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MS in Counseling

Admissions | Graduation Requirements | Program Descriptions and Objectives | Curriculum | Courses | Practicum and Internship | Academic Advising | Contact Info

UDC School Counseling (Concentration) Program Outcomes Report

Four students graduated last year from our CACREP-accredited school counseling concentration, and our program has a current enrollment of 19.

Since June, 2010, 86% of admitted students have graduated from the program in the expected time period, with more than half achieving passing rates on the School Counselor Praxis Examination (5421). Our graduates have been very successful in obtaining employment in school settings, with a 100% placement rate.

Requirements for Admission

To be considered for admittance to graduate study in counseling, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Although a variety of majors may be considered appropriate background for graduate study in counseling, the successful applicant generally has a major in education or the social sciences. Students entering without the recommended preparation may be required to complete preparatory coursework at the undergraduate level.
  2. Submit am official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate schools. Applicants must have an undergraduate grade point average of 2.8 or higher to enter the Master of Science Degree.  For graduate studies in Rehabilitation Counseling, the student must have a minimum of 2.5 grade point average.
  3. Submit official scores from a recent administration of Graduate Record Exam: Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Reasoning Tests, and the analytical writing subtest. Students can take the exam on-line at several Washington Metropolitan sites. Application packages are not considered complete until test results have been received. Although the GRE is not the only measure used to determine suitability for the program, if combined verbal and quantitative scores reflect a significant weakness, students may be required to meet additional requirements, i.e. repeat the exam, admissions interview, or enroll in preparatory courses at the undergraduate level, etc. Writing proficiency is a required admittance criterion.    The student may satisfy the writing proficiency requirement by scoring above a cut-off score on the essay section of the GRE or by enrolling in the Writing Proficiency Course during the first semester in the program. Credit for this course will not be counted as part of the credit-hour requirements for completion of a graduate program.
  4. Submit three letters of recommendation.  It is recommended that one letter should be from an individual familiar with the applicant’s academic preparation; one should address the applicant’s suitability for the counseling profession: relating to clients, professionalism, integrity and personal attributes.  Letters of recommendation weigh significantly in determining the student’s suitability for the program.
  5. Students must submit a 500-word essay demonstrating their familiarity with the counseling profession and explaining the reason they have chosen the counseling field. The essay must be typewritten and double-spaced.  Students must follow guidelines for writing the essay or the application will be considered incomplete.
  6. A formal interview may be required if there is an indication of significant weaknesses or questionable suitability for the program.  An interview does not guarantee admissions.

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Graduation Requirements

Students must satisfy one of the following requirements to exit their graduate program in counseling:

MS Counseling

  1. 57 semester hours, thesis (6 additional semester hours) and the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) and School Counselor Praxis Examination (5421).
  2. 57 semester hours; thesis project (3 additional semester hours) and the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE) and School Counselor Praxis Examination (5421).
  3. The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam is a standardized assessment provided by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the exam fee is determined by NBCC. The School Counselor Praxis is a standardized assessment provided by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The exam fee is determined by ETS. The Department faculty may elect to administer a comprehensive program exam in lieu of the national standardized exam.

MA Counseling (Rehabilitation)

  1. 60 semester hours
  2. Pass a comprehensive exam

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Practicum and Internship

Students are required to complete 9 semester hours of practicum and internship experience. Students enrolled in the Master of Science Degree in School Counseling and Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling must first complete CNSL 518 Practicum that requires 100 clock hours in the field and in related training activities (40 hours must be direct service with clients).

Students pursuing the Master of Arts Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling must complete RHCN 510 Practicum in Rehabilitation Counseling. Students are also provided with weekly individual and group supervision. Upon completion of the supervised practicum and other prerequisite courses, students are eligible to enroll in their 600 hour field experience courses: Internship I and II requiring a cumulative of 600 clock hours of supervised experience in the field (240 hours must be direct service with clients).

The clinical experience facilitates the application of theory and classroom learning to professional settings. Students become familiar with various work settings, professional tasks and receive clinical supervision on site.  Students will have the opportunity to experience other professional activities related to the counseling field. Under supervision, students perform responsibilities expected of a professional counselor such as application of professional career materials, appraisal activities, working directly with client population, collaborating with other professionals in the field and functioning as a valuable member of the organization/professional environment. Involvement in other activities related to the profession such as national, regional and state conferences is strongly encouraged.

The Practicum includes 100-hours of clinical field experience (15-week semester of 8-10 hours a week) in a field-site providing services to actual clients with rehabilitation and clinical mental health needs. The intern expected to participate in all counseling services appropriate for a new beginning professional counselor.

