School of Education Counseling & Psychology in Education

Counseling Program Information

 

 

MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Counselor Education Program at The University of South Dakota is to graduate competent and ethical professional counselors. The Clinical Mental Health specialization is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) under the 2001 standards for Community Counseling.*  The 60 credit hour specialization provides curricular and extracurricular experiences, as well as, supervised practica and internships, to educate and train professional clinical mental counselors. Clinical mental health counselors must demonstrate proficiencies related to the mental health environment such as etiology, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and the prevention of mental and emotional disorders. Clinical mental health counselors work in settings such as agency/community mental health centers, private practice, correctional facilities, career centers, hospital or other medical centers, government/military entities, college campuses, and crisis centers.

*The accreditation runs until March 31, 2016. The CACREP 2009 standards combine the Community Counseling and Mental Health Counseling standards into standards for Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs. The counseling program intends to seek accreditation for this program as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program when it comes up for reaccreditation, per CACREP guidelines.   TOP

 

COUNSELING PROGRAM OBJECTIVES & EVALUATION METHOD
The mission of the Counseling Program informs our program objectives. Collectively, the intent and purpose of the program objectives is to graduate competent and ethical professional counselors. A method of evaluation has been established for each objective. The purpose of the evaluation component is to assist the counseling faculty to improve the quality of the program using formative assessment tools. The Counseling Program objectives and their respective evaluation methods are listed below.

  1. Foster a learning community where students can develop professionally and personally, one respectful of their rights, responsibilities, dignity, and inherent worth by emphasizing excellence in teaching.
    • Primary Evaluation Method(s): Averaged scores of the counseling faculty on the IDEA Center student opinion survey. The collective adjusted score for the counseling faculty will meet or exceed the national comparison category of "Similar" or higher for the "Excellent Teacher" rating area.
  2. Create a culture of accountability where students are expected to maintain high professional standards for ethical behavior, clinical skill development, academic performance, interpersonal relationships, professional attitudes, and professional character through publishing program expectations and by reviewing student progress and providing feedback.
    • Evaluation Method(s): All accepted students will meet or exceed the published admissions standards. All students in the program will be reviewed at least once a year using the published annual evaluation criteria and will meet or exceed a rating of "Acceptable." All students enrolled in clinical courses and/or experiences will meet the requirements for the respective clinical experience and will earn a grade of "B" or higher in each course.
  3. Provide curricular experiences for students to learn and demonstrate knowledge of the eight core common designated by CACREP Standards: (a) professional identity; (b) social and cultural diversity; (c) human growth and development; (d) career development; (e) helping relationships; (f) group work; (g) assessment; and (h) research and program evaluation.
    • Evaluation Method(s): All master's students will obtain a passing score on the objective section of the comprehensive exam (a score within one standard deviation of the national mean on the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination).
  4. Engage students in cycles of thought and action based on theoretical, ethical, and current bases of knowledge in order to become reflective decision-makers throughout the curriculum.
    • Evaluation Method(s): All master's students will obtain a passing score on the case study section of the comprehensive exam (rating of "Acceptable" or higher from a majority of faculty member reviewers).
  5. Engage students in experiences emphasizing that professional and personal growth are interrelated and encouraged through experiences that promote awareness of self and one's impact on others.
    • Evaluation Method(s): All students will participate in an 10 clock hour laboratory group training experience.  This experience is offered annually during the spring semester.  A student need only take this experience one time. 
  6. Provide curricular and extra curricular experiences encouraging students to assume leadership roles by advocating for the profession, embracing diversity, and offering service to others.
    • Evaluation Method(s): All students will attend a program orientation and be given an orientation handbook strongly encouraging attendance at and participation in professional development activities, including joining ACA and attending and presenting with the faculty at professional state and national conferences. All students are given multiple opportunities to participate and receive academic credit for facilitating Diversity Training psychoeducational group experiences.
  7. Provide excellence in supervised clinical experiences that underscore to students their importance on professional and personal development throughout the clinical course sequence.
    • Evaluation Method(s): All students will earn a grade of "B" or higher in the clinical course sequence composed of COUN 786: Pre-Practicum; COUN 795: Practicum: Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling; and COUN 794: Internship: Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling.
  8. Develop effective oral and written communication skills in students consistent with those used in professional settings through regular evaluation and feedback.
    • Evaluation Method(s): All accepted students will meet or exceed the published admissions standards. All students in the program will be reviewed at least once a year using the published annual evaluation criteria and will meet or exceed a rating of "Acceptable." All students will earn a grade of "B" or higher in the clinical course sequence composed of COUN 786: Pre-Practicum; COUN 795: Practicum: Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling; and COUN 794: Internship: Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling.
  9. Develop skills students need to effectively use technology in counseling settings through curricular experiences.
    • Evaluation Method(s): All students will earn a grade of "B" or higher in COUN 794: Internship: Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling. Including a "B" or higher on the electronic professional portfolio.

