Sep 19, 2020  
2020-21 NSU Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-21 NSU Graduate Catalog

Counseling, M.S. *


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OSRHE Program Code: 019
CIP Code: 422803

Major Code: 6140

Option Code: 

  • 6141 - Addiction Counseling
  • 6142 - Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • 6143 - School Counseling

(60 Semester Hours)

Purpose

The mission of this program is to prepare persons for careers in counseling. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling tracks lead to eligibility for licensure as Professional Counselors (LPC). The School Counseling track also leads to eligibility for PK-12 school counseling certification. Those in the Addiction Counseling track will be eligible for licensure as Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LADC).

Specialty Accreditation

The Master of Science in Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 510, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-535-5990; FAX: 703-739-6209; www.cacrep.org.

Credential Requirements

Clinical Mental Health Counseling. All of the emphasis courses in the Master’s of Science in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling option meet the academic requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Oklahoma (https://www.ok.gov/behavioralhealth/). A list of requirements can be found on the Oklahoma State Board of Behavioral Health web page under Acts and Regulations. Each applicant for the LPC licensure will take and pass a written exam according to State Board of Behavioral Health. The counseling program’s exit exam is designed to prepare students for the National Counselor Exam (NCE). The exit exam covers the same eight core subject domains. Clinical Mental Health Counseling students who wish to pursue the LADC licensure are required to complete an additional 12 credit hours of addiction counseling courses in order to meet state requirements.

School Counseling. All of the emphasis courses in the Master’s of Science in Counseling: School Counseling option meet the academic requirements to become a certified PK-12 school counselor in the state of Oklahoma. Licensing and credentialing varies by states as there is not currently a national license or certification for school counseling. The American School Counselor Association lists the credentialing requirements per state at the following website: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/careers-roles/state-certification-requirements. Each applicant for the Oklahoma School Counseling certification will take and pass the following exams offered by the  Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (840 Research Parkway, Suite 455, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, 405-522-5399), www.ok.gov/oeqa: (1) The Oklahoma General Education Test [OGET]; (2) Oklahoma’s Subject Area Test in school counseling [OSAT]; and (3) Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam [OPTE]. Students also leave the program with all the necessary course requirements in order to sit for the National Counselor Exam and to pursue licensing as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Addiction Counseling. All of the emphasis courses in the Master’s of Science in Counseling: Addiction Counseling option meet the academic requirements to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) in the state of Oklahoma (http://www.okdrugcounselors.org). A list of requirements can be found on the Oklahoma State Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (OSBADC) web page under the link Basic Requirements. The OSBADC establishes the state examination requirements to become an LADC (Title 38; Senate Bill 1277) based on standards established by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC). Each applicant for the LADC licensure will take and pass written and oral examinations according to State Board standards. The counseling program’s exit exam is designed to prepare students for the National Counselor Exam (NCE). The exit exam covers the same eight core subject domains.

The M.S. in Counseling degree program is a cohort program. In order to take Counseling graduate courses the student must be admitted to the M.S. in Counseling degree and MUST complete courses in the sequence listed on their degree plan. Any exceptions must be approved by the Department Chair.

Non-degree seeking students may not take any “clinical” (i.e., Group Process, Practicum I, Practicum II, and Internship) courses and enrollment in all other courses is contingent on space availability and prior approval of the Department Chair.

Admission

Applicants are accepted into the Counseling program once each year in the fall semester. The application and supporting documents are required by December 15. Late applications will be reviewed and a supplemental interview will be held in June for those late applicants, provided there are still open positions in the Counseling program.

Program Admission Requirements

Beyond the admission requirements for the Graduate College, admission to the Counseling program requires:

  • Two professional and/or academic references (forms provided) are required.
  • Completion of the online Counseling Program Application Form, which includes a cover letter and resume. Cover letters, to not exceed 1000 words, should address the following questions:  What are major influences on the development of your interest in a career in counseling? What are personal or professional strengths and weaknesses as demonstrated by your resume/vita? What are your career goals upon completion upon completion of the M.S. in Counseling degree at NSU? Is there any information that you believe would be helpful to the screening process that was not represented in the application materials?
  • A formal interview with graduate faculty members to be held on the first Friday in March; and
  • Approval of the Counseling Admissions’ Committee.

