Upcoming Comprehensive Examination Dates:
Spring 2014: Feb 1, 2014 (online application now closed)
Summer 2014: June 21, 2014
Sign Up Begins April 2014
Fall 2014: Sep 13, 2014
Comprehensive Examination Textbook List
In response to increasing requests from counselor educators for a graduate counseling program exit exam, the Research and Assessment Corporation for Counseling (RACC), in conjunction with The Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), has developed the "Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)." The purpose of the CPCE is to assess counseling students’ knowledge of counseling information considered necessary by counselor preparation programs for competent practice. Results from scores on the CPCE provide collective feedback that can be used by programs in developing/adapting curriculum.
Benefits for Programs Using the CPCE:
Gives students feedback on their amount of knowledge in the various curricular areas
The CPCE is researched, developed and distributed by both the Research and Assessment Corporation (RACC) and the Council for Credentialing and Education (CCE), two affiliate corporations of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). The item writing committee was selected from masters and doctoral level faculty and professionals, who compiled a comprehensive listing of text by surveying all counselor education programs. Over 100 programs submitted the references they use for counselor training. The most commonly used textbooks were identified and then references to develop each test question. A list of these texts are available via the program coordinator.
Passing the comprehensive examination is a requirement for graduation. The Professional Counseling Program established the passing rate of 67%, which is a cumulative score of 92.
Students must pass the CPCE examination with a 92, or the score must be within the standard error of measurement, for the student to proceed to COUN 5689, Clinical Practicum. A passing score of 92 must be obtained to proceed to COUN 5389, Site-based Internship.
Students who fail the CPCE after the first attempt will need to set up an appointment with their advisor prior to signing up to take the CPCE for the second time to develop a study plan. Additionally, students who fail after a second attempt will meet with a Program Standards Committee. Upon the third failed attempt and based on PSC recommendations, students cannot register for classes and may not be allowed further attempts at the comprehensive exam (refer to Student Handbook for more information).
CPCE Study Resources
Information about the comprehensive exam can be found in the Professional Counseling Student Handbook and on the Professional Counseling website. Students should begin to study for the CPCE by participating in classes and studying class notes. Students can also use a study guide for the National Counselor Exam (NCE) to study for the CPCE. CPCE study resources are available through our library at Study Guides.
If you have any questions about the comprehensive exam, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Hartwig.
The CPCE assesses knowledge in each of the eight core areas as defined by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in their Standards for Preparation:
Studies that provide an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels.
Studies that provide an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society.
Studies that provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes.
Studies that provide an understanding of group development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group work approaches.
Studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life factors.
Studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
Studies that provide an understanding of types of research methods, basic statistics, and ethical and legal considerations in research.
Studies that provide an understanding of all aspects of professional functioning including history, roles, organizational structures, ethics, standards, and credentialing.
These eight core areas serve as the bases for the examination. It is through these areas that the CPCE is associated with accepted professional standards.
A sample item from each CACREP content area follows:
1. Erikson described independence as an important issue in the second year of life and identified this stage of development as
A. autonomy versus shame and doubt.
B. concrete operations versus object permanence.
C. motor versus mind development.
D. self versus other differentiation.
2. Cultural identity development models typically start with the __________stage.
3. According to Rogers, accurate empathy is most appropriately defined as
A. objective reflection to help identify the client's feelings.
B. non-judgmental acceptance of the client's reality.
C. recognition of the client's most prominent emotions.
D. subjective understanding of the client in the here-and-now.
4. A group leader can best enhance a group member's participation by
A. encouraging social interactions between members outside of group time.
B. requiring a commitment that group members not drop out.
C. stressing that substantial self-disclosure is expected.
D. modeling appropriate behaviors for the group.
5. A basic assumption of the trait-and-factor approach to vocational counseling is that
A. career decisions should be based on evident needs.
B. personality and work environment are synonymous.
C. developmental constructs are of paramount importance.
D. there is one best career goal for everyone.
6. A primary benefit of converting raw scores to standard scores is that it facilitates
A. simplicity in interpretation of test results.
B. interpretation of the results relative to a normal distribution.
C. summarizing and organizing other qualitative data.
D. statistical analyses having greater quantitative accuracy.
7. The research design which manipulates the independent variable and a between-conditions comparison with no random assignment of subjects to conditions is know as
D. true experimental.
8. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, members of the American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA) became aware that the words personnel and guidance did not accurately define or reflect their work. Therefore, in 1983 APGA changed its name to the
A. Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
B. American Association for Counseling and Development
C. American Mental Health Counselors Association
D. Association of Counseling and Related Educational Professions
1.A 2.C 3.D 4.D 5.D 6.B 7.A 8.B
The CPCE will consist of 160 items with 20 items per CACREP area. Of the 20 items per section, 17 will be scored, with the remaining 3 serving as pretest items. The purpose of imbedded pre-test items is to generate actual score performance data on items for future use or deletion. This allows CCE to select items for future test construction that have the most desirable psychometric attributes. Scores for each section and a total score will be reported to institutions for each student. The CCE will provide statistics on the program's students as well as national data.
A demographic questionnaire will be included on the answer sheet for research purposes. Students are allowed four hours to complete the examination, including the demographic questionnaire. The demographic information requested includes:
* CCE will obtain permission prior to the use of this information in any research conducted.