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Master of Arts in Counseling (60-63 hours total)

 

Degree Overview

Ottawa University offers several distinct educational opportunities. The Master of Arts in Counseling meets the educational requirements in Arizona for licensure as an associate counselor. The MAC also meets the educational requirements in Wisconsin for licensure as a professional counselor in training.  Arizona students have the option of completing concentrated areas of study. The post-master’s certificates of advanced graduate studies (CAGS) is a program reserved for master’s level professionals who have received a master’s degree in counseling or a related field.

Concentrations Available:

Christian Counseling

Expressive Arts Therapy

Gerocounseling

Treatment of Trauma, Abuse and Deprivation

Graduates of Ottawa University’s Master of Arts in Counseling are well-qualified professionals who have advanced their intellectual and academic development and have developed greater understanding and knowledge of concepts, ideas, and information in the profession through research, examination, inquiry, and application.

The goal of the Master of Arts in Counseling is to graduate well-qualified, competent, caring individuals who are prepared to:

Achieve professional licensure as a licensed associate counselor (LAC) in Arizona or as a professional counselor in training in Wisconsin.

Understand and follow ethical guidelines for professional counselors.

Practice only at their level of competence.

Have basic diagnostic skills.

Have an understanding of various treatment options relative to diagnosis/client needs (including multicultural sensitivity).

Offer an understanding of resources and referrals to meet client needs.

Model healthy personal and interpersonal behaviors.

Demonstrate professional communication skills.

Continue professional development through life-long learning.

Have basic skills for management and practice development.

Be a contributing member of their community.

Advanced graduate study prepares individuals to perform more effectively in current areas of service and to qualify for positions of greater responsibility. Independently licensed counselors may work in educational/university, health care, business, mental health agency counseling, and private practice settings, and/or may provide consulting, supervision, and training services.


Additional Information

Professional Certification/Licensure

All the programs offered in the Master of Arts in Counseling are designed to meet the education requirements of the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners in Professional Counseling and the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, Professional Counselor section. Final decisions regarding licensure rest with a respective state’s licensing Board. Students interested in certification in a specialized area (e.g., expressive art therapy,) are responsible for requesting updated information from certifying bodies about current certification requirements in order to plan their graduate coursework. Final decisions regarding certification in areas of concentration are determined by the certifying bodies. Post-graduate individuals with a master’s degree in professional counseling or equivalent, which does not fulfill all the course/training requirements to meet eligibility for licensure, may complete such requirements through our certificate in advance graduate studies (CAGS) program. Also, professionals who are already licensed and wish to expand their expertise into new areas of specialization may do so through our CAGS program.


Field Placement: Practicum and Internship

Field placement is an 7 term experiential component of the Master of Arts in Counseling degree program. This is where the counselor in training (CIT) provides behavioral health services in a community behavioral health agency under the direct supervision of a licensed professional. In addition to participating at the clinical site, CIT's are required to participate in a weekly seminar on campus. The seminar, led by an Ottawa University Faculty Supervisor, provides a training opportunity for the CIT to exercise new skill sets, focus in on particular areas of interest, and refine theoretical integration utilizing case conceptualization.

While field placement is often the most anticipated component of the degree program it is the least flexible part of the program. There is a defined process for application to field placement. CIT's are encouraged to work closely with their academic advisor to determine the best time to begin field placement. CIT's may begin field placement in the Spring 1, Early Summer, and Fall 1 terms.

Eligibility

Counselors in Training (CITs) are required to have completed no less than 18 semester credit hours in the degree program, be in "good standing" and have completed the following courses earning a "B" or better (1) Counseling Theories, (2) Counseling and the Helping Professions, (3) Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling, and (4) Advanced Psychodiagnostics.

Field Placement Process and Procedures

The following paragraphs outline the process and requirements for a CIT to be considered for a field placement start. These procedures are subject to change at the departments' discretion.

Intent Form - This form provides advance notice to the department that a CIT anticipates being ready for field placement for a specific term. This notice allows the department to begin a training file.

Field Placement Orientation (FPO) - Provides the opportunity for CITs to better understand the process, requirements, and allows a forum for questions to be addressed.

Field Placement Proposal - The proposal is a narrative outlining the specifics of how the CIT will be able to successfully complete their field placement. The proposal will be reviewed by faculty and may be returned to the CIT for revision as needed.

Field Placement Site Agreement - The site agreement is the contract between the CIT, the clinical site and the Addictions Counseling department.

Malpractice Insurance

Payment Receipt and Intent to Graduate Form - on average 98-99% of those who begin field placement complete their degree program as intended. Completing the form and submitting the fee allows a single collection point. Once the forms are received, reviewed, and approved the CIT will receive an electronic registration/enrollment form to complete and return. All forms are to be sent to the designated email address: mapcfieldplacement@ottawa.edu


Supervision

The clinical site assigns a clinical supervisor who provides weekly supervision to the counselor trainee. The site supervisor must be licensed as an independent practitioner at the master’s level or above in an area covered by the respective state. In addition to the site supervision, each student is assigned to a field placement course which meets with an Ottawa University faculty supervisor member.


Special Statement on Attendance for Counseling Students

Attendance at all class meetings is expected. The content of courses in counseling and the nature of counselor training require counseling students to look at aspects of human values, beliefs and behaviors that may be personally disturbing to them. It is necessary, however, for counselors to understand the full range of human development and experience and to maintain proper respect for the client as an individual, whether or not the professional agrees with or approves of aspects of the client’s life. It is important that counselors in training remain open to learning about the humanness of their potential clients. A counselor in training also may find that certain course content may trigger an issue from his/her past or present life that makes staying in class for a particular presentation emotionally difficult; therefore, it is important for counselors in training to have a means to excuse themselves from a course activity that may be personally disturbing. The procedure to follow in such cases is as follows:

If anticipated, notify the instructor in advance to obtain a substitute assignment.

Take responsibility to have a fellow counselor in training collect hand-out materials and share notes for the part of the class missed.

If a counselor in training becomes aware of this situation during a class, the student should quietly leave the class, remaining in the area, and return to class as soon as possible to take part in the critique and discussion.

The counselor in training also should notify the instructor at break or after class about the general reason for leaving and should seek a substitute assignment.

Non-academic: Special Statements on Student Behavior

Due to the sensitive nature of the work of counselors, student progress is also evaluated on factors such as personal integrity and emotional maturity.

The progress of each counselor in training will be reviewed once a year by Addictions Counseling administration and faculty. The review will focus on the development of the student’s character and academic process. The criteria for the review is based upon the goals of the counseling programs.

Degree Requirements

Core/Foundation Courses

PYF 7001GRAD COUNSELING SEMINAR IN CLINICAL FOUNDATIONS (3)

PYF 7132COUNSELING AND THE HELPING PROFESSIONS (3)

PYF 7162METHODS AND MODELS