Department Assessment

The Department of Counselor Education actively involves all stakeholders in the evaluation process. Candidates, faculty, field supervisors, alumni, members of the professional community (through various partnerships), and other advisory consulting members provide constant and continuous input to evaluate and improve the department and its programs. A triangulated assessment system is used to collect feedback from students and other stakeholders. See below.

Department Evaluation Components

  • Student Competencies - Knowledge, skills, attitudes
  • Faculty - Instruction, scholarship
  • Program - Curriculum, coordination, management

The assessment process involves gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating data and a decision-making process among students, faculty, and field supervisors. Evaluation data are collected from the following sources:

  • End of course student evaluations (SOTEs)
  • Annual surveys of program graduates
  • Institutional program review
  • Faculty promotion, retention, and post-tenure review
  • Faculty review of courses and the PPS credential program
  • Community and district partners review and provide input through various projects

Data Resources

Utilizing partnership projects to obtain community feedback has been the department’s strategy to improve the quality of its instruction and curriculum. The Counselor Education faculty have developed several partnerships for program improvement.  The intensive involvement of advisory consultants who are associated with several critical project partnerships allows for continual and ample formative and summative evaluation.  These collaborative efforts have led to fostering the following partnerships:

  • Counselor Education Transformation Partnership 1997-1999
  • School-to-Career school, college, and university partnership 1998-2001
  • GEAR UP Partnership with San Jose Unified School District, 1998-2004
  • GEAR UP Partnership with East San Jose (three school districts), 1999-2014

The department also invites students to provide meaningful and timely feedback based on their learning experience in the department. Every semester a comprehensive program evaluation survey is distributed to the students. Data from the survey are shared and discussed with all faculty at the first semester department meeting for program improvement purposes.


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally-funded program designed to increase the number of students from low-income schools to be prepared to enter and succeed in college.

The San Jose State University GEAR UP Community Achievement Project (1999-2014) was a collaboration between SJSU's Department of Counselor Education, community partners, and local school districts serving low-income students to provide academic preparation and college and financial aid information to students and families to prepare them for high school graduation and college success.


GEAR UP's objectives include:

  1. To increase the academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education for GEAR UP students
  2. To increase the high school graduation and postsecondary college enrollment rates
  3. To increase students’ and families’ knowledge of higher education options and financial aid information 


GEAR UP collaborated with community partners to support schools and parents for student academic success and to build a college-going culture. Our community partners included:

  • After-School All Stars
  • AVID Program
  • California Youth Outreach
  • Santa Clara County Office of Education
  • San Jose/Evergreen Community College District
  • The Role Model Program
  • Cal-SOAP program
  • Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
  • East Side Union High School District
  • Franklin-McKinley School District
  • Pleasant Elementary School District

GEAR UP Project Middle and High Schools included:


  • Burnett Middle School
  • August Boeger Middle School
  • W. Fair Junior High School
  • Fischer (Clyde L.) Middle School
  • George (Joseph) Middle School
  • Hoover Middle School
  • Mathson (Lee) Middle School
  • Ocala Middle School
  • Pala Middle School
  • Renaissance Middle School
  • Sheppard Middle School
  • Shirakawa Junior High School
  • Sylvandale Middle School
  • Windmill Springs Elementary School


  • Andrew Hill High School
  • Independence High School
  • James Lick High School
  • Lincoln High School
  • Pleasant High School
  • Overfelt High School
  • San Jose High School
  • Yerba Buena High School


To achieve GEAR UP's objectives, the project provided the services and activities listed below.

1. To improve academic performance and preparation for college:

  • After school tutoring center
  • Saturday academy
  • Summer school
  • SAT preparation

2. To increase high school graduation and college enrollment:

  • Individual counseling
  • Case management
  • Mentoring

3. To increase students’ and families’ knowledge of college and financial aid:

  • Parent workshops
  • Individual parent meetings
  • College workshops
  • College tours 


The GEAR UP evaluation design included assessing quantifiable outcomes and benchmarks for each year of the GEAR UP Project. These benchmark improvements were included in each GEAR UP student’s Student Achievement Plan, a key tool used by staff and students in tracking the selection of courses and services to meet students' educational needs, enhance their capacity for more accelerated learning, improve their classroom achievement, provide standardized test scores, and assess their ability to meet rigorous college entrance requirements. The methodology utilized in this project included collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data to assess the project's impact.

Project Results

In 2014, we worked with 3053 graduating seniors across 8 schools.  At the conclusion of the year, the graduation rate for the entire group was 91% and the college acceptance rate was 83%.  View the entire 2014 project results [pdf].