Mission Statement



The faculty in the Department of Counseling are committed to training competent clinical mental health counselors. We work with students from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds committed to improving the quality of life for children and adults in the community. We utilize an integrated approach to clinical conceptualization, prevention, assessment, treatment, and research. Practice-based student learning is constructed through partnerships with non-profit agencies in diverse communities. Students are expected to engage in reflective practice, consistently apply ethical standards, practice cultural humility and sensitivity to all communities, and take responsibility for social change. We collaborate with students as they develop cultural competence and professional identities that incorporate a dedication to service and life-long learning. We strive to create an education guided by relevant community needs and research on learning.


Program Objectives


Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of: (a) the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the counseling profession; (b) ethical and legal guidelines of the profession; and (c) professional counseling credentialing, certification, and licensure.


Clinical Skills

Students will be able to: demonstrate awareness of the social and cultural influences on human behavior; demonstrate effective counseling skills; evaluate clients' progress; recognize and mitigate countertransference; and conduct counseling with appropriate awareness of ethical and legal issues. 


Diversity Awareness and Sensitivity

Students will be able to: demonstrate awareness of the major cultural influences on human behavior, how those intersect with the mental health of their clients, and how they influence their own perceptions and biases regarding clients.


Conceptualization and Treatment Planning

Students will demonstrate knowledge of counseling theories and a bio-psycho-sociocultural framework and apply them to case conceptualization. They will demonstrate the ability to appropriately use the DSM-5 (diagnostic manual of mental disorders). They will construct relevant treatment plans.


Research and Professional Writing Skills

Students will be able to: critically analyze research methodology and the professional literature regarding a counseling topic; construct an original research project; and demonstrate professional writing skills in accordance with APA guidelines.


Professional Dispositions

Students are evaluated throughout the program for their fitness for the field, which involves their dispositions and professionalism. The Department defines a counselor’s disposition as having four components: (a) Effective and professional communication and collaboration: (b) Emotional maturity, self-awareness, and counselor presence: (c) Dependability, reliability, and ethical behavior; and (d) Respect for diversity and openness to other worldviews.