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CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Counselor Education Program at The University of South Dakota is to graduate competent and ethical professional counselors.  The Clinical Mental Health specialization is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) under the 2001 standards for Community Counseling*.  The 60 credit hour specialization provides curricular and extracurricular experiences, as well as, supervised practica and internships, to educate and train professional clinical mental counselors.  Clinical mental healthy counselors must demonstrate proficiencies related to the mental health environment such as etiology, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and the prevention of mental and emotional disorders.  Clinical mental healthy counselors work in settings such as agency/community mental health centers, private practice, correctional facilities, career centers, addiction treatment centers hospital or other medical centers, government/military entities, college campuses, and crisis centers.

*The accreditation runs until March 31, 2016. The CACREP 2009 standards combine the Community Counseling and Mental Health Counseling standards into standards for Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs.  The counseling program intends to seek accreditation for this program as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program when it come up for reaccreditation, per CACREP guidelines.

Consistent with 2009 CACREP Standards, the faculty establishes the following learning outcomes for students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization.  Students in the clinical mental health counseling specialization will:            

  1. Identify and apply the knowledge, skills, and professional competencies identified in the 2009 CACREP standards for foundations of clinical mental health counseling.  Students will:
    • Summarize the history and philosophy of clinical mental health counseling efforts, present configurations of clinical mental healthy intervention, and anticipated trends;
    • Identify, interpret, and apply the relevant ethical and legal guidelines, as well as engage in the ethical and legal practice of counseling in a clinical mental health setting;
    • Identify the roles and functions of clinical mental health counselors in various clinical mental counseling ;
    • Demonstrate proficiency in maintaining professional relationships between and among counselors and other professionals, including interdisciplinary treatment teams;
    • Describe preparation standards, licensing, credentialing, and the professional identity of clinical mental health counselors;
    • Distinguish among a variety of models, theories, and principles related to clinical mental health counseling and supervision;
    • Discuss the potential for substance abuse disorders to mimic or coexist with a various medical and psychological disorders;
    • Identify professional issues affecting clinical mental health counselors, including the need to advocate for the profession;
    • Discuss the policies, laws, legislation, right to practice, management of clinical mental health services, accountability, and other issues relevant to clinical mental health counseling;
    • Identify financing and regulatory processes that affect and improve service delivery of clinical mental health counseling;
    • Recognize the impact of and develop responses to crisis, disasters, and other trauma causing events; and
    • Describe the operation of an emergency management system within clinical mental health counseling agencies and within the community
  2. Identify and apply the knowledge, skills, and professional competencies identified in the 2009 CACREP standards for counseling, prevention, and intervention in clinical mental health counseling. Students in the clinical mental health counseling specialization will:     
    • principles of mental health, including prevention, intervention, consultation, education, and advocacy, as well as the operation of programs and networks that promote mental health in a multicultural society;
    • etiology, the diagnostic process and nomenclature, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders;
    • models, methods, and principles of program development and service delivery (e.g., support groups, peer facilitation training, parent education, self-help);
    • disease concept and etiology of addiction and co-occurring disorders;
    • range of mental health service delivery such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment and aftercare including the clinical mental health counseling services network;
    • use of appropriate counseling strategies when working with clients with addiction and co-occurring disorders
    • principles of crisis intervention for people during crises, disasters, and other trauma causing events;
    • principles, models, and documentation formats of Biopsychosocial case conceptualization and treatment planning;
    • principles and practices of diagnosis, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders to initiate, maintain, and terminate counseling;
