Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Counseling Program Receives Positive Accreditation Report

This is a quick note to inform all faculty and students about the very positive oral report that we received on March 5 from the CACREP accreditation team that spent two days reviewing our Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling Programs.            

The team was extremely impressed with all aspects of our programs, but especially our faculty and the curriculum and assessments that have been developed to prepare students for real world contexts and service to diverse communities.  The enthusiasm and initiative of students around the Counseling Student Association also was noted, as well as the very positive view of our students conveyed by employers and clinical site supervisors.  I could go on and on; it was quite a laundry list of strengths that was communicated to us.

The team also conveyed useful suggestions for improvement, and highlighted three standards where we will be required, in the future, to provide additional evidence of our meeting the standard.  For those of you who are unaware, CACREP has over 200 standards that our Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling Programs are expected to meet.  The team leader of our review—a veteran of 15 accreditation visits to universities around the country—stated that he had never before been a contributor to a report with so few standards in need of further evidence.  From his perspective, our overarching excellence made the writing of the report the easiest that he had ever experienced.   His view was seconded by another team member who has conducted counseling program site visits over the past twenty years.

In his conclusion, the team leader praised the high quality of the materials presented for review, as well as the leadership and organization of the visit.  I wish to convey my own deep appreciation to the full-time faculty who were deeply involved in the preparation of the materials and the planning for the visit:  Bruce Dykeman, Renate Rohde, Holly Stadler, Dennis Frank, Kristina Peterson, and Jasmine Knight.  Your hard work over the last five years has clearly been recognized.  I also wish to thank Renate Rohde for diligently preparing and implementing the schedule for the visit, as well as our administrators and clerical staff who were essential contributors at both campuses: Lina Eskew, Keyoka Parks, Nancy Sondy, Brittany Carlsen, Betty White, and Janice Stashwick.  Numerous students, part-time faculty, site supervisors, alumni, and stakeholders outside of the college also gave their time and support to the accreditation team—thank you for all that you have done, and will do, on behalf of our Counseling programs.

In July, we expect to receive official word about the re-accreditation of our programs.  However, what I know right now is that we have an outstanding team of counselors and counselor candidates that is producing strong evidence of impact and effectiveness.  I look forward to the successes yet to come, and to working with our Counseling program and the entire college to shape a better, brighter, and more just tomorrow.

Tom Philion
Interim Dean

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