Jul 15, 2024  
ARCHIVED 2021-22 Graduate Catalog 
ARCHIVED 2021-22 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Counseling

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Mission Statement

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is committed to preparing students to be highly competent mental health counselors with the knowledge, skills, and competencies requisite for the effective and ethical practice of counseling. The course work and clinical experiences are designed to promote cultural awareness and the development of a professional identity as a mental health counselor.  

Upon completion of the program of study: 

  1. MAC graduates will have the knowledge and technical skills to serve a wide variety of populations and mental health issues, in both individual and group formats as professional counselors.
  2. MAC graduates will adhere to the ACA Code of Ethics and be culturally-aware advocates for all clients and the counseling profession.
  3. MAC graduates will have developed a professional identity as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor.
  4. MAC graduates will demonstrate personal and professional dispositions such as cultural awareness, openness, self-awareness, and tolerance of ambiguity.
  5. MAC graduates will be able to critically evaluate research related to the field of counseling and use data to inform clinical decisions, as well as program evaluation within counseling settings.

The Doane University Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program is dedicated to academic excellence and committed to principles of effective and ethical counseling practice. The priority and primary emphasis of the MAC program is preparation of students for productive careers as professionals in clinical counseling settings. To this end, the program follows a competency-based, practitioner model. This model places primary emphasis on preparation of students for productive careers as professionals in a variety of counseling settings. Course work and supervised practical experience provides the opportunity to learn and develop skills in the assessment of problem behavior and in interventions with children, adults, couples, families, and groups. Incorporated into this approach is exposure to ethical, professional, and interprofessional issues.

Students and faculty are expected to maintain membership and active participation in national, state, and local professional organizations. Students are expected to join the American Counseling Association and must maintain liability insurance offered through the association.

Faculty are expected to maintain excellence in 1) teaching, including content expertise, course design skills, course delivery skills, course management, motivation and mentoring skills; 2) scholarship, including acquisition of new knowledge and integration and application of knowledge; and 3) service, both within the university and beyond.

Professional Development, Certification, and Licensure

The MAC program is designed to fulfill the preparation component of the Nebraska Health and Human Services Licensure Division regulations for the Certified Professional Counselor and the Licensed Mental Health Professional. Upon completion of the program, the student will have met all educational and clinical practice requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor in the state of Nebraska. A student seeking Licensed Mental Health Professional status must, in addition to meeting the academic requirements, achieve a passing score on either the National Counselor Examination (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE). The student must also acquire 3,000 hours of supervised work experience in an appropriate setting, with supervision provided by a qualified supervisor. For more information, contact Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Credentialing Division, Department of Regulation and Licensure, P.O. Box 94986, Lincoln, NE 68509-4986.

As educational requirements vary by state, students interested in this program should consult the General Licensure and Certification Disclosure page prior to enrollment.

The MAC program is also designed to fulfill the educational component of the National Board for Certified Counselors requirements for designation as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). A student seeking NCC status must also achieve a passing score on the National Counselor Examination, acquire at least 3,000 hours post-graduate counseling work experience and 100 hours of post-graduate counseling supervision within a 24-month period, and endorsement from a professional colleague who holds a graduate degree in the mental health field. For more information, contact the National Board for Certified Counselors, 3 Terrace Way, Greensboro, NC 27403.

Summary of Costs for the 2021-22 Academic Year

Charges at Doane University are reviewed at the conclusion of each academic year and are subject to change without notice. Some courses carry fees which vary from $5 to $50 per course.

  • Tuition (per credit hour)  $ 484.00
  • Enrollment Fee (non-refundable one-time fee)  $ 125.00

Application Procedure

Prospective students applying for admission or course credit in the Master of Arts in Counseling Program are required to complete an application with the Doane University Enrollment Team. In addition to the application, prospective students must also submit the following materials: Autobiographical Essay describing life experiences that have shaped the applicant; Future Goals Essay describing professional/career goals along with how graduate study in the MAC Program will help to accomplish these goals; current resume; background check; official academic transcripts; and, three letters of reference. Submitting incomplete or false information is grounds for denial or subsequent dismissal. Prospective students who have submitted all required application materials and meet admission requirements 1 and 2 (see below) will be invited for a formal Admission Interview. A successful Admission Interview is a required component for Admission into the MAC Program (see below).  Initial admission into the MAC Program may be offered on a provisional basis. See MAC Student Handbook & Policy Manual for additional details. 