Acceptance to the Counseling program is essential prior to beginning any classes applicable to the program. A minimum of 60 hours of coursework in the program must be completed after being formally admitted to the Counseling program. All admissions documents must be received by December 15.

Advisement

An advisor is assigned to the student by the department when admitted to the Counseling program. The student is required to attend a general advising meeting held on the student’s respective home campus in April prior to the Fall enrollment. Advisors assist the student in the selection of classes each semester, review program requirements and policies, and approve the student’s class schedule.

Plan of Study/Statement of Understanding/Statement of Academic Integrity & Honesty

The advisor in conference with the student develops a plan of study (degree plan) for the student’s degree program and reviews the Statement of Understanding, Statement of Academic Integrity and Honesty, and the Counseling Student Training Commitment Form, after which both parties sign the documents. Copies of the signed degree plan, the Statement of Understanding, the Statement of Academic Integrity and Honesty, and the Counseling Student Training Commitment Form are sent to the Graduate College for the Dean’s approval and distribution. Any changes made in the student’s plan of study require prior written approval by the advisor, Department Chair, and the Dean of the Graduate College.

Admission to Candidacy

All full-time students will be reviewed for candidacy, by the counseling faculty, at the end of the spring semester of their first year in the program. Part-time students will be reviewed for candidacy at the end of their second spring semester in the program. All students must obtain a favorable candidacy recommendation to remain in the program. To be admitted to candidacy the student must have:

  1. Been regularly admitted to the Counseling program;
  2. Satisfactorily completed the course, COUN 5603, Practicum I with a “B” or “A”;
  3. Maintained a “B” average in all graduate coursework prior to candidacy;
  4. Have no unresolved Fitness to Practice concerns as documented by faculty; and,
  5. Secured a favorable recommendation of the Counseling graduate faculty for candidacy.

The performance of all applicants, students, and candidates for the Master’s degree in Counseling will be evaluated both objectively and subjectively by all Counseling faculty on the basis of academic, social, emotional, and behavioral fitness for the profession.

All students will be required to provide proof of liability insurance by the third week of the first semester of enrollment and maintain liability insurance for the duration of the program.

Program of Study

The Counseling program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours. The coursework is sequenced, and departmental permission is required for enrollment in some courses. (See course listings in this catalog.)

Some testing classes require a test kit rental fee. All students are required to provide proof of student liability insurance by the third week of the first semester of enrollment.

All students are required to remain sequentially enrolled as prescribed by the full or part time degree options.

All students are required to enroll for coursework at the campus in which they were accepted unless given permission by the Department Chair to enroll in other campus classes. There is a formal process for seeking a transfer to another campus. There is a formal process for changing emphasis areas. These requests will be determined once per semester.

Requirements for Graduation

In addition to the requirements in the Academic Information Section of the Graduate Catalog, the candidate for the Master’s of Science in Counseling must satisfy the following:

  1. Complete the approved program of study in Counseling;
  2. Pass the comprehensive exam (CPCE);
  3. Earn a “B” or higher in all clinical courses; and,
  4. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all graduate coursework attempted.
Thesis Experience (Optional)

Students may choose to complete a thesis in addition to the other requirements for completing their M.S. in Counseling. The thesis is a research project whereas the student works closely with a Thesis Advisor and two additional faculty members within the Department of Psychology and Counseling. If selecting the Thesis option, the student is required to enroll in COUN 5921 during their Practicum II semester and COUN 5922 during their final internship semester. The Thesis must be proposed and successfully defended to the Thesis Committee, as well as, be accepted by the Graduate Dean. The Thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Dean 30 days prior to the end of the semester the student is planning to graduate.

