• Graduate Catalog

  • Counseling



    PURPOSE: The Graduate Counseling Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville is designed to prepare individuals for entry-level professional counseling practice. Graduates from this program will receive the academic and experiential foundations that will enable them to specialize in a variety of counseling roles, such as community mental health counselors, pastoral counselors, drug and alcohol counselors, college counselors, and supervisory positions in a variety of settings. Some of these specialties would require additional post-graduate training or coursework not available through this program. The program of study has been developed to address eligibility requirements for licensure or certification of counselors. The experience and knowledge gained in this program provide a firm foundation for doctoral-level study in counseling.


    The Graduate Counseling Program has the following objectives:

    1. To develop the therapeutic, preventive, educative, and facilitative skills of the prospective counselor working in a culturally diverse society.
    2. To increase knowledge and under­standing of appraising systemic and in­dividual needs and providing suitable treatments.
    3. To provide a program of studies that covers the course content for licensure in counseling.
    4. To promote an understanding of hu­man nature based on a Christian philo­sophical perspective.
    5. To offer a concentration in Christian counseling for students desiring to learn more about applying professional skills in a Christian counseling setting.


    The underlying philosophical approach in the Counseling Program is consistent with Franciscan University of Steubenville’s mission to promote free intellectual inquiry conducive to development of professionals who respect and integrate human and Christian values. The program offers a strong background of experiential training, knowledge, research, and testing skills, and promotes an understanding of the physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of human development and behavior. Such a program is particularly suited to the University’s intention of providing educational foundations that enable graduates to enter personally satisfying careers, serve others to the best of their abilities, and develop the capacity for intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth.


    The Graduate Counseling Program requires a minimum of 54 semester hours of didactic and experiential work. Included is a one-semester practicum and a two-semester internship in a public or private counseling agency. The course of study balances theory and practice and provides the prospective counselor with a firm foundation for developing counseling strategies as well as the ability to apply intervention tactics. Courses are integrated into a comprehensive program providing an excellent foundation for professional counseling practice.

    • CSL 501 Counseling Research and Evaluation
    • CSL 502 Human Growth and Personality Development
    • CSL 503 Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Counseling
    • CSL 504 Theories and Techniques of Counseling I
    • CSL 505 Theories and Techniques of Counseling II
    • CSL 520 Appraisal of the Individual
    • CSL 521 Lifestyle and Career Development
    • CSL 607 Issues in Psychological and Spiritual Integration
    • CSL 608 Christian Counseling Approaches
    • CSL 621 Group Dynamics and Counseling
    • CSL 623 Social and Cultural Foundations
    • CSL 624 Practicum in Counseling
    • CSL 625 Internship in Counseling I
    • CSL 626 Internship in Counseling II
    • THREE (3) Advanced topics courses, one of which must be CSL 630 PC

    The above program involves 54 credits of graduate coursework. All courses are 3 or 4-credit courses. Courses cover the didactic and experiential areas recommended by the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for graduate counselor education and training. The curriculum is designed to meet the requirements for certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), which is consistent with many state licensures.

    The curriculum is offered during two semesters (fall and spring) of the regular academic year and assumes full-time participation by students during two academic years. Successful completion of the 54 credit hours of classroom, practicum, and internship courses, with an overall “B” average, is required for graduation.


    A concentration in Christian Counseling may be earned by students who have completed the Master in Counseling requirements including CSL 630 PL (Pastoral Counseling) and 630 PD (Christian Marriage and Family) as the electives.