Admission Requirements

Students who meet all requirements of one of the following options may be admitted to the program. Those who are admitted as non-degree-seeking students (e.g., a professional who is taking a course for continuing education credit) are limited to a total of 12 credits. Every applicant is considered equally, without reference to race, color, religion, sex, nationality, disability, age, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Option 1 (Degree-Seeking)

  1. Earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 18 credit hours in psychology or a related field (e.g., sociology, social work, human development, human relations, nursing, education). Three of these credits must be in undergraduate statistics. Furthermore, the student must have one of the following: a) a cumulative grade point average in these courses of 3.00 or above (on a 4.00 scale) or b) a cumulative grade point average in these courses of at least 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale), plus three additional graduate courses in the Master of Arts in Counseling program (for a total of nine credits) with a minimum grade point average of 3.00.
  3. Prospective students are evaluated in the following four areas during the MAC Admission Interview: 1) writing ability, 2) faculty interview assessment, 3) ability to successfully apply feedback, and 4) ability to appropriately express personal experiences. Students must earn an average score of 3 out of 5 or higher in each area in order to be eligible for admission.

Option 2 (Non-Degree-Seeking)

Persons who have already earned a graduate degree in the mental health field may, with the approval of the Program Director, enroll in courses as a non-degree-seeking student, provided space is available in the class. Applicants must follow the general application procedure stated above.

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, full-time and part-time students who are at approximately the same point in the program are identified. The level system also provides an opportunity for faculty to systematically review students at different points in their training and evaluate their readiness to proceed to the next training experience. The Program Director confers level status in the following order:

Level 1 (Admission to Program)

The Student Screening and Progress Review Committee confers Level 1 status upon matriculation. Level 1 students have accumulated between 0 and 15 graduate credit hours at Doane.

Level 2 (Admission to Candidacy for the Degree)

Level 2 status is conferred based upon Level 1 status plus the following:

  1. satisfactory completion of 15 credit hours in the program,
  2. cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher,
  3. cumulative professional performance evaluation average of 3.00 or higher, and
  4. positive evaluation for candidacy by the Program Director with approval of the appropriate standing committee.

Level 3 (Admission to Internship)

Level 3 status is conferred based upon Level 2 status plus the following:

  1. satisfactory completion of 48 credit hours. minimum clinical contact hours,
  2. submission of a satisfactory plan for completion of the 60 credit hours required,
  3. cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher,
  4. incompletes removed from academic transcript,
  5. cumulative professional performance evaluation average of 3.00 or higher, and
  6. positive evaluation by the Program Director with approval of the appropriate standing committee.

Final Candidacy for Degree

Final candidacy for degree status is based on the following:

  1. satisfactory completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours in courses numbered 600-699,
  2. satisfactory completion of the practica,
  3. satisfactory completion of 800 hours of internship,
  4. cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher,
  5. cumulative professional performance evaluation average of 3.00 or higher,
  6. positive evaluation and acceptance of the student for graduation by the Program Director and the Student Screening and Progress Review Committee,
  7. satisfactory completion of the Comprehensive Capstone Presentation, and
  8. satisfactory completion of the Counselor Education Comprehensive Examination

Transfer Credit

The program accepts transfer credit for substantially equivalent graduate-level coursework completed at other accredited institutions. An application for transfer of credit is made to the Program Director. Application should be made during the first term after matriculation into the counseling program.

The following stipulations apply to transfer credit:

  1. A maximum of 12 credit hours may be transferred.
  2. Transfer is granted only for courses in which the grade earned was a B- or above.
  3. Credit is transferred in as “P” (Passed).
  4. The credit must have been earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.
  5. The credit may be no older than seven years at the time of graduation from Doane.
  6. Satisfactory performance on a competency evaluation may be required before granting transfer of credit and is required for any course taken more than five years prior to admission.
  7. Transfer of credit can be awarded only for required courses. If a student has completed a course at another institution that, in the judgment of the Director, is substantially equivalent to a required course in the program, a course substitution may be granted after approval by the instructor and demonstrated competence in the course content.
  8. Transfer of credit cannot be granted for practica, internships or Faculty Supervision.

Professional Performance Evaluation

The purpose of the professional performance evaluation is to record the student’s professional ratings as demonstrated during content courses and faculty supervision seminars. Both qualitative and quantitative evaluations are provided to students and also guide the program in evaluating student progress in a consistent and thorough manner. Whenever possible, instructors are encouraged to recommend areas for further study and/or remediation. The aims and design of individual courses determine in part the kinds of criteria that are applicable.

