Academic Standing, Academic Probation, Student Progress Reviews and Dismissal Policy

Academic Standing, Academic Probation, Student Progress Reviews and Dismissal Policy

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. Appeal of this action may be made through the formal appeal process described in this document. 

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 3.0 or better 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 may retake a course in order to raise their grade.)   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 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. 

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/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 developmental review of student progress through the program, beginning with admissions and ending with graduation.  Students are reviewed on both a systematic and an ongoing basis on the departmentís student learning objectives.  Some of the student learning objects 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 such areas as lack of professional progress, impairment, burnout, or unprofessional behavior.  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. Dispositions are reflected in the student learning outcomes for the Counselor Education Program. 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 their 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). 
  8. In instances where there is concern that the studentís 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.

Student Progress and Retention Reviews

In keeping with CACREP accreditation standards, counselor education department faculty engage in a systematic 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.  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 such areas as lack of professional progress, impairment, burnout, or unprofessional behavior.  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 their gifts.
  2. Suspension from the program.
  3. Dismissal from the program.
  4. Delayed entry into clinical courses.
  5. Students who are unable to secure a satisfactory field site placement for reasons relating to their inappropriateness or their lack of readiness for placement will be subject to discontinuance from the program. 
  6. 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 studentís 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 studentís 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 studentís status. 
  7. In instances where there is concern that the studentís 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.