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Standards Revision Committee: Out of the gate…


2016 Standards Revision Committee

Out of the Gate…

Every eight years a committee is formed to examine the relevance and timeliness of the existing CACREP Standards to current and future needs of our profession. The 2016 Standards Revision Committee (SRC) was selected earlier this year and we held our first meeting this July in Alexandria, VA. We had a brief tour of the CACREP offices and quickly got to work. Although we anticipate that our plans will evolve over time, we wanted to take this opportunity to share our plan for approaching this Standards revision process.

Who We Are

The 2016 SRC consists of five core members: Amy Milsom (Chair), Sylvia Nassar-McMillan, Verl Pope, Jill Thompson, and Derick Williams. CACREP staff members also participates in all of our meetings.

Amy Milsom is an associate professor and the coordinator of the school counseling and clinical mental health counseling programs at Clemson University. She has participated in and chaired numerous CACREP site visits over the past 10 years. Amy has worked as a middle and high school counselor and as a counselor educator at research institutions with CACREP-accredited programs in school counseling; community counseling; marriage, couple, and family counseling; student affairs/college counseling; and counselor education and supervision.

Sylvia Nassar-McMillan, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, is currently professor and program coordinator of counselor education programs at North Carolina State University. She has served in clinical coordinator and program coordinator roles at three universities (participating in the accreditation processes of six counselor education programs), as well as both counselor and consultant across a variety of clinical mental health, school, and college settings over the past 25 years. Her credentialing activities have included roles as board member for the National Board for Certified Counselors and the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. In addition, she serves as Senior Associate Editor and past Associate Editor for Multicultural Issues for the Journal of Counseling & Development.

Verl T. Pope is a professor of counseling at Southeast Missouri State University where he has taught numerous courses and held a number of administrative responsibilities. He has chaired and served on numerous CACREP site visits. Verl has worked in several agencies both public and private. He maintains a limited private and consults with the Department of Corrections, the juvenile office, schools and the court on assessment and counseling issues. He serves on a number of state and national committees including the State Committee for Professional Counselors, which he currently chairs.

Jill M. Thompson is an associate professor of Counselor Education at the University of the District of Columbia, in Washington, D.C. She serves as the program coordinator for the school counseling master’s program. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified School Counselor, Approved Clinical Supervisor, National Certified Counselor and a CACREP team reviewer. Jill has worked as a public junior high and senior high school counselor, a counselor education department chair and director; as well as had a private practice. She has worked at CACREP accredited institutions that offered programs in school counseling, community counseling, and mental health counseling.

Derick J. Williams is an assistant professor of Counselor Education at the University of Virginia. He serves as the coordinator of practical experiences for the School Counseling Program. He is a licensed school counselor and a CACREP site team member. Derick has worked as a high school counselor, in student affairs and higher education, and in a private mental health facility. He has worked in CACREP-accredited institutions offering specialties in mental health counseling and school counseling and a doctoral degree in counselor education.

Our Process

We start our revision process with great respect for the significant amount of time, effort, and work that is already represented in our current Standards. The 2009 SRC made great strides in moving us forward in many areas, especially more fully articulating professional identity and introducing rigorous, outcome-based assessment. These changes have helped to move the assessment of counselor education programs parallel with that of other professions and more in line with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation requirements. As we move forward with the 2016 Standards we are confident the 2009 Standards will serve as a foundation for the further development of both professional identity and outcome based assessment standards.

Our plan for the Standards revision process is to engage in focused, solution-oriented discussions about how to enhance and refine the Standards. Specifically, we are interested in your concrete ideas for how to address current issues and concerns in both the standards revision process and in suggested content. Some of the questions we will be asking are: Which standards are working well? Which standards need to be refined or clarified? Which standards are or will be outdated? What content is missing in the Standards? How might the organization of the Standards be improved?

We also are approaching this Standards revision process with an eye toward the future. As a profession we need to be forward-thinking, and we hope to hear from you regarding how we can ensure that the Standards are aligned with current as well as anticipated future needs of the counseling profession in an ever-changing global society.  Perhaps the most important question for us to ask is: Where do we want to be 20 years from now and how will the 2016 Standards help us get there? Given the objectives of the SRC, we are clear that our role is not to critique the current standards. Rather, our goal is to engage in dialog about developing time and context-sensitive Standards for the future.

Sources of Information

In terms of from whom and how we will gather feedback, our intent is to solicit feedback from as many constituents as possible in as many ways as possible. At this point we are in the early stages of clarifying the process and procedure we will use to gather feedback. Nevertheless, our efforts will involve disseminating written materials (e.g., drafts) and gathering feedback through a combination of electronic surveys, conference sessions (e.g., ACA and ACES), and board meetings (e.g., AASCB). We also will generate ideas for revision based on our examination of the accreditation standards and processes of related professions (e.g., education, psychology) and by examining national trends related to outcomes assessment.

Anticipated Timeframe for SRC Work

The CACREP Board has asked that we develop a final draft of the 2016 Standards in time for review at a January 2015 board meeting. After gathering some general feedback over the next six months, we anticipate going through two cycles of draft preparation and feedback solicitation. The timeline presented below outlines our tentative agenda for this process. We will modify it as necessary to ensure our process is thorough.

July – December 2011                                    SRC Planning + solicit general feedback at ACES

January – March 2012                                    Solicit general feedback (e.g., online, AASCB, ACA)

April – August 2012                                         Prepare Draft 1

Sept 2012 – Jan 2013                                      Share Draft 1 and gather feedback

February – August 2013                                Prepare Draft 2

Sept 2013 – March 2014                                Share Draft 2 and gather feedback

April – December 2014                                  Prepare Final Draft

January 2015                                                    Submit Final Draft to CACREP Board

Our first public feedback session will be held at the ACES Conference in Nashville. The 90-minute session entitled Intro to the 2016 SRC Process is scheduled for Thursday, October 27, from 1:30-3:20. During this session we will first spend time as a large group clarifying our process and goals as well as discussing initial feedback submitted via Annual Reports of current CACREP accredited programs in Summer 2011. During the remainder of the session we will break into small groups to gather feedback on specific aspects of the Standards.  We invite all to attend.

Final Thoughts

The 2016 SRC is committed to making our standards revision process as open and transparent as possible. Avenues for both hardcopy and electronic feedback will be provided. Updates will be shared in CACREP’s bi-annual newsletter and via the CACREP website. The members of the 2016 SRC are committed to a comprehensive and thorough review process that develops standards that reflect the excellence of Counselor Education and provide a professional consensus for many years to come.