Provost & Academic Vice President

Student Learning Outcomes

Counseling  (M.S.Ed.)


Clinical Mental Health Counseling Option

Based on standards established by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), upon completion of this program, the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the following: 

  1. Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
    1. history and philosophy of the counseling profession and its specialty areas
    2. the multiple professional roles and functions of counselors across specialty areas, and their relationships with human service and integrated behavioral health care systems, including interagency and interorganizational collaboration and consultation
    3. counselors’ roles and responsibilities as members of interdisciplinary community outreach and emergency management response teams
    4. the role and process of the professional counselor advocating on behalf of the profession
    5. advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients
    6. professional counseling organizations, including membership benefits, activities, services to members, and current issues
    7. professional counseling credentialing, including certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues
    8. current labor market information relevant to opportunities for practice within the counseling profession
    9. ethical standards of professional counseling organizations and credentialing bodies, and applications of ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling
    10. technology’s impact on the counseling profession
    11. strategies for personal and professional self-evaluation and implications for practice
    12. self-care strategies appropriate to the counselor role
    13. the role of counseling supervision in the profession
  2. Social and Cultural Diversity
    1. multicultural and pluralistic characteristics within and among diverse groups nationally and internationally
    2. theories and models of multicultural counseling, cultural identity development, and social justice and advocacy
    3. multicultural counseling competencies
    4. the impact of heritage, attitudes, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences on an individual’s views of others
    5. the effects of power and privilege for counselors and clients
    6. help-seeking behaviors of diverse clients
    7. the impact of spiritual beliefs on clients’ and counselors’ worldviews
    8. strategies for identifying and eliminating barriers, prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination
  3. Human Growth and Development
    1. theories of individual and family development across the lifespan
    2. theories of learning
    3. theories of normal and abnormal personality development
    4. theories and etiology of addictions and addictive behaviors
    5. biological, neurological, and physiological factors that affect human development, functioning, and behavior
    6. systemic and environmental factors that affect human development, functioning, and behavior
    7. effects of crisis, disasters, and trauma on diverse individuals across the lifespan
    8. a general framework for understanding differing abilities and strategies for differentiated interventions
    9. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for promoting resilience and optimum development and wellness across the lifespan
  4. Career Development
    1. theories and models of career development, counseling, and decision making
    2. approaches for conceptualizing the interrelationships among and between work, mental well-being, relationships, and other life roles and factors
    3. processes for identifying and using career, avocational, educational, occupational and labor market information resources, technology, and information systems
    4. approaches for assessing the conditions of the work environment on clients’ life experiences
    5. strategies for assessing abilities, interests, values, personality and other factors that contribute to career development
    6. strategies for career development program planning, organization, implementation, administration, and evaluation
    7. strategies for advocating for diverse clients’ career and educational development and employment opportunities in a global economy
    8. strategies for facilitating client skill development for career, educational, and life-work planning and management
    9. methods of identifying and using assessment tools and techniques relevant to career planning and decision making
    10. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for addressing career development
  5. Counseling and Helping Relationships
    1. theories and models of counseling
    2. a systems approach to conceptualizing clients
    3. theories, models, and strategies for understanding and practicing consultation
    4. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for establishing and maintaining in-person and technology-assisted relationships
    5. the impact of technology on the counseling process
    6. counselor characteristics and behaviors that influence the counseling process
    7. essential interviewing, counseling, and case conceptualization skills
    8. developmentally relevant counseling treatment or intervention plans
    9. development of measurable outcomes for clients
    10. evidence-based counseling strategies and techniques for prevention and intervention
    11. strategies to promote client understanding of and access to a variety of community-based resources
    12. suicide prevention models and strategies
    13. crisis intervention, trauma-informed, and community-based strategies, such as psychological first aid
    14. processes for aiding students in developing a personal model of counseling
  6. Group Counseling and Group Work
    1. theoretical foundations of group counseling and group work
    2. dynamics associated with group process and development
    3. therapeutic factors and how they contribute to group effectiveness
    4. characteristics and functions of effective group leaders
    5. approaches to group formation, including recruiting, screening, and selecting members
    6. types of groups and other considerations that affect conducting groups in varied settings
    7. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for designing and facilitating groups
    8. direct experiences in which students participate as group members in a small group activity, approved by the program, for a minimum of 10 clock hours over the course of one academic term
  7. Assessment and Testing
    1. historical perspectives concerning the nature and meaning of assessment and testing in counseling
    2. methods of effectively preparing for and conducting initial assessment meetings
    3. procedures for assessing risk of aggression or danger to others, self-inflicted harm, or suicide
    4. procedures for identifying trauma and abuse and for reporting abuse
    5. use of assessments for diagnostic and intervention planning purposes
    6. basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing, norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments, and group and individual assessments
    7. statistical concepts, including scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, shapes and types of distributions, and correlations
    8. reliability and validity in the use of assessments
    9. use of assessments relevant to academic/educational, career, personal, and social development
    10. use of environmental assessments and systematic behavioral observations
    11. use of symptom checklists, and personality and psychological testing
    12. use of assessment results to diagnose developmental, behavioral, and mental disorders
    13. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and test results
  8. Research and Program Evaluation
    1. the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession, including how to critique research to inform counseling practice
    2. identification of evidence-based counseling practices
    3. needs assessments
    4. development of outcome measures for counseling programs
    5. evaluation of counseling interventions and programs
    6. qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods
    7. designs used in research and program evaluation
    8. statistical methods used in conducting research and program evaluation
    9. analysis and use of data in counseling
    10. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for conducting, interpreting, and reporting the results of research and/or program evaluation