Roles and Responsibilities

Internship-600 hours

Student Role

While completing hours with the on-site agency/institution, students are expected to follow the agency policies and regulations. This includes but is not limited to policies regarding professional behavior, dress, confidentiality, attendance, absences, and follow through with assigned duties. In this way, students are learning to adopt a professional colleague identity. Students are expected to participate and attend (1) all practicum supervision meetings (group and individual supervision), (2) all agency case conferences/staff meetings scheduled by the field site, (3) at least one professional development activity during the semester, such as a state or local meeting or conference, (4) and at least one consumer-oriented activity, such as a disability support group, AA meeting, disability advocacy activity, or any other activity that provides direct student contact with persons in the community who have disabilities. Being exposed to and encouraged to participate in these experiences will assist the student further solidify and define his/her role as a developing rehabilitation counselor.

Students are also required to maintain a log of his/her practicum activities, which by signature or initials, the site supervisor will verify. This log will document the following:

  • cumulative number of hours spent in practicum activities
  • cumulative number of hours spent supervision meetings, both group and individual
  • cumulative number of direct consumer contact hours
  • the total number of hours (not to exceed 10) in attendance at a professional meeting or conference
  • a summary description daily of the actual field site activities performed, including observation and training activities.
  • a summary of how student applied or might have applied the information covered in the assigned readings from text(s) for that week to their work as a rehabilitation counselor on their internship site or a similar site

Activity Logs are maintained up-to-date weekly. At the end of the practicum and internship assignment, the student will submit the weekly log and a critique of the experience to the Clinical Coordinator.

Lastly, students are required to submit at least three (3) taped (audio or video) sessions with critique. Each critique must include the intent of the session, what took place during the session, self-assessment, and plans for the next session. Students are responsible for security and erasure, in addition to having the client’s consent, prior to recording counseling sessions. This form must remain in client’s file. To protect client’s privacy, students are urged to use only first names in their taped sessions and to only use the day and time of appointment to identify tape.

Students are required to purchase personal professional liability insurance and provide a Certificate of Insurance to the faculty supervisor or Clinical Coordinator, before practicum/internship experiences begin. Such insurance is required to be maintained and current during the Practicum and Internship I & II courses.

Internship (Capstone Requirement)

 The 600-hour internship will occur in the last semester of the student’s program and will reflect the comprehensive work experience of a professional addictions and/or clinical mental health counselor. The Internship Manual describes the details of this clinical field experience.  See the “Student Resources” section of the Department’s website ( for the Counseling Internship manual. All practicum hours must be completed prior to the start of Internship.

As students prepare for their internship and practicum experiences, it is important to:

  • Set up the field site early. Students should begin securing a practicum and internship site the semester before they are planning to start. Students must consult their advisor, Practicum Instructor, or Internship Coordinator prior to contacting a potential internship site. A pre- internship meeting is required of all interns prior to beginning this clinical field experience.
  • Obtain health insurance. Students must maintain and provide proof of their own health insurance. East Carolina University is not responsible for health care or treatment of any disease/accident or disorder associated with educational, clinical or other contacts.
  • Obtain a criminal background check. If a clinical setting requires a criminal background check or other requirements (e.g. CPR Training, drug testing) for placement, the student is responsible for the expense and securing of the required information.
  • Obtain professional liability insurance. Students must be covered by professional liability insurance and provide proof of coverage prior to participating in their practicum and internship experiences.

Guidelines for Evaluating Student Progress and Suitability for the Program

Students may be terminated from the Program for academic failure, ethical violations, and/or personal unsuitability for the counseling profession.

Students will be evaluated annually by the entire faculty.  The focus will be on clinical, professional, interpersonal and academic functioning. If there is a concern, the student will be informed orally and in writing. A signed copy of the evaluation will be placed in the student’s file. If the student receives a warning or is placed on probation, the student will be monitored and given an opportunity to respond to the concerns.  The student will be advised of possible consequences of failure.

If the decision of the faculty is to terminate the student, the student will be notified in writing. The document will contain the basis for termination.

The student may choose to comply with the recommendation to exit the program or use the appeals process established by the University.

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Academic Advising

Faculty advisors are available during registration periods and office hours to assist students with course selection. Advisors are also available to respond to concerns relative to personal and professional development.  Office hours are posted on office doors and can be found on in the course syllabus.  Students are encouraged to make appointments for comprehensive academic advising or counseling. Registration periods are extremely busy and generally used for course selection with
limited  time to discuss program requirements and academic problems.

Although the faculty is available to provide assistance, it is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with Program requirements, completing required courses and following academic policies and procedures.  If evaluations indicate that the program is not appropriate for a student, the student will be advised to pursue another field. The faculty member is encouraged to assist the student with the transition from the Program. The faculty also reserves the right to make Program changes that reflect compliance with university policies and state credentialing requirements.

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For more information, please contact:

Dr. Nathalie Mizelle-Johnson
Graduate Counseling Program Director
Department of Psychology and Counseling
Bldg. 44, Room 200-34
4200 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: 202.274.5797

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The department reserves the right to make changes in its programs without prior notification.