Counseling

Edward E. Jacobs, Ph.D., Program Coordinator
Allen Hall, P.O. Box 6122
http://counseling.wvu.edu

Degree Offered

  • Master of arts in counseling

The Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Counseling Psychology of the College of Education and Human Services offers a master’s program in counseling. The counseling M.A. program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) .  Variations of the curriculum allow emphasis in school counseling and clinical mental health counseling. All applicants must comply with university, the College of Education and Human Services, and departmental requirements.

A degree in counseling provides a broad opportunity to work with children at the elementary-school level, adolescents at the secondary-school level, and all ages at the community level. The school counselor is involved in personal counseling, career guidance, vocational and educational counseling, family counseling, and consultation on classroom problems with teachers and administrators. Clinical mental health counselors work with all ages and populations in various community settings such as correctional facilities, treatment centers, mental health agencies, etc. Counselors must be equipped to work with both individuals and groups.

Students are encouraged to pursue their studies on a full-time basis; however, part-time students are accepted. Part-time admission is meant only for those who plan to take one or two courses a semester. If admitted with part-time status, students will NOT automatically be able to move into the full-time program. There are no summer practicum or internship placements.

Application

Applications for admission to the counseling program should be made to WVU’s Office of Admissions. In addition to the admission requirements of the university and the College of Education and Human Services, the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Counseling Psychology has the following admission requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree with coursework in appropriate areas
  • A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.8, based on a 4.0 system
  • GRE scores: 290 preferred
  • Three letters of reference
  • Completed WVU Graduate School Application
  • Completion of the departmental application to the counseling program

Admission

The West Virginia University counseling department’s admission process is a two-step procedure:

Step 1 is a review of paper credentials including references, department application (relevant major, general quality of application), work experience, GRE scores, and GPA. The initial screening decision is based upon this information. Successful applicants are then interviewed by program faculty.

Step 2 is the department interview, which considers interpersonal style relevant to working as a counselor, communication skills, capacity for empathic understanding and communication, ability to articulate professional goals, goals congruent with department focus, knowledge, understanding of counseling, and assessment of applicants’ capacity to complete the counseling curriculum successfully.

Application deadline for fall admission is March 1 with review of completed applications beginning February 15. We only accept students once a year.

Major Requirements

All students who are candidates for a master’s in counseling are required to take the following core courses: 

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required
COUN 501Counseling Theory and Techniques 13
COUN 505Theory and Practice of Human Appraisal3
COUN 536Theories of Human Development3
COUN 606Counseling Theory and Techniques 23
Select one of the following:3
School Counseling Services *
Introduction to Clinical Mental Health **
COUN 609Group Counseling Theory and Techniques3
COUN 620Lifespan Career Counseling3
COUN 630Children/Adolescents/Parents3
COUN 634Cultural Issues3
COUN 640Addictions Counseling3
COUN 645Couples and Family Counseling3
COUN 664Ethical Issues in Counseling3
COUN 665Diagnosis and Treatment Planning3
COUN 668Crisis Trauma Grief Counseling3
COUN 684Supervision Models/Counseling3
COUN 685Practicum3
COUN 686Counseling Internship9
EDP 612Introduction to Research3
Total Hours60
*

Required for school counselor certification only. A special school counselor certificate is available for individuals without a teaching background. The program includes an additional six hours of coursework.

**

Required for clinical mental health counseling students only.

In addition to completing all coursework and the practicum and internship satisfactorily, the candidate must demonstrate the ability to assume the responsibility required of a professional counselor and the personal characteristics and ethical standards essential to effective working relationships with others.

These personal characteristics are assessed throughout the entire program with special emphasis during the clinical coursework components of the program and during the field experience. Students who do not meet professional and clinical standards in these areas are provided feedback, and resources for remediation are recommended. In these cases, successful remediation is required as a prerequisite for successful program completion. Students who violate ACA ethical standards will be evaluated for possible dismissal from the program.

Non Education Degree Students

Students seeking a degree in school counseling who do not have an education degree must take COUN 660 and a C&I elective.

Certification

Certification requirements in school counseling are the same as for the master’s of arts in counseling, except as noted below:

  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0
  • Recommendation of the faculty
  • A valid professional teaching certification is required or the completion of a six-hour block of professional education coursework (see department for list)  in addition to the sixty-hour master’s degree program
  • Specialization area examination (Satisfactory performance is required for certification eligibility. This examination is administered under the auspices of the State Department of Education.)

Major Learning Goals

Counseling

The objectives of our program in School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling are linked to our mission statement. Specifically, they are to provide:

  • An environment that fosters the personal growth and development of each student.
  • Educational experiences for every student that fosters individual and group counseling skill development.
  • Learning opportunities to support students’ interests in diverse populations and cultures.
  • Training in schools and clinical mental health settings that give students an opportunity to practice and integrate the skills learned in the classroom.

Courses

COUN 501. Counseling Theory and Techniques 1. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Development and application of basic counseling skills including interviewing, clinical observations, and a general orientation to counseling theory and settings. Evaluation will be based on strengths and deficits in intra- and interpersonal skills and on demonstration of counseling skills in checkout situations. In-setting laboratory experience required.

COUN 505. Theory and Practice of Human Appraisal. 3 Hours.

An overview of standardized evaluation methods commonly utilized in educational and rehabilitation settings. Experience is provided in selection, administration, ethical standards, and interpretation of selected instruments.

