The Department of Professional Counseling offers two degree programs online. Our online program combines counselor education with technology to provide a robust learning experience for students from the comfort of their own homes. Curriculum is delivered in nine-week terms with weekly synchronous or asynchronous course meetings, making our program accessible to counselors in training across the U.S. When synchronous, classes are held from 5pm-8pm central time. In addition to these nine-week courses, students will participate in one week-long intensive held in St. Louis during their first summer in the program. During this intensive, students will work to develop and practice skills needed for both individual and group counseling.
Master of Arts in Counseling, emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
The MA in Counseling with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is offered online in the United States. This is the primary emphasis pursued by our students and is designed for persons wanting to practice all types of counseling. The program is 60 credit hours and includes a 15-month clinical experience where students gain hands-on training working with actual clients in a variety of mental health settings. In addition to the basic learning outcomes of the MA in Counseling, the core learning outcomes of this emphasis include:
- Apply ethical and legal standards as well as knowledge of public mental health policy, financing and regulatory processes to mental health counseling.
- Implement mental health counseling principles and practices associated with education, prevention, consultation and intervention.
- Describe how living in a multicultural society impacts clients and apply effective advocacy strategies to enhance mental health services.
- Employ various assessment techniques associated with professional mental health counseling to appropriately intervene in meeting the needs of diverse clients.
- Apply evidence-based research literature associated with professional mental health counseling to meet the needs of clients living in a diverse society.
- Implement diagnostic tools appropriate for mental health counseling professionals to diagnose disorders in diverse clients.
Master of Arts in School Counseling
The MA in School Counseling is offered online in the United States. This program is designed for individuals wishing to work as mental health professionals in the school system. The program will provide students with exposure to a variety of school populations and has a strong emphasis on equality, diversity, and inclusion of all students.
This program is 48 credit hours and is designed for individuals who are already teacher certified. Students who are not yet teacher certified are eligible for this program but may require prerequisite coursework. Upon completion of the degree, students will be eligible to apply for school counselor certification at both the K-8 and the 7-12 level based on the level at which they complete their field experience. All students will be completing a program approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The student learning outcomes for the MA in School Counseling support the development of students as competent counselors in training. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Develop a professional orientation and identity as a counselor by applying sound ethical, legal, advocacy and supervisory practices which lead to success as a school counselor.
- Identify the cultural context of relationships, issues and trends in a multicultural society that impact the counseling process.
- Synthesize theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive counseling practices.
- Apply theories and models of career development to related life factors in multicultural contexts appropriate to an individual's work, family and lifestyle.
- Develop an empirically based approach to counseling that emphasizes wellness and prevention by integrating theory and best practices.
- Apply theoretical and experiential understandings of group approaches to counseling to develop targeted interventions within a multicultural society.
- Apply individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in a multicultural society.
- Utilize statistical concepts, research methods, needs assessment and program evaluations skills commonly used in the counseling profession.
- Utilize skills and knowledge of student development and behavior to promote the mental health and well-being of all students by facilitating their academic, career and personal/social development.
- Collaborate with school and community members to plan, design, implement, evaluate and enhance the school and district-wide school counseling program to advance the academic, career and personal/social development of all students.
- Develop collaborative professional relationships throughout the school and community which support the school counseling program as well as the overall mission and improvement plans of the school and district.
- Serve as a change agent, demonstrating leadership, vision, collaboration and advocacy for the on-going development of self, students, the school counseling program and the school district.
(Adopted from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education standards for school counseling students.)
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