Comprehensive Exams for the Community Counseling Program
Normally, the comprehensive exams are taken upon the completion of the core courses in the
program or during your last semester of enrollment in the program at Fort Hays
State University. The exam consists of two parts: an objective exam and an essay exam. Completing the objective and essay comprehensive exams for
the Community Counseling graduate degree program will take two days, as the
exams shall not exceed four hours each day. Contact your advisor if you have any questions regarding the
The Counseling Program utilizes the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)
published by the Center for Credentialing and Education, Inc., an affiliate of
the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC), for the objective
part of the exam. The CPCE® covers the eight common-core areas of the Council
for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP®)
as defined by their Standards for Preparation:
- Human Growth and Development – studies that provide
an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental
- Social and Cultural Foundations –
studies that provide an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural
and diverse society.
- Helping Relationships – studies that provide
an understanding of counseling and consultation processes.
- Group Work – studies that provide an
understanding of group development, dynamics, counseling theories, group
counseling methods and skills, and other group work approaches.
- Career and Lifestyle Development –
studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life
- Appraisal – studies that provide an
understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
- Research and Program Evaluation – studies that provide
an understanding of types of research methods, basic statistics, and ethical
and legal considerations in research.
- Professional Orientation and Ethics – studies that provide
an understanding of all aspects of professional functioning including history,
roles, organizational structures, ethics, standards, and credentialing.
The CPCE consists of 160 items with 20 items per the eight common-core CACREP areas listed above.
Of the 20 items per section, 17 will be scored items and the remaining 3 are
pretest items that will not be included in the student score. You must
achieve a passing score of 82.
There is no official guide for the CPCE®. Since the CPCE and the National Counselor Examination for
Licensure and Certification (NCE®) are based on the same eight knowledge areas,
any study materials developed for the NCE® should be useful for the CPCE®. You may want to check the NBCC Website for NCE preparation materials which includes sample online
tests, workshops, study guides, etc. Also, please refer back to the textbooks
used in your program courses.
The cost is of the CPCE is $50 payable to the Center for Credentialing and
Education, Inc., and due on the day of the exam.
The second part of the exam is in essay format, consisting of four essay items related to the application
of the principles of community counseling and will address application of
concepts to central issues in the field. These questions involve knowledge of
pertinent facts, synthesis of ideas, and the ability to apply concepts to