Jul 17, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, School Counseling, M.Ed.


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The School Counseling track is designed to prepare school counselors at the elementary and secondary levels. This program track has been approved by the State Board of Education for the Alabama Class A Certificate in School Counseling.

 

Program Admission

The Counseling program limits its enrollment to a cohort of 22 new students each fall and 22 each spring. The Counseling program does not have an application deadline. Completed applications for a particular cohort will be accepted until that cohort is filled. Any other applications received after that will be considered for the next cohort. Therefore, students are encouraged to apply early.

Application Requirements

  • An undergraduate bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 or 2.75 on the last 60 hours (2.75 minimum overall GPA is required for school counseling applicants);
  • A successful interview with program faculty;
  • A Professional Essay; and
  • Two Completed Letters of Reference.

 

As noted In the above admission requirements for graduate study, applicants to the Counseling program must submit a professional essay. This essay should be 4 to 6 paragraphs in length and contain a brief statement of long-range professional goals in counseling. The applicant’s name and track of choice should be included at the top of the essay. This essay will be used by the department admissions committee in selecting applicants for the program, and no application will be reviewed without the essay. In addition, an interview with the counseling faculty will be required. Applicants will be contacted regarding the scheduling of this interview after all other application materials have been received. A candidate must also present evidence of a clear criminal background check.

Program Retention

Students enrolled in graduate programs are required to maintain a minimum of a 3.00 grade point average both for each semester in which classes are taken and cumulatively in order to retain good academic standing status. Note: students enrolled in the School Counseling (SC) Track are required to maintain a minimum 3.25 grade point average to comply with ALSDE requirements for completion and certification. If a student’s cumulative GPA or individual semester GPA (or both) falls below 3.00 (SC: 3.25), then the student will be placed on academic warning status. This warning period begins the first semester of enrollment immediately following the one in which the student’s cumulative or individual GPA (or both) fell below the 3.00 minimum (SC: 3.25).  The student is then given one term of enrollment in which to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.00 (SC: 3.25). Summer sessions count as one term. Failure to raise the GPA to the required minimum as prescribed above will result in termination from the graduate program.

The minimum passing grade for a graduate course is C. A course may be repeated only one time if a grade lower than C is assigned and the hours will be counted as hours attempted. Courses may be repeated only at the University. Once a semester, the counseling faculty reviews all student files to evaluate student performance of Program Objectives (p. 6) and Program Professional Dispositions (p. 9). Students receive notifications of the outcome of reviews regarding their progress in the program through letters of satisfactory progress, letters of exceptional progress, or letters of concern. Behaviors of concern include, but are not limited to, excessive tardiness or absenteeism, academic problems, disrespectful behaviors toward other students, faculty, staff, guest speakers, and clinical supervisors, impairments such as signs of substance abuse, unprofessional behavior, and violations of ethical standards or making statements inconsistent with the ethical standards of the American Counseling Association.

Completion Requirements

Although the following curriculum outline is similar for the clinical mental health and couples and family tracks, the track selected will determine the specific courses, as well as the practicum and internship placement. Students in the School Counseling track must complete their internship in a school setting in order to qualify for the Class A Certificate in School Counseling. School Counseling students must also earn a passing score on the Praxis II in order to qualify for certification. Students in the School Counseling track will be required to take a special-education course if they have not previously done so. In addition, all students must earn a satisfactory score on a comprehensive examination covering the eight content areas required by CACREP. Students who do not pass the comprehensive exam in three attempts will be required to complete remediation determined by the faculty prior to a subsequent attempt. Each subsequent attempt will require additional remediation. A passing score must be achieved within the 6-year limit for degree completion or the degree will not be awarded. The passing score is 80 + Standard Error of Measurement S for the test administration. All students will be required to enroll in EDC 502 and EDC 515 during their first semester in the program unless otherwise specified by a faculty advisor. Students must earn a minimum grade of B in EDC 541 in order to enroll in the internship. Students must maintain an institutional GPA of 3.25 and must make a C or better on all course work attempted. Please note, however, that a B or better is required for EDC 581.

School Counseling (SC)

Students in the School Counseling concentration who began their program prior to Fall 2021 may elect to complete a 48-credit hour or 60-credit hour degree. All students admitted after Fall 2021 will complete a 60-credit hour program.  The distinction between these two options is a result of changes in the regulatory code enacted by the State of Alabama related to qualifications for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Effective January 1, 2022, all counselors who are seeking or who intend to seek licensure in Alabama must have 60-credit hours of graduate counseling coursework. If a current student with an SC concentration admitted prior to Fall 2021, wishes to become a Licensed Professional Counselor, they should complete the 60-credit hour program. Additionally, SC majors must complete their internship in a SACS-accredited school setting and earn a passing score on the Praxis II examination to qualify for certification as a Professional School Counselor with the Alabama State Department of Education. Students in the School Counseling concentration will be required to take a special-education course if they have not previously done so.

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