degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will be prepared to apply for a temporary license as a resident in counseling to gain the post-master’s clinical experience required for licensure as an LPC, allowing them a full range of career opportunities.

To achieve these goals, the program has the following objectives:

  1. The CMHC program curriculum will address Core and Specialty CACREP and Virginia LPC board standards. (These objectives are measured by performance on the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).
  2. Graduates from Emory & Henry’s CMHC program will be prepared to engage in interprofessional collaboration within the context of a multicultural workplace. (These objectives are measured by competencies and skills evaluated in coursework and in clinical placements.)
  3. Graduates of the CMHC program will be prepared for ethical decision-making and practice at the highest standards of the counseling profession. (These objectives are measured by competencies and skills evaluated in coursework, clinical experiences and the CPCE.)
  4. Graduates of the CMHC program will act as advocates to advance the counseling profession. (These objectives are measured by competencies and skills evaluated in coursework, clinical placements and the CPCE.)
  5. Graduates will be well versed in counseling theories, evidence-based practices, and techniques. (These objectives are measured by competencies and skills evaluated in coursework, clinical experiences and the CPCE.)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with professional orientation and ethics in counseling.
  2. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with culturally competent counseling practice.
  3. Students will gain knowledge of human development across the lifespan and its application within the counseling process.
  4. Students will gain knowledge of career development and its applications in the counseling process.
  5. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with the establishment of therapeutic relationships and the facilitation of client growth.
  6. Students will gain knowledge of major counseling theories, evidence-based practices, and skills in applying this knowledge to the counseling process.
  7. Students will gain knowledge and skills associated with group facilitation and the group counseling process.
  8. Students will gain knowledge associated with appraisal and testing.
  9. Students will gain knowledge associated with research and program evaluation to inform counseling practice.
  10. Students will gain the knowledge associated with working in multidisciplinary mental health systems.
  11. Students will gain the knowledge and skills associated with mental health diagnosis.
  12. Students will demonstrate an awareness of self and personal values, aptitude for graduate study, success in forming effective counseling relationships and growth in ethical and culturally competent practice.
  13. Students will gain an understanding of traumatic experiences and their impact on human development.

Our Commitment

The Emory & Henry Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is committed to creating an inclusive environment of respect, trust, and affirmation. Our community includes individuals of various ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, affectional orientations, and ability status, as well as individuals with varying life experiences. Embracing diversity is consistent with the counseling profession (American Counseling Association [ACA] Code of Ethics, 2014). As counseling professionals, we are called to embrace the cultural identities of our clients, counselors in training, and research participants. We are expected to develop multicultural social justice counseling competencies and act as advocates for our clients.

Our program is committed to advocating for social justice, confronting issues of power and privilege, and engaging in self-reflection and the development of critical thinking skills. It is our expectation that students, faculty, supervisors, and other stakeholders will demonstrate a genuine desire to engage in challenging their own biases and assumptions, enabling each individual to work effectively and ethically with all clients.

We strongly believe that there should be a space in our educational institutions for every voice to be heard and valued.

Summary of Program Evaluation

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are collected and assess knowledge, skills, and disposition. These KPIs are administered in required courses and assess performance in the eight core CACREP areas and the clinical mental health specialty area. Faculty members assessed students using the following criteria: 1- Fails to Meet Development Level, 2- Meets Developmental Level, and 3- Exceeds Developmental Level. During the 2021-2022 academic year, all courses were above 2 (meets developmental level) except for one and remediation was provided related to that content area. The highest scores were in CMHC 530 Multicultural and CMHC 500 Professional Counselor Identity and Ethics.

The CPCE is a nationally standardized examination that students must pass in order to graduate. The department expectation is that students will score within one standard deviation of the national mean. The first administration of this exam will be February 2023. The first cohort of students will be eligible to sit for licensure examinations in September 2023 (after August 2023 graduation).

Each year, the department will survey graduating students on their experiences in the program. The survey poses a series of Likert scale questions related to the knowledge and skills the student gained while in the program. The first cohort will graduate in August 2023. The first exit survey will be sent out 2 weeks prior to graduation.

Every other fall (alternating with the employer survey), the department will also survey alumni on their experiences during the program and post-graduation. There is a combination of multiple choice, Likert scale, and open-ended questions. The survey collects demographic data, including licensure status and if the graduate is employed. As there is considerable overlap with the exit survey, the first alumni survey will be sent out fall 2024.

Every other fall (alternating with the alumni survey), the department surveys employers, mostly gathered from field placement site data, to assess the performance and preparation of Emory & Henry students and graduates. Employers will next be surveyed in fall 2025 (two years after the graduation of our first cohort of students).

All students from our first cohort will be entering practicum in fall 2022 and evaluations of clinical placements will begin fall 2022. The department utilizes the Field Placement Reaction Form (in Tevera) as an assignment in Practicum and Internship courses in order to assess student perceptions of their site supervisors and field experiences. This data will be collected and reported beginning fall 2022.

Our department uses the CCS-R assessment (https://tevera.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/CCS-R-Tevera-2.pdf). This is a standardized instrument assessing counselor skills and professional competencies on a scale of 1 (harmful) to 5 (exceeds expectations/demonstrates competencies). This instrument is administered in CMHC 510, CMHC 525, CMHC 600 and CMHC 695. Course instructors complete one assessment at the end of the course in CMHC 510 and CMHC 550. Students complete a self-assessment at the end of CMHC 600 and CMHC 695. Course instructors and clinical supervisors complete both midterm and final evaluations in the clinical courses CMHC 600 and CMHC 695. This data is used to evaluate cohort progress over time, as well as individual student progress. CCS-R has been administered in two courses (CMHC 510 and CMHC 525). Data analysis revealed that all course averages were above “meets expectations.”

Our current FTE ratio is below the CACREP requirement (12:1) at 2.67 for both Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022.

The CMHC program will assemble an advisory board that will include community stakeholders, alumni, and site supervisors. A meeting will be held annually where program faculty will share assessment data with the group, program events, and planned changes to the program (if applicable). During this meeting, feedback will be sought regarding all data and processes. Information from these meetings will be used to inform the ongoing assessment and changes to the program. The advisory will be convened for the first time in fall 2022.

The CMHC faculty meets monthly to review both student and program progress. Data collected related to KPIs will be used to determine whether actions are needed to address student learning and development. Additionally, at the end of each academic year the department reviews course evaluation data, student performance on comprehensive exams and licensure exams to look for themes in scoring. Data provided could indicate a need for changes in instructional methods or other program modifications. Annually, a faculty retreat is held to critically evaluate all assessment data and to determine what, if any, program changes are warranted.

Substantial Program Changes

The CMHC department made the decision to take the program online for Fall 2023.

If you would like more information regarding any of this information, please feel free to contact Dr. Jessica Burkholder (jrburkholder@ehc.edu).