Outcomes in Rider’s Counseling Services Programs

This slideshow is not enabled

The outcomes of the Rider University Counseling Services Program include student successes, graduate accomplishments and program evaluation reports. We discuss these outcomes in detail below, in addition to providing a brief summary of key outcome data in the figure below.

Rider University Counseling Services Program 2018–2019 Outcome Data

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

Graduates in past year 17
Completion rate 89%
NCE pass rate 95%
Employment rate 100%

School Counseling Program

Graduates in past year 19
Completion rate 100%
Employment rate 88%

The chart above details specific outcomes, such as the record of student success on national exams; each year, Rider student performance on both the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) and the National Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) has consistently been above the national average.

Graduate Careers and Accomplishments

Graduates seeking to pursue advanced studies have consistently been accepted into a variety of doctoral programs and have earned doctorates. Our graduates have careers in a variety of settings and have been employed as:

  • school counselors in grades K-12;
  • directors of school counseling programs in grades K-12;
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in community agencies, hospitals, and private practice;
  • Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LCADC) in addiction treatment centers;
  • Student Assistance Coordinators (SAC) in schools;
  • counselors and other professionals in colleges and universities; and
  • faculty in colleges and universities.

Our graduates are also notable for their achievements, such as:

  • publishing and presenting,
  • participating in international counseling delegations,
  • volunteering in the community, and
  • receiving awards and honors.

Recent Graduate Outcomes

In the sample below, explore the varied career paths and professional accomplishments of our graduates, in addition to comments from graduates discussing their education in the Rider University Counseling Services Program.

Jamie Benjamin, MA (2008), LPC, NCC
Senior Primary Therapist, Princeton House Outpatient

“The graduate degree program at Rider prepared me for my current position by giving me the opportunity to have a hands on experience in developing my personal and professional growth.  The small class size and the personal interest of the professors permitted me to connect and learn in a comfortable and welcoming environment.  My internship experience complemented what I learned in the classroom and allowed me to put theory into practice in the field. Shortly after graduation I applied and was offered a job at my internship site, Princeton House Outpatient, where I remain employed.  I also maintain a relationship with the counseling department at Rider by supervising practicum and internship students.”

Joseph Feola, MA (2010), EdS (2011), LPC, NCC, ACS
High School Counselor in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District and doctoral candidate in a Counselor Education Ph.D. program

“Without the solid academic foundation in theory, research, and practice, the careful attention paid to clinical skill development and professional identity, or the individual attention, advisement, and supervision I received at Rider University, I do not know if I would have come so far in such a short period of time. What I admire most about the Counseling Services program at Rider is the sense of community among the students, faculty, and staff. The supportive environment this community creates helps to facilitate the success of all students in reaching their academic and professional goals. I am forever thankful for my own journey and experience through the program.”

Heidi Musick, MA (2014)
Student Assistance Coordinator (SAC) at Mercer High School

“I am still working at Mercer High School in the Mercer County Special Services School District as SAC. . . . I also attend the Mercer County SAC meetings monthly and joined as an ASAP-NJ member. . . . Rider really prepared me for this position by giving me the individual and group counseling experience. I really enjoyed the Substance Abuse classes too which have helped me in this current position as a SAC. Honestly, every class played a part in shaping me as a person and as a counselor.”

Sudha Nagarajan, MA (2010), Ed.S. (2011), NCC, LPC, ACS, CDP
Doctoral candidate in a Counselor Education Ph.D. program and a participant in an international counseling delegation in 2010, wherein she traveled to India and embarked on a study of how to conduct Disaster Mental Health in culturally congruent manner

“During my education at Rider University, I developed a good foundation in mental health counseling through academic rigor, professional activities such as presentations at national and regional Counseling Conferences, participation in Chi Sigma Iota activities as a member and Professional Development Committee Chair. I have also participated in the induction ceremony for Rho Upsilon Beta and addressed the inductees as a graduate alumna. Faculty and staff at Rider University are dedicated, professional, and practice and encourage ethical principles in counseling and education. Faculty mentorship at Rider University allowed me to undertake independent study of mindfulness, and to seek avenues for professional development through academic presentations, and leadership activities.

My education at Rider University prepared me with the basic understanding of mental health assessment and treatment, with a focus on ethical practice that is contextualized to the client's frame of reference.  This allowed me to practice the cognitive complexity required to interpret how mental health is viewed across cultures.  My participation with the People to People Disaster Mental Health delegation in 2010 opened new doors to approaching mental health from a culture-centered perspective based on India's psychosocial approach.  It was a very valuable experience, allowing me to understand how India responds to repeated exposure to natural and man-made disasters using very limited professional resources with creative improvisation.”

Amanda Pitchko, MCMHC (2014), NCC, LAC
Primary Therapist at the Renfrew Center, Mount Laurel, NJ
Presentation: Buser, T. J., & Pitchko, A. (2014). “It’s Gluttony”: Qualitative findings on spirituality and disordered eating. Poster presented at the national conference of the Renfrew Center Foundation, Philadelphia, PA.
Publication: Buser, T.J., Pitchko, A., & Buser, J. K (2014). Naturalistic recovery from nonsuicidal self-injury: A phenomenological inquiry. Journal of Counseling & Development, 92, 438-446.

“Rider helped in so many ways that it is hard to put it in a few short sentences. Rider—number one—helped improve my confidence in my desire to help others. Every professor is supportive and wants to expand your talents and strengths. Rider's courses target current counseling issues, techniques and research. The course work prepared me for how to conduct research, evolve my therapeutic style of counseling, and—most uniquely about Rider's program—focus on addiction. Most programs do not have courses honed into substance abuse and addiction. In my current position as a primary therapist one of the most important components was group therapy. Rider prepared me to have hands on experience in a group therapeutic atmosphere that helped me really prepare for counseling dynamics both in a group and individual setting.

Also, I would encourage new students to get involved in research. I never thought that avenue would be appealing, but through encouragement from professors it opened my eyes to so many other aspects of the counseling field that I never knew would be of interest to me. Furthermore, being involved in research opens the doors to a network within a wide range of professional venues. By presenting research, it allowed me to network with other counseling professionals and it turned out to be a job opportunity. It is still the job I currently hold today.”

Katherine Shirley, MA (2009); EdS (2010), Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS
Counseling Education Faculty, Fairleigh Dickinson University

“Rider University’s intimate campus setting and the school’s commitment to its students’ personal and professional development allowed me to form close mentoring relationships with the faculty in both the psychology and counseling departments.  These relationships not only nurtured my curiosity regarding the helping professions, but also encouraged me to become a thoughtful scholar-practitioner.  Rider’s commitment to me personally led to my increased competence and confidence as a professional counselor and, more importantly, recently affected my decision to give back to the counseling field by also becoming an educator myself.”

Program Evaluation Report

The Counseling Services Program is committed to preparing students to enter the counseling field with strong counseling skills and a deep knowledge base. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the program, we regularly survey our students, graduates, site supervisors, and employers of our alumni. The objectives on the survey are the competencies that are prescribed by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Educational Related Programs (CACREP). Since 2000, we have conducted evaluations every 4-6 years.

Our overall ratings for the objectives have been above average to excellent. These results indicate that the Counseling Services Master’s Degree Program has provided graduates with the philosophy, knowledge, competency, and self-awareness that will enable them to function effectively as professional counselors. Even though we are proud of our students and program, we continually revise the program to keep current with the CACREP standards and licensure and certification requirements.

For a copy of the latest evaluation report, please contact the CACREP Coordinator at 609-896-5351.