As required by the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics, “Counselor educators may require students to address any personal concerns that have the potential to affect professional competency.”
When faculty members have concerns about student behavior that lead them to question a student’s ability regarding fitness to practice or continue in the master’s in counseling programs and consequently become a licensed professional in his or her respective areas of study, the faculty members are responsible to:
A. Notify other core faculty members including but not limited to the primary course lead (a core faculty member that has oversight in a particular course), the program director, student development coordinator (SDC), program coordinators, field experience director/coordinator, and skill development coordinator, AND
B. Complete the Student Development Assessment with a recommendation regarding the student‘s status and an incident report. The faculty members involved will consult with the SDC, who will schedule a meeting with the student.
Concerns about student behavior can emerge within the virtual classroom or at an academic residency, with resulting meetings held either by telephone, teleconference (as in the case of a virtual classroom), or in person (if the student is at residency). Students are typically asked to meet with a faculty committee, which consists of their primary faculty member, a program coordinator, program director or designee, and the SDC or designee. Typically, an initial meeting is held to discuss the concerns and to allow the student to respond, and then a follow-up meeting is scheduled to create a development plan targeting specific concerns, which may include outside work to remediate these concerns. An essential part of this plan is the scheduling of regular check-in meetings where the student and SDC assess progress and re-evaluate the plan as necessary. Both the student and SDC work as a team to meet the appropriate programmatic accreditation and ethical code benchmarks to ensure necessary progress.
The SDC will then recommend whether the student has fulfilled the requirements of the plan, no progress is made, or the student has failed to comply with the student development process. Failure to comply can result in a student being placed on program probation, which means the student will not be allowed to take coursework (including residency and field experience) until the plan is implemented and adequate progress is obtained, as determined by faculty using current CACREP standards and the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. If adequate progress is not made, a recommendation will be made to the program director (or appropriate dean designee) that the student be dismissed from the program.
If the recommendation is made that a student be dismissed from the program, the SDC will work with the student and Student Success Advisor to assist the student in identifying a more suitable graduate program of study within the Walden community, whenever possible.