Professional Performance Criteria

In awarding professional performance ratings, instructors will assess the following aspects of a student’s performance:

  1. listens to others, cooperates with others, and accepts other points of view;
  2. responds in a self-reflective and self-critical manner to comments about professional and academic performance;
  3. abides by established ethical standards;
  4. shows motivation to master new material;
  5. demonstrates sensitivity, awareness of self and others, and acceptance of cultural and individual differences;
  6. demonstrates critical thinking and healthy skepticism;
  7. tolerates ambiguity that is inherent in the field of mental health;
  8. recognizes the rights and responsibilities of counselors as well as other professionals; and
  9. demonstrates development of professional identity as a counselor.

In assigning a score for the professional performance component of each course, the following scale is used:

  • 5.0 = Exceptional: At level of practicing professional counselor
  • 4 - 4.5 = High: Higher than expected for educational and experience level
  • 3 - 3.5 = Good: Performance meets expectations for level
  • 2 - 2.5 = Low: Indicates substandard performance. Requires remediation
  • 1 - 1.5 = Poor: Far below expected level of performance. Monitoring and significant remediation required.

Monitoring of Student Performance

In order to promote an optimal educational experience, the following procedures are used to foster appropriate communication between the university, students, and advisors:

  1. Copies of grade reports and professional evaluation forms are distributed at the end of each term to the student and the student’s Academic Advisor. This ensures that those most immediately concerned with the student’s performance are properly informed.
  2. Every term, the student’s academic progress is reviewed by the Registrar and the MAC Academic Advisor, and the student is notified if a grade below B- or a grade point average below 3.00 has been earned.
  3. If a student earns a grade below a B- in a graduate counseling course, the course must be repeated the next time it is offered on the schedule. The student is not eligible to enroll in any additional credits during the term he or she is repeating a course.
  4. Student progress is reviewed by the Student Screening and Progress Review Committee prior to acceptance into Level 2, Level 3, and conferral of the degree . The purpose of this review is to ensure that each student’s progress is carefully monitored, that faculty are informed as to the progress of all students, and that students are regularly informed of their performance and standing in the program. Recommendations towards areas of strength and weakness are summarized in the review. The faculty’s overall assessment, along with any specific recommendations, is communicated to the students in their Portfolio feedback.

Remediation issues may be referred to the Remediation Committee when questions are raised about a student’s academic, professional, or personal performance. These include a student’s demonstrated knowledge, technical and interpersonal skills, personal and professional attitudes, and professional demeanor. Reasons for referral to the Remediation Committee for remedial action include, but are not limited to

  1. failing a course,
  2. receiving two grades of C+ or below,
  3. receiving a single professional performance evaluation below a 3 in any given area, 
  4. having a cumulative grade point average or professional performance evaluation average below a 3.00,
  5. personal unsuitability for the counseling profession,
  6. failing a practicum and/or dismissal from practicum site,
  7. failing an internship and/or dismissal from an internship site,
  8. engaging in unethical behavior,
  9. unprofessional or inappropriate social media presence.

Students having academic, professional, or personal difficulty may come to the attention of the Remediation Committee through the Program Director, Academic Advisor, a faculty member, or through a Student Screening & Progress Review Committee meeting.

After an evaluation process which may include reviewing records and relevant information, meeting with the student, and consulting with the student’s Academic Adviser, the Remediation Committee may recommend and impose interventions. Possible interventions include, but are not limited to, developing a plan for remedial work, placing the student on probation, requiring an additional practicum or internship, or recommending dismissal to the Program Director. The student shall agree in writing to the recommendations of the Remediation Committee within 15 days after being notified of the Committee’s decision or be subject to further action.

Dismissal from the Program

A student is subject to immediate dismissal from the program and suspension from the University for any of the following reasons:

  1. receiving two grades of C+ or lower,
  2. failing a course that has been repeated,
  3. violation of professional ethics,
  4. personal unsuitability for the counseling profession,
  5. failing a practicum and/or dismissal from practicum site,
  6. failing an internship and/or dismissal from an internship site,
  7. serious deficiencies in demonstration of professional competencies in the student’s professional portfolio, or
  8. other reasons as noted above, or determined by the Program Director.


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