CEFS 515 Research and Program Evaluation

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.

Course Guide

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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. The counselor, with thorough knowledge of research strategies, will shape both what psychotherapy looks like and how effective those interventions are in the counseling setting.


Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussion: Present Your Research

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will complete a narrated PowerPoint discussion to present his or her Research Proposal paper assignment. For the PowerPoint video discussion, the student will create and upload a 5–10-minute PowerPoint video. 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 presentation 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 2 of 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.

Topic Selection Assignments (2)

Topic Selection: Find a Gap Assignment

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 or 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.

Topic Selection: Final Topic Selection Assignment

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 Assignment. The assignment should be no more than one page, double spaced, and use current APA format.

Stimulus Questions: Chapter Two Research Training – Joys and Challenges Assignment

For this assignment, the student will write answers to the stimulus questions located at the end of the textbook chapters. Answers to the Stimulus Questions will assist the student in the development of the Research Proposal Paper Assignment

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. The student 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.

Building a Research Design Assignment

Using the feedback received from his or her Final Topic assignment, the student will use a decision-making template to build a quantitative or qualitative research design outline. This assignment will help the student develop the Research Proposal Paper Assignment.

Research Proposal Paper Assignment

For this assignment, the student will expound upon the Topic Selection: Final Topic Selection Assignment in hopes to formulate a research study that can be used in counseling. The student 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. The paper should be 2-3 pages, include at least 5 citations and references, and be in current APA format.

Quizzes (3)

The student will complete 3 quizzes. Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned module. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain a varying number of multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer questions, and have a 1 hour and 15-minute time limit.

Quiz: Dispositions Reflection

This quiz will ask the student to rate himself or herself on the nine dispositions required for this program by the 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.

The quiz will contain 9 multiple-choice and 1 essay question and have a 1-hour time limit.


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