Penfield College Master’s-Level Counseling Graduates Perfect on National Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination

Atlanta Commencement

ATLANTA – Graduates of Penfield College’s master’s degree programs in clinical mental health counseling, clinical rehabilitation counseling and school counseling had a 100-percent first-time pass rate on the most recent administration of the national Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).

The CPCE, administered by the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), is designed to measure a student’s level of mastery of the requisite knowledge and skills identified by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for the preparation of professional counselors.

“I am incredibly proud of these extraordinary outcomes achieved by students in our signature graduate programs in counseling,” said Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, dean of Penfield College. “The results of the most recent national examination provide strong external validation of the outstanding instruction and curriculum reflected in each of the counseling programs. The fact that Mercer counseling students scored above the mean in every content area assessed provides compelling evidence of the distinctive, involving learning environment our faculty is providing.”

Fifty-eight graduates of Mercer University’s counseling programs took the recent exam. They scored above the national mean in all eight areas assessed, including human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, helping relationships (and family), group work, career development, assessment, research and program evaluation, and professional orientation and ethical practice.

Across the country, more than 400 college and university counseling programs use the CPCE, which provides master’s programs with a comprehensive exam that meets high psychometric standards, gives programs an objective view of the knowledge level of their students, allows programs to examine student functioning in various curricular areas, promotes longitudinal self-study, compares a program’s results to national data, stimulates student integration of knowledge learned in separate courses and gives students comparative strength and weakness feedback.

“Penfield College’s counseling faculty members have consistently prepared our students with a rigorous program of study that is demonstrated in the outcomes of this examination as well as other state and national examinations,” said Dr. Karen Rowland, associate professor and chair of counseling. “The CPCE allows the faculty to examine our students’ functioning in the core counseling curricular areas, and we are tremendously pleased to note that Mercer students, on average, have demonstrated an integration of knowledge learned in their separate courses above that of the nation.”

“This pass rate demonstrates our students’ and the faculty’s commitment to preparing qualified counselors at Mercer,” added Dr. Tyler Wilkinson, assistant professor and coordinator of the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. “Just as impressive is that our students’ scores were, on average, at the 70th percentile nationally indicating that not only are our students passing the CPCE but that they are doing so with scores that are higher than national averages. We are very pleased with these results.”

About Penfield College

Mercer University’s Penfield College, established as the College of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2003, is committed to serving post-traditional learners. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Penfield’s programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary experiences that integrate theory and practice. In addition to providing general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer, Penfield offers degree programs in areas including technology, public safety, public and human services, leadership and administration, healthcare and liberal arts. Programs are offered on Mercer’s campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as Regional Academic Centers in Douglas County and Henry County, and online. To learn more, visit