Department Assessment

The Department of Counselor Education actively involves all stakeholders in the evaluation process. Candidates, faculty, field supervisors, alumni, members of the professional community (through various partnerships), and other advisory consulting members provide constant and continuous input to evaluate and improve the department and its programs. A triangulated assessment system is used to collect feedback from students and other stakeholders. See below.

Department Evaluation Components

  • Student Competencies - Knowledge, skills, attitudes
  • Faculty - Instruction, scholarship
  • Program - Curriculum, coordination, management

The assessment process involves gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating data and a decision-making process among students, faculty, and field supervisors. Evaluation data are collected from the following sources:

  • End of course student evaluations (SOTEs)
  • Annual surveys of program graduates
  • Institutional program review
  • Faculty promotion, retention, and post-tenure review
  • Faculty review of courses and the PPS credential program
  • Community and district partners review and provide input through various projects

Data Resources

Utilizing partnership projects to obtain community feedback has been the department’s strategy to improve the quality of its instruction and curriculum. The Counselor Education faculty have developed several partnerships for program improvement.  The intensive involvement of advisory consultants who are associated with several critical project partnerships allows for continual and ample formative and summative evaluation.  These collaborative efforts have led to fostering the following partnerships:

  • Counselor Education Transformation Partnership 1997-1999
  • School-to-Career school, college, and university partnership 1998-2001
  • GEAR UP Partnership with San Jose Unified School District, 1998-2004
  • GEAR UP Partnership with East San Jose (three school districts), 1999-2014

The department also invites students to provide meaningful and timely feedback based on their learning experience in the department. Every semester a comprehensive program evaluation survey is distributed to the students. Data from the survey are shared and discussed with all faculty at the first semester department meeting for program improvement purposes.


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally-funded program designed to increase the number of students from low-income schools who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

The San Jose State University GEAR UP Community Achievement Project is a collaboration between SJSU's Department of Counselor Education, community partners, and local school districts serving low-income students to provide academic preparation and college and financial aid information to students and families to prepare them for high school graduation and postsecondary education success.


GEAR UP's objectives include:

  1. Increase GEAR UP students' academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education 
  2. Increase GEAR UP students' high school graduation and postsecondary education enrollment rates
  3. Increase GEAR UP students’ educational expectations and their families’ knowledge of postsecondary education options and financial aid

Community Partners

GEAR UP collaborates with community partners to support schools and parents/guardians for student academic success and to build a college-going culture. Some of our community partners include:

  • UCSC Education Partnership Center's California Student Opportunity & Access Program (CAl-SOAP)
  • City of San Jose Public Library
  • East Side Education Foundation (ESEF)
  • San Jose/Evergreen Community College District

GEAR UP Project Middle and High Schools

Alum Rock Union School District (ARUSD)

  • Adelante I Dual Language Academy (TK-8)
  • Adelante II Academy (TK-8)
  • Aptitude Community Academy (TK-8)
  • Hubbard Media Arts Academy (TK-8)
  • Joseph George Middle School (6-8)
  • Ocala STEAM Academy (6-8)
  • Renaissance Academy at Fischer (6-8)
  • Renaissance Academy at Mathson (6-8)
  • William Sheppard Middle School (6-8)

Franklin-McKinley School District (FMSD)

  • Bridges Academy (7-8)
  • College Connection Academy (7-8)
  • George Shirakawa Sr. Elementary School (TK-8)
  • Lairon College Preparatory Academy (4-8)
  • Stonegate Middle School (TK-8)
  • Sylvandale Middle School (7-8)
  • Windmill Springs Elementary School (TK-8)

East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD)

  • Andrew Hill High School
  • Independence High School
  • James Lick High School
  • Overfelt High School
  • Yerba Buena High School


1. To improve students' academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education, GEAR UP provides the following services:

  • GPA monitoring
  • Study skills workshops
  • After school tutoring 
  • Saturday academies
  • Summer academies

2. To increase high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates, GEAR UP provides the following services:

  • Academic planning and advising
  • College and career exploration 
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring

3. To increase students’ and families’ knowledge of postsecondary education and financial aid options, GEAR UP provides:

  • Parent/guardian/family workshops
  • College and career workshops
  • College field trips
  • Financial aid planning


The GEAR UP evaluation design includes assessing quantifiable outcomes and benchmarks for each year of the GEAR UP project. These benchmark improvements are included in each GEAR UP student’s Student Achievement Plan, a key tool used by staff and students to track the selection of courses and services to meet students' educational needs, enhance their capacity for more accelerated learning, improve their classroom achievement, provide standardized test scores, and assess their ability to meet rigorous college entrance requirements. The methodology utilized in this project includes collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data to assess the project's impact.

Previous GEAR UP Grant Project Results

In 2014, we worked with 3053 graduating seniors across 8 schools.  At the conclusion of the year, the graduation rate for the entire group was 91% and the college acceptance rate was 83%.  View the entire 2014 project results [pdf].