Cornett, Dinger, Froman, C. Hall, Hull (department head), Lampton, Okai, Phillips, Reddick, Romig, and Satterlee
The Department of Graduate Counseling provides Christ-centered counselor training that promotes personal development, academic excellence, and clinical competency.
The programs of the Department of Graduate Counseling are designed to prepare professionals for counseling and guidance in public and private elementary and secondary schools, community agencies, private agencies, hospitals, private practice, and ministry settings. Programs are offered in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. The Department of Graduate Counseling prepares men and women to become licensed therapy professionals by equipping them with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that promote Christ-likeness and clinical expertise.
The Graduate Counseling Program formally assesses student knowledge, skills, and dispositions as part of a process designed to provide formative feedback to students and summative feedback that can be used to evaluate the counseling program. The assessment system is part of on-going quality improvement efforts designed to meet the accreditation requirements set by the Higher Learning Commission mandating that all university degree programs measure student learning outcomes.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program is designed to address the eight common core areas of foundational knowledge for counseling program graduates as outlined by CACREP. The CMHC program’s clinical requirements related to both student counseling experience and supervision exceed the minimum clock hours outlined by CACREP.
Specific outcomes for the marriage and family therapy degree match standards established by the Commission for the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
The faculty in the Graduate Counseling Program created a system of five “gates” for formally evaluating students, with formative feedback offered at several of the gates. Aggregated data for each gate is used to evaluate program strengths and areas of improvement
Formal assessments occur at the following five gates:
|Completion of 12 hours of course work (dispositions assessment)
|During pre-practicum and prior to entry into practicum 1 (dispositions assessment and basic interviewing skills assessment)
|Completion of practicum II and prior to entry into internship (dispositions assessment; assessment of counseling microskills for all students; assessment of basic marriage and family therapy skills for those in the marriage and family therapy degree)
|Final semester of the program prior to graduation (dispositions assessment; assessment of counseling microskills for all students; assessment of basic marriage and family therapy skills for those in the marriage and family therapy degree)
The Graduate Counseling Program has a formal Remediation and Dismissal Policy for students who demonstrate a notable area of concern with regards to a disposition or sufficient skill deficiencies that would interfere with effective counseling. The policy is located in the Graduate School Student Guide.
Students who enter the Pre-Practicum class must complete a state and federal background check as part of the requirements of the lab. The results of the background check will be reviewed during the student’s faculty interview; any issues pertaining to the results will be addressed by the division faculty. All students must pass the background check prior to entering practicum/ internship in order to begin seeing clients. The results of the background check will remain in the student’s academic file. Students will not be allowed to enroll in practicum until the background check has been approved.
As part of the program review process, the Graduate Counseling Program is required to assess students’ acquisition of foundational knowledge for the profession. Graduating students will be required to complete exit exams appropriate to their degree. Exams may include any or a combination of the following evaluative tools: comprehensive exams, internship evaluations, portfolio presentation, and exit interviews. For current exit exam information, contact the Graduate Counseling Department.
All students must complete the total required client hours in their respective degree in order to exit Internship II. If the total hours are not completed by the end of the semester then the student will be given an “Unsatisfactory” for Internship II during that semester. They must re-enroll in Internship II in subsequent semesters until the total client contact hours are completed in order to exit the Internship and graduate.
The Department of Graduate Counseling offers major degree options in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage & Family Therapy. Students can opt to take one or both majors and upon completion, all majors will appear on the student’s diploma. Students have the option of adding the Play Therapy emphasis to their degree plan.