School Counseling Option

Based on the 2016 CACREP School Counseling Standards, upon completion of this program, the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the following: 

  1. Foundations
    1. history and development of school counseling
    2. models of school counseling programs
    3. models of P-12 comprehensive career development
    4. models of school-based collaboration and consultation
    5. assessments specific to P-12 education
  2. Contextual Dimensions
    1. school counselor roles as leaders, advocates, and systems change agents in P-12 schools
    2. school counselor roles in consultation with families, P-12 and postsecondary school personnel, and community agencies
    3. school counselor roles in relation to college and career readiness
    4. school counselor roles in school leadership and multidisciplinary teams
    5. school counselor roles and responsibilities in relation to the school emergency management plans, and crises, disasters, and trauma
    6. competencies to advocate for school counseling roles
    7. characteristics, risk factors, and warning signs of students at risk for mental health and behavioral disorders
    8. common medications that affect learning, behavior, and mood in children and adolescents
    9. signs and symptoms of substance abuse in children and adolescents as well as the signs and symptoms of living in a home where substance use occurs
    10. qualities and styles of effective leadership in schools
    11. community resources and referral sources
    12. professional organizations, preparation standards, and credentials relevant to the practice of school counseling
    13. legislation and government policy relevant to school counseling
    14. legal and ethical considerations specific to school counseling
  3. Practice
    1. development of school counseling program mission statements and objectives
    2. design and evaluation of school counseling programs
    3. core curriculum design, lesson plan development, classroom management strategies, and differentiated instructional strategies
    4. interventions to promote academic development
    5. use of developmentally appropriate career counseling interventions and assessments
    6. techniques of personal/social counseling in school settings
    7. strategies to facilitate school and postsecondary transitions
    8. skills to critically examine the connections between social, familial, emotional, and behavior problems and academic achievement
    9. approaches to increase promotion and graduation rates
    10. interventions to promote college and career readiness
    11. strategies to promote equity in student achievement and college access
    12. techniques to foster collaboration and teamwork within schools
    13. strategies for implementing and coordinating peer intervention programs
    14. use of accountability data to inform decision making
    15. use of data to advocate for programs and students