Ethical standards that have been written into Texas state law are included in the PCPE because they have already passed the "legal review" of the state board and are used by the state board to make judgments about professionals in the field.
The PCPE may be used in every class, both didactic and experiential.
A student who does not meet minimum criteria on the PCPE is informed during an individual meeting with the instructor.
Using the PCPE from the day that students enter the program has resulted in significantly fewer students reaching the end of the program before being told that their behavior was problematic and in significantly fewer dismissals from the program.
To illustrate the effectiveness of the PCPE and the faculty review process, we present a description of a legal challenge to a dismissal from the counseling program at Southwest Texas State University in which the PCPE played a deciding role in the dismissal.
The practicum/internship coordinator did not permit the student to register for advanced practicum until the student presented evidence of complying with the faculty recommendation to participate in professional counseling and to work on the deficiencies that had been identified in the three PCPE documents.
Approximately 2 years had elapsed since any faculty member had observed the student's counseling skills; thus, the number and seriousness of the problems that had been documented by the PCPE needed to be addressed.
Using the PCPE as an evaluation instrument in the academic classes, having the faculty review policy and procedures in place, and having a history of using this procedure with other students who had displayed professional performance deficiencies all contributed to the outcome of the case.
The PCPE has been proven to be effective in giving students systematic feedback regarding their professional competencies.