Comprehensive Exam - CPCE – CEFS 670

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The Comprehensive Exam - CPCE must be taken no earlier than completion of the prerequisite courses listed. The Comprehensive Exam - CPCE must be successfully completed prior to degree conferral. Exam fee of $45 will be billed to the student's account, due to outside institution administrative fee.


(CEFS 500 or COUN 500) and (CEFS 501 or MAAC 501 or COUN 501) and (CEFS 502 or COUN 502) and (CEFS 504 or MAAC 504 or COUN 504) and (CEFS 505 or COUN 505) and (CEFS 510 or MAAC 510 or COUN 510) and (CEFS 512 or COUN 512) and (CEFS 515 or MAAC 515 or COUN 515) and (CEFS 521 or MAAC 521 or COUN 521) and (CEFS 522 or COUN 522) and (CEFS 546 or MAAC 646 or COUN 646) and (CEFS 667 or COUN 667)


The CPCE is an important milestone in the students’ educational journey wherein they review and are tested on key material from their education that represent core competencies. Throughout this process, students will be prepared for their licensure exam which they will take upon graduating from their program.

Method of Instruction: The CPCE is not offered as an “official” 16-week university course. However, the syllabus format is used to remind students that they are expected to review and study material provided over the entire course of their studies.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to identify course experiences and evidence of meeting all of the Master’s Core Competency Student Learning Outcomes across the eight core knowledge areas of their program.

COUC/CEFS 500 – Orientation to Counselor Professional Identity and Function

History and philosophy of the counseling profession

Professional roles, functions, and relationships with other human service providers, including strategies for interagency/interorganization collaboration and communications

Self-care strategies appropriate to the counselor role

Professional organizations, including membership benefits, activities, services to members, and current issues

Professional credentialing, including certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards, & effects of public policy on these issues

The role and process of the professional counselor advocating on behalf of the profession

Advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients

Ethical standards of professional organizations and credentialing bodies, and applications of ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling

An orientation to wellness and prevention as desired counseling goals

COUC/CEFS 501 – Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling

Describe the main ethical and legal issues involved in professional counseling

Compare and contrast the relevant ethics codes of professional organizations and

credentialing bodies

Differentiate the counselor’s roles and responsibilities as a member of an

interdisciplinary emergency management response team in a variety of settings

Identify the role of the counselor in advocating for the profession and in

addressing institutional and social barriers that hinder the client’s access to mental

health care

Apply the counseling and state board ethics codes to common clinical situations

Identify signs of counselor impairment and develop a personal plan of counselor


Identify models and ethics of counseling supervision and consultation

Identify ethical methods of spiritual integration within the counseling setting

COUC/CEFS 502 – Human Growth and Development

Differentiate theories of individual and family development and transitions across the life


Identify theories of learning and personality development, including current

understandings about neurobiological behavior

Describe effects of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events on persons of all


Distinguish theories and models of individual, cultural, couple, family, and community


Identify a general framework for exceptional abilities and strategies for differentiated


Explain human behavior, including an understanding of developmental crises, disability,

psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and

abnormal behavior

Examine theories and etiology of addictions and addictive behaviors, including strategies

for prevention, intervention, and treatment

Employ theories for facilitating optimal development and wellness over the lifespan

Apply emerging theories and current special topics in the field of human development

through the lens of Scripture

COUC/CEFS 504 – Multicultural Counseling

The student will be able to illustrate appropriate knowledge in all core curricular

areas of counseling in preparation for certification and/or procuring employment

in the mental health field

The student will be able to demonstrate appropriate research and report writing

skills, including the use of current APA format and computer technology

The student will be able to integrate biblical principles and secular theories in a

responsible, eclectic manner

The student will be able to incorporate ethic and legal standards in the counseling


The student will be able to assess, diagnose, and treat clients with a broad array of

presenting problems and mental disorders using multiple counseling skills in

established best practices

The student will be able to evaluate diverse individual, group, and family

populations in order to effectively determine treatment for clients

COUC/CEFS 505 – Counseling Techniques and the Helping Profession

Identify and apply wellness and prevention strategies that promote client health and welfare

