Substance Abuse Counselor, Harrisonburg, VA: "There is not a day that passes in my profession, and often personal life that does not connect back to lessons and techniques gleaned from the counseling program."
Graduates of EMU's Graduate Counseling Program are high achievers who are sought after by regional employers.
The Graduate Counseling Program had a total of 13 graduates in 2023, with 76% of admitted students graduating from the program in the expected time period. The most current data from the Virginia Department of Health shows that EMU MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduates who have taken their licensure exam in Virginia have a pass rate of 80%, as compared to the 60% overall pass rate. Graduates have a 100% pass rate to achieve licensure as an LPC in Virginia. 100% of the 2023 graduates who were seeking employment in counseling secured jobs within three months of graduation.
Upon graduation, a majority of our alumni pursue licensure and register for the 3,400 hour (including 2,000 direct hours) residency required by the Virginia Board of Counseling. Following completion of residency hours, residents must be approved by the Virginia Board of Counseling to sit for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination.
Approximately 40 students are enrolled in the program on a yearly basis. We also accommodate students who are working professionals and need to extend their coursework/training. About half of our students complete the program in two years, including a summer session, and the other half complete the program in three years, including a summer session. Students in either track are considered full-time students.
EMU’s Graduate Counseling Program is accredited in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Students graduating with a CACREP-accredited degree can more often easily achieve state counseling licensure and experience
greater ease of license portability between state licensing boards. Students with
CACREP-accredited counseling degrees are often considered exceptional candidates for doctoral
For more information about the counseling profession, contact the American Counseling Association.
Program assessment and evaluation begins with clear program objectives, against which the activities within the program can be compared. Thus the activities of evaluation are as diverse as program content and process, and the persons who can engage in productive evaluation are equally diverse.
Evaluation tends to focus in two directions: evaluation of individual student progress toward counselor competencies and internalized identity, and evaluation of program success in meeting its stated mission and goals.
The most important groups engaging in program evaluation are the current students and graduates, the faculty and staff, the university’s institutional effectiveness administrators, and the program accrediting bodies.
A clear mission that grounds program goals and student outcome objectives, and the assessment of success in achieving goals and objectives should engage all stakeholders in important identity conversations, strategic planning, curriculum planning, and evaluation of effectiveness.
A healthy counselor education program is a dynamic, evolving system that lives within larger institutional, disciplinary and professional, and cultural contexts. As such, the owning and implementation of mission, vision, and purpose is never completely defined. Perhaps our most important ‘objective’ is to remember to always be open to dimensions of heart and soul, which we never “capture,” even in our best efforts to define and evaluate.
Four overarching objectives guide our program training. A graduate of the EMU Graduate Counseling Program will:
Since 2000, we have periodically administered alumni, employer and supervisor surveys to gather feedback and input from graduates working in the field, employers who consistently hire our graduates and supervisors who consistently supervise our students. In 2013, we determined the necessity to survey annually to incorporate feedback and suggestions into program review and planning. To this end, each year we administer an online survey to the previous year’s graduates [See results below.]
Additionally, in 2014, faculty determined that it would be helpful to receive input from supervisors who consistently supervise our students during their clinical site placements. Therefore, each year we administer an online survey to the supervisors who worked with our recent graduates. [See supervisor feedback below.]
During a 2015-2016 fall faculty meeting, we decided to continue surveying employers again, in addition to supervisors. [See employer feedback below.] We review all feedback as a department and value the contributions of our graduate students, supervisors, employers, current students and faculty, which informs teaching practices, curriculum development, skill development and student learning evaluation. [See survey evaluations below.]
In 2022, we updated the surveys to gather more robust data for program evaluation.
The surveys for the class of 2021 and beyond include previous survey items, as well
as these newer evaluation topics. For additional transparency, we also began reporting
the results of our Competency Assignment Evaluations. Each year, faculty review key
assignments to determine what changes can be made to enhance student learning outcomes.
[See assignment evaluations below.]
Please click on the following links for publically available program evaluation information.
|Program evaluation report item
|Publically available data
|Programmatic actions in response to survey feedback
|2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 (in progress)
|Annual Competency Assignment Evaluation reports
|academic years 2018-2022
|Alumni survey aggregated results
|2012-2021 alumni survey results, 2022 surveys (in progress)
|Site placement supervisor survey aggregated results
|2016-2021 supervisor survey results, 2022 surveys (in progress)
|Employer survey aggregated results
|2016-2021 employer survey results, 2022 surveys (in progress)