Student Retention Policy

The Department of Counseling has the responsibility for evaluating the appropriateness of students to become counselors. In addition to maintaining university-wide academic standards for graduate students (e.g., minimum grade point) and University-wide regulations regarding conduct (Sections 41301-41304, Article 1.1, Title 5, California Code of Regulations), the Department is also concerned with professional standards regarding counseling trainees, such as those outlined in ACA and ASCA ethical standards and mandated by respective governing board (e.g., BBS, CTC).

The counseling faculty expect that students be involved in a process of academic, professional and personal growth. Throughout the program, students are evaluated in terms academic knowledge, practitioner competencies, and personal characteristics (i.e., non-academic competencies). Continuation in the program is based on positive faculty evaluation in all of these areas.

  1. Academic Knowledge: Students must successfully complete all academic and clinical courses with the grade of a B- or better.
  2. Practitioner Competencies: Students must demonstrate proficiency in the skills and competencies covered in the following clinical courses: pre-practicum (COUN 510A), practicum (COUN 510B), field experience (514A/B & 515A/B), and group seminars (COUN 512).
  3. Personal Characteristics: Students are expected to conform to the legal and ethical standards of the respective professional associations (ACA, ASCA, and CAMFT). In addition, students, in their learning and professional activities, are expected to demonstrate a range of non-academic competencies. These competencies include, but are not limited to, the following:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Collaborates and functions with peers and faculty 
  • Is assertive, respectful, and ethical among peers and colleagues 
  • Willing to engage with others from diverse cultures
  • Exhibits flexibility, caring, and an uncritical nature 
  • Can identify personal difficulties affecting counseling ability 
  • Establishes rapport and relationships with clients 
  • Is aware of personal boundaries with others 
  • Accepts and provides respectful feedback to classmates and colleagues 
  • Exhibits participation and respect 
  • Able to deal with and manage conflict, one's "high emotions"

Openness to Self-Evaluation and Growth:

  • Is receptive, non-defensive and integrates feedback
  • Can work through personal issues 
  • Exhibits awareness of impact on others 
  • Able to self-reflect and engage in self-reflection activities 
  • Is aware of values and personal issues
  • Is aware of and can identify personal strengths and limitations 
  • Consults supervisors and faculty as appropriate 
  • Understands role of obstacles or ineffectiveness in counseling 
  • Is aware of unhealthy relationships in life 
  • Able to maintain personal and professional balance in life 
  • Exhibits awareness of personal strengths, weaknesses
  • Exhibits self-assurance and confidence in therapeutic skills

Professional Self-Development

  • Exhibits progress in therapeutic skill development and conceptualization 
  • Is on time and attends all classes; participates 
  • Is responsible for completing all assignments on time
  • Demonstrates professional involvement 
  • Follows all applicable Codes of Ethics (.e. ACA, ASCA, CAMFT) and program ethical standards
  • Exhibits a professional attitude and conduct; demonstrates work ethics 
  • Demonstrates clinical skills 
  • Demonstrates leadership and professional advocacy 
  • Is aware of diversity issues and is able to engage professional interactions with diverse populations 
  • Demonstrates professional development that goes beyond the classroom

In addition, students will also be accountable for any behavior that would require disciplinary action from respective governing boards (e.g. BBS, CTC).