    A student seeking Professional Counselor (PC) or Professional Clinical Counselor (PCC) licensure in the State of Ohio must complete 60 semester hours of graduate work covering the 11 content areas as defined in Section 4757-13-01 of the Ohio Revised Code with a minimum of 20 semester hours of instruction in the following areas:

    1. Clinical psychopathology, personality, and abnormal behavior
    2. Evaluation of mental and emotional status
    3. Diagnosis of mental and emotional disorders
    4. Methods of intervention and prevention of mental and emotional disorders
    5. Treatment of mental and emotional disorders

    Students seeking Ohio licensure and completing the Franciscan University of Steubenville regular MA in Counseling (as well as admittees holding the MA in Counseling from another accredited institution) may their remaining Advanced Topic requirements in the University’s Masters Plus Program from the following courses:

    • CSL 630 PL AT: Pastoral Counseling
    • CSL 630 PA AT: Clinical Psychopathology
    • CSL 630 PB AT: Advanced Assessment
    • CSL 630 PC AT: DSM
    • CSL 630 PD AT: Christian Marriage and Family
    • CSL 630 PE AT:Psychopharmacology
    • CSL 630 PJ AT: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
    • CSL 630 PK AT: Substance Abuse


    The PRACTICUM (CSL 624) involves both small group and individual supervision by faculty and site supervisors. Under supervision, students will provide approximately eight hours per week of professional counseling services for a total of 100 hours.

    The Internship (CSL 625 AND 626) normally consists of 600 hours of professional counseling service spread over two semesters. The internship involves supervision at the internship site by an appropriate mental health professional as well as small group and individual supervision by a faculty supervisor.

    Most students complete their internship requirements over the fall and spring semesters of the second year. Students may also elect to begin their internships during the summer between their first and second year in order to complete their internship requirements in the fall semester of the second year.

    In making practicum and internship placements, the program helps students to match their experience, skills, and interests with the needs of the practicum or internship agency. It is the student’s responsibility to prepare a résumé or curriculum vitae to submit to a prospective practicum or internship agency and to have a personal interview at the agency as part of the practicum or internship assignment process. Final decisions about practicum and internship placement are made mutually by the student, the program, and the agency.

    As is customary, students are expected to purchase liability insurance and to provide their own transportation to the practicum and internship sites.


    The curriculum for the Graduate Counseling Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville has been designed to enable students to meet the graduate educational requirements to become certified as National Certified Counselors (NCC) by the National Board for Certification of Counselors (NBCC) and to become licensed or certified as professional counselors in states (including Ohio) that license or certify counselors based on CACREP standards.

    States with licensure or certification laws typically model their coursework and other educational requirements after the standards set by the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). A given state’s coursework requirements may vary from the CACREP standards, but the coursework recommended by CACREP is the nationally recognized model for educating professional counselors. It is the responsibility of the student to be informed of his/her state licensure requirements.

    To be certified as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and/or to be licensed or certified in states that license or certify professional counselors, a candidate generally takes three steps:

    1. Complete a graduate degree in counseling or “related field” as defined by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and/or individual state counseling licensure and certification boards.
    2. Fulfill the requirements for additional supervised experience after completion of the graduate degree. This usually involves two or more years of regular employment as a professional counselor.
    3. Pass a competency examination required by the NBCC and/or an individual state’s board for counseling licensure or certification.


    An applicant’s file is to be completed with all application materials, including reference letters, transcripts, standardized test scores, and other materials specified within individual programs, by February 1 to receive priority consideration for the Fall term.

    Applications completed after February 1 and by July 1 will be reviewed on a periodic basis. Admission will be granted subject to the availability of space in a program.

    4+1 ADMISSION: April 1
    Students seeking admission to the Graduate Counseling Program through the 4+1 Program must be second semester Juniors with a Psychology major and at least a 3.3 GPA. Students complete all required 4+1 application materials.  Details about the 4+1 Program can be found in the description of the Psychology Major in the Undergraduate Catalogue.


    Admission to the Graduate program will be granted, as space allows, to those applicants who satisfy the basic qualifications and show high promise of success as a professional counselor. Applicants are required to submit the following to the University Graduate Admissions Office:

