Skip to contentSkip to navigation

Get the latest information about Fall 2021 Repopulation and COVID-19. Before coming to campus, take the COVID-19 Daily Screening.

Standard 1 Aspect B

Standard 1b: Evidence shows that, by the time of program completion, candidates exhibit knowledge, skills, and abilities of professional educators appropriate to their target credential or degree, including: Learners; learning theory, including social, emotional, and academic dimensions; and application of learning theory


Data Sources & Analysis

Data Source 1

COUN 206 (Counseling through the lifespan) Midterm Exam:
To examine our progress in preparing candidates to learn and apply theory--specifically, learning theory including social, emotional, and academic dimensions-- we use the midterm exam from COUN 206. 

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of various developmental concepts and principles as they relate to the practice of counseling. This course explores topics related to different aspects of development (i.e. social, emotional, moral, cognitive, physical, and other forces of development). The course also covers the elements of the life cycle process and supports students to understand how individual, familial, and social developmental forces interact to create both health and dysfunction. Our hope is that through taking this course, students will be able to apply learning and developmental theories to meet the developmental needs of all individuals including K-12 students.

Perspective Captured from Data Source: Faculty 

Rationale for using Data Source:
The Midterm exam consists of a clinical vignette component. The clinical vignette requires students to respond to one clinical vignette in an essay format. Students are expected to demonstrate competency with the relevant material taught to that point in the course. Specifically, students need to be able to connect developmental theory to a case example as well as identify normative and non-normative developmental factors that impact the individual(s) behavior. Students are also asked to discuss how developmental models across lifespan development explain the behavior seen in the vignette. 

Students are evaluated on their ability to describe core concepts of developmental theory and then apply it to the specific vignette as if they were a counselor working with that particular situation. 

Specific Elements of Data Source:
Students are graded using a rubric that contains 5 items. Two of the dimensions on the rubric are salient to Standard 1b, which are as follows:

  • Rubric Dimension 1: Description and understanding of theory
    Rubric Dimension 2: Application of theory to the current vignette for counseling

Our hope was to see congruence between the two standards. This would indicate that students are not just memorizing theory in the class but also learning how to apply the theory in real or applicable situations. 

Following are the elements of the rubric used for analysis:

Midterm Grading Rubric

  4 3 2 1
Description and understanding of theory (CACREP 3A) Demonstrates an exception understanding of the theory. Discussing each of the major points of the theory in detail. Demonstrates adequate understanding of the theory. Describes all major parts of theory but fails to mention each piece in detail. Demonstrates sub-par knowledge of the theory. Is unable to address each of the major tenants of the theory and neglects to include major portions of the theory. Fails to address most major tenants of the theory, those that are mentioned are not discussed in a thorough manner.
Application of theory to the current vignette for counseling (CACREP 3E) Demonstrates an exception understanding of the theory as it is applied to a real situation. Discussing each of the major points of the theory in detail and applying them to the vignette. Demonstrates adequate understanding of the theory. Describes all major parts of theory but fails to make proper application of the theory for the vignette. Demonstrates sub-par knowledge of the theory. Is unable to apply each of the major tenants of the theory and neglects to include major portions of the theory. Fails to apply most major tenants of the theory, those that are mentioned are not discussed in a thorough manner.

Definition of Success:
Programmatically, our goal is for all candidates to score at least a 3 on standard 1 and 2. Additionally we want to see similarities between scores for both standards. 

Displays of Analyzed Data:

Figure 1

Here we see the total scores for students across three semesters (Fall 2018, 2019, 2020). Scoring ranges from 1 (substandard) to 4 (proficient) for each of the standards. 

Figure 2Figure 2 gives us a small sample examination of possible trends. The means tells us that students do well with learning and regurgitating particular points of theory. What has changed, over time, is that the application of theory (Standard/Rubric Dimension 2) has shown improvement for students. Additionally, we see more congruence between how well students are scoring across both standards. This may imply that changes in teaching are helping students learn and apply.

Figure 3
Figure 3 is the overall grade for students on the midterm. The overall grade percentage parallels results found in figure 2. These suggest that as students learn theory and learn to apply theory, they are improving their overall score for the midterm even though these two standards are only two of the total six standards for the midterm.

Interpretation of Data:
As indicated by the displays of data and entire dataset, students are proficient with learning and regurgitating particular points of theory and overtime have strengthened their ability to apply theory in different case scenarios. There has also been an increase in congruence between how well students are scoring across both standards, which are: (a) Description and understanding of theory, and (b) Application of theory to the current vignette for counseling. Lastly, as students learn theory and learn to apply theory, they are improving their overall grades in the midterm. 

Data Source 2

Site Supervisor Program Evaluation Survey
Assessing candidates’ knowledge about learning theory, including social, emotional, and academic dimensions; and application of learning theory is an important aspect of their internship evaluation conducted by their site supervisor who has closely watched and supervised their efforts as counselors-in-training. 

Site supervisors evaluated students on a 4-point likert scale (1 = Very Unsatisfactory, 2 = Moderately Unsatisfactory, 3 = Moderately Satisfactory, 4 = Very Satisfactory). 

