Counseling

Water scene with quote from Ralph Emerson - “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

 


Our Mission

The mission of the counselor education program is to prepare intellectually informed, interpersonally skilled, and culturally competent professional counselors who promote and provide services that meet proactively and reactively the needs of youth, adults and communities by effectively employing the best practices of the counseling profession. The USA Counselor Education Program is committed to creating a community of learners comprised of individuals with experiences, backgrounds and perspectives that reflect the diversity of the world. We affirm the concept of diversity encompassing and emphasizing both acceptance and respect. We believe embracing diversity requires moving beyond recognition and tolerance to a position of valuing and celebrating differences.

We believe it is our responsibility to provide an educational and professional training environment that supports diverse perspectives and voices in the pursuit of intellectual inquiry. Thus, we are committed to recruiting and educating a diverse student community of scholars. Beyond recruitment, our social justice framework is built in part on a foundational commitment to secure and nurture practicum and internship settings that will provide our students multicultural clinical experiences, thereby enabling students to broaden the base and practicality of their cultural counseling skills.

Counselor Education Program Instructional Objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate professional and ethical competence in interactions with the faculty, peers, supervisors, and clients.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge in key curricular areas: professional orientation and ethics, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment, diagnosis, research, and program evaluation.
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to cultural competence, including being respectful of the dignity of all humans, affirming of diversity, and self-aware of personal strengths and/or limitations in working with a variety of populations.
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to the high level of personal and professional behavioral standards expected of students in counselor education.
  5. Demonstrate competence in counseling individuals.
  6. Demonstrate competence in leading small groups (task, psycho-educational, counseling, and therapy).
  7. Demonstrate writing competence in the form of documents, records, and professional papers.
  8. Demonstrate a personal commitment to building competencies required of working in a variety of teamwork roles, including both leadership and supportive roles.
  9. Demonstrate a proactive commitment to lifelong learning.
  10. Demonstrate a working knowledge of technology particularly as data acquisition and processing interface. 

Admission Requirements

The Counselor Education Program admits students once per year in fall semester. The admissions application deadline for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is March 1st and the application deadline for the School Counseling Program is April 1st.

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

    Official transcripts* can be sent by mail or electronically. Instructions can be found under “Help” on the application.

    *USA students applying to a USA graduate program in the College of Education and Professional Studies should complete a transcript request form (PDF) found on the University Registrar's Office website.

    In the Name/Organization field for the transcript recipient write, "USA Graduate School". There is no charge associated with this request. This option applies only to USA transcripts for students applying to USA graduate programs.

 

  1. GPA Requirement: A minimum overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale based on the GPA used as the basis for granting the degree and posted on the official transcript from a regionally accredited institution at the time the degree was earned OR a 2.5 GPA on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work posted on the official transcript from a regionally accredited institution at the time the degree was earned.

    GPA Exception: Individuals who have earned a bachelor 's degree from a regionally accredited institution at the time the degree was earned and who do not have a qualifying GPA for admission may seek admission based on a qualifying score of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). For the GRE, this standard is defined as having a score at the 50th percentile on all of the following subtests: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. For the Miller Analogies Test, students must have a score at or above the 50th percentile based on the total group percentile rank score. For Alternative Class A programs, applicants must submit a qualifying alternate score on the Alabama-prescribed Praxis subject-area test.

  1. Submission of official GRE or MAT exam scores.

  1. A typed double-spaced statement of 2-4 pages in length regarding the applicant's career goal(s) and purpose(s) for pursuing a graduate degree in Counselor Education (submitted through the WebAdmit online portal).

  1. Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional abilities (submitted through online WebAdmit portal).

  1. A professional curriculum vitae or resume (submitted through the WebAdmit online portal).

  1. An applicant whose application is deemed to be acceptable will be invited to participate in a required personal interview with the counseling program faculty.

To apply - click here to get to the admissions login page.


Core Faculty

Brandon Browning, Ph.D.

Yvette Getch, Ph.D.

Amy Upton, Ph.D.

Affiliate Faculty

Ryon McDermott, Ph.D.

Tres Stefurak, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Alva Clark, Ph.D.

Jean Clark, Ph.D.

Marjorie Scaffa, Ph.D.

Candace Selwyn, Ph.D.