    1. MA Application for Admission with $20 fee
    2. Official transcripts of all college or university work (in a sealed envelope from the issuing Institution)
    3. Three (3) letters of recommendation from academic or professional individuals able to comment on the applicant’s level of personal maturity, academic abilities, and potential success as a professional counselor.
    In general, an admission decision will be based on the following criteria:
    1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum quality point average of 3.0 based on a 4-point scale.
    2. Determination by the Graduate Admissions Committee of the candidate’s potential to be an effective and responsible professional counselor.
    3. An undergraduate degree in psychology, mental health, or related social services field, or completion of three of the following background undergraduate courses listed below:
      1. Developmental Psychology or Educational Psychology.
      2. Personality Theories or Introduction to Counseling.
      3. Abnormal Psychology or its equivalent.
      Acceptable equivalents for these background courses will be considered under the following conditions, if a request is made in writing:
      1. By fulfilling equivalent course requirements at an accredited college-level institution with grades of “B” or better, or
      2. By earning a satisfactory score on the appropriate College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test or on the appropriate Advanced Placement Program Test.
    4. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) with a composite score of 1,000 or more on the verbal and quantitative sections, or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) with a minimum score of 400. Applicants having completed a graduate degree program with a grade point average of “B” or better are exempt from this requirement.
    5. A personal letter in which the applicant explains why he or she wants to become a professional in counseling.
    6. A résumé or curriculum vitae listing prior work history, including paid or volunteer experiences in counseling or related settings.
    7. Prior to admission, a phone or personal interview may berequired.


    Some background courses to help applicants prepare for graduate-level work in counseling would include interviewing and assessment, practica or field placements, statistics, marriage and family, abnormal psychology, and introduction to counseling. However, particular graduate courses (e.g., Appraisal of the Individual or Counseling Research and Evaluation) dealing with subject matter that is not covered by required undergraduate background courses will be taught assuming minimal or no background knowledge in the respective subject.


    Students requesting transfer of graduate credit(s) (up to 9 semester hours) may do so either before or after enrolling in Franciscan University through a formal written letter to the director of the program that includes the course number, title, and grade for the course already taken along with the name and number of the relevant program course. Enclosures should include a photocopy of the course description from the graduate catalog of the school where the course was taken and the course syllabus listing the text(s) used. At the discretion of the Program Director, topics covered and graded assignments may also be required. An official transcript must be included with your application for admission to Franciscan University.

    It should be noted that if a student wishes to transfer a course taken at a different school worth four quarter credits for a program course worth three semester credits, the course would be accepted for transfer, providing it met the conditions described above, but only for 2 2/3 semester credits. The student would need to make up the 1/3 of a credit.



    The student’s proficiency in graduate course work is recorded on a 4.0 scale. A 3.0 or “B” average in all graduate and required undergraduate work is to be maintained by Graduate Counseling students each semester. To qualify for graduation, the student must have a 3.0 average in all graduate courses attempted. According to University policy, graduate students must retake any graduate courses in which they earn less than a grade of “C” (2.0).

    The grade of “I” (Incomplete) indicates that the work has not been completed. Students must complete the work within 6 weeks after the beginning of the succeeding semester to remove the Incomplete grade. If it is not removed within this period, the grade becomes an “F”. An appeal for change of grade for a particular course should first be directed to the class instructor. The student, if not satisfied, may then speak with his/her advisor. If the matter is not resolved in a manner satisfactory to the student, the student may appeal to the Director of the Graduate Counseling Department. If the student is still dissatisfied, a final appeal may be made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. At this time, the decision of the Vice President is final and the student will be required to abide by this decision.


    Professional competence will be evaluated primarily through the following criteria:

    1. A student must achieve a favorable overall evaluation from faculty and placement supervisors at the conclusion of each semester.
    2. A student must adhere to ethical standards outlined by ACA (American Counseling Association).

    Franciscan University holds out the following personal development standards for its students:

    1. The student is expected to exhibit behavior consistent with the Franciscan University code of student conduct. (See Student Handbook)
    2. The student’s relationships with faculty and peers are conducted in a professional and mature manner.
    3. The student displays behavior that reflects the ability to be an effective professional counselor.

    In applying these standards, a student will not be allowed to continue in the program if the student’s conduct endangers the health and safety of himself/ herself or others or is so inappropriate that it interferes with other students’ ability to successfully study and develop in the program. With regard to the counseling practicum and internship portion of the program, a student will not be allowed to continue in the program if the student’s conduct has the potential to cause harm to clients in the clinical setting.



