About This Masters Degree
Counseling and College Student Personnel Program
The Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel teaches the skills necessary for the professional practice of counseling and college student personnel work. Our emphasis on personal growth encourages each student to gain competencies, values, and beliefs that will enhance and facilitate the helping process. Ship’s MEd and MS in Counseling programs also facilitate the conceptualization of a professional role, which is not only relevant for the present, but also flexible enough to grow as new knowledge and development occurs.
We nurture students to become congruent lifelong learners, noble practitioners, and leaders in the profession who embrace inquiry, technology, and innovative practices. Through authentic relationships with invested faculty who model intentional practice based firmly in theory and cultural advocacy, students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be purposeful, effective practitioners with a strong sense of personal and professional identity.
Graduates have successfully obtained positions in elementary and secondary schools as well as major universities. Other graduates work in community mental health organizations, group homes, services agencies, substance abuse facilities, hospitals, and crisis units.
The department offers the following graduate degree specializations in counseling:
- Master of Education and certification as school counselors
- Master of Science with specialization in clinical mental health counseling
- Master of Science with specialization in college counseling or college student personnel
The counseling and college student personnel program is a careful balance of theory with practice. Students are required to complete a minimum of three internships. Over the years, the department has established numerous sites for experiential learning. These sites include elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, public and private social service agencies, and hospitals. Learning sites are jointly selected between the advisor and student with advisement.
Because the department is accredited, a student may sit for the certification tests administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors. Upon successful completion of the National Counselor Exam, students are eligible to become Nationally Certified Counselors without additional supervised experience.
Students who complete 60 credits consistent with the Pennsylvania Board of Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists are eligible for licensure as professional counselors; however, they must complete additional post-master’s supervisory experience in order to become licensed.
Counseling and College Student Personnel Admission Requirements
Generally, the admission procedure requires a full academic semester for processing applications, credentials, references, and the required on-campus group interview. Students are encouraged to begin this process at least two full semesters prior to the desired starting date.
Applicants for admission to any area of specialization must meet the requirements for the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel in addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate study, which include:
- A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Applicants to clinical mental health, college student personnel, and college counseling specializations must present an official undergraduate transcript with a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA or successful completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants to school counseling must present an official undergraduate transcript with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. GRE and MAT scores are not applicable to the school counseling specialization.
- Applicants to all specializations are expected to have a minimum of one year’s experience (paid or volunteer) in the area to which they are applying. Each specialization may have additional criteria that applicants must meet in order to qualify for admission into that particular specialization. The department requires you fill out the Experience Form.
- Once the completed packet is submitted, the Admissions Committee will review it and invite successful applicants to the next available on-campus group interview session. Faculty interviewing the candidate will assess the applicant on criteria including: maturity, openness, ability to listen, understanding of the profession, clarity of career goals/appropriateness of our program for these goals, ability to deal with stress, and relevant academic/life/work experience
Admission to Candidacy
To become a degree candidate, a student must first complete the common core curriculum required of all graduate counseling and college student personnel students. Then, after consultation with a faculty advisor, students will be interviewed for admission to candidacy for subsequent completion of their degree. This procedure helps to assure that each admitted student has the intellectual capacity, counseling skills, and professional commitment to succeed.
Accreditation and Certification Approval
The Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The department is also authorized by the State Board of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to offer certification in School Counseling.
In addition, the College Student Personnel, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, College Counseling, and School Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA). Accreditation in counseling is closely related to the credentialing process established by the American Counseling Association (ACA). The College Student Personnel program complies with standards promoted by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).
A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. (See course description for additional information)