Jun 02, 2020  

MAC - Progress Towards the Degree

Performance as a professional counselor includes more than simply learning clinical skills.  The counseling profession requires sound judgment, good interpersonal skills, and emotional well-being. Academic excellence without personal development is not adequate preparation for the counselor.  Program faculty are interested in training strong counseling practitioners and thus are involved in evaluating all aspects of students' clinical training, academic training, and personal development. It is important for students to conceptualize their education in the Counseling Program as a synthesis of (A) academic work, (B) theoretical work, (C) clinical work as evidenced in clinically-based courses as well as practicum and internship, and (D) personal-professional development.

Academic Levels: Classification of Students

Rather than being considered a member of a specific class or year, each student in the program will proceed through three levels.  In this way, students who are at approximately the same point in the program are identified.  The level system also provides an opportunity for faculty and the Student Screening and Progress Review Committee (SSPRC) to systematically review students at different points in their training and evaluate their readiness to proceed to the next training experience.  The Director confers level status in the following order:

LEVEL 1 (Admission to Program)

The SSPRC reviews student progress and considers a recommendation for admission to the program and Level 1 status upon matriculation.  Matriculation is a carefully constructed mutual decision- making process between the program and the prospective student.  During this process, individuals who are interested in becoming students in the program are provided with descriptions and requirements for the program.  Potential students complete an application consisting of: 1) an autobiographical statement describing life experiences that have helped shape the applicant personally; 2) an essay describing the applicant's future goals and expectations of the counseling program; 3) three letters of recommendation, and 4) an official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended; a 5) a resume; and a background check.

The second step in the process occurs when each prospective student completes the admission workshop. The workshop consists of a one-on-one interview with a faculty member, an on-campus writing exercise, and an assessment of openness to feedback through a counseling role-play. 

The purpose of the workshop is:

  1. To provide the applicant with an expanded opportunity to discuss the emerging sense of "fit" between the prospective student's strengths and interests and counseling program requirements
  2. To provide faculty with an opportunity to determine the student's commitment and personal fit for the counseling program.

The next step in the matriculation process is for potential students to meet as a group. This group meeting provides the students with an introduction to the experience of the program as a learning community.  As a group, applicants are presented with program potentials and expectations and are assisted in projecting their own strengths and interests into the program and learning community. 

The final step in the matriculation process is for the applicant to successfully complete COU 595 Foundations of Professional Mental Health Counseling. COU 595 is intended to be an introduction which fosters the development of foundational skills and allows students and faculty to determine if the program is a good fit. COU 595 is not counted as credit toward the MAC degree.  The SSPRC reviews the status of all students who successfully complete this process and either recommends Level I status, offers a remediation plan to the applicant, or denies admission to the program.

Level One Courses

Students must complete the courses listed below:

Level I:  Basic Core Courses

COU 601         Counseling Skills and Techniques                3 Credit Hours

COU 675         Research in Counseling                               3 Credit Hours

COU 662         Career Counseling                                       3 Credit Hours

COU 610         Psychopathology                                          3 Credit Hours

COU 630         Multicultural Counseling                               3 Credit Hours

These five (5) courses are considered basic core courses.  Students, when available, enter the program by completing COU 601 .  Students are normally required to complete all five (5) of these basic core courses before they enroll in any elective courses.  A student must obtain written approval from the Director to attempt more than 27 credit hours without successfully completing all five of these courses.

LEVEL 2 (Admission to Candidacy for the Degree)

Level 2 status is conferred by the Director upon the recommendation of the SSPRC based upon Level 1 status plus the following:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all Level 1 course work and PID I.
  2. Cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher.
  3. Professional Performance Evaluation scores of 3 or above.
  4. Successful completion of all level one sections of student portfolio (see section on portfolio)

LEVEL 3  (Admission to Internship)

Level 3 status is conferred by the Director upon the recommendation of the SSPRC based upon Level 2 status plus the following:

  1. Satisfactory completion of forty-eight (48) credits or course work.
  2. Satisfactory completion of PID II.
  3. Satisfactory completion of at least six (6) credits of practica.
  4. Submission of a satisfactory plan for completion of the sixty (60) credits required.
  5. Cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher.
  6. All incompletes removed from academic transcript.
  7. Professional Performance Evaluation scores of 3 or above.
  8. Successful completion of all Level Two sections of student portfolio (see section on portfolio)

Final Candidacy for Degree

Final candidacy for degree status is based upon the following:

  1. Satisfactory completion of sixty (60) credit hours in all three program levels.
  2. Satisfactory completion of two practica.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the internship.
  4. Cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher.
  5. Cumulative Professional Performance Evaluation average - status of  "In Good Standing".
  6. Positive evaluation and acceptance of the student for graduation by the Student Screening and Progress Review Committee and by the Director.
  7. Successful completion of all Level Three and Final Candidacy sections of student portfolio
  8. Successful completion with an accepted passing score on the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)