Identify counselor professional and personal characteristics and behaviors that influence the

therapeutic alliance

Demonstrate basic assessment and interviewing skills

Demonstrate basic counseling skills including invitational and therapeutic alignment, reflection,

summarization, questioning, challenging and termination skills

Identify how counseling and family systems theories relate to skills, techniques and case


Demonstrate a general framework for understanding and practicing consultation and supervision

COUC/CEFS 510 – Theories of Counseling

Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of a prescribed theoretical orientation to counseling

Recognize the importance of having a commanding knowledge and understanding of a specified theory in order to incorporate ethically relevant strategies and techniques of the theory in the practice of counseling

Evaluate prominent theories of counseling and psychotherapy for compatibility to biblical teachings

Recognize and critically evaluate distinct strategies and techniques consistent with the philosophical underpinnings of the prescribed theory as well as demonstrate effective application of the fundamental components of the counseling process in a prescribed theoretical orientation to counseling

Differentiate counseling strategies and techniques of the prescribed theory used in counseling individuals and groups

Compare and contrast diversity issues relating to the prescribed theory as well as delineate the application of appropriate counseling strategies and techniques relating to the prescribed theory with diverse populations using relevant counseling strategies and techniques

Integrate prescribed theoretical orientations to counseling into one’s unique counseling approach

COUC/CEFS 512 - Group Counseling

Describe and analyze the principles of group dynamics; including group process

components, developmental stage theories & group members’ roles and behaviors

related to group and therapeutic factors of group work

Describe and analyze group leadership and facilitation styles and approaches,

including characteristics of various types of group leaders

Describe and integrate the theories of group counseling, including commonalties,

distinguishing characteristics, and pertinent research and literature

Compare and contrast group counseling methods, including group counselor

orientations and behaviors, appropriate selection criteria and methods, and methods of

evaluation of effectiveness

Participate in direct experience of group, both as a group member and leader for a

minimum of 10 clock hours

Integrate a Christian theological doctrine of self and relationship with a group

counseling theory and approach

Describe the legal and ethical issues related to group work

COUC/CEFS 515 – Research and Program Evaluation

Explain the role of scientific research in advancing the counseling profession

Differentiate various research methods (e.g., descriptive, predictive, and explanatory) and

research designs (e.g., experimental, quasi-experimental, single-case designs, action

research, and outcome-based research). In addition, he or she will describe each of the

research methods and designs

Apply various statistical principles that are often used in counseling-related research and

program evaluations

Describe various models of program evaluation and action research

Critique research articles and examine the evidence-based practice

Articulate ethical and legal principles of clinical research

Articulate the importance of research in advancing the profession of counseling

Judge various research methods and designs (including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodology) in order to identify the appropriate research method and design (including but not limited to: single-case design, true experimental design, action research, program-evaluation, outcome-based research, etc.

Identify the appropriate statistical test called for based on the level of measurement and research design

Apply models of program evaluation (including but not limited to: needs assessments, formative evaluations, and summative evaluations) and interpret results to inform and modify changes in counseling program practices

Apply research to inform evidence-based practice and use practice to inform and guide the articulation of research questions

Evaluate each section of a research or program evaluation peer-reviewed article and report results of research projects and program evaluations in both an ethical and culturally sensitive manner

