The mission of the Counseling Program at The University of South Dakota is to graduate competent and ethical professional counselors. Master's and doctoral graduates serve diverse populations and the profession locally, nationally, and internationally as counselors, counselor educators, and clinical supervisors. The doctoral program prepares graduates to become the profession's next generation of leaders. Located in Vermillion, the Counseling Program is housed within the School of Education and maintains a special commitment to preparing professional counselors to work in rural settings.
The Counseling Program is designed to graduate counselors who see themselves first and foremost as professional counselors, regardless of chosen specialization or degree program. Thus, graduate students are expected to demonstrate a commitment to professional and personal development. Moreover, graduate students demonstrate leadership by advocating for the profession, embracing diversity, and offering service to others. Graduate students will be engaged learners who meet and aspire to exceed the CACREP-based professional competencies and performance standards.
As role models, Counseling Program faculty members dedicate themselves to excellence and ethical practice in teaching, research, scholarship, clinical practice, leadership, and service. The curriculum adheres to a reflective decision-making model of training. Professional and personal growth are interrelated and encouraged through experiences that promote awareness of self and one's impact on others. The curriculum underscores the importance of supervised clinical experiences. To ensure excellence throughout the curriculum and our identity as professional counselors, the program maintains CACREP accreditation.