CACREP Annual Report

Summary of Program Evaluation Results

Below, you will find student assessment data addressing the passing rate for the NCE, job placement statistics, demographic and other characteristics of applicants, students, and graduates, aggregate assessment data on student knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions, and the results of our annual follow-up of graduates for the purposes of program evaluation and modification. We also included a summary of students involved in remediation plans for Dispositions (including a description of our process of reviewing and evaluating student professional dispositions) and a summary of outcomes for our comprehensive exam administered in April of 2022.

For the Spring 2022 testing cycle, WWU had 8 students (out of 12) take the National Counseling Exam (NCE), including 4 Clinical Mental Health Counseling students and 4 School Counseling students. The National Board for Certified Counselors administered three different versions of the NCE for our students and 100 percent passed the exam (See table below).

Cohort Number of Test-Takers Passing Number (Percentage)
School Counseling 4 4 (100%)
Clinical Mental Health Counseling 4 4 (100%)


Our program had a 100% graduation rate for the students admitted in Fall 2020.

Program Number of Graduates (Spring 2021)
Clinical Mental Health Counseling (n=6) 6 (out of 6)
School Counseling (n=6) 6 (out of 6)



The following table shows a summary of job placement statistics for the 2021 graduating class (see ‘Job Placement’ documents in annual report evidence folder).

Program Number of Graduates (Spring 2021)
Clinical Mental Health Counseling (n=6) 5 (out of 6)
School Counseling (n=6) 6 (out of 6)


Demographic Category

Cohort Overall Percentage
Race/Ethnicity SC

• 33 White (82.5%)

• 4 multicultural (10%)

• 1 unknown race (2.5%)

• 1 Korean (2.5%)

• 1 Thai (2.5%)


• 144 White (81.4%)

• 8 Multicultural (4.5%)

• 7 Mexican (3.9%)

• 6 Unknown (3.3%)

• 4 Black (2.2%)

• 3 Puerto Rican (1.7%)

• 3 Chinese (1.7%)

• 2 Asian (1.1%)

Gender SC

• 23 Female (57.5%)

• 17 Male (42.5%)


• 134/177 Female (75%)

• 43/177 Male (25%)


Demographic Category

Cohort Overall Percentage
Race/Ethnicity SC

• 5 White (83.3%)

• 1 Multicultural (16.7%)


• 3 White (50%)

• 2 Multicultural (33%)

• 1 Chinese (16.7%)

Gender SC

2 (~ 33%) = Male

4 (~ 66%) = Female


2 (~ 33%) = Male

4 (~ 66%) = Female

Demographic Category

Program Overall Percentage


1 (~ 8.3%) = Male

11 (~ 91.7%) = Female



9 (~ 75%) = Caucasian

1 (~8.3%) = Native American

1 (~8.3%) = Korean

1 (~8.3%) = Asian/Pacific Islander


NOTE: While the following data indicated that there was a lot going well with our program, we are only reporting on the opportunities for growth identified by our various stakeholders (e.g., graduating students, alumni, site supervisors, employers, etc.).

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and School Counseling (SC) graduate programs at Western Washington University (WWU) are committed to both gathering and be reflexive to program evaluation data. In addition to the comprehensive data review that occurs every four years (using 8 surveys to 8 different stakeholders [exiting SC and CMHC students, SC/CMHC alumni, SC/CMHC Employers, and SC/CMHC Site Supervisors), for our annual reports, we distribute exit surveys to our departing students:

• CMHC Exit Survey (n = 3)

• SC Exit Survey (n = 5)

To review this data – along with other key indicators of student success (e.g., dispositions data, key assessment outcome data, informal evaluations of student progress, etc.) – the faculty meets during the Fall quarter counseling program faculty retreat. We also send out multiple survey requests to our students to complete their surveys well in advance of our Fall retreat. Please note that in our responses below, the counseling faculty focused primarily on survey items that received two or more unsatisfactory votes OR any written comments that explicated suggestions for improvements.

Subsequent Program Modifications

Students noted wanting more actionable guidance on implementing social justice and multicultural counseling perspectives in school- based settings. Faculty discussed using a new textbook that focuses on identifying and closing opportunity gaps in schools, as well as including more readings of applied advocacy in school- based settings. There were some temporary changes to the school counseling group class as a result of COVID-19 that made it difficult to get the students practical experience leading groups in the schools. This is being remedied this year with a new instructor for the School Counseling group course and fewer COVID-related limitations. Students reported wanting more guidance in testing assessment in school-based settings so the faculty plan to coordinate with the adjunct instructor for this class to add more specific types of assessments used in schools.

Some students reported wanting more experience and knowledge related to pedagogy and classroom control techniques so changes were made to the Fall internship class to ensure that students must observe 6 hours of teaching (including a write up on the experience). Further, internship class for the school counseling students will have discussions early on in the course outlining the standards covered in that course and will push the topic of assessment in schools towards the beginning of the quarter so that students have those skills earlier on. School Counseling students will also receive their dispositions along with formative feedback mid-way through each quarter instead of receiving just summative feedback at the end of the quarter.