    • recognizing the importance of family, social networks, and community systems in the treatment of mental and emotional disorders;
    • applying multicultural competencies to clinical mental health counseling involving case conceptualization, diagnosis, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders;
    • promoting human development, wellness, and mental health through prevention, education, and advocacy activities;
    • use of appropriate, culturally responsive individual, couple, family, group, and systems modalities for initiating, maintaining, and terminating counseling;
    • ability to use procedures for assessing and managing suicide risk;
    • current record-keeping standards related to clinical mental health counseling; and
    • ability to recognize his or her own limitations as a clinical mental health counselor and to seek supervision or refer clients when appropriate
  3. Provide curricular experiences for students in the clinical mental health counseling specialization to learn and demonstrate knowledge, skill, and professional competency in the CACREP standards for diversity and advocacy for clinical mental health counselors. These curricular experiences include:
    • understanding how living in a multicultural society affects clients who are seeking clinical mental health counseling services;
    • effects of racism, discrimination, sexism, power, privilege, and oppression on one's own life and career and those of the client;
    • current literature that outlines effective theories, approaches, strategies, and techniques when working with specific populations of clients with mental and emotional disorders;
    • knowledge of local, state, and national policies that impact the quality and delivery of mental health services;
    • effective strategies for client advocacy and how to influence public policy and government relations on local, state, and national levels to enhance equity, increase funding, and promote programs that affect the practice of clinical mental health counseling;
    • implications of internalized oppression and institutional racism, as well as the historical and current political climate regarding immigration, poverty, and welfare.
    • knowing of and utilizing community resources to make appropriate referrals; and
    • demonstrates the ability to adapt to and modify counseling systems, theories, techniques, and interventions to be culturally appropriate for diverse populations
  4. Provide curricular experiences for students in the clinical mental health counseling specialization to learn and demonstrate knowledge, skill, and professional competency in the CACREP standards for assessment for clinical mental health counselors. These curricular experiences include:      
    • principles and models of assessment, case conceptualization, theories of human development, and concepts of normalcy and psychopathology leading to diagnoses and appropriate counseling treatment plans;
    • models and approaches to clinical evaluation and their appropriate uses, including diagnostic interviews mental status examinations, symptom inventories, and psychoeducational and personality assessments;
    • basic classifications, indications, and contraindications of commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications so that appropriate referrals can be made for medication evaluations and so that the side effects of such medications can be identified;
    • screening and assessment instruments for substance use disorders;
    • practical application of levels of care based on assessment of dependence for appropriate placement in services relating to continuum of care;
    • comprehensive assessment interventions for diagnosis and treatment planning, with an awareness of cultural bias in the implementation and interpretation of assessment protocols;
    • demonstration of skill in conducting an intake interview, a mental status evaluation, a Biopsychosocial history, a mental health history, and a psychological assessment for treatment planning and caseload management; and
    • demonstration of skill in screening for aggression, and danger to self and/or others, as well as co-occurring mental disorders

 

 

 

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SCHOOL COUNSELING MISSION STATEMENT
In addition to the overarching Counseling Program mission, the mission of the master's program with a specialization in school counseling is to educate and train entry-level professional school counselors to work in K-12 settings. The specialization in school counseling is accredited by CACREP and approved by the South Dakota Department of Education (DoE). Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible for certification as a South Dakota school counselor. Graduates are also eligible to apply for the South Dakota professional counseling license (Licensed Professional Counselor or LPC) and as a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). The South Dakota professional counseling licensure process typically requires 2000 hours post masters of supervised counseling experience.

The school counseling specialization objectives incorporate those for the Counseling Program. Consistent with 2001 CACREP Standards for School Counseling Programs, the following program objectives have been established.

