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Karen Yanez and Jazmin Gonzalez in the UC studio, Tuesday, December 13, 2016, in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/UTEP Communications

UTEP Students Earn Top Marks in National Exam

Jazmin Gonzalez, a graduate student from UTEP’s College of Education, earned the highest score in the country of those taking the national Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination in 2016.

More than 1,200 students took the CPCE in 2016, according to the Center for Credentialing & Education. Gonzalez, an El Paso native, took the test in October 2016 at The University of Texas at El Paso. The exam tests the students’ understanding of how theory, research and clinical practice intersect, and how to apply that knowledge in different scenarios.

“My aim was just to pass the exam,” a modest Gonzalez said. Her score was compared to the summer norm sample group.

Classmate Karen Yañez, was only a few points behind Gonzalez, and the entire Clinical Mental Health Program cohort scored well above the national average.

Gonzalez said the results were a testament to the program and counseling faculty in the college’s Department of Educational Psychology and Special Services. She said her professors went above and beyond to provide students with enriching educational experiences through research and independent study courses.

Their efforts “facilitated the type of holistic learning process that makes exams like the CPCE just a little bit easier,” said Gonzalez, who earned her bachelor’s degree at Baylor University in 2011.

Gonzalez, who expects to graduate in May 2017, started her master’s work two years ago. She has applied at several universities to do doctoral work in counseling psychology. Her goals are to become a psychologist and balance a practice with research and teaching.

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