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Standard 3 Aspect D

Standard 3: Preparation programs ensure that candidates, upon completion, are ready to engage in professional practice, to adapt to a variety of professional settings, and to grow throughout their careers. Effective program practices include: consistent offering of coherent curricula; high-quality quality, diverse clinical experiences; dynamic, mutually beneficial partnerships with stakeholders; and comprehensive and transparent quality assurance processes informed by trustworthy evidence. Each aspect of the program is appropriate to its context and to the credential or degree sought.


Description of recruitment and admissions process (See Appendix A

Recruitment:
There are several efforts that faculty engage in to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds, ensuring that our program’s diversity represents the diversity of the cities we serve:

  • Potential students pursuing their undergraduate program at different universities and especially Fresno State often email the School Counseling Program Coordinator seeking information about admission requirements and process. The Program Coordinator responds and, at times, also schedules in-person meetings to help the students apply to the program. School Counseling program ambassadors also help in advising potential students. 
  • School counseling faculty hold an open house every year. They actively invite students from different undergraduate programs and student organizations to attend the event to learn more about the school counseling program. These recruitment events are also advertised and promoted via social media (School Counseling Instagram page: www.instagram.com/fs_schoolcounseling, Counselor Education and Rehabilitation department facebook page, Kremen School of Education facebook page) to inform our stakeholders and to recruit students from the community. 
    Through the Open House, program faculty connect with potential applicants who describe their aspirations. Faculty then use this information to help plan in order to meet the expectations of upcoming students. 

Additionally, the program uses its School Counseling Ambassadors to help recruit students into the program. Each year, students with strong academic achievement and a counselor identity receive the Benjamin Kremen and Marion Kremen Scholarship. These students become the School Counseling Ambassadors play an active role in our program to assist with the recruitment process. They actively use social media to reach a wider audience to diversify the applicant pool. Ambassadors share information about the program, answer questions, and share their own experiences as current students in the program. 

  • School Counseling Ambassadors attend career fair events and other on-campus events where they represent the school counseling program and introduce the program to undergraduate students at Fresno State. Through these events, information about the school counseling program becomes available to more students representing diverse cultural backgrounds.

As a result, about 100 students apply every year to the school counseling program. Due to budget and personnel limitations, we can only admit 25 students per year. Our students represent diverse minority and under-represented backgrounds as demonstrated in the demographic stats. 

Admissions (Appendix A):
Applicants access the Program’s admission information on the Counselor Education and Rehabilitation website (Apply - Master of Science in Counseling). Students must be admitted to the university as well as to the program. Program faculty are responsible for making admission decision recommendations to the education unit after reviewing application materials. School counseling faculty review application materials based on clear criteria that measures multiple candidate qualifications, including the following:  

  1. GPA
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Three Letters of recommendation
  4. Writing competency
  5. CBEST
  6. Certificate of Clearance
  7. Resume
  8. Pre-requisite courses in Introduction to Counseling (e.g., COUN 174 and COUN 176).

Description of selection process:
The application requirements include Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, minimum 3.0 GPA, a program application, unofficial transcripts, a statement of purpose, three letter of recommendations, a resume, and a Certificate of Clearance. In addition, applicants need to complete three prerequisites with a C or better in Introduction to Counseling, Counseling and Mental Health or Abnormal Psychology and Educational Statistics. The School Counselor Education Program requires students to abide by all applicable completion requirements of California State University, Fresno graduate office 

A faculty review committee considers all information regarding the student's aptitude for the program and completes a full evaluation.

  • Personal Statements from and Letters of Recommendation for each applicant are reviewed to assess candidates’ ability to form therapeutic relationships. Recommenders also complete an evaluation form on which they rate applicants’ cognitive, emotional, and communication skills. 
  • The Statement of Purpose provides the faculty review committee information related to personal and professional life experiences, career objectives, and expectations for graduate studies. These factors are evaluated to determine if the applicant’s expectations and personal characteristics are congruent with the mission and goals of the counselor education program. . 

In the future, we will start using a rubric for school counseling faculty to evaluate the candidates while making decisions about admissions. We have already developed the rubric and will begin using it for Spring 2022 applicants. 

Description of monitoring and support process (See Appendix A):
The program utilizes both formative and summative assessments regularly to evaluate students and ensure the development of student knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions.    

