The Counseling and Development Program includes 60 semester hours of education in each of two program tracks, school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. A student enrolls in one of these tracks and pursues a series of required core courses common to all counselors in training, and then specialized in courses specific to the student's chosen program track. Elective offerings are chosen in sessions with the faculty advisor as options to advance the career goals, competencies and employability of each student. Every student engages in two semesters of field-based internships as the culminating experience of the master's degree.
Through a combination of classroom and field experiences, the cohort format provides students an opportunity to develop a unique and unified professional identity with an emphasis as a clinical mental health counselor or school counselor. A distinguishing feature supporting students’ professional development is our program’s emphasis on practice-based skills acquisition. Each student is engaged in four skills-based experiential courses. Under direct faculty supervision, the first practicum course affords students the opportunity to develop authentically in the use of self-as-counselor and to apply fundamental counseling skills in a program-selected practice setting. Following the initial practicum experience, students continue to learn by doing through a second practicum experience and two internships. The second practicum and internships are field-based in the student’s concentration area.
Today’s clinical mental health counselor works in collaboration with other helping professionals in a variety of community, service, and private mental health settings. The vital combination of coursework and field experiences in the clinical mental health counseling program promotes acquisition of appropriate individual and group counseling skills that focus on helping people address the personal, familial and social issues that interfere with their abilities to lead healthy and productive lives.
The school counseling program prepares students to become knowledgeable and ethical counseling professionals for employment as school counselors in public and private K-12 schools and related educational settings for diverse populations. We endorse a collaborative approach to school counseling with other school services. Clinical and course assignments are designed to provide tangible career benefits for students.
In view of the responsibilities of the counselor in both school and community settings our faculty and students engage in reflective practice, innovative inquiry and responsible social action as we strive to contribute to human development, adjustment, and change.