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Comprehensive Examination for The Master of Arts in Education With Emphasis in School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling

History and Benefits of the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE): The Counseling and Educational Psychology faculty will use a national examination for the Master's comprehension examination process. The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is researched, developed, and distributed by the Research and Assessment Corporation for Counseling (RACC) in conjunction with the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). Both the RACC and CCE are affiliates of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) which is the historical credentialing body for counselors. This examination was developed in response to requests from counselor educators for a graduate counseling program exit exam. The purpose of the CPCE is to assess counseling student's knowledge of counseling information, provide feedback that can be used in program and curriculum development, and give the student a simulated experience for taking the national licensure exam. Benefits of the CPCE include providing a more psychometrically sound Master's comprehensive exam; providing comparison of the program to national data; provides students with comparative strength and weakness feedback relative to the areas.

Content of the CPCE: The CPCE will cover the eight Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) common core areas as defined by their Standards for Preparation: 1) Human growth and development (EPY 839), 2) Social and cultural foundations (COU 804), 3) Helping relationships (COU 840 and COU 846, and any other theory and techniques classes) 4) Group work (COU 820), 5) Career and lifestyle development (COU 822), 6) Appraisal (EPY 816), 7) Research and program evaluation (EPY 869), 8) Professional orientation and ethics (COU 813).

CPCE Type of Test: The CPCE is a160 item, four choice, multiple choice exam consisting of 20 items per CACREP core area. One hundred thirty six of the items are scored for passing information and 24 of the items, three from each core area, are being researched for future examinations. Each question was developed based on information found in the most commonly used text books. Scores for each core area and a total score will be reported for each student. The test results are judged on a pass fail format.

DATE AND COST OF THE CPCE: The CPCE will be administered one time each semester at approximately the mid-point of each semester. Specific test dates can be fund on the department webpage. After the student applies for graduation through the Graduate School, and submits the Department application to sit for the exam, the department chair will send a letter of instructions indicating the time and location of the examination as well as other information. Students are allowed four hours to complete the examination, and instructions on how to register online for the exam. There is a cost for the exam determined by the examination agency. Payment will be due at the time of the test administration.

PREPARATION FOR THE CPCE: Review previous texts and examinations given in all previous coursework related to the eight core functions. In addition, some on-line companies offer a fee based resource of practice examinations for the National Counselor Examination that may be beneficial. The department recommends that students purchase a test preparation kit at the beginning of their program in COU 813 to help them prepare for the exam. These kits (marketed for the NCE) are advertised in Counseling Today and Journal of Counseling and Development.

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