    (sequence of courses subject to revision)

    • FALL (1stYear)
      • CSL 502 Human Growth & Personality Development
      • CSL 504 Theories & Techniques of Counseling I
      • CSL 607 Issues in Psychological & Spiritual Integration
      • CSL 621 Group Dynamics & Counseling
    • SPRING (1st Year)
      • CSL 505 Theories & Techniques of Counseling II
      • CSL 520 Appraisal of the Individual
      • CSL 608 Christian Counseling Approaches
      • CSL 624 Practicum in Counseling
    • SUMMER (1st Year)
      • CSL 630 Advanced Topic Course(s)
    • FALL (2nd Year)
      • CSL 501 Counseling Research & Evaluation
      • CSL 623 Social and Cultural Foundations
      • CSL 625 Internship in Counseling I
         CSL 626 Internship in Counseling II (if CSL 625 was completed in summer)
      • CSL 630 PC: AT: DSM
    • SPRING (2nd Year)
      • CSL 503 Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues
      • CSL 521 Lifestyle and Career Development
      • CSL 626 Internship in Counseling II*
      • CSL 630 Advanced Topic
      • CSL 630 PL Pastoral Counseling
      • CSL 636 Counseling Supervision and Consultation
      • CSL 630 Advanced Topics:
      • CSL 630 PA AT: Clinical Psychopathology
      • CSL 630 PB AT: Advanced Assessment
      • CSL 630 PC AT: DSM
      • CSL 630 PD AT: Christian Marriage and Family
      • CSL 630 PE AT: Psychopharmacology
      • CSL 630 PJ AT: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
      • CSL 630 PK AT: Substance Abuse

    Course Descriptions


    CSL 501 Counseling Research and Evaluation
    (3 credits)
    This course reviews topics and problems of current concern in counseling research and program evaluation, including qualitative and quantitative research design strategies and methods, instrumentation, and data analysis. Students learn about how professional counselors use research to inform treatment choices and practices as well as how ethical and cultural issues play a part in the process of conducting and reporting research. Finally, the course looks specifically at methods and principles of program evaluation.

    CSL 502 Human Growth and Personality Development
    (3 credits)
    This course will present theories and research on the nature and needs of individuals at all levels of life span development. Consideration will be given to socio-emotional, intellectual, physical, moral, and spiritual aspects of development. The development of normal and abnormal behavior, personality theory, and learning theory will also be discussed. Finally, legal and ethical issues, as well as diversity issues, will be reviewed in relation to human development.

    CSL 503 Professional, Ethical, and Legal
    (3 credits)
    This course is designed to help students study the professional codes of ethics outlined by the American Counseling Association (ACA), as well as become familiar with the legal responsibilities of counselors in a culturally diverse society. Students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills regarding various ethical and legal quandaries commonly experienced by mental health professionals. In this course, stu¬dents also learn about issues that surround professionalism, such as the history of the counseling profession, li¬censure requirements, the role of professional organizations, means of interacting with other mental health and human services workers, and self-care strategies.

    CSL 504 Theories and Techniques of Counseling I
    (3 credits)
    This course is a study of the professional identity, history, functions, characteristics and roles of the mental health counselor in a diverse society. It also explores the philosophy of counseling, including developmental, holistic, wellness and preventive perspectives. Furthermore, it is a considered study of the theory and techniques of the major models of individual counseling, including humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and other approaches. Attention is given to crisis-intervention, suicide prevention, intake and treatment skills, and supervision.

    CSL 505 Theories and Techniques of Counseling II
    (3 credits)
    The purpose of this course is to create an introductory study of theory and techniques of marriage and family and systems approaches to counseling. Course content also will cover a survey of basic interviewing skills that are applicable to counseling couples, families, and individuals. This course will be based on student-centered learning approaches, in which discussion and practice of clinical techniques is prominent. Role plays and audio tapes will be used to help students learn to implement the techniques germane to family systems-based theoretical approaches, as well as to practice basic interviewing skills.

