Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education

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1 Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education INITIAL REPORT CAS Self-Assessment Guide Arkansas State University-Beebe Student Success Center Counseling Services Spring 2010

2 2 CAS Counseling Services Self-Assessment Guide Part One: Mission 1. What is the program mission? The mission of Arkansas State University-Beebe Counseling Center is to support the intellectual and emotional development of our diverse student population and to assist these students in accomplishing personal and academic goals. In order to achieve this mission, we provide high quality, confidential individual counseling services and programming focused on the developmental needs of college students that is respectful and sensitive to diversity issues. 2. How does the mission embrace student learning and development? Counseling is a confidential process designed to help students address concern, come to a greater understanding, and learn effective personal and interpersonal coping strategies. It involves a relationship between the student and the counselor who has the desire and willingness to help students accomplish their individual goals. The counseling center provides students the opportunity to explore personal concerns and problems with a counselor. The counselor is available to assist students with issues such as, adjusting to college, stress management, relationship problems and depression. The services are confidential, free and are available during regular office hours. The counseling center encourages students to participate in numerous activities that promote both student learning and development. The activities include the Domestic Violence Clothesline Project and the Dealing with Conflict workshop. 3. In what ways does the program mission complement the mission of the institution? The program s mission compliments the mission of the institution by ensuring that students are provided the opportunity to explore concerns and problems that prevent them from achieving academically and socially. ASU Beebe Mission Transforming lives through quality learning experiences Student Services Mission Engaging and empowering students to succeed in and beyond the classroom through student-centered communities.

3 3 Part 1. Mission Part 1: Mission Criterion Measures Average Team Rating 1.1 CS develops, disseminates, and regularly reviews its mission CS implements its mission The mission statement is consistent with that of the host institution. The mission statement is consistent with professional standards. CS incorporates learning and development outcome domains in the mission statement CS scope includes: assisting students in defining and accomplishing personal, academic, and career goals high quality individual and group counseling programming for developmental needs consulting services to the institution assessment services. 1.6 Part 1: Mission Overview Questions A. What is the program mission? The review team feels mission statement is adequate but needs to include information on how and when the mission statement is reviewed. There are no learning outcomes identified in mission statement. Review team feels that identifying learning outcomes in the mission statement would make the mission statement to lengthy. B. How does the mission embrace student learning and development? Review team feel mission statement does not say how student learning is embraced. There is no evidence to support the statement. C. In what ways does the program mission complement the mission of the institution? Review team feels the program mission complements the mission of the institution very well.

4 4 CAS Counseling Services Self-Assessment Guide Part Two: Program 1. What are the primary elements of the program? a. To provide a safe and therapeutic environment, this is accessible and respectful of diversity issues. b. To maintain confidentiality according to professional/ethical standards. c. To be proactive in responding to needs, interests and concerns of a diverse student community. d. To provide a continuum of professional and ethical therapy sessions. e. To provide unconditional support and advocacy for student concerns. f. To offer a variety of programs to assist students in maximizing their educational and social experience at the University. g. To provide services that encourages the acquisition of skills to become proactive, socially responsible, accountable individuals. h. To further the development of responsibility for lifelong health and safety, personally and globally. i. To act as consultants and resources in promoting the holistic development of students. 2. What evidence exists that confirms the program contributes to student learning and development? Dealing with Conflict seminar presented to students Fall 2009 Domestic Violence Clothesline Project presented Fall What evidence is available to confirm program goals achievement? Students are required to complete a program evaluation form at the end of each semester; however, there are only twelve (12) completed evaluations from fall 2009.

