Past Projects & Testimonials
Beyond conducting role-plays, the CCP provides its partnering groups/organizations a variety of services some of which include case/scenario development, coach training, and the securing and preparation of simulated clients.
Below are just two examples of ongoing CCP projects. Representing divergent fields of study and our program's service capabilities at home on the campus of Washington State University as well as offsite, we hope these samples inspire you to imagine how the CCP may assist your group/organization achieve its unique communication development goals.
Dr. Phyllis Erdman, Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, finds value in the use of both the CCP's services and facility—the Clinical and Professional Skill Center—on the campus of WSU.
To create authentic final assessment sessions for her master and doctoral level course entitled Counseling Techniques & Micro-skills, Dr. Erdman commissions the CCP to write cases specific to the course learning objectives and then hire and train a team of simulated clients to portray the characters in crisis.
Another highlight for Dr. Erdman is the dual ways in which her students receive feedback. Equipped with video and audio recording technology, the Clinical & Professional Skills Lab allows students to quite literally re-view and critique their work. Dr. Erdman notes that while this can be a bit daunting for students at first, "by mid semester, they express how much they look forward to it and learn by observing their own skills and behaviors." In addition to video review, simulated clients are trained to provide learners constructive in-character feedback. This first-person perspective helps students recognize the true impact of their communication skill set in practice.
"The students' comfort gained by the practice sessions, and the opportunity for immediate feedback were invaluable. I believe this is one of the most important courses the students take, as they really learn how to incorporate theory, skills, and feedback in a safe and supportive environment. The lab is definitely a topnotch quality asset, and I'm extremely appreciative of having access to it!"
Dr. Susan Wedam, Director of the Veterinary Technology Program at Yakima Valley Community College, recognizes the importance of effective communication and apparently so do her students according to a survey in which "40% of students indicated they wished they knew more regarding communicating with clients. This, is a sure sign that the need for improved communication is recognized and warranted." To meet that need Dr. Wedam, with the support of the CCP, is working to build formal communication training into her technology program's core curriculum.
How it works… Devised around the learning objectives of Dr. Wedam and her instructional team, multi-day workshops are devised and facilitated by the CCP on campus of YVCC. In preparation for these workshops CCP members write topic specific cases/scenarios as well as recruit and train local actors to serve as simulated clients.
The CCP also offers preparatory training for new and developing coaches who will be leading student groups through the workshop process. Such a coach training is depicted in the illustration at right and features both CCP Director and master coach Dr. Julie Cary (left of center) and CCP Coordinator Rachel Jensen (right of center).
According to Dr. Wedam, "They [the coaches in training] raved about the lessons they had learned both in terms of improving their communications with students and with clients in their own employment settings. All are excited to return and have been eager to attend additional training sessions with the CCP."
What do the students have to say?
"A very positive experience."
"Helpful & educational."
"I loved it! Scary at first, but helped me learn!"