    CSL 520 Appraisal of the Individual
    (3 credits)
    This course exposes students to basic concepts of testing on which standardized tests are built, as well as appraisal techniques. Topics covered in this course include such things as statistical concepts (i.e., measures of variability, shapes of distribution, etc.); reliability; validity; standardized and non-standardized testing techniques; diagnostic assessment, rating scales, intelligence tests, personality assessments, aptitude scales, achievement measures in psychological and educational testing, and mental status examinations. The DSM is employed in this process. Students are also asked to consider cultural issues in making assessments and using tests.

    CSL 521 Lifestyle and Career Development
    (3 credits)
    This course introduces students to the major theoretical approaches to career development and individual career decision making. It incorporates career assessment instruments and techniques for evaluating individuals relevant to career development, planning and placement. Emphasis is given to the decision-making processes surrounding and issues of career counseling with special populations, legal and ethical issues in career counseling, and trends in career development across the lifespan.

    CSL 607 Issues in Psychological and Spiritual Integration
    (3 credits)
    This course is designed to aid students in developing a psychologically and spiritually integrated worldview as a theoretical basis for application in clinical therapeutic intervention, pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. Study will focus on the significance of relating to persons as an integrated body and soul. Topics to be covered include stages of human, spiritual, and religious development, the meaning of suffering, creation of a purposeful life, and positive psychology.

    CSL 608 Christian Counseling Approaches
    (3 credits)
    The purpose of this course is to explore the meaning of professional Christian counseling, particularly from a Catholic perspective. This will include examining issues such as: (1) situating Christian Counseling in relation to the general Counseling field, (2) foundations of Christian Counseling, (3) theory and/or integration of traditional theories, and (4) integration and application of methods and techniques.

    CSL 621 Group Dynamics and Counseling
    (3 credits)
    This course will survey theories and techniques of group counseling to enable the counselor to work effectively with groups from a variety of client populations. Participation in a training group and experiences necessary to co-lead a therapeutic group are also provided.

    CSL 623 Social and Cultural Foundations
    (3 credits)
    This course builds upon the diversity-based knowledge that is emphasized throughout the counselor education curriculum. It seeks to delve into topics that are germane to the multiculturally sensitive practices of professional counseling. The course focuses on specific knowledge, skills, and awareness-related competencies, their application, and the students’ self-reflective perceptions and experiences of diversity. Topics addressed include such things as race, ethnicity, social and gender issues, racial and cultural identity formation, oppression, privilege, social justice and advocacy.

    CSL 624 Practicum in Counseling
    (3 credits)
    This practicum involves supervised counseling experience involving a minimum of 100 clock hours in a counseling field placement for the development of individual and group counseling skills. Graduate faculty will be the primary supervisors. Supervision will be provided both in small group and in one-to-one settings.

    Prerequisites: CSL 502, 504, 607, and 621 (or their equivalents) and permission of the Counseling Department.

    CSL 625 Internship in Counseling I
    (3 credits)
    This internship involves the first semester of a two-semester field placement, including a minimum of 300 clock hours per semester at a public or private counseling setting. Students are expected to perform all of the counseling and related activities of a regularly employed (half-time) staff counselor. Supervision will be given by both an agency supervisor and a faculty supervisor. Faculty supervision will include small group and one-to-one supervision.

    Prerequisites: CSL 624, 504, 505, 520, 621 (or their equivalents) and permission of the Counseling Department.

    CSL 626 Internship in Counseling II
    (3 credits)
    This internship involves the second semester of a two-semester field placement including a minimum of 300 clock hours per semester at a public or private counseling setting. Students are expected to perform all of the counseling and related activities of a regularly employed (half time) staff counselor. Supervision will be given by both an agency supervisor and a faculty supervisor. Faculty supervision will include small group and one-to-one supervision. Students will participate in a capstone experience project, including the completion of an integrated theoretical paper and an illustrative counseling case.

    Prerequisites: CSL 625 and permission of the Counseling Department.


    CSL 630 Advanced Topics in Counseling
    (1-4 credits)
    The following courses are devoted to more in-depth study of special or advanced topics in counseling. Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. Special readings, writing, or practicum and internship experiences may also be arranged for 1 to 4 credits under the advanced topics course title.

