Comprehensive Exams for the Master of Science in Counseling - School Counseling

Normally, the comprehensive exams are taken upon the completion of all courses in the program or during your last semester of enrollment in the program at Fort Hays State University. Completing the objective and essay comprehensive exams for the School 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 comprehensive exams.  

Objective  Examination
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:

  1. Human Growth and Development – studies that provide an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels.
  2. Social and Cultural Foundations – studies that provide an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society.
  3. Helping Relationships – studies that provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes.
  4. Group Work – studies that provide an understanding of group development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group work approaches.
  5. Career and Lifestyle Development – studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life factors.
  6. Appraisal – studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
  7. Research and Program Evaluation – studies that provide an understanding of types of research methods, basic statistics, and ethical and legal considerations in research.
  8. 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. The  NBCC website includes sample online tests, workshops, study guides, etc. Also, please refer back to the textbooks used in the 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.

Essay Examination
The second part of the exam is in essay format consisting of four essay items related to the application of the principles of school 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 specific problems.

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