COUC/CEFS 521 – Assessment Techniques in Counseling

Discuss historical perspectives concerning the nature and meaning of assessment

Explain basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing and other

assessment techniques including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced

assessment, environmental assessment, performance assessment, individual and

group test and inventory methods, and behavioral observations

Apply statistical concepts including scales of measurement, measures of central

tendency, indices of variability, shapes and types of distributions, and


Explain and evaluate reliability in terms of theory of measurement error, models

of reliability, and the use of reliability information

Explain and evaluate validity in terms of theory of measurement error, types of

validity, and the relationship between reliability and validity

Identify how age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, disability,

culture, spirituality, and other social and cultural factors relate to the assessment

and evaluation of individuals, groups, and specific populations

Identify and utilize ethical strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting

assessment and evaluation instruments

Understand general principles and methods of case conceptualization, assessment,

and/or diagnoses of mental and emotional status

COUC/CEFS 522 – Career Development and Counseling

Understand general principles and methods of case conceptualization, assessment,

and/or diagnoses of mental and emotional status

Analyze and apply the various resources for career, avocational, educational,

occupational, and labor market information, including visual and print media,

computer-based career information systems, and other career information systems

to career counseling clients

Identify the process of career development program planning, organization,

implementation, administration, and evaluation

Identify and apply the interrelationships among and between work, family, and

other life roles, including the role of multicultural issues in career development to

career counseling clients

Describe career and educational planning, placement, follow-up, and evaluation

Evaluate, administer, and interpret some of the assessment instruments and

techniques that are relevant to career planning and decision making

Describe and apply career counseling processes, techniques, and resources,

including those applicable to specific populations in a global economy

Describe the Christian perspectives of work and the concept of calling

COUC/CEFS 667 – Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

Recognizes the potential for substance use disorders to mimic and coexist with a variety of medical and psychological disorder


Knows the etiology, the diagnostic process and nomenclature, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and

emotional disorders

Understands the principles of crisis intervention for people during crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events

Knows the principles, models, and documentation formats of biopsychosocial case conceptualization and treatment


Uses the principles and practices of diagnosis, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders to initiate, maintain, and terminate counseling

Applies multicultural competencies to clinical mental health counseling involving case conceptualization, diagnosis,

treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders

Demonstrates appropriate use of culturally responsive individual, couple, family, group, and systems modalities for

initiating, maintaining, and terminating counseling

Provides appropriate counseling strategies when working with clients with addiction and co-occurring disorders

Knows the principles and models of assessment, case conceptualization, theories of human development, and concepts of normalcy and psychopathology leading to diagnoses and appropriate counseling treatment plans

Understands various models and approaches to clinical evaluation and their appropriate uses, including diagnostic

interviews, mental status examinations, symptom inventories, and psychoeducational and personality assessments

Understands basic classifications, indications, and contraindications of commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications so that appropriate referrals can be made for medication evaluations and so that the side effects of such medications can be identified

Selects appropriate comprehensive assessment interventions to assist in Diagnosis/Treatment planning, with an

awareness of cultural bias in the implementation and interpretation of assessment protocols

Demonstrates skill in conducting an intake interview, a mental status evaluation, a biopsychosocial history, a mental

health history, and a psychological assessment for treatment planning and caseload management

Screens for addiction, aggression, and danger to self and/or others, as well as co-occurring mental disorders

Applies the assessment of a client’s stage of dependence, change, or recovery to determine the appropriate treatment

modality and placement criteria within the continuum of care

Knows evidence-based treatments and basic strategies for evaluating counseling outcomes in clinical mental health


Applies relevant research findings to inform the practice of clinical mental health counseling

Develops measurable outcomes for clinical mental health counseling programs, interventions, and treatments

Knows the principles of the diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis, and the use of current diagnostic tools, such as the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM

Course Assignment

Please note that all the announcements are required reading for the course. Remember the other important required reading in the course content as well, including the syllabus and other information posted.

You must take and pass your CPCE prior to obtaining permission to graduate.

Please note the passing score for the CPCE changes with every version of the exam. Please refer to the Comprehensive Exam webpage for up to date information.

Students are permitted to take the exam once per semester with no more than three attempts permitted. After the second attempt, a student must fill out a CTAP form and wait at least one semester before attempting the CPCE for the third time. After three failed attempts, students will no longer be eligible for the licensure track degree. Students will need to contact the Department of Community Care and Counseling to discuss the opportunity of transferring their earned credits and conferring a non-licensure 30-hour Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling degree.