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- The Effects of the CACREP Standards on the Development of Counseling Skills
- This study was designed to measure the effectiveness of accreditation standards (specifically, CACREP Standards for counselor education programs) on the development of counseling skills. A measure of counseling skill (The Counselor Rating Form-Short Version) was used to measure the counseling skills of counselor trainees from various masters programs. These students were enrolled in a doctoral program in counselor education and were taking their first semester practicum. A T-Test of Independent Means revealed that the student counselors from CACREP accredited masters programs scored significantly higher on the CRF-S than did students from non CACREP accredited programs. These students generally had higher levels of counseling skill as judged by this measure. Given the convenience of the sample and its size, results must be analyzed carefully. These results do, however, seem to suggest the necessity of further study. There are several conclusions that may be reasonably drawn from these results. The emphasis that the CACREP Standards place on the supervised experience may account for the difference in skill levels between the two groups. Prior research and student self-report support this theory. The fact that these requirements are daunting to unaccredited programs suggests a gap in experiential learning between the two groups.