The Counselor Education Program was established in 1966 as part of the School of Education. It is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the North Central Association (NCA), and is an approved program for school counselor certification by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI).
Students initially admitted into the program work toward a Master of Science in Education degree. All students begin the program in the academic track. Students who gain clinical approval may take courses in the clinical tracks. The clinical tracks are elementary school counseling, secondary school counseling, and community counseling. The clinical track prepares students to be certifiable for a school counselor license. The community track prepares students to work in higher education and human service settings.
Students take a number of courses in common, including the core courses, research and writing courses, and electives. Students with clinical approval may take clinical track courses.
All courses necessary to achieve a degree are offered at least once during the academic year and/or summer session. The program can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. A minimum of 36 credits is required for the Academic Track and a minimum of 42 credits for a single Clinical Track. Students who want preparation in more than one Clinical Track must add 9 credits for each additional Clinical Track. Students who complete 48 credits may waive the seminar or thesis requirement. No more than 12 credits may be taken each semester during the academic year and no more than 9 credits may be taken during the summer session. With these limits, a student may complete the 42-credit program in a minimum of two years (including two summer sessions). Each clinical track consists of a didactic course, Practicum I and Practicum II. The didactic course is designed to introduce students to the basic knowledge of how to function as a professional counselor in a school or community setting. Practicum I is designed so that the student may experience a variety of programs, counselors and sites, becoming involved in basic supervised interventions. During Practicum II the student becomes actively involved in all aspects of counseling interventions at a single site.Prerequisites
Prospective students must meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and have completed at least 12 undergraduate credit hours in courses related to behavioral sciences. Students whose preparation is judged deficient in behavioral sciences will be required to make up such deficiencies.Admission to the Program
Counselors must possess personal characteristics that will foster trust with clientele, which requires strong communication skills. As evidence of those characteristics and skills, prospective students must have at least a 2.75 undergraduate grade point average and have an appropriate background. Prospective students must submit a resume that speaks to their educational-employment-experiential background and have a personal interview with at least two program faculty members. Preference will be given to those who have had two years or more of full-time employment in a human service field. Admission numbers are limited to available counselor education resources. Students are encouraged to apply for admission by April 1st (for summer, fall, or the following spring). Students who have received a master's degree from another counselor education program and wish to certify in an additional track must sign a release to permit communication with faculty in that program and previous practicum on-site supervisors. Prospective students who hold "emergency" licenses as school counselors at any time before being enrolled in the clinical courses will not be admitted.Admission to Candidacy
The Graduate Council requires that each student seek admission to candidacy after nine credits and before the end of the next semester. A student must be approved by the Counselor Education Program faculty to qualify for admission to candidacy. The application for admission to candidacy can be obtained from the Counselor Education Program office.
To apply for admission to candidacy the student must:
A student must have Counselor Education Program faculty approval to enroll in any Clinical Track course work. The faculty will consider the student's demonstrated communication skills, appropriate personality characteristics, behavioral characteristics, and ability to establish counseling relationships.Electives
Elective courses must be in the behavioral sciences. They will vary according to the track chosen and the interests of a particular student. Electives must be selected with the approval of a student's advisor and in the case of transfer credits, the Counselor Education Program faculty. Behavioral science topics may include such areas as philosophy, professional education, sociology, psychology, and criminal justice.Other Requirements
Each student will produce papers indicating familiarity with the process of reviewing research literature and designing studies. The American Psychological Association Publication Manual standards are applied to course papers, seminar papers, and theses unless otherwise indicated. The writing of research may be satisfied by doing one of the following:
If the student selects the seminar paper option or the completion of six additional approved course credits option, he or she should take the master's comprehensive examination in the last semester of study. If the student selects the thesis option, he or she must orally defend the thesis. Students should explore the implications of each option with their advisor. Students are required to submit an approved research paper proposal before enrolling for either Counselor Education 7920, Seminar Paper Research or Counselor Education 7990, Thesis Research.Certification as a School Counselor
Students who wish to be certified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction should work closely with their advisor to ensure meeting Wisconsin standards. Copies of school counselor requirements are available in the Counselor Education office.
Only students approved for Clinical Track will be eligible for school counselor certification.