 

Program Checklist

  1. File application for admission and supporting documents with the Graduate College by December 15.
  2. Be accepted into the M. S. in Counseling program following participation in the program interview  on the first Friday of March.
  3. Receive notice of admission and appointment of advisor.
  4. Attend the general advising meeting in April prior to the first enrollment to complete and file a degree plan and a Statement of Understanding, a Statement of Academic Integrity and Honesty, and the Counseling Student Training Commitment Form with the Department and with the Dean of the Graduate College.
  5. Register for classes per Degree Plan.
  6. Secure a favorable recommendation for candidacy from the graduate faculty.
  7. Pass the comprehensive examination.
  8. Successfully complete 600 clock hours of internship.
  9. Submit an application for graduation to the Graduate College by March 1 for summer graduation, August 1 for fall graduation, and January 1 for spring graduation.

Assistantships

A limited number of paid teaching and research assistantships are available in the Department of Psychology and Counseling. These are primarily day positions and are offered on the Tahlequah campus and Broken Arrow campus. Interested applicants should request an “Application for Graduate Assistantship” from the Graduate College Office. A master’s student can apply to be a lab assistant in the Experimental Psychology Lab. Four graduate assistantship positions are available each year; one in Tahlequah and one in Broken Arrow.

 

Select One of the Following Three Emphases


Note:

In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the MS degree, the addiction counseling program prepares counselors to work in a variety of community facilities that provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation and mental health services, governmental, and private agency settings.

The goals of this program include providing students:

  1. Functional knowledge of developmental process appropriate to adolescence, young adults, and older adults and the community.
  2. Consultation and assessment skills appropriate to the client population served.
  3. Ability to communicate effectively with individuals having varied backgrounds, qualities, and experiences.
  4. Ability to assist the client in the appropriate change or developmental processes related to treatment and recovery from addiction.
  5. Ability to provide effective individual and group counseling in a variety of settings.
  6. An understanding of appropriate skills for planning & implementing a treatment process/plan for clients with substance abuse and mental health issues.
  7. Ability to conceptualize client issues, including crisis, trauma, co-occurring disorders, family concerns, academic concerns, placement options, and moderate to several mutual health issues.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling (6142) 21 hours


In addition to core Counseling courses, those seeking preparation to be clinical mental health counselors should take the following courses:

Note:

In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the MS degree, the clinical mental health counseling emphasis prepares counselors to work in a variety of collegiate, community, governmental, and private agency settings.

The goals of this program include providing students:

  1. Working knowledge of developmental processes appropriate to childhood, adolescence, and adulthood (early and late).
  2. Counseling skills appropriate to the client population served.
  3. Ability to counsel and communicate effectively with individuals having varied backgrounds, qualities, and experiences.
  4. Ability to assist the client in the appropriate change or developmental process.
  5. Ability to provide effective individual and group counseling.
  6. An understanding of appropriate skills for planning & implementing a treatment process/plan for clients.
  7. Ability to conceptualize client issues, including crisis, trauma, family concerns, academic concerns, placement options, and moderate to several mental health issues.
  8. Consultation skills appropriate to the client populations served.
  9. Assessment skills to assist in formulating an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

School Counseling (6143) 21 hours


In addition to core Counseling courses, those seeking preparation to be school counselors should take the following courses:

Note:

In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the MS degree, this course of study may lead to certification as an elementary or secondary school counselor. The goals of this specialization include providing students:

  1. Knowledge of developmental processes appropriate to elementary, middle, and high school aged students.
  2. Ability to consult with teachers, parents, and school stakeholders.
  3. Ability to provide effective individual, group, and classroom guidance counseling as an essential part of the delivery system of the school counseling profession.
  4. Ability to assist teachers and parents in the identification, understanding, and referral of students with special learning or social/emotional problems.
  5. Knowledge of the appropriate skills for planning, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive school counseling program.
  6. Ability to understand, plan, and implement age- and developmentally-appropriate counseling interventions for students in grades K-12.
  7. Ability to translate identified student needs into appropriate programs, services, and learning strategies.
  8. Ability to use data to provide evidence-based interventions for students and the school system at large.

Thesis (optional)


The thesis is an option with all emphases.

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