COUN 536. Theories of Human Development. 3 Hours.

Theory and research on emotional, social, and intellectual development over the life span. Emphasis on application of developmental theories within educational and therapeutic settings.

COUN 606. Counseling Theory and Techniques 2. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 501 and consent. A study of counseling approaches commonly used in public schools, colleges, and rehabilitation agencies. Application of theory emphasized.

COUN 608. School Counseling Services. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Applications of counseling theories and techniques appropriate to the school counseling setting will be explored. Students will develop needs assessments, review legal and ethical issues related to schools, and develop a professional school counseling portfolio.

COUN 609. Group Counseling Theory and Techniques. 3 Hours.

PR:COUN 606 and consent. Theories of group counseling and demonstrations of specific group techniques. Ethical standards. Evaluation will be based on expertise in group facilitation.

COUN 620. Lifespan Career Counseling. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 505. Principles and methods involved in career counseling with diverse populations. Emphasis on theories of career development and life-style planning, career choices, and lifelong work adjustment.

COUN 622. Introduction to Clinical Mental Health. 3 Hours.

PR or CONC: COUN 501 or consent. Role and function of the clinical mental health counselor; DSM categories and ethical standards, cognitive skills and practical experience necessary to understand client populations served by community agencies.

COUN 630. Children/Adolescents/Parents. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 501. Practical application of the principles of counseling children, adolescents, and parents.

COUN 634. Cultural Issues. 3 Hours.

PR: Program major or consent. The impact of cultural differences on the counseling process including gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and counseling styles will be discussed. Racial identity development models will be discussed. Group and experiential activities are required.

COUN 640. Addictions Counseling. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 501 and PR or CONC: COUN 606 or Consent. Specific techniques and models that apply to counseling the addicted client will be explored. Chemical addictions, food addictions, relationship addictions, sexual addictions, and ethics will be addressed. Demonstration of counseling clients with various addictions is required.

COUN 645. Couples and Family Counseling. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 501, COUN 606 or Consent. Techniques and methods of couples and family counseling. Emphasis on ethics, diversity, theory and practice of couples and family counseling. Demonstration of counseling skills for couples and families is required.

COUN 660. Field Experience in School Counseling. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 606 and COUN 630 and COUN 632 and PR or CONC: COUN 685 and consent and course enrollment in the Alternate School Counseling Program. Classroom-based field experience for school counseling majors enrolled in alternative certification programs. A review of classroom curriculum for elementary and secondary grades. Course will be graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

COUN 663. Counseling with Sexual Orientation. 1 Hour.

PR: Graduate standing. An overview of psychological, sociological and political aspects of sexual orientation as they impact counseling. Particular attention will be given to awareness and sensitivity toward gay and lesbian clients and effective intervention and education. Course will be graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

COUN 664. Ethical Issues in Counseling. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 501 and COUN 606. Surveys the legal and ethical issues and professional ethics codes in the counseling profession. Ethical principles applied to schools, agencies, and private practice. Meets ethics content requirement for the LPC.

COUN 665. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 536 and COUN 606. Framework for exploring the range of personality and behavioral disorders as described in the DSM. Focus on: descriptive criteria, etiology, assessment, diagnosis, multicultural considerations, psychotropic treatments of, and understanding of the major diagnostic categories.

COUN 668. Crisis Trauma Grief Counseling. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 501. Application of theories and techniques related to crisis, trauma, suicide, childhood trauma, disaster mental health issues, and all aspects of grief counseling will be explored.

COUN 684. Supervision Models/Counseling. 3 Hours.

PR: COUN 606. The current models of supervision that are commonly utilized by supervisors in the field and the techniques associated with the different models will be investigated.

COUN 685. Practicum. 1-12 Hours.

PR: Preregistration; liability insurance; cleared for internship at close of semester, or a M.A. degree, and consent of department practicum evaluation committee. An intensive supervised practical experience in public schools or agencies, in counseling with individual critique and appropriate small-group experiences. Demonstration of high professional standards, counseling skills, and personal characteristics appropriate to the counseling relationship are essential. (Due to the limited number of summer sites, there can be no guarantee of summer practicum placement.)(Practicum is a prerequisite for internship placement. Internship is a one-semester, minimum four-day per week field experience following practicum. This two-semester sequence replaces the previous one-semester practicum.).

COUN 686. Counseling Internship. 1-12 Hours.

PR: Preregistration, completion of COUN 585 Practicum and consent of department field work coordinator. A full-time supervised field experience. Demonstration of counseling program management skills and ethical conduct is required- ACA Ethical Behavior Standards will be used to determine appropriate professional conduct.

COUN 691A-Z. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

COUN 694A. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

COUN 694A. Seminar. 1-6 hr. A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

COUN 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

COUN 697. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

COUN 900. Professional Development. 1-6 Hours.

Professional development courses provide skill renewal or enhancement in a professional field or content area (e.g., education, community health, geology.) The continuing education courses are graded on a pass/fail grading scale and do not apply as graduate credit toward a degree program.

COUN 930. Professional Development. 1-6 Hours.

Professional development courses provide skill renewal or enhancement in a professional field or content area (e.g., education, community health, geology.) These tuition-waived continuing education courses are graded on a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grading scale and do not apply as graduate credit toward a degree program.