ccmh535 | Graduate


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The focus of this course is on tests used in counseling and test reports, with an emphasis on learning how to integrate testing as an additional tool in counseling. Tests most commonly encountered in the counseling field are identified and reviewed, and the following components are discussed: psychometric properties of tests, test selection criteria, administration, interpretation, and reporting of test results.

This graduate-level course is 6 This course is available as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 6

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    Clinical Assessment

    • Describe the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, including the multiaxial system of diagnosis.
    • Explain the purpose of the clinical interview and describe different formats (structured, unstructured, semi-structured).
    • Describe the components of a typical mental status exam.
    • Identify tests used to measure specific problems presented in counseling practice situations including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
    • Explain how suicide risk is assessed.
    • Discuss cultural considerations in clinical assessment.
    • Define clinical assessment and discuss its purpose.

    Understanding Assessment Scores

    • Distinguish between criterion-referenced scores and norm-referenced scores.
    • Define a raw score and discuss the importance of standard scores.
    • Define norm group.
    • Understand the key features of various norm-referenced scores such as percentile ranks, z-scores, and t-scores.
    • Describe grade and age-equivalents and discuss the function of these scores.

    Assessing Diverse Populations

    • Define multicultural assessment.
    • Explain the major sources of test bias.
    • Define test-taker bias and examiner bias.
    • Describe ethical principles relevant to multicultural assessment.
    • Define disability.
    • Describe the counselor’s responsibilities when assessing individuals with disabilities.
    • Describe the counselor’s responsibilities when using standardized instruments with diverse populations.

    Personality Assessment

    • Define personality.
    • Differentiate between the terms state, trait and type.
    • Discuss the features of structured (or objective) personality instruments such as the MMPI-2.
    • Discuss the projective process and describe the features of projective personality instruments such as the Rorschach.
    • Describe the role of positive psychology in personality assessment.

    Communicating Assessment Results

    • Explain the purpose of the assessment report.
    • Describe the structure of a typical assessment report.
    • Discuss the guidelines for reporting assessment results to other professionals and the public.
    • Describe the information that is typically shared in feedback sessions following assessment.
    • Explain potential problems that counselors may experience when communicating assessment results.

    Ethical and Legal Issues

    • Identify the sections of the ACA Code of Ethics that are relevant to assessment.
    • Explain the importance of professional training and competence in assessment, including the professional standards for the qualifications of test-users.
    • Describe the counselor’s responsibilities with regard to the protection of client welfare in assessment.

    • Describe important legal issues that affect the assessment process such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and No Child Left Behind.

    • Discuss the issue of informed consent in assessment.

    The Foundations of Testing and Measurement

    • Discuss the importance of using multiple methods of assessment and multiple sources of information.
    • Describe the key steps in the assessment process.
    • Discuss the competencies required for assessment.
    • Identify and explore the historical roots of testing in the measurement of human characteristics.
    • Define assessment.
    • Investigate the major areas that testing procedures have been applied to in education, psychology, and counseling.
    • Describe the purposes of assessment.

    Collecting Information

    • Differentiate between formal and informal methods and instruments.
    • Understand the defining features of structured, unstructured and semi-structured interviews.
    • Describe different methods of coding observations.
    • Describe the general characteristics and uses of aptitude, intelligence, achievement, career, adaptive-functioning, perceptual-motor, and personality tests.
    • Discuss the role and value of observation in assessment.
    • Describe the uses of computer-based tests.

    Review of Statistical Concepts

    • Describe the scales of measurement.

    • Demonstrate how data can be represented graphically.
    • Describe measures of central tendency.
    • Describe measures of variability.
    • Describe the use of statistics in assessment.
    • Discuss the properties of the normal curve.
    • Understand the concepts of correlation and regression.
    • Define a frequency distribution.


    • Define reliability and discuss its importance in assessment.
    • Explain the concept of measurement error.
    • Discuss methods of estimating reliability including test-retest, alternate forms, internal consistency, and interrater.
    • Define the standard error of measurement and the function of confidence intervals.


    • Define validity and discuss its importance in assessment.
    • Discuss threats to validity.
    • Describe different types of validity including content validity, criterion-referenced validity, and construct validity.

    Working with Assessment Results

    • Explain the process of selecting and evaluating assessment instruments.
    • Describe how to use test reference materials such as the Mental Measurements Yearbook.
    • Describe different test administration methods.
    • Discuss the counselor’s responsibilities in test administration, scoring, and interpretation.

    Assessment in Education

    • Explain the concept of environmental assessment and discuss how environmental factors affect performance.
    • Discuss the goals of school assessment programs.
    • Describe the common assessment activities of counselors working in school settings.
    • Describe the assessment instruments that are most commonly used in school settings.
    • Define specific learning disabilities.

    Assessing Intelligence

    • Define intelligence, including the ‘g’ factor.
    • Discuss different theories of intelligence.
    • Describe the different cognitive abilities measured in intelligence tests.
    • Identify and describe the major tests of intelligence such as the Wechsler scales and the Stanford-Binet.
    • Define ‘test bias’ and discuss why awareness of test bias is important.

    Assessing Achievement

    • Define achievement.
    • Describe the characteristics and uses of achievement tests.
    • Describe the most commonly used individual achievement tests and diagnostic tests such as the WRAT(4th Ed) and the Woodcock-Johnson.

    Assessing Aptitude

    • Define aptitude and describe the purpose of aptitude tests.

    • Differentiate between aptitude and achievement.
    • Describe multiple-aptitude test batteries and specialized aptitude tests.

    Career Assessment

    • Define career assessment and discuss its purpose.
    • Describe the main strategies used in career assessment, including interviews and inventories.
    • Describe Combined Assessment Programs such as the COPSYSTEM, the Kuder, and DISCOVER.
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