Student Learning Outcomes - The graduate with a Master of Science degree in Counseling will use the knowledge, skills and dispositions obtained in the program to:
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of human and personality development and how these domains affect individuals. (Lifespan)
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of how human diversity affects learning and development within the context of a global society and a diverse community of families.(Diversity)
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the principles of measurement and assessment, for both individual and group approaches. (Assessment)
- Explains the career development planning process across the lifespan, and assists individuals in their career exploration, decision-making and planning. (Career)
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of both psycho-educational and interactive group methods and techniques. (Group)
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of planning and goal setting for the personal, social, educational, and career development of the individual. (Personal Plans of Development)
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of various methods for delivering responsive counseling services to individuals and groups in school and community settings. (Counseling Services)
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of various methods to develop and maintain comprehensive counseling programs for all students in schools and prevention services for the broader community. (Program Management)
- Demonstrates knowledge and implements technology as a management and counseling tool in promoting the personal, education, social and career development of individuals. (Technology)
- Demonstrates understanding and develops professional relationships in the school, family, and community, through consultation and collaboration to promote development of all individuals. (Professional Relationships)
- Demonstrates knowledge and applies ethical principles of the counseling profession. (Ethics)
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the legal aspects of the role of counseling in the school and community. (Law)
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of methods to promote his or her professional development and well-being. (Professional Development & Well-being)
The Counseling Program offers two degrees, the Master of Science in Counseling and the Education Specialist Degree in Human Services, Professional Counseling. The Counseling Program is designed to meet the academic requirements for certification as professional school counselors and for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC). The program is approved for the school counselor certificate issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Students may also select courses that fulfill academic requirements for registered play therapists (RPT) and licensed professional counselors (LPC). All students, including those seeking additional certification and licensure must apply to and be accepted by graduate studies and the Counseling program.
The Counseling Program operates within the framework of the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and the most current American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Code of Ethics. Students are expected to comply with the ACA and ASCA Codes of Ethics and all applicable University and school rules, policies and bulletins, which are subject to change from time to time.
- Admissions Criteria - To be considered for admission to the Counseling Program, applicants must first be admitted to Graduate Studies and provide the Counseling Admissions and Standards Committee with a completed application file that contains:
- A completed Counseling Application Form.
- Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work from any post-secondary educational or professional institution or any other school experience following high school. To be considered for eligibility, the applicant’s GPA must be 2.50 or higher in the total undergraduate course work, 2.75 or higher in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work and 3.00 or higher for graduate course work. It is the applicant’s responsibility to request and ensure that all official transcripts are on file.
- An official report of the results for the student’s Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test taken during the last three years. To be considered for eligibility, a minimum combined score of 900 (GRE completed prior to August 2012) or 295 (GRE completed after August 2012) on the verbal and quantitative portions of the examination and 3.00 or greater on the analytical writing measure is recommended. Applicants who have completed a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution may petition the Admissions and Standards Committee for an exception to the GRE requirement. (See Requirements for Progression in the Program, item 2.)
- A resume with complete listing of previous educational and employment experiences.
- Three recommendations, prepared within the last three years, on the Counseling Program Recommendation Form. One recommendation should be from a certified or licensed mental health professional, or counselor educator. All recommendations must be from non-relative individuals who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s professional experience and can attest to the individual’s potential to work effectively as a counselor.
- An articulate and satisfactory essay explaining the impact of previous employment and professional experiences upon the decision to apply to the counseling program, reasons for seeking the Master of Science Degree or Education Specialist Degree and appropriate future professional goals in counseling.
- Such other information as deemed necessary and requested of the applicant by the Admissions and Standards Committee.
- To be eligible for consideration, the applicant must also meet all other requirements for admission to graduate study as outlined in the general requirements for graduate studies and all applicable school rules, policies and bulletins, which may be subject to change.
- Admissions Process - Complete application files as described above must be submitted to the Counseling Admissions and Standards Committee. When the file is complete, the applicant must submit a written request for the Admissions and Standards Committee to review the file. Files are typically reviewed within two weeks from the date of request. Applicants with consent from the program coordinator may enroll in COUN 5100 - Foundations of Professional Counseling (3) and COUN 5110 - Orientation to Professional Counseling and Ethics (3) as non-degree seeking students. Note: COUN 5100 must be taken prior to COUN 5110 or concurrently with COUN 5110 . Contact the School of Professional Education and Leadership -Counseling Program for further information.
- Application files must be completed by the end of the semester for which the applicant is seeking admission. Student will not be considered for admission unless the application file is completed as described above at the date of review. Application files will be carefully reviewed for eligibility by the Admissions and Standards Committee.
- If, in the best professional judgment of the Admissions and Standards Committee, the applicant meets the standards for eligibility and his/her file demonstrates the professional dispositions necessary to function effectively and within the current Codes of Ethics of the American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association, an interview may be scheduled with the counseling faculty.