    CSL 630 PA Advanced Topics in Counseling: Clinical Psychopathology

    Clinical psychopathology, personality, and abnormal behavior include studies that provide a broad understanding of abnormal behavior. Emphasis is placed on psychopathological conditions related to children, adolescents, young, middle-life adults, and the aged. The course also includes studies of specific personality theories and their application to mental health work.

    Prerequisite: 24 semester credit hours

    CSL 630 PB Advanced Topics in Counseling: Advanced Assessment

    The purpose of this course is to increase understanding of administration, scoring, and the interpretation of tests and other data from clinical assessment. Attention will be given to major tests, inventories, and techniques and to the reporting of data from intellectual, achievement, and personality assessment.

    Prerequisite: CSL 520 and 21 semester credit hours

    CSL 630 PC Advanced Topics in Counseling: DSM

    This course develops a framework for identifying the signs and symptoms of a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual that is considered a manifestation of behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction and that is associated with present distress or disability. It includes use of the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and methods for conducting Mental Status examinations.

    Prerequisite: 24 semester credit hours

    CSL 630 PD Advanced Topics in Counseling: Christian Marriage and Family

    This course will aid students in applying the principles of marriage and family therapy in direct counseling skill applications. Students will be enabled to deliver therapeutic interventions for improving intimacy, communication, commitment, and conflict resolution in marriage counseling. A technique to handle the resistant spouse will be introduced. This course will examine the principles of humans sexuality based on foundational Catholic beliefs of the Theology of the Body by John Paul II. In Christian tradition the family carries the distinct responsibility of being the “domestic church.” The stresses of contemporary society affect the structure and the roles within the family. The course will explore advanced theories and techniques for use in counseling families.

    CSL 630 PE Advanced Topics in Counseling: Psychopharmacology

    This course is intended to familiarize counselors with the basic terminology of pharmacology and help counselors to develop a basic un¬derstanding of psychopharmacology as applicable to their work as therapists. Em¬phasis is placed on anatomy and physiology of the brain, commonly used drugs (both legal and illegal), and medications in the treatment of mental and emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, and mania. Possible side effects of psychopharmacological medications will also be reviewed.

    CSL 630 PJ Advanced Topics in Counseling: Cognitive-Behavior Therapy

    Cognitive-Behavior Therapy is a widely-used and highly respected approach to treatment. This course explores the contributions of major theorists/practitioners in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, with an accent on applications to planning and treatment of common mental and emotional disorders.

    CSL 630 PK Advanced Topics in Counseling: Substance Abuse

    The course will examine the relationship between historical and current trends in substance abuse counseling, process, theory, and technique. Emphasis will be placed on assessment, diagnosis, neurophysiology, and treatment of substance abuse disorders. The role of 12 step principles and practices as well as the spiritual and psychological nature of addiction will be examined to ensure a holistic understanding of substance abuse disorders.

    CSL 630 PL Advanced Topics in Counseling: Pastoral Counseling

    This course is an introduction to the professional identity, responsibilities, goals, and functions of pastoral counselors. Major course topics include the study of spiritual and pastoral care, the experience of caring for parishioners and the general population in a pastoral way, issues of social concern and social justice, and special population ministries. Theories and techniques of pastoral counseling will be addressed.

    CSL 636 Consultation and Supervision

    An essential component of counselor development is the supervision of clinical work. This course in supervision and consultation emphasizes the role of supervision and consultation as a vital component in counselor growth. It is intended to be an introduction to major supervisory and consultation models, processes of supervision and the supervisory relationship, the role of evaluation in supervision, and ethical issues in supervision. The course will incorporate practice opportunities for students to implement different supervisory and consultative models.


    Each student’s academic performance, personal maturity, and professional skill development will be reviewed at the end of the first, second, and third semesters by a three-member Evaluation Committee. This committee will consist of the student’s academic advisor, the student’s faculty practicum or internship supervisor, and one (or two, if the student’s advisor and supervisor are the same) other faculty member(s) of the Master in Counseling Program. The particular focus of each evaluation review is to judge whether a student is academically, personally, or professionally prepared to begin the practicum and to begin or continue in the internship.

