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California State University, Long Beach
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Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) helps students meet personal challenges associated with identifying and accomplishing academic, career, and life goals. Students seek help for a variety of reasons, including mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, as well as for every day challenges such as relationship problems and adjustment to college life. Our services include short-term counseling for individuals, group counseling, career development counseling, referral services, psychoeducational workshops, and crisis intervention.

Important learning outcomes that we measure can be stated as follows:

“As a result of participating in psychological counseling, students will report improvement in their emotional/psychological well-being and a reduction in the degree that personal problems interfere with their academic performance. Desirable outcomes include an increase in healthy behavior, and an increase in a satisfying and productive lifestyle.”

To measure these learning outcomes, CAPS evaluates students’ counseling experiences. Questionnaires are distributed twice a semester to all clients during a one week period. CAPS decided to utilize this type of point sampling to improve the response rate by surveying all clients at two distinct points of time during the semester. In addition, CAPS evaluates all of its psychoeducational workshops and presentations. Please see the “Counseling Experience Instrument” used to evaluate client outcomes and counselor performance and the “Workshop Evaluation Form” used to evaluate outreach workshops and presentations.

Students who participated in the survey from 2006-2008 reported a significant decrease in personal problems that interfered with their academic performance, and a significant increase in their overall well-being after participating in counseling.

In addition, from the Counseling Experience Instrument, students reported that the top five ways counseling helped them were as follows:

  • I learned how to look at problems in a more balanced/healthy way
  • I have a better understanding of myself
  • I learned to manage my life better
  • I have a better understanding of how I relate to others
  • I have been able to improve one or more of my relationships.