5 Part 2. Program Part 2. Program Criterion Measures CS is: CS explores possibilities for collaboration with faculty members and other colleagues. Average Team Rating Average 1.6 Rating integrated into the life of the institution intentional and coherent guided by theories and knowledge of learning and development reflective of developmental and demographic profiles of the student population responsive to needs of individuals, diverse and special populations, and relevant constituencies. 2.7 CS provides directly, through referral, or in collaboration: individual counseling and psychotherapy group interventions psychological testing and other assessment techniques outreach to students support to overcome skill or preparation deficiencies psychiatric consultation, evaluation, and support crisis intervention professional development for staff and faculty. 1.4 Part 2. Program Overview Questions A. What are the primary elements of the program? Review team found the primary elements of the program to be lengthy and suggested that some may be combined or condensed. It is unclear on whether elements of the program are available on all campuses B. What evidence exists that confirms the contributions of the program to student learning and development? Review team found no evidence to support that the workshop and project contributed to student learning and development. C. What evidence is available to confirm achievement of program goals? There was no evidence that the program is achieving all of its primary elements. The twelve evaluations do show users feel better after counseling services. This was good evidence.

6 6 CAS Counseling Services Self-Assessment Guide Part Three: Leadership 1. In what ways are program leaders qualified for their roles? The program leader is staffed by one full time Counselor/Academic Advisor Coordinator and one part Counselor/Testing Coordinator. The full-time Counselor/Academic Advisor must have a Master s degree in Counseling, Psychology, or a related degree. It is preferred that the counselor be licensed or licensed eligible. Currently, the role of the counselor/academic advisor coordinator is vacant and services are being performed by the Counselor/Testing Coordinator and the Director of the Student Success Center. 2. In what ways are program leaders positioned and empowered to accomplish the program mission? The Coordinators are encouraged to implement and develop any services that will positively impact the needs of the students and help to meet and exceed the mission of the program. The coordinators are also encouraged to attend and participate in professional development, facilitate trainings; consult with others in the profession, and maintain professional memberships. 3. How are program leaders accountable for their performance? The program leaders are required to complete a performance evaluation; participate in weekly staff meetings and bi-annual planning meetings. On-going feedback is given during this session. 4. What leadership practices best describe program leaders? The leadership practice of the Student Success Center director is to inspire, motivate and challenge students to excel and achieve in and beyond the classroom.

7 Part 3. Leadership Part 3. Leadership Criterion Measures Average Team Rating 3.1 CS leaders: Average Rating articulate a vision and mission for the program set goals and objectives based on the needs of the population and desired student learning and development outcomes advocate for the program promote campus environments that provide meaningful opportunities for student learning, development, and integration identify and find means to address individual, organizational, or environmental conditions that foster or inhibit mission achievement advocate for representation in strategic planning initiatives at appropriate divisional and institutional levels initiate collaborative interactions with stakeholders who have legitimate concerns and interests in the functional area apply effective practices to educational and administrative processes prescribe and model ethical behavior communicate effectively manage financial resources, including planning, allocation, monitoring, and analysis incorporate sustainability practices in the management and design of programs, services, and facilities manage human resource processes including, recruitment, selection, development, supervision, performance planning, and evaluation empower professional, support, and student staff to accept leadership opportunities encourage and support scholarly contribution to the profession integrate appropriate technologies into programs and services know federal, state/provincial, and local laws relevant to the programs and services

8 ensure that staff members understand their responsibilities about laws and offer appropriate training develop and continuously improve programs and services in response to the changing needs of students and other populations and the evolving institutional priorities recognize environmental conditions that may negatively influence the safety of staff and students and propose interventions that mitigate such conditions Part 3. Leadership Overview Questions A. In what ways are program leaders qualified for their roles? Review team agreed job descriptions for vacant positions, resumes, or vitas would be good evidence to include to show that program leaders qualifications. How are the program leaders showing leadership traits? B. In what ways are program leaders positioned and empowered to accomplish the program mission? Review team did not find any examples of how services are positively impacting needs of students or exceeding the mission of the program outside of the student evaluations. Review team did not find any means to review how budget is managed. There was no copy of budgets or mentioning of budgets in the data packets. C. How are program leaders accountable for their performance? Review team found the performance evaluation, staff meeting, and feedback as good evidence for accountability. It would be nice to include a blank performance evaluation as physical evidence. D. What leadership practices best describe program leaders? Review team did not find any evidence of what practices are used to inspire, motivate, and challenge students to excel and achieve success.