Perspective Captured from Data Source: Site Supervisor

Rationale for using Data Source:
We have used the COUN 249 Site Supervisor Evaluation, which site supervisors use to evaluate candidates’ fieldwork placement as a data source for this standard because some specific items in this evaluation directly evaluate candidates’ current knowledge base related to learning theories that can help them in promoting students’ academic success, socio-emotional wellbeing, and career development. 

Specific Elements of Data Source:
The following items from the Site Supervisor Evaluation were selected for analysis:

17. Understand and apply approaches that recognize the importance of building on students’ strengths and assets as a foundation for supporting all students.

23. Model and demonstrate essential counseling skills, multicultural awareness, techniques, and strategies in individual counseling, including but not limited to addressing social/emotional and mental health, needs, crises and traumas that are barriers to student achievement.

25. Demonstrate knowledge of and skills in consulting with and educating school staff on social/emotional needs of students.

26. Demonstrate the ability to assess student social/emotional needs and make the appropriate referrals within and external to the school site.

27. Have knowledge to develop, implement, and monitor prevention, education, and intervention programs, such as: cyber-bullying, restorative practices, self-harm, social media literacy, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD), suicide, school truancy, sex trafficking, LGBTQ+ awareness, etc

Definition of Success for Each Element:
Success for this data source will be indicated by achieving an average of 3.0 or higher.

Displays of Analyzed Data:
A total of 28 site supervisor evaluations were analyzed from Spring 2020 and Fall 2021, which was when we started collecting supervisor evaluations online. Previously, hard copies of evaluations, which are safely stored in the program office, were kept. However, we could not access those for this report due to COVID-19 pandemic safety guidelines and the need to work remotely. Please see below a table that displays the means across survey items from the site supervisor evaluation that addresses this standard.

Survey Item Sample Size Mean
17. Understand and apply approaches that recognize the importance of building on students’ strengths and assets as a foundation for supporting all students. 27

3.78
23. Model and demonstrate essential counseling skills, multicultural awareness, techniques, and strategies in individual counseling, including but not limited to addressing social/emotional and mental health, needs, crises and traumas that are barriers to student achievement. 27

3.67
25. Demonstrate knowledge of and skills in consulting with and educating school staff on social/emotional needs of students. 28

3.68
26. Demonstrate the ability to assess student social/emotional needs and make the appropriate referrals within and external to the school site. 28

3.64
27. Have knowledge to develop, implement, and monitor prevention, education, and intervention programs, such as: cyber-bullying, restorative practices, self-harm, social media literacy, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD), suicide, school truancy, sex trafficking, LGBTQ+ awareness, etc. 28

3.70

Link to Full Dataset:

Interpretation of Data:
Means for the survey items from the site supervisor evaluation were calculated and examined. The range of the means for these survey items was 3.54 to 3.78. All means were above 3.0, indicating that site supervisors rated all students in the “moderately satisfactory” to “very satisfactory” range. This suggests that site supervisors generally perceived students to exhibit the knowledge, skills, and abilities related to learners; learning theory, including social, emotional, and academic dimensions; and application of learning theory.

Next Steps:
For standard 1 b, we used two data sources to examine students’ proficiency with learning theories, including social, emotional, and academic dimensions; and application of learning theory. Data source 1 is accessed through a course that specifically focuses upon teaching, discussing, and evaluating learning theories among students from diverse counseling specializations. Evaluation of data source 1, which is a midterm exam, showed that students are proficient with learning and regurgitating particular points of theory and overtime have strengthened their ability to apply theory in different case scenarios. There has also been an increase in congruence between how well students are scoring across both standards, which are: (a) Description and understanding of theory, and (b) Application of theory to the current vignette for counseling. Lastly, as students learn theory and apply theory, they are improving their overall grades in the midterm. In future, we plan to continue to strengthen the knowledge-base that is covered in this course and support candidates in applying the knowledge content to advance K-12 students' social, emotional, and academic dimensions of learning and development. 

The data source 2 encompasses specific questions from the field-placement evaluation survey filled by candidates’ site supervisors. These questions specifically assess students’ knowledge, understanding, and ability to apply the learning theories within K-12 settings to actualize the responsibilities of professional school counselors, which include promoting academic success, socio-emotional wellbeing, and career development of K-12 students. The evaluation of these survey items demonstrate that supervisors rated all students in the “moderately satisfactory” to “very satisfactory” range. 

This suggests that site supervisors generally perceived students to exhibit the knowledge, skills, and abilities related to learners; learning theory, including social, emotional, and academic dimensions; and application of learning theory. 

In the future, we plan to strengthen the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) model’s focus on all three dimensions of academic, social, and emotional dimensions of learning theories within the internship course and help students to directly strive to actualize ASCA model’s mindsets within their internship sites. We will also communicate with site supervisors the importance of helping our school counseling interns to gain experience in all three dimensions because many times our interns have shared that due to lack of resources within K-12 settings, their supervisors usually allocate them academic growth related tasks but not enough experience with providing individual or group counseling sessions that can enhance K-12 students social and emotional wellbeing. 

Aspect C →