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MEETING THE DEMAND
UW-Platteville’s Counseling Psychology Master of Science in Education program was originally designed to train school counselors. It has been broadened to meet a growing demand for counselors in a variety of other settings including colleges, mental health clinics, industry, local, state and federal agencies.
A Master of Science in Education is awarded to those completing the program. With faculty approval students may pursue two clinical tracks: (1) School Counseling and (2) Mental Health Counseling. All students take a group of core courses. In addition, they must satisfy the writing/research requirement and take elective courses. Students work closely with their advisors to complete their clinical track(s).
Courses are offered in early afternoons, late afternoons and evenings. All courses necessary to achieve the competencies for the degree are offered during the academic year. Courses are also offered during the summer session.
SCHOOL COUNSELING TRACK
The school counseling track leads to a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction licensure in school counseling. School counselors support students in the areas of personal, social, and emotional health. They assist students with vocational planning and academic advisement. They work with other school personnel and parents to help students prepare for life transitions, post high school training, education and employment. Counselors also provide consultation for other special needs and circumstances. They provide a variety of programs believed to help children develop positive attitudes toward vocational and academic goals.
MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING TRACK
Students in the Mental Health Counseling track prepare for a wide variety of settings, public and private mental health agencies, employment services, and community action programs. As our society becomes more complex, the variety of settings increases, as does the need for trained and licensed counselors.
COURSE OF STUDY
During the first year, all students complete a series of academic core courses. The second year involves clinical study, including track courses, practicum, and electives.
The degree requires a minimum of 51 graduate credits for both Mental Health and School Counseling track. Students wanting clinical preparation in both tracks must add additional credits for each track, and may waive the seminar or thesis requirement. A 9-credit load is recommended for spring and fall semester. A 6-credit load is recommended during the summer semester. A student can complete the 48-credit program in a minimum of five semesters.
The American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2005) states the following:
"Counselors actively attempt to understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of the clients they serve. Counselors also explore their own cultural identities and how these affect their values and beliefs about the counseling process. Counselors are encouraged to contribute to society by devoting a portion of their professional activity to services for which there is little or no financial return (pro bono publico)."
In keeping with these aspirational guidelines put forth by the American Counseling Association, our program requires all students complete 25 hours of volunteer service.** This service must be with a community organization(s) that serves underrepresented groups (e.g., African Americans, Latinos, low socioeconomic status, women, etc.) and must be approved by your advisor. All students should submit a letter from their volunteer supervisor(s) which details the student's primary responsibilities and the number of hours volunteered. The student must complete the 25 volunteer hours and submit all paperwork documenting their volunteer experience at the end of their respective Practicum I course.
** This policy applies to all students entering the program in Fall 2012 and beyond.
Faculty advisors track current opportunities and employment trends in all counseling areas. Graduating students with good credentials who are willing to relocate should find a number of suitable positions. Supply, demand, and salary vary by region and state. Past graduates are employed throughout Wisconsin, in other states and around the world.
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