  1. Provide curricular experiences for students in the school counseling specialization to learn and demonstrate knowledge, skill, and professional competency in the CACREP standards for foundations of school counseling. These curricular experiences include:
    1. history, philosophy, and trends of school counseling and educational systems; components of a comprehensive school counseling program, including the ASCA model;
    2. role, function, and professional identity of school counselors and ethical and legal issues related to counseling in a school setting, including leadership to enhance the learning environment;
    3. role of multiculturalism, cultural sensitivity, gender sensitivity, sensitivity to special needs students and pluralism in the development and application of comprehensive guidance programs; and
    4. state regulations regarding pre-K-12 counseling in South Dakota and in surrounding states in which graduates seek career positions in pre-K-12 educational settings.
  2. Provide curricular experiences for students in the school counseling specialization to learn and demonstrate knowledge, skill, and professional competency in the CACREP standards for contextual dimensions of school counseling. These curricular experiences include:
    1. components of a comprehensive school counseling program and demonstrate the ability to plan activities consistent with the curriculum;
    2. the relationship of classroom activities and methods to developmental levels as well as the academic, personal, social, and career needs of the students served;
    3. ways to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships with other professional educators and referral sources characterized by a spirit of cooperation and a commitment to the well-being of students;
    4. development of  public relations and informational materials appropriate for use in educational settings; and primary prevention, remediation, and crisis management strategies and programming.
  3. Provide curricular experiences for students in the school counseling specialization to learn and demonstrate knowledge, skill, and professional competency in the CACREP standards for knowledge and skill requirements for school counselors. These curricular experiences include:
    1. program development, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive school counseling programs to improve effectiveness through results-based accountability measures;
    2. counseling and guidance classroom guidance activities; and consultation within the school and larger community.
  4. Provide students an opportunity for a supervised counseling experience in a school setting to more effectively meet the personal, social, educational, and vocational needs of children and adolescents, including a supervised internship is a school setting.

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DOCTORAL PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in Counselor Education and Supervision is to prepare graduates to become the profession's next generation of leaders in counselor education, supervision, scholarship, and advanced counseling practice. The Ph.D. program in Counselor Education and Supervision is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through 2016 and is approved by the South Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners.

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DOCTORAL PROGRAM PEDAGOGICAL MODEL
Faculty members are committed to providing quality educational experiences to doctoral students from diverse backgrounds. As professional role models, the counseling program faculty recognizes and appreciates differences among people and how these differences contribute to the learning environment. The counseling program faculty represents a broad range of professional and scholarly interests, theoretical perspectives, and treatment modalities.

This professional diversity, the small number of students admitted each year, and the individual attention, concern, and support of the faculty allow doctoral students to shape the program of study toward individual interests, needs, and career goals. This is done through cognate electives, independent studies, research, pursuit of licensure and certification, and through practica and internship experiences.

The counseling program faculty adheres to a practitioner/educator/investigator model of training. Consistent with this approach is the goal of graduating scholars and researchers who contribute to the knowledge base of the counseling profession. Doctoral students are expected to develop expert knowledge regarding counseling theory and practice, possess a high level of competency in providing professional services, demonstrate skills necessary to produce research relevant to the profession, and carryout program evaluation.

Counselor education and supervision theory and practice, advanced clinical training, and research methodology and scholarship frame the program's main curricular structure. Faculty advisors assist students to define a program of study relevant to her or his unique professional aspirations, one that advances an individual's knowledge bases, professional competencies and skills, and personal development. Faculty members expect doctoral students to embrace their learning experience while enrolled in the graduate program in a manner that leads to maximum benefit from the learning experiences the program has to offer.

This pedagogical model assumes that the doctoral student is an active rather than passive learner. In this condition we expect receptivity to supervision; willingness to test one's assumptions and hypotheses; readiness to share insights and information with one's student colleagues; solicitation of feedback and critique; and willingness to consider and try out alternative behaviors.

