“It is the hallmark of a genuine profession that concern be given to the evidence base of its services” (Royse, Thyer, and Padgett, 2015, p. 1). Program evaluation, a form of action research, is used to make decisions about service delivery in private practices, treatment centers, and other settings in which counseling services are provided. Counselors are increasingly being held accountable for demonstrating that their interventions are effective. Your Counseling Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods text defines key terms and describes several models of program evaluation.
Some of the types of questions addressed by counseling program evaluation are:
• What methods and interventions are most helpful for clients?
• What impact do the services and programs make on the larger social system?
• What are the most effective uses of program staff?
• How well are program objectives being met? (Erford, 2015, p. 203)
Erford, B. T. (2015). Research and evaluation in counseling (2nd ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage.
Royse, D., Thyer, B. A., & Padgett, D. K. (2015). Program evaluation: An introduction to an evidence-based approach (6th ed.). Boston: Cengage.
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Describe the importance of program evaluation in advancing the counseling profession.
Learning Activities Study
Use your Counseling Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods text to read the following:
• Chapter 12, “Systematic Program Evaluation,” pages 173–186.
Discussion 1: 1 page needed with 250 words and 2 references.
The Purpose of Program Evaluation
Imagine that you are a counselor working for an organization that currently does not conduct program evaluation. For this discussion, write a memo to your supervisor, suggesting that the organization develop a program evaluation plan. You do not need to detail the program evaluation plan; rather, focus on why program evaluation is important, and how it connects to ethical counseling practice. Support your ideas with material from the text. The suggested length for this post is 250–350 words.