U-Idaho Counseling Programs Earn Highest Marks

Monday, September 17 2012

By Donna Emert

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — If student success is the ultimate measure of the effectiveness of a degree program, then counseling programs at the University of Idaho are definitely measuring up.

In the most recent round of testing completed this fall, the University of Idaho’s Rehabilitation Counseling, Counseling and School Counseling program students collectively achieved a 100 percent pass rate on their professional certification examinations.

Those arduous, comprehensive exams are administered outside of the university by independent national boards.

“The average pass rate for these exams may vary somewhat based on the group of students and professionals completing this exam, but this success rate is well above the average,” said Susan Stuntzner, assistant professor and program coordinator for the university’s rehabilitation counseling program in Coeur d’Alene. “That’s an achievement that reflects well on our students, and it really speaks to the strengths of our program.”

Linda Taylor, who teaches graduate students in counseling and in school psychology on the university’s Coeur d’Alene campus, has had equally remarkable success: Her students earned a 100 percent pass rate on the National Counselors Exam, required to practice counseling; and on the Praxis II Exam, required to practice as a school counselor.

The success is remarkable not only because it is well above the national rate, but also because it was achieved during a period of budget cutbacks and departmental restructuring.

Stuntzner and Taylor both came to the university straight from their own doctoral programs about four years ago. Stuntzner holds a master’s degree in counseling from Portland State University and a doctorate in rehabilitation psychology from University of Wisconsin, Madison. She spent two and half years in Nebraska completing post-doctoral supervision in a state facility for persons with intellectual disabilities and other coexisting disorders as a psychology staff member. Taylor holds a master’s degree in counseling from Purdue University and a doctorate in school psychology from University of Nevada, Reno.

“We followed in the footsteps of some very renowned professors in the university’s counseling programs,” said Taylor. “As new professors in the program, it is really heartening to achieve this milestone.”
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.