A student's progress in the program maybe interrupted for failure to comply with academic standards or if a student's interpersonal or emotional status interferes with education/training related requirements for self or others. These factors are evaluated based on one's academic performance and one's ability to convey warmth, genuineness, respect, and empathy in interactions with clients, classmates, staff, and faculty. Students should be able to demonstrate the ability to accept and integrate feedback, be aware of their impact on others, accept personal responsibility, and be able to express feelings appropriately.

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DOCTORAL PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in Counselor Education and Supervision is to prepare graduates to become the profession's next generation of leaders in counselor education, supervision, advanced counseling practice, and research. Consistent with this mission, the faculty identified four program objectives:

  1. prepare doctoral graduates to assume professional leadership roles through curricular and extracurricular experiences designed to promote a professional identity as a counselor and counselor educator;
  2. prepare doctoral graduates for positions as counselor educators and supervisors through curricular and extracurricular experiences designed to promote teaching and supervisory skills;
  3. prepare doctoral graduates for basic and advanced counseling licensure through clinical, curricular, and extracurricular experiences designed to developed clinical skills beyond those expected of the entry level professional counselor; and
  4. prepare doctoral graduates for positions as counselor educators and scholars through curricular and extracurricular experiences designed to promote research and scholarly writing skills.

The program objectives are consistent with the 2001 CACREP Standards and described in more detail in the following narrative.

Ph.D. Objective 1: Prepare Doctoral Graduates to Assume Professional Leadership Roles. As South Dakota's only counselor education and supervision doctoral program, the primary focus of the Ph.D. program is to prepare students to assume leadership roles in the counseling profession. Membership and active participation in professional counseling associations at local, state, and national levels are encouraged and promoted. Students are provided with opportunities to collaborate with faculty on service to the profession and the public.

Ph.D. Objective 2: Prepare Doctoral Graduates for Positions as Counselor Educators and Supervisors. The USD doctoral program provides advanced training in instructional theory and methods of counselor education and supervision. The doctoral program emphasizes a student-faculty collaboration that also serves as an ongoing mentoring process. Mentorship opportunities provide for practice and collaboration with faculty in counselor education and supervision. Under extensive professional supervision, doctoral students provide supervision to master's level practicum and internship students, serve as teaching assistants for faculty, and deliver instruction and supervise small groups of students under faculty supervision. Through curricular and extracurricular experiences, doctoral students explore the major roles of counselor educators and supervisors and the needs of counselors in training. Students develop a philosophy and techniques for counselor education.

Ph.D. Objective 3: Prepare Doctoral Graduates for Basic and Advanced Counseling Licensure. All applicants are expected to possess the entry-level counseling knowledge and skills required of graduates of a CACREP-accredited entry-level program at the master's and/or specialist level and meet academic requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in South Dakota. If students have already completed the National Counselor Exam (NCE), students may file an application for a Plan of Supervision with the South Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners and begin accumulating hours toward the 2000 post master's degree clinical experience hours required for LPC.

Ph.D. Objective 4: Prepare Doctoral Graduates for Positions as Counselor Educators and Scholars. The Counseling program faculty adhere to a practitioner/educator/investigator model of training. Consistent with this approach are the program goals of graduating scholars and researchers who contribute to the knowledge base of the counseling profession. Students are expected to develop expert knowledge regarding counseling theory and practice, possess a high level of competency in providing professional services, demonstrate skills necessary to evaluate research relevant to the profession, and recognize the need to evaluate their own clinical and programmatic interventions.

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ACCREDITATION
The University of South Dakota is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (NCA) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Association (NCATE). Certification programs are also approved by the South Dakota Department of Education (DOE).The Counselor Education program, with its four professional specialty options, has been developed in strict compliance with the standards of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program has been accredited since 1993 and is accredited through 2016 (re-evaluation was conducted Spring 2008 for continued accreditation). This master's (M.A.) program provides excellent preparation for immediate entry level employment in college counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, and community counseling. It also provides a solid background from which individuals can pursue an educational specialist (Ed.S.) or a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in counseling at the University of South Dakota.

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