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Comprehensive Exams, Graduation and Credentialing


Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) for the Counseling Programs  

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) serves as the Comprehensive Exam for all Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling students. It is a land-based exam offered only at a verified Pearson location. Students can choose the test date, time, and location (nearest Pearson location is Nashville). The exam is similar to the National Counselor Exam (NCE) in that it covers the following content areas:   

  1. Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
  2. Social and Cultural Diversity
  3. Human Growth and Development
  4. Career Development
  5. Counseling and Helping Relationships
  6. Group Counseling and Group Work
  7. Assessment and Testing
  8. Research and Program Evaluation

National Certification Examination (NCE). Graduates from a CACREP-accredited counseling program meet the educational requirements to earn the Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) credential after passing the multiple-choice National Counselor Exam (NCE). This certification through the National Board of Certified Counselor (NBCC) indicates to the public and employers that the counselors have met the national standards set by the counseling profession. The National Counselor Exam (NCE) is also required to obtain full LPCC licensure in KY. See https://lpc.ky.gov/. During their last semester in the program, students may take the exam versus waiting until after graduation. The benefits of taking the exam while still enrolled include a reduced exam fee, as well as having recently prepared for the CPCE, a similar exam. The NCE is offered mid-to-late in the last semester of enrollment.  

In order to take the CPCE (and if desired, the NCE), students must complete the CPCE and NCE Application. Deadlines are as follows: If graduating in the spring (May), the application is due no later September 1 of the previous year. If graduating in the fall (December), the application is due no later than April 1 of that year. The exam must be taken by March 31st to graduate in May of that year; and by October 31st to graduate in December of that year. Exceptions are not provided.  

Per the Department of Counseling and Student Affair’s policy, students pass the CPCE Comprehensive Exam when their scores fall above or below one standard deviation of the national average for that particular exam offering. In the event of not earning a score within the standard deviation of the national average, students are required to take an essay examination. The essay exam includes 2 questions that are provided at the time/date of the exam. Students have 4 hours total to complete this proctored exam via ZOOM or on campus. Students can use resources of their choice (hard copy and/or electronic) to the exam. If that exam is not passed, students are required to take an oral examination.

Comprehensive Exam for the Student Affairs Program

The Comprehensive Exam for the Student Affairs program includes a multiple-choice examination and a two-question essay examination. The multiple-choice examination has been developed by the Student Affairs faculty in the department. Results of the comprehensive exams will be released when all incomplete grades (i.e., IP, X) have been resolved.

In order to take the Comprehensive Exam, students must complete the Students Affairs Comprehensive Exam Application. Deadlines are as follows: If graduating in the spring (May), the application is due no later March 1. If graduating in the fall (December), the application is due no later than October. The Comprehensive Exam will be scheduled on a Saturday typically in April and November. Students should contact the Student Affairs Program Coordinator well in advance for details.

Students are responsible for reviewing WKU Graduate School’s Degree and Certificate Completion Checklist at least a full academic year prior to anticipated graduation as the application for graduation is due the semester. All degree and certificate requirements must be completed by the student by the last day of the term. The Graduate School begins auditing degrees and certificates for completion the week following the final day of the term. The degree audit confirms that the student has: completed all coursework (earning a "C" or higher/no incomplete grades) in their program within the time limit; earned a minimum cumulative and program GPA of 3.0; passed the comprehensive exam; and applied for graduation. Degree audits are completed within four to six weeks after the term concludes. Upon recommendation of the audit, the University Registrar confers the degree and/or certificate in May, August, or December. Students may check their transcript for completion on TopNet (Student Services/Student Records/Unofficial Academic Transcript). Degrees and certificates will be mailed within 3-6 weeks after the conclusion of the term. The Graduate School does not confirm degree or certificate completion prior to award; however, enrollment verification may be requested.

Students are responsible for preparing and applying for graduation the semester prior to completing the program. To begin the application process for graduation, students should visit WKU Registrar.

 

Department of Counseling
and Student Affairs

Gary A. Ransdell Hall 3036
1906 College Heights Blvd. #51031,
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1030
(270) 745-4953


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 Last Modified 4/22/22