This program seeks to prepare excellent counselors who choose an emphasis for special preparation in mental health or school settings. Such counselors possess knowledge of human behavior and social systems, counseling and communication skills, self-awareness, and respect for human dignity and diversity. As a result, they are able to integrate this knowledge, skill, and attitude with their personhood. This combined emphasis on skill development, theory, and utilization of self produces counselors who function effectively in a variety of helping settings and who have a positive impact on the individuals, agencies, institutions, and/or communities in which they work.
The philosophy of the department emphasizes the personhood of the counselor and utilization of self as the most important instruments in effecting therapeutic and systemic change. Thus, classroom instruction combines experiential (self) and didactic learning to create opportunities for students to acquire and demonstrate theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and understanding and utilization of self necessary to be effective counselors. Further, the program exposes students to multiple theoretical orientations. Finally, students are expected to learn how to learn, by acquiring the skills necessary to continue personal growth and professional development while in the program and after the completion of their formal education.
At last count, 420 higher education institutions have CACREP accredited programs. There are 900+ CACREP accredited programs nationally and internationally. Our institution was the first to gain CACREP accreditation in New York in 1987. Our MSEd – Counseling program (with emphases in school counseling and college counseling) and our MS in Mental Health Counseling program are CACREP accredited.
Students are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) during their last semester. This exam leads to the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential. The experience requirement for the NCC is waived for students graduating from a CACREP accredited program.
Certification is a “professional, statutory, or nonstatutory process by which an agency or association grants recognition to an individual for having met certain predetermined professional qualifications” (Fretz & Mills, 1980, p.7). A state or national board issues a certificate to an individual in a specialty. Certification deems that a person meets the minimum skills necessary to engage in that profession and has no known character defects that would interfere with such practice.
Licensure is a “statutory process by which an agency or government, usually a state, grants permission to a person meeting predetermined qualifications to engage in a given occupation and/or use a particular title and to perform specified functions” (Fretz & Mills, 1980, p.7). Like certification, licensure requires that the individual meets predetermined educational and experiential qualifications. Once licensure requirements are established by a state, for example, individuals cannot practice a profession legally without obtaining a license.
The department’s MSEd – Counseling program, School Counselor emphasis results in students receiving provisional certification as school counselor in the State of New York. Provisional certification is granted by the New York State Education Department. This certification allows students to work as school counselors. Currently, the state requires that students obtain permanent certification as a school counselor within 5 years from graduation. In order to obtain permanent certification as a school counselor, graduates must complete an additional 12 credits (for a total of 60 masters level credits) (the department has a Certificate of Advanced Study, or CAS, for this) and work the equivalent of two years as a school counselor.
Graduates of the department’s MS – Mental Health Counseling program are eligible to sit for New York State’s Mental Health Licensure examination. The 60 credit-hour program has met the New York State Education Department’s requirements and is registered as a license-eligible program.
The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) (www.nbcc.org) is the leading national organization that certifies counselors. All students enrolled in both the MSEd degree and MS degree programs are eligible to apply for certification from NBCC. Individuals who take and pass the National Counselor Exam (NCE) (offered twice a year – in October, and in April) receive the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential.
Absolutely! Contact Lisa Mogle, department secretary, at (585) 395-2258 or at email@example.com.