Pre-Practicum and Comprehensive Exams in School Counseling | Kent State University

Pre-Practicum and Comprehensive Exams in School Counseling

All students will take programmatic examinations. There are two formal programmatic examinations in the School Counseling program: the Pre-Practicum Examination and the Comprehensive Examination. Both examinations to be taken electronically, at KSU, in a supervised setting, and are in a multiple-choice format. The intent of these examinations is to:

  1. Provide a more comprehensive evaluation of student’s knowledge than can be completed in an individual course
  2. Ensure retention of student knowledge
  3. Systematically evaluate student knowledge
  4. Provide insight on curricular and programmatic offerings
  5. Provide students with opportunities to prepare for the licensure examination

The first examination that master’s students take is the “Clinical Mental Health Counseling Pre-Practicum Examination” or the “School Counseling Pre-Practicum Examination”.  Pre-Practicum Examinations are to be taken after all prerequisite coursework is completed (in full). Pre-Practicum Examinations cover only the courses that are prerequisite to each program’s practicum course. Pre-Practicum Examinations are to be successfully completed in order to enter the Practica course and experience (for CMHC students this is CMHC: Practicum I). 

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling Students: Pre-Requisite coursework for CES 6/77492: Practicum I: Clinical Mental Health Counseling includes the following courses: (1) Counseling Theories, (2) Counseling Skills and Techniques (3) Orientation to CMHC, (4) Group Work: Theory & Techniques, (5) Career Counseling, and (6) Intro to Assessment in Counseling.
  • School Counseling Students: Pre-Requisite coursework for CES 6/78392: School Counseling Practicum includes the following courses: (1) Counseling Theories, (2) Counseling Skills and Techniques, (3) School Counseling: Orientation and Ethics, (4) Group Work: Theory & Techniques, (5) Counseling Children, and (6) Counseling Adolescents.

The second examination that master’s students take is the “Clinical Mental Health Counseling Comprehensive Examination” or the “School Counseling Comprehensive Examination” depending on which program you are enrolled. Comprehensive Examinations are to be taken at the end of the first semester of internship and will cover all required (non-elective) coursework in the program, including course content covered in your respective Pre-Practicum Examination (please see program specific prospectus). Comprehensive Examinations must be successfully completed in order to graduate.     

  • CMHC Students: All required courses in the CMHC program (excluding electives) will be represented on the “Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination.”
  • SCON Students: All courses in the SCON program are required and will be represented on the “School Counseling Comprehensive Examination”.

Study Tips

The following tips were developed by the CES faculty to help students prepare for the Pre-Practicum and Comprehensive Examinations:

  • Don’t cram! Thorough studying is much more effective for such an exam then starting to study a week or two before the exam.
  • Review all syllabi for the courses that the exam covers (see below). Specifically review the CACREP standards in each course. The exams were developed off of the CACREP standards.
  • Review all reading materials (e.g., books, handouts, lecture notes, etc.) for the courses that the exam covers (see below).
  • Study the “Encyclopedia of Counseling” by Rosenthal. It is recommended to read this and study this book multiple times prior to taking the exam.

Passing / Failing / Remediation: The outcome of the examinations is based on the overall score, not specific content areas. For example, students can still pass the examination even if they do not do well on a certain content area. Student will pass the examination if they scores 80% or higher on the examination. A 70% -­‐ 79% will result in students having a discussion with the CES Master’s Programs Coordinator to see how they can improve their learning. A score of 69% or below will constitute a failure.

Registration for Examinations: Students will be made aware of when registration sign-­‐up will begin through their kent.edu e-­‐mail address and the CES student listserv. Students must register in the CES Office, 310 White Hall. This registration is on a first come, first serve basis.  

Pre‐Practica Examination Policy: Once students have met the academic prerequisite coursework for a practicum, all students must register for a practicum (e.g., Practicum I: Clinical Mental Health Counseling OR School Counseling Practicum). Once registered for a practicum, the CES faculty will determine eligibility for the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination. During the finals week of the semester directly before starting practicum, students will take their Pre-­‐Practicum Examination (e.g., if you are starting Practicum in the spring, you would take the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination during the fall semester finals week [i.e., in December]). Students will have a maximum of two hours to complete the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination. There will be two opportunities during this week to take the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination: Thursday starting at 1pm or Friday starting at 3:00pm. If students do not take the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination during one of these two times, they will be de-­‐enrolled from their practicum and therefore cannot start their practicum the next semester.

If students successfully pass their Pre-­‐Practicum Examination, they can begin their practicum experience and move forward in the program.  Students will be informed whether or not they passed their Pre-­‐Practicum Examination; specific scores will not be given to students who pass their Pre-­‐Practicum Examination.

However, if students fail the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination they will be de-­‐enrolled from their practicum and will be prohibited from taking their practicum until they successfully pass the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination.

•    Students who fail the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination the first time will be provided with written feedback regarding their score in each area of the Pre-­‐ Practicum Examination but are prohibited from beginning practicum.

•    Students who fail the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination the second time, will be provided with written feedback regarding their score in each area of the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination and will be prohibited from beginning the practicum. In addition, a remediation plan may be required by faculty that would need to be successfully completed before taking the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination again. However, if they pass the Pre-­‐Practica Examination after the second time, they will be allowed to begin practicum.

•    Students who fail the Pre-­‐Practicum Examination the third time will be dismissed from the program.

Comprehensive Examination Policy: Toward the end of the first semester of Internship, students will take Comprehensive Examinations. Students will have a maximum of three hours to complete the Comprehensive Examination. There will be one opportunity to take the Comprehensive Examination during their regularly scheduled internship course time. If students do not take the Comprehensive Examination during this time, they will have the opportunity to take the Comprehensive Examination at the end of the next semester.

If students fail the Comprehensive Examination remediation will occur.

•    Students who fail the Comprehensive Examination the first time will be provided with written feedback regarding their score in each area of the Comprehensive Examination. Students who fail their Comprehensive Examination the first time can begin their second semester of internship to ensure continuity of client care. However, they will need to take the Comprehensive Examination again at the next scheduled time Comprehensive Examinations are offered in the Program.

•    Students who fail the Comprehensive Examination the second time, will be provided with written feedback regarding their score in each area of the Comprehensive Examination but will receive an In Progress (IP) grade for their second semester of internship. In addition, a remediation plan may be required by faculty that would need to be successfully completed. Students who fail the Comprehensive Examination a second time will be prohibited from graduation. However, if they pass the Comprehensive Examination on the third attempt, they will be allowed to graduate.

•    Students who fail the Comprehensive Examination the third time will be dismissed from the program.

Important Note on Who Takes Examinations: Everyone in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program and the School Counseling (SCON) program is required to take the exams. Students are held to all of the above policies.