University General Course Catalog 2016-2017 
    May 30, 2023  

Counseling and Educational Psychology (Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy Specialization), M.A.

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I. Contact Information

Rebecca Scherer PhD
(775) 682-7873

II. Brief Introduction

The specialization in marital, couple, and family counseling/therapy is a 67 credit hour nationally accredited (CACREP) program. Graduates of the specialization in marital, couple, and family therapy/counseling are able to deal effectively with the variety of issues and family constellations. Students receive in-depth training in conceptualization skills as well as the theoretical and practical application of systems theory. Aside from formal coursework, graduate students have the opportunity to intern in the Downing Counseling Clinic, located within the College of Education. The clinic serves as a low-cost clinic for the surrounding community.

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

  1. From admission through exit students will demonstrate the attitudes, characteristics, and behaviors defined by the program as characteristic of exemplar counseling professionals.
  2. Students will demonstrate the capacity to practice counseling from a strong foundational understanding of ethical and legal issues, intentionally integrating counseling ethical practices into day-to-day professional activities.
  3. In keeping with the ACA multicultural competencies, students will develop self-awareness, knowledge, and skills to prepare them to be contemporary, relevant, and culturally informed practitioners in clinical, marriage and family, and school counseling settings.
  4. Students will demonstrate knowledge of lifespan development and the capacity to integrate knowledge of developmental theory into practice.
  5. Students will demonstrate competence in understanding the world of work and the relationship between mental health and life roles such as work, school, and home.
  6. Students will gain an understanding of the theories and research related to helping relationships, and will develop the skills to apply their knowledge in professional, therapeutic relationships.
  7. Students will demonstrate knowledge of group process dynamics, group counseling, and group work, including group theories, stages of group, leadership styles, and therapeutic factors.
  8. Students will demonstrate a broad understanding of validity and reliability of assessments, the selection and use of assessment tools, client assessment and diagnosis, trauma assessment, and the assessment of self-inflicted harm and danger to others.
  9. Students will demonstrate the capacity to select, analyze, and apply research to inform practice, including evidence-based practices and theory-based interventions appropriate to their designated setting and personal theoretical orientation.
  10. Students will demonstrate an understanding of foundational knowledge (such as family systems theory and assessment), contextual factors (such as trauma, intergenerational influences, and culture), and the demonstration of competence in the practice of marriage, couple, and family counseling.

IV. Admission Requirements

The admissions criteria for the Master of Arts in Counseling and Educational Psychology takes into account three broad factors:

  1. appropriate student dispositions;
  2. academic potential; and
  3. counseling career fit.
Appropriate Student Dispositions

These are traits appropriate for the counseling field and wellness across the lifespan. 

Academic Potential

This includes an analysis of student transcripts, undergraduate GPA, coursework taken, and GRE scores. The GRE is required of all students, but is only one factor in the comprehensive rating of academic potential.

Counseling Career Fit

Career fit includes consideration of paraprofessional and other relevant work and life experiences.

V. Program Requirements

VI. Total Units (67-69 units)

VII. Undergraduate Prerequisites

There are no undergraduate prerequisites for this program; but you must have completed an undergraduate degree by the time you enroll in this program.

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