It took four years, but Xavier’s department of school and community counseling is finally enjoying the national exposure it was previously denied. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Education awarded the graduate counseling program its first accreditation this year. The lengthy process involved an exhaustive self-assessment that evaluated how the program met the national standards and what steps were being taken to improve the areas that did not.
The process led to several major changes, including making students be admitted to the program instead of just the school of education; making counseling a separate department within the school; and evaluating students on their preparation as professionals. “This gives us national recognition,” says assistant professor Bill O’Connell. “It’s a huge achievement.”