9 9 CAS Counseling Services Self-Assessment Guide Part Five: Ethics 1. What ethical principles, standards, statements, or codes guide the program and its staff members? The Student Success Center adheres to the professional standards and ethical guidelines as required by the American Psychological Association (APA), American Counseling Association (ACA), and American College Personnel Association (ACPA). Counseling Center staff is further expected to pursue their professional responsibilities within the framework of the laws of the State of Arkansas. *See the attached ACA, APA and ACPA Codes of Ethics. 2. What is the program s strategy for managing student and staff member confidentiality issues? All interactions with Counseling Services, including scheduling of or attendance at appointments, content of sessions, progress in counseling, and records are confidential. No record of counseling is contained in any academic, educational, or job placement file. All client materials are kept strictly confidential. Client files are kept in a locked file cabinet and are located in a locked file room. Client files are never taken outside of the Student Success Center office. Consultations with clients must be limited to private offices. Discussion regarding client issues should occur between professional counseling staff, Student Success Center staff and/or appropriate university personnel. Confidentiality includes the status of clients (i.e. whether they are attending counseling or not). An Authorization for the Release of Confidential Information is required before any information about a client may be released. Parents and legal guardians of minors (i.e. students under 18 years of age) may obtain information without this form. *See the attached Policies and Procedures, Client Consent Form, HIPPA Policy, and Authorization for Release of Confidential Information Forms. 3. How are ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest managed?

10 10 There is no current written policy on how to handle an ethical dilemma or what to do in the event there is a conflict of interest. 4. In what ways are staff members informed and supervised regarding ethical conduct? Policies and procedures comply with that of the Human Resource Office. All staff must adhere to the guidelines as outlined on the website and faculty/staff handbook Part 5. Ethics Part 5. Ethics Criterion Measures 5.1 CS has a statement of ethical practice that is published and reviewed periodically. Average Team Rating Average 2.6 Rating 5.2 CS staff members adhere to the principles of ethical behavior New staff members are oriented to the statement of ethical practice. Privacy and confidentiality are maintained with respect to all communications and records to the extent protected under the law and statement of ethical practice. Information contained in students education records is never disclosed without written consent, except as allowed by law and institutional policy. Information judged to be of an emergency nature is disclosed to appropriate authorities when an individual s safety or that of others is involved. 5.7 CS staff members: comply with the institution s human subjects research and other policies addressing confidentiality of research data concerning individuals avoid personal conflicts of interest or appearance thereof in transactions with students and others ensure the fair, objective, and impartial treatment of all persons with whom they interact ensure that funds are managed in accordance with established institutional accounting procedures and fiscal policies. 5.8 CS promotional information is accurate and free of deception CS staff members:

11 perform assigned duties within the limits of training, expertise, and competence, and when limits are exceeded make referrals to persons possessing appropriate qualifications confront and otherwise hold accountable others who exhibit unethical behavior practice ethical behavior in the use of technology Staff members conform to relevant federal, state/provincial, and local statutes regarding the delivery of counseling and psychological services Staff members adhere to relevant ethical standards Staff members maintain confidentiality of student status and information disclosed in counseling unless approved by the client. Staff members inform clients of limits to confidentiality and use principles of informed consent. Staff members disclose to appropriate authorities information judged to be of an emergency nature, including the safety of the client and others. CS maintains records in a confidential and secure manner and monitors access, use, and maintenance of the records Part 5. Ethics Overview Questions A. What ethical principles, standards, statements, or codes guide the program and its staff members? Review team found the A.P.A., A.C.A., and A.C.P.A. to be good professional standards for ethical principles. B. What is the program s strategy for managing student and staff member confidentiality and privacy issues? Review team found policy for confidentiality to be good. C. How are ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest managed? Review team agree that policy needs to be written on how conflict of interest is handled. D. In what ways are staff members informed and supervised regarding ethical conduct? Review team agree that copy of Human Resource s guidelines on ethical conduct should be included for review as evidence. Review team agree that a policy for due process should be included for grievance complaints.

