Research and Program Evaluation – COUC 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 06/08/2022

Course Description

Students learn the importance of scientific inquiry in the specialty fields of counseling and therapy. Emphasis is on research methods (designs, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation) and locating, interpreting, and evaluating research and program evaluation articles that inform evidence-based practice. Ethical and cultural relevance as well as ethically appropriate integration is also addressed.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Empirical methods are increasingly being used to justify or criticize the usage of particular counseling approaches in therapy. Government, private foundations, and corporations are asking for program evaluations to determine the merits of each program’s continued funding. Spiritual interventions are being explored for their utility in therapy. In short, the scientific method, counseling, and Christian intervention strategies are intersecting. Counselors with thorough knowledge of research strategies will shape both what psychotherapy looks like and how effective those interventions are in the counseling setting.

Method of Instruction: This 8 week course is delivered in a digital asynchronous format, with Canvas® as the primary instructional delivery method. Students complete one module per week over the duration of the course. 

Course Assignment

Textbook Readings and Lecture presentations

(CLOs: A - G)

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Advising Acknowledgement Quiz

Topic Selection: Find a Gap -- The student will select 3 topics related to the counseling profession. The topics and summaries of 3 peer-reviewed articles published within the last 5 years (one article per topic) will be submitted to the instructor for approval and feedback. The instructor will give the student feedback on his/her topic selections regarding which may be the most “researchable and ethical topic” based on assignment requirements, and may recommend the student focus on one for subsequent assignments. The proposal will not be completed as an experimental study, but rather as a proposal of a study that could be conducted in the future. (CLOs: A, E, F)

Topic Selection: Final Topic Selection -- After receiving feedback from the Topic Selection: Find a Gap Assignment, the student will then resubmit the Topic Selection: Final Topic Selection Assignment, choosing one topic selection based upon the professor's feedback, highlighting measurable variables (quantitative) or research strategy (qualitative) for the Research Proposal Paper Assignment. (CLOs: A, B, C, E, F)

Stimulus Questions Assignments (2)

Students will write answers to the stimulus questions for the Stimulus Questions: Research Training- Joys and Challenges (Ch. Two) (CLOs: A, F, G) and Stimulus Questions: Choosing Research Designs- Balancing Ideals and Realities (Ch. Six) (CLOs: A, B, C, D, F) Assignments located at the end of the chapters in Heppner et al. (2016). Answers to the Stimulus Questions will assist the student in the development of the Research Proposal Assignment.


Benchmark Quantitative or Qualitative Research Reporting Assignment

The student will analyze data from a chosen case scenario (not related to his or her proposal) for either a quantitative or qualitative study, and will write up a results and discussion section corresponding to that data/case scenario. Students will interpret the study’s design, discuss hypotheses (for the quantitative case scenario), data collection, method of analysis, results, and implications for the counseling field. The reporting results for each section will be written in no more than 1 page. (CLOs: A, B, C, E, F)

Benchmark Research Proposal Assignment

For the Research Proposal Paper Assignment, students will identify a research topic relevant to counseling and develop a research proposal. Students will conduct a literature review to develop appropriate research hypotheses/questions and discuss the design chosen. The student will then conclude the proposal with the implications that the study could have upon the counseling field and integrate a biblical perspective in light of these implications. (CLOs: A, B, C, E, F, G)

Discussion: Video – Present Your Research

For the Video discussion, students will create and upload a 5-10 minute video, presenting their Research Proposal Paper Assignment. A part of conducting research is to present the student's findings at professional conferences/workshops and the student will practice presenting his or her proposals. Each video must demonstrate course-related knowledge and assertions, and must be supported by at least two outside scholarly sources. The student will reply in a 2–3 minute video to his or her peers discussing the implications to the counseling field and highlight Christian integration with the topic. Replies must be supported by at least one scholarly source. (CLOs: A, B, C, E, F, G)

Quizzes (3)

The student will complete 3 quizzes. Quiz: Research Process and Descriptive Methods will cover the course material and textbook readings in Modules 1–2. Quiz: Process, Methods, and Inferential Statistics will cover the course material and textbook readings in Modules 1–4. Quiz: Methods, Program Evaluation, and Designs will cover the course material and textbook readings in Modules 1–5. The first two quizzes will be open-book/open-notes and will contain a combination of 25 multiple-choice or true/false questions. The last quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain a combination of 24 multiple-choice, true/false, and short-answer questions. All three quizzes have a time limit of 1 hour and 15 minutes. (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F)

Quiz: Dispositions Reflection

This Dispositions Reflection quiz will ask you to rate yourself on the nine dispositions required for this program by our accrediting bodies using the following scale:

  • Exceeds expectations – I believe I do this exceptionally well.
  • Clearly meets expectations – I believe I am able to do this in an appropriate way as expected for graduate students at my current position in the program.
  • Adequately meets expectations – I believe I do this but could use improvement and growth in this dispositional area.
  • Does not meet expectations – I believe I do not do this well and could use improvement.

(CLOs: F, G)