The school counseling program is also in the process of adding more potential sites for students to select from. The students reported wanting more theories from diverse sources so the theories course this Fall added subject matter expert guest speakers on Curanderismo, working with the LGBTQ+ community, and working with indigenous knowledge systems, as well as a section on Japanese Morita Therapy. Finally, the students requested funding during their internship quarters in the second year of their program. The school counseling director, Dr. Diana Gruman, is consulting with the Associate Dean at Woodring to explore some potential options. Finally, students reported wanting to experience group counseling as the client which was eliminated as a result of COVID. It has since been revived due to the absence of COVID-related restrictions so our current group of second year school counseling students will have 6 sessions of group counseling with one of our program alumni during their family and community systems (PSY558) course.

Students requested more opportunities to engage in professional trainings and receive funding to do so. As a result, the CMHC faculty discussed helping students learn more about local conferences and training opportunities, as well as potential funding sources. We are also going to try and involve students in the ACA’s upcoming virtual conference that allows students to get these kinds of trainings from home. Some student wanted to gain a better understanding of how to work with children and adolescents so Dr. Byrne – the instructor who will be taking over the Developmental Psychopathology course for Dr. Du Rocher Schudlich who is away on sabbatical – will require her students in that class to observe counseling work with children and adolescents that occurs in our counseling training clinic.

The CMHC faculty as a whole will also work to encourage our students to seek out experiences that foster their unique interests to help students gain a wider range of training-related experiences. We also discussed ways in which we can help create opportunities for relationship building between cohort members early on in their first year in response to students requests for more opportunities to build group cohesion. This included things like encouraging them to attend our beginning of the year pot luck, encouraging cohort gatherings outside of class, and spending time at the beginning of each class getting to know one another (especially in their first year courses).

Students from both the CMHC and SC cohorts requested that faculty do a better job coordinating what readings we have them do (so as to avoid overlap) so the faculty are in a process of sharing and auditing each other’s syllabi to prevent overlap. Changes based on our review of Key Assessment Outcome Data (located in our consolidated Key Assessment Outcome Tracking excel spread sheet included the need for developing more clear expectations for assessing students in practicum and evaluating the sensitivity of our key assessments regarding counseling skills during their practicum experience. The faculty will be working together throughout the Fall 2022 quarter (in the Counseling Program Committee) to develop these new standards of assessment that will be used in Practicum.

Comprehensive Exam

We created comprehensive exam questions in the following CACREP content areas: Research Methods/Program Evaluation; Career Counseling; Development & Psychopathology; Professional Identity/Professional Practice (by Specialty area). Multicultural considerations were included in several questions. The exam was blinded for review and each question was graded by two counseling faculty members.  If the evaluators did not initially agree on a score, a third reader was brought in to read the exam question.  Once all the scores were reported to our Comp Exam coordinator, Dr. Brent Mallinckrodt, the whole counseling faculty met to discuss the results and determine pass/fail rates. This year two students needed to rewrite and resubmit an exam question due to inadequate responses in one sub-section.  After required re-writes, all 12 students eventually received passing scores, thus qualifying them for graduation.

Student Dispositions

The WWU Counseling faculty has selected six essential dispositions (Ethical Behavior, Emotional Stability, Self-Awareness and Flexibility, Self-Care, Interpersonal Skills, & Conscientiousness), drawn from established counseling student evaluation tools (e.g. PDCA-RA; CCS-R), to guide the development of work habits, behaviors and personal characteristics leading to effective professional practice.  These dispositions are expected of counseling students at the university and in their placements. According to CACREP (2015), dispositions are defined as, “commitments, characteristics, values, beliefs, interpersonal functioning, and behaviors that influence the counselor’s professional growth and interactions with clients and colleagues.”

We believe that dispositions and behaviors, like skills and knowledge, can be strengthened when students are given regular feedback and support. Our goal is to have every student who is recommended for graduation demonstrate these dispositions on a consistent basis.   At the end of each quarter, faculty meet to review the progress of all students in the program and provide feedback in the form of a progress letter. Students who demonstrate consistent evidence of the dispositions will receive a letter to indicate they are in good standing. Students who receive an inconsistent in one or more areas will receive a letter to indicate how to improve their behavior or habits to remain in good standing.  The student will then arrange a meeting with the program director to develop a plan for improvement for the next quarter.  Students who receive an unsatisfactory in any area will be asked to schedule a performance review meeting with the program director and two faculty members before proceeding to the next quarter.  The expected outcome of the performance review meeting will be development of a remediation plan or dismissal from the program. If a student is demonstrating unsatisfactory performance, a performance review meeting may be initiated at any point in the quarter.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program had one student fill out a remediation plan for improvement at the end of May of 2021 with a planned follow-up improvement plan at the end of Fall 2022. This student successfully graduated in Spring of 2022. The SC program had one student fill out an improvement plan at the end of Fall quarter 2021. This student successfully graduated in Spring of 2022. The School Counseling program had one student (admitted during the 2019 academic year) that was removed from the program following a failure to comply with their remediation plan at the end of the 2021 academic school year who did not graduate in Spring 2022 as a result. All 6 students admitted to the SC program in Fall 2020 successfully graduated in Spring 2022.