12 12 CAS Counseling Services Self-Assessment Guide Part Six: Legal Responsibilities 1. What are the crucial legal issues faced by the program? Confidentiality: HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act). FERPA, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Students have specific, protected rights regarding the release of such records and FERPA requires that institutions adhere strictly to these guidelines. Therefore, it is imperative that the faculty and staff have a working knowledge of FERPA guidelines before releasing educational records. HIPPA, Privacy regulations require health care providers and organizations, as well as their business associates, to develop and follow procedures that ensure the confidentiality and security of protected health information when it is transferred, received, handled, or shared. This applies to all forms of information, including paper, oral, and electronic, etc. Furthermore, only the minimum health information necessary to conduct business is to be used or shared. 2. How are staff members instructed, advised, or assisted with legal concerns? Legal advice is available to Counseling Center staff by the school attorney. Counseling center staff is knowledgeable of relevant laws, policies, and procedures relevant to their work. The staff adheres to the obligations and limitations these laws create and ensures that the policies and procedures of the counseling services follow both the law and the ethical standards of the profession. *See the attached HIPPA Policy and ASU Beebe FERPA Guidelines.

13 13 Part 6. Legal Responsibilities Part 6. Legal Responsibilities Criterion Measures 6.1 CS staff members: are knowledgeable about and responsive to laws and regulations relevant to their respective responsibilities. inform users and officials of legal obligations and limitations associated with implementing the program. CS has written policies on all relevant operations, transactions, or tasks that have legal implications. 6.3 CS staff members: do not participate in nor condone any form of harassment or activity that demeans persons or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive campus environment use reasonable and informed practices to limit the liability exposure of the institution and its personnel are informed about institutional policies regarding risk management, personal liability, and related insurance coverage options and are referred to external sources if coverage is not provided by the institution. Legal advice is available to CS staff members as needed to carry out assigned responsibilities. CS staff members and students are informed in a systematic fashion about extraordinary or changing legal obligations and potential liabilities. Team Average Rating Part 6. Legal Responsibilities Overview Questions A. What are the crucial legal issues faced by the program? Review team agree that confidentiality creates legal issues for counseling program. Review team agrees that technology also creates legal issues for counseling program. B. How are staff members instructed, advised, or assisted with legal concerns? Review did not find evidence or policy of how and when the school attorney is made available to advise staff members. Review team did not find any evidence to support measure

14 14 CAS Counseling Services Self-Assessment Guide Part Nine: Organization & Management 1. What are the institutional organizational structures that define, enable, or restrain the program? *See the attached organizational charts of the Student Success Center and Student Services Functional Organizational Chart. 2. What protocols or processes are in place to insure effective management of the program? Counseling center staff participates in yearly evaluations, weekly team meetings, end of semester planning meetings and individual staff meetings. Staff provides updates on program services and receives feedback from the director of the Student Success Center and the Vice Chancellor of Student Services. Part 9. Organization and Management Part 9. Organization and Management Criterion Measures Team 9.1 CS is structured purposely. Average CS is managed effectively. Rating CS uses: Written policies, procedures, performance expectations, workflow graphics, and clearly stated delivery expectations are in place. Websites are monitored to ensure currency, accuracy, appropriate references, and accessibility. comprehensive and accurate information for decisions and responds to changing conditions clear sources and channels of authority procedures for decision-making and conflict resolution systems of accountability and evaluation

15 processes for recognition and award CS aligns policies and procedures with those of the institution and provides channels for regular review. 2.4 Part 9. Organization and Management Overview Questions A. What are the institutional organization structures that define, enable, or restrain the program? Review team did not find evidence of how counseling program fits in institutional organization on each campus. Review team did not find where the administrative office assistant fits in the organizational chart for Student Success Center. B. What protocols or processes are in place to ensure effective management of the program? Review team did not find evidence of how counseling services are managed on other campuses. Review team did not find evidence to support how information on website is reviewed or managed. Review team did not find evidence of when and how the written policies of counseling services are reviewed.

