Academic Standing

Academic Appeals

Please refer to the university's policy on academic appeals stated earlier in this catalog. 

Academic Standing and Academic Probation Policy

Counseling students must maintain a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average to remain active in the graduate program. In addition, students must earn a grade of B or higher in Pre-Practicum: Basic Counseling Skills, Practicum in Counseling, Internship, and their specialty area courses in order to graduate from the program. A student must receive no grades of C- or lower. (Students must retake a course in order to raise their grades.) Grades of C- or lower do not count toward a graduate degree in counseling. Though a student must maintain a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average to graduate from the program, all student learning outcomes (SLOs) must be met at the level of proficiency as well. A 3.0 GPA and completion of all requirements is inadequate for graduation unless all SLOs have been achieved.

Students who earn lower than a B- (2.70) in two courses will be placed on academic probation. Any student who is on probation will work closely with his or her adviser to create a plan for removing the probationary status. This plan prioritizes addressing and correcting the grade or situation for which the student was put on probationary status.  Students whose semester GPA is below 3.0 for two semesters will be subject to dismissal from the graduate counseling program. Students who fail any course will be allowed to repeat that course one time.  Students who do not pass the course on the second attempt will be academically dismissed from the program.  Appeal of this action may be made through the formal appeal process described in this document.

Student Progress and Retention Reviews and Dismissal Policy

There are retention screens, assessments, and progress reviews throughout the program designed to assess the student's progress in meeting a level of proficiency on each of the student learning outcomes. The assessment of SLOs is designed to assist the student in his or her growth and development and to provide faculty with systematic opportunities to consider the fit between the student and the program/profession.

In keeping with CACREP accreditation standards, Counselor Education department faculty engage in a systematic and ongoing developmental review of student progress through the program, beginning with admissions and ending with graduation. The three areas of student progress which are considered include academic performance, professional development, and personal development. Reviews are based on the department's student learning objectives. Some student learning objectives relate to the dispositions of students, which include personal growth and professional behavior. There are particular points in the program where all students are reviewed; however, any student demonstrating challenges in academic, professional or personal development may be subject to review at any point in the program. Professional or personal development includes, but is not limited to, such areas as lack of professional progress, impairment, burnout, or unprofessional behavior. Dispositions are reflected in the student learning outcomes for the Counselor Education Program. Because of the nature of the field of counseling, students may be subject to faculty interventions for non-academic reasons, even if their academic work is excellent. Examples of faculty/departmental action in these situations include but are not limited to:
  1. Facilitating the transition of the student out of the field of counseling into a field more appropriate for his or her gifts.
  2. Suspension from the program.
  3. Dismissal from the program.
  4. Delayed entry into clinical courses.
  5. Student-designed contracts.
  6. Students who are unable to secure a satisfactory field site placement for reasons relating to their inappropriateness or their lack of readiness for placement may be subject to discontinuance from the program.
  7. Graduate counseling students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior that reflects a commitment to the ethics of the counseling profession (see ACA Code of Ethics). Behavior contrary to these ethics will be cause for review of the student's status in the program. Examples of unprofessional conduct that would warrant such a review include oral and written statements that are derogatory toward students, faculty, and other persons involved in a student's education. Any form of discrimination or disrespect shown to persons on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation is contrary to the purposes and values of counseling and will result in a review of the student's status.
  8. In instances where there is concern that the student's past or present functioning might interfere with professional counseling responsibilities, the student may be requested to seek professional counseling. Depending on the severity of the issues, the student may be subject to discontinuance from the Master of Science in Counseling program.
  9. Lack of proficiency in any of the SLOs will constitute action from the faculty, which may lead to program dismissal, delayed graduation, or other action, despite acceptable grades.