Student Evaluation of the Program
The Master of Arts in Counseling program places a high priority on nurturing and mentoring students as they become professional peers, and helping students evaluate other students as professional peers. With these goals in mind, we value collegial relationships with students. This perspective is shared with students at orientation in discussion of how we understand students’ identity and relationship to faculty – we ask our students to think of the relationship not so much as a typical student – teacher relationship but as a professional work relationship, where the faculty are professional colleagues and supervisors.
Translating these ideals and goals into practice requires both an atmosphere that conveys shared program ownership and concrete ways for students to participate in ownership activities. It is in this context we consider student opportunities to evaluate the program as essential. Our goal is to maintain a balance between formative and summative evaluation opportunities, and a balance between our soliciting affirming and critical feedback.
A standardized university course evaluation form is used in all classes. There are opportunities to rate the course and professors on several scaled dimensions, and also more open-ended questions. These course evaluations are administered on-line at the end of each semester. The teacher and program director are provided a summary tabulation after the course grades are recorded. A copy of each course evaluation summary is kept on file in the program.
Students provide the clinical coordinator an evaluation of their site at the end of each semester. These evaluations are treated confidentially within the program.
As the program deals with significant curricular changes, program policy, teaching or other professional issues, students are informed and involved through meetings called as needed.
The exit interview is an opportunity for students to give an overall program assessment.
Student evaluation of supervision and faculty are processed in discussions between faculty and program director. The feedback from each of these assessments is shared among the faculty during weekly faculty meetings, and used to inform the annual review of curriculum, load planning, orientation, and advising.
Supervisor Program Evaluation
Supervisors are in a unique position to provide program feedback, understanding the requirements of the professional work setting (like employers) as well as having an understanding of program philosophy and goals (like faculty). Supervisors have the opportunity to evaluate the program through their work with the evaluation of their students, in weekly feedback to group supervisors, and through a more formal survey conducted every three years.
Faculty and Staff Program Evaluation
Faculty and staff evaluate the program in an ongoing way through regular review of curriculum, both during weekly faculty meetings and in curriculum work retreats. The clinical instruction focus of the program is evaluated in faculty meetings, through annual reviews of the various evaluation results described above, through more focused review of the three year survey of supervisors, graduates, and employers, and during SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and CACREP reviews.
External Program Evaluation
The program is evaluated externally in the SACS and CACREP accreditation reviews. A survey of supervisors, graduates, and employers is conducted every three years to assess perceptions of the program and its graduates.