16 16 CAS Counseling Services Self-Assessment Guide Part Ten: Campus & External Relations 1. With which relevant individuals, groups, campus offices, and external agencies must the programs maintain effectively relations? The counseling center is a part of the Student Success Center and it must maintain a close working relationship with the offices of Disability Services, Testing and Career and Transfer Counseling. The counseling center staff consults with members of the university community regarding various student life issues, so it maintains a working relationship with University Police, Residence Life, faculty and staff, Student Service on the LRAFB, Searcy and Heber Springs campuses, and TRIO Student Support Services. The Counseling Center provides students with al list of referrals to community agencies and local hospitals when the needs of the client outweigh the scope of services offered by the counseling center staff. There is a relationship with Anchorpoint Psychological Services, Professional Counseling Associates, Families Inc. Counseling Services, and Health Resources of Arkansas. 2. What evidence confirms effective relationships with program constituents? The Counseling center staff provides cross training to the Student Success Center team members, serves on various campus committee, works closely with the University Police when crisis situations occur, administers Myers Briggs to LEAD program participants and TRIO Student Support Services participants, and interprets Self Directed Search (SDS) for students enrolling in the ASU Jonesboro teacher education program.

17 17 Part 10. Campus and External Relations Part 10. Campus and External Relations Criterion Measures 10.1 CS reaches out to relevant individuals, campus offices, and external agencies to: Team Average Rating establish, maintain, and promote effective relations disseminate information about its own and other related programs and services coordinate and collaborate, where appropriate, in offering programs and services to meet the needs of students and promote achievement of student learning and development outcomes CS has: procedures and guidelines consistent with institutional policy for responding to threats, emergencies, and crisis situations systems and procedures for disseminating timely and accurate information to students and other members of the campus community during emergency situations procedures and guidelines consistent with institutional policy for communicating with the media. CS has established appropriate working relationships with off-campus community health resources Part 10. Campus and External Relations Overview Questions A. With which relevant individuals, campus offices, and external agencies must the program maintains effective relations? Review team found no evidence to support how the counseling services are extended to other campuses and campus groups. Review team agreed that data such as charts that show how many students were referred out to external agencies would be good data to have for department reviews. Review team found no data on how crisis situations are managed on campus or if crisis training is offered on campus for the campus community. Review team agrees that the measures under 10.2 are fulfilled by University Police and Public Information on this campus. B. What evidence confirms effective relationships with program constituents? Review team found no evidence to support that relationships exists with other campus offices or external program constituents. Review team agreed that list of committees showing counseling staff as members or memorandums of understandings with external agencies would be good data

18 18 CAS Counseling Services Self-Assessment Guide Part Fourteen: Assessment & Evaluation 1. What is the grand assessment strategy for the program? Students complete the attached evaluation form to evaluate the counseling center services. During the Fall 2009 semester, only twelve (12) students completed an evaluation form and. 2. How are tangible, measurable outcomes determined to ensure program mission and goal achievement? Some data is collected but not assessed. The results of the evaluations are not currently being used to improve or enhance the services being offered by the program. 3. How are student learning and development outcomes determined to ensure their level of achievement? Counseling Services has not identified student learning and development outcomes at this time. Part 14. Assessment and Evaluation Part 14. Assessment and Evaluation Criterion Measures 14.1 CS has systematic plans and processes to meet internal and external accountability expectations regarding the program as well as student learning and development outcomes. Team Average Rating CS conducts regular assessment and evaluations CS employs both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to: determine achievement of mission and goals determine achievement of student learning and development outcomes ensure comprehensiveness Data are collected from students and other relevant constituencies CS evaluates regularly how well it complements and enhances the institution s stated mission and educational effectiveness. 1.6

19 Results of program evaluations are used to: revise and improve the program identify needs and interests in shaping direction recognize professional staff performance. 1 Part 14. Assessment and Evaluation Overview Questions A. What is the comprehensive assessment strategy for the program? Review team agree that the student evaluation is not comprehensive assessment strategy as it does not assess all nine program elements and does not include any users other than students. B. How are tangible, measurable outcomes determined to ensure program achievement of mission and goals? Review team did not find evidence to support the achievement of mission and goals of the program. C. How are student learning and development outcomes determined to ensure their level of achievement? Learning outcomes are not identified at this point.

