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Counseling program achieves 100 percent pass rate on national exam

Posted by Samantha McClintock on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 15:01 PM

Waynesburg University counseling students have exceeded the national pass rate and have achieved the highest possible pass rate on the National Counseling Exam for the 2011-2012 academic year. Since April of 2012, all 26 University graduate students who have taken the exam have passed, equaling an impressive 100 percent rate and placing Waynesburg approximately 20 percent above the national pass rate of 78 percent for the exam.

The National Counselor Exam (NCE) is the required exam for national certification as a professional counselor. Most states, including Pennsylvania, use the exam to determine licensure as an LPC, or Licensed Professional Counselor. According to Dave Mariner, dean of graduate and professional studies at Waynesburg University, aggregated NCE scores is a recognized measure of student performance within counseling programs by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and informs program assessment and curriculum.

"Between the recent accreditation by the CACREP and the 100 percent pass rate, the counseling program is making great strides to distinguish itself as a leader in the nation,” said Dr. Robert Graham, Waynesburg University Provost. “We're proud of the program as well as the faculty, staff and students who make it outstanding."

Waynesburg University’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program is designed in accordance with the standards set forth by the American Counseling Association (ACA). The Counseling program has two specialized tracks, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Addiction Counseling, and was recently accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Waynesburg University currently has the only CACREP approved addictions counseling specialization in Pennsylvania.

“The faculty design and develop the curriculum as well as teach the students. There is not a better group of faculty at any institution. They are experts in their fields of study, and they are great teachers,” Mariner said. “I commend the entire counseling faculty, staff and students for their hard work and achievements.”

According to Dr. Scott Tracy, director of graduate programs in counseling, a system wide approach was used to help students prepare for the certification examination. 

 “If you do a good job aligning the curriculum to the national standards, the test scores take care of themselves,” Tracy said. “Faculty spend many hours working on course objectives and educational activities that not only prepare students for the exam but also provide a foundation for their clinical work. We don’t want to teach just for a test, but rather how to be competent in the real world work experience.”

For more information, contact Tracy at or 724-743-2259.

Courses are offered in eight-week accelerated sessions with year-round admission dates. Classes meet one or two nights per week, Monday through Thursday, from 6 to 10 p.m., at four convenient locations: Southpointe, North Hills, Monroeville and Waynesburg.

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Contact: Samantha McClintock, Communication Specialist
724.852.3384 or

Topics: Waynesburg University, counseling news, National Counseling Exam