- At any time during the review process, should any information come to light which in the best professional judgment of the committee requires additional information, further follow-up or investigation, the applicant will be notified. Applicants whose records indicate an inability to conform to the professional and ethical standards will be denied admission. Applicants who are denied admission may appeal the decision to the Admissions and Standards Committee (see Appeals Process in Student Handbook)
The applicant is considered to be admissible and is rank ordered by the Admissions and Standards Committee if, in the best professional judgment of the Admissions and Standards Committee:
1. The applicant meets all criteria stated herein,
2. The interview confirms the individual’s potential for developing professional dispositions required to function effectively and ethically as a counselor, and
3. The applicant has no impediment that would render him/her ineligible for school endorsement on the school counseling certificate or recommendation for the LPC.
4. Admission is competitive among all applicants and admission is granted as class size permits according to rank.
- Requirements for Progression in the Program
- First, students must take COUN 5100 - Foundations of Professional Counseling (3) and then they may take COUN 5110 - Orientation to Professional Counseling and Ethics (3) . Note: COUN 5100 must be taken prior to COUN 5110 or concurrently with COUN 5110 . Course work completed prior to admission to the Counseling Program may not be accepted toward a program of study in Counseling.
- Students who score lower than 3.5 on the GRE Analytical Writing must seek assistance for improvement of their writing skills and must demonstrate satisfactory improvement before seeking advanced status. Participation in the Learning Center is required.
- A satisfactory program of study approved by the student’s adviser, School of Professional Education and Leadership chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies must be filed within one month after completion of 12 semester hours of graduate study. University and Counseling Program policies will govern the appropriate application of previously completed coursework.
- Students must complete the online orientation to Counseling Program process during the first semester after admission.
- After completion of the foundation courses students must submit a request for advanced status. Advanced status requires a GPA of 3.0, an approved program of study, and demonstration of professional dispositions and competencies in all foundation courses. If in the best professional judgment of the Admissions and Standards Committee, an oral examination is necessary to establish competency to undertake advanced course activities, the student will be notified. They are then eligible to enroll in advanced courses.
- Advanced courses require graduate students to have direct contact with individuals in school or community settings. Each graduate student is responsible for obtaining pre-approved written agreements with individuals and parents of minor children to observe, administer tests, conduct case studies, engage in counseling and other such activities to meet course requirements.
- In clinical courses (practicum and internships) the graduate student is responsible for obtaining a standard written agreement with a school district or a community setting to perform the activities required by the clinical courses and to establish a written plan with a certificated school counselor or licensed professional counselor who is approved by the counseling and willing to serve as a site supervisor. Students are required to complete a total of six (6) semester hours in COUN 6910 - Internship in Professional Counseling (3-6) . Documentation of a total of 600 clock hours is required.
- During one of the last two semesters before graduation, students are required to pass the comprehensive exit examination.
- Students admitted to the program are expected to comply at all times with the current Codes of Ethics as set forth by ACA and ASCA. Students who choose to accept professional counseling positions prior to attaining full certification or licensure must agree to use the title, “School Counselor in Training” or “Counselor in Training”, to practice within the boundaries of their competence, to work under the supervision of a fully certified or licensed counselor, and to secure, maintain and provide documentation of professional counselor liability insurance. Students must also comply with all current DESE regulations governing certification. Violation of the ACA or ASCA Codes of Ethics by a student may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the program. Students who are dismissed may appeal the decision through the regular appeal process as described in the policies of University of Central Missouri.
Required Graduate Courses: 54 Semester Hours
Common Core Courses
(Required for all areas, Advanced Status Not Required)
Advanced Status Courses
(Require achievement of Advanced Status)
Minimum Graduate Hour Total: 54 Semester Hours
Certification Requirements for School Counselors-To qualify for the Missouri Counselor Certificate, Grades K-12, persons must meet the following requirements: (1) A valid Missouri teaching certificate (elementary or secondary) as required to teach in the public schools of Missouri; or completion of an approved curriculum in teaching methods and classroom management * (2) Completion of a course in Advanced Education of the Exceptional Child; (3) Achieve the qualifying score on the State Examination for school counseling; (4) Completion of a master’s or higher degree in school counseling, counseling or counseling psychology; (5) Completion of the following program of required courses or equivalent.
*Individuals who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in education from a state-approved teacher preparation program or hold a certificate to teach will need to take the following additional courses for certification as a school counselor in Missouri:
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Area
Required Graduate Courses: 60 Semester Hours
Common Core Courses
(Required for all areas, Advanced Status Not Required)
Advanced Status Courses
(Required, Achievement of Advanced Status)
Minimum Graduate Hour Total: 60 Semester Hours
License Requirements for Clinical Mental Health Counselors-To qualify for the Missouri LPC persons must meet the following requirements: (1) Complete a master’s or higher degree in counseling; (2) Achieve the qualifying score on the National Counselor Examination, and (3) Successfully complete 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised experience.