20 CAS 20 Work Form B Follow-Up Actions INSTRUCTIONS: The purpose of this work form is to begin the planning for action to be taken on practices judged to merit follow-up (Work Form A, Step Two). In the chart below, as Step Three, transfer short descriptions of the practices requiring follow-up and detail these items using the table format provided. Step Three: Describe the current practice that requires change and actions to initiate the change Practice Description Corrective Action Sought Task Assigned To Timeline Due Dates 1.1 Review Mission Statement Re-write the mission statement to include student learning outcomes and goals. Coordinator August Incorporating learning outcomes Identify learning outcomes and implement into the mission Coordinator December Assessment Services Continue to assess and evaluate the program services and develop a means for measuring student success on an annual basis. Coordinator Ongoing; Fall and Spring Semesters 2.5 Collaborate with faculty and staff Provide ongoing collaborations with faculty and staff about the services provided. Coordinator Ongoing; Fall and Spring Semesters

21 Professional development Seek more opportunities to obtain professional development. Coordinator Ongoing; Fall and Spring Semesters Integrating Technology Consult with the webmaster to publicize and update services on the website. Coordinator; Webmaster December Addressing the changing needs of student population Implement services to address the needs of the students. Coordinator December Human subject research Counseling services does not conduct any human subject research Coordinator Ongoing; Fall and Spring Semesters Unethical behavior Counseling services will provide ongoing training to staff regarding unethical behavior. Coordinator Ongoing; Fall and Spring Semesters 5.11 Ethical Standards for staff Counseling services will address ethical standards. Coordinator Ongoing; Fall and Spring Semesters 6.2 Policies on legal implications Counseling services will address and implement policies on legal implications and obligations. Coordinator Ongoing; Fall and Spring Semesters 6.5 Legal obligations and potential liabilities Counseling services will address and implement policies on legal implications and obligations. Coordinator Ongoing; Fall and Spring Semesters

22 CAS 22 Work Form C Summary Action Plan Step Four: This form concludes the self-assessment process and calls for action to be taken as a consequence of study results. Write a brief action plan statement in the spaces below for each Part in which action is required. (Note: If using the electronic/cd version, text boxes will expand with typing.) Part 1: Mission Counseling Services will include information on how and when the mission statement is reviewed and will identify learning outcomes to add to the mission statement. Part 2: Program Counseling Services will review the primary elements and combine or condense as necessary. Counseling Services will also state which elements of the program are available on each of the campuses. Counseling Services will provide workshops and projects that will contribute to student learning and development. Part 3: Leadership Counseling Services make available job descriptions and organizational charts. Counseling Services will research ways to positively impact the needs of students. Counseling Services will attach a blank performance evaluation as physical evidence of accountability. Counseling Services will research the most effective ways to inspire, motivate and challenge students to excel and achieve success. Part 5: Ethics Counseling Services will develop a policy on how conflict of interest will be handled. Counseling Services will include a copy of Human Resource s guidelines on ethical conduct for review as evidence. In addition, Counseling Services will develop a policy for due process for grievance complaints. Part 6: Legal Responsibilities Counseling Services will create a policy of how and when the school attorney is made available to advise staff members. Part 9: Organization and Management Counseling Services will research how the counseling program fits in the institutional organization on each campus, and include that research. In addition, the Counseling Services will provide an organizational chart that includes the administrative office assistant. Counseling Services will provide evidence of how counseling services are managed on other campuses. It will also provide evidence to

23 23 support how information on the website is reviewed. Counseling Services will create a policy to document when and how written policies are reviewed. Part 10: Campus and External Relations Counseling Services will provide evidence to support how counseling services are extended to other campuses and campus groups. It will provide a chart to show how many students were referred out to external agencies. Counseling Services will provide data showing how crisis situations are managed on the campus. Counseling Services will research how to provide crisis training on campus. Counseling Services will also provide a list of committees that show counseling staff as members of those committees, in addition to memorandums of understanding with external agencies. Part 14: Assessment and Evaluation Counseling Services will continue to assess the effectiveness of the program using CAS standards. Counseling Services will continue to collect feedback from students regarding the effectiveness of the services.

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