    A student may receive practical recommendations or requirements as part of this evaluation review, if the student’s academic performance, personal development, and/or professional development are evaluated as “unfavorable” (as specified under Non-Academic Standards Required for Retention). Any student who receives an unfavorable review will receive a written notification. The notification will detail the area(s) of deficiency and will indicate what is required to demonstrate acceptable improvement. The Evaluation Committee will recommend or require that a student take specific actions to resolve the situation, such as: (1) doing further study in an area of academic weakness, (2) seeking personal counseling to resolve problems that are interfering with the student’s performance, (3) receiving increased supervision, and/or (4) completing other actions or remediations as appropriate.

    Depending on the nature and severity of the issue(s) that led to an unfavorable review, a student could be either dismissed (see Dismissal From the Program) or placed on probationary status for the following semester. Additionally, the Evaluation Committee could recommend or require postponement of the upcoming practicum or internship course. Regular status would be restored by the Evaluation Committee after the next semester’s review if the student had demonstrated adequate improvement in the areas previously judged as unfavorable. Adequate demonstration of improvement would include evidence that the student has complied in good faith with the recommendations or requirements from the previous semester’s evaluative review. If the subsequent end-of-semester review remains unfavorable, the student would be subject to dismissal.

    An Evaluation Committee meeting could also be held at any time during a semester at the formal request of a member of the Master’s Counseling Program faculty, in the event that a student’s behavior or counseling performance raised serious concerns about a student’s ability to counsel. Such a review could include recommendations or requirements for practical action by the student, or the possibility of departmental action as cited above.


    Violations of professional ethics as defined by the American Counseling Association (ACA) guidelines, or serious deficiencies in academic, professional, or personal areas will result in temporary or permanent dismissal from the Graduate Counseling Program. Major ethical violation(s) will result in an immediate dismissal.* A continuing pattern of minor ethical violations will be grounds for dismissal if, in the judgment of the Evaluation Committee, any one or combination of these seriously impairs the student’s ability to function as a professional counselor. A student’s pattern of behavior that has the potential to cause harm to clients, endangers his/her health and safety or others’ health and safety, or is so inappropriate that it interferes with others’ opportunity to participate in the program will be grounds for dismissal. As noted above, dismissal could result from failure to resolve an unfavorable evaluation. In the event of a dismissal, the student will receive written notification from the Program Director indicating what specific professional violations or deficiencies in academic, professional, or personal areas led to the dismissal.

    If the dismissal is not permanent, a clear statement of what the student must do to be reinstated will be part of the written notification. A prime consideration in deciding for a permanent dismissal is whether there is a substantial risk, even with attempts at remediation, that the impaired behavior or similar behavior would re-occur.

    *Determination of major versus minor ethical violations will be a judgment of the Evaluation Committee.


    A student may appeal a dismissal decision of the Evaluation Committee. A letter of appeal must be submitted to the Director of the Graduate Counseling Department who will activate the appeal process. Upon receipt of the appeal letter, the Director will form an Appeals Committee comprised of two graduate faculty members, two licensed professional counselors from the field, and two Master in Counseling graduate students. This Appeals Committee will review all data pertaining to the appeal and will make recommendations to the Director. A finding that is consistent with the original Evaluation Committee decision will result in dismissal. If the student is not satisfied by the decision of the Evaluation Committee and the Appeals Committee, a final appeal may be made to the vice president for Academic Affairs. If the prior decision is upheld, the student is dismissed from the Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

    A student who makes an appeal should be prepared to appear before the Appeals Committee or the vice president for Academic Affairs with additional evidence and/or clarification of previous data. The student may appear with a representative. Failure to appear will be considered as a decision by the student to withdraw the appeal.

    The Evaluation Committee, the Appeals Committee and the vice president for Academic Affairs reserve the right to call witnesses and seek all information specific to the dismissal. Such information will fall under the ethical and legal standards of confidentiality.

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