Faculty evaluate students within individual courses and in other program-related activities. If any concerns regarding interpersonal and professional behavior are identified, instructors are encouraged to provide students with feedback and suggestions for improvement. If necessary, instructors contact the student’s academic advisor and/or Program Coordinator for a structured consultation. Within courses, students are formally evaluated through grades and written feedback on assignments.  

Advisement
Program faculty work closely with students to support their successful completion of the program and transition into a professional career. Students have an assigned advisor who helps them plan their degree plan for graduation, with a goal of completing the program within five years of admission. Advisors complete an advising sheet with students at the beginning of their program. Students also contact their advisors in case changes are needed for their degree plan to ensure that they can still complete all requirements for degree completion. 

Advisors strive to connect with their students every semester to check on progress, performance, and career involvement. Students have access to their advisors throughout their program, and even sustain contact after graduation, for any potential concerns and questions relevant to their training. 

Advancement to Candidacy
The Petition of Advancement to Candidacy form serves as a guideline for progress toward and completion of the degree. Students must complete this form by the sixth week of the semester prior to the term in which a student registers for the culminating experience, and/or applies for the graduate degree to be granted. This form ensures that our program keeps with the requirements of the Graduate studies and State of California. 

Practicum Supervisor Evaluation
Candidates are evaluated during their practicum experience by their practicum supervisors, who complete the evaluation form for each student and provide feedback. The evaluations are submitted and carefully reviewed by the practicum course instructor. If the supervisor identifies any concerns, or the student receives average ratings or lower, the instructor will contact the supervisor and the student to discuss the evaluation. The instructor may also bring these concerns to the program faculty for further discussion to identify ways to support the student. Instructors also complete clinical review forms during the practicum course to discuss any concerns that might hinder students’ ability to work effectively with future clients. 

Practicum Classroom Supervisor Evaluation
School counselors also provide small group supervision to students during the practicum course. These evaluations are carefully reviewed by the course instructor for any concerns or additional support needed by the student. 

Internship Supervisor Evaluation
During the 600-hour internship experience, candidates are evaluated by their site supervisors using this evaluation Google form. The evaluations are reviewed by the internship course instructor. If the supervisor identifies any concerns, or the student receives average ratings or lower, the instructor will contact the supervisor and the student to  discuss the evaluation. 

Culminating Experience
Students may take Comprehensive Exam or COUN 298 or COUN 299 after having advanced to candidacy. Advisors work closely with students to assure that the culminating experience selected by the student is appropriate to school counseling and career goals. COUN 298 requires a completion of a project while COUN 299 involves completing a thesis (Culminating Experience - Academics).

Students may also choose to complete a project or a thesis to meet requirements for graduation. A project reflects applied field research efforts related to student counseling that supports students’ professional goals. A thesis is the written product of the systematic study of a significant problem.

Graduate Degree Clearance
In order for a student to graduate from California State University, Fresno, they must be recommended, based upon completion of the Advancement to Candidacy. Our program completes a Graduate Degree Clearance form for each student graduating in a semester and submits it to the Graduate Studies office. This form informs the Graduate Studies office that the student has completed all program requirements and is recommended for graduation. (GRADUATE DEGREE CLEARANCE GRADE REPORT (thesis or project only)). Only those students who have demonstrated a satisfactory level of scholastic competence and fitness shall be eligible for degree clearance. If the student has failed to meet degree requirements, the Program Director is required to attach a memo detailing the basis of that action.

Candidate Tracking: Application to Completion

Cohort that entered  2018

  Applicants Admitted Enrolled  Completed
American Indian 0 0 0 (program still in process)
Asian 14 5 5
Black 2 0 0
Hispanic 51 30 30
Pacific Islander 1 0 0
Two or more races 2 2 2
Unknown 2 1 1
White 6 4 4
Total 78 42 42

Cohort that entered  2019

  Applicants Admitted Enrolled  Completed
American Indian 1 1 1 (program still in process)
Asian 7 3 3
Black 2 1 1
Hispanic 60 17 17
Pacific Islander 1 0 0
Two or more races 2 1 1
Unknown 2 0 0
White 7 2 2
Total 82 25 25

Cohort that entered  2020

  Applicants Admitted Enrolled  Completed
American Indian 0 0 0 (program still in process)
Asian 4 1 1
Black 3 0 0
Hispanic 61 18 18
Pacific Islander 1 0 0
Two or more races 0 0 0
Unknown 0 0 0
White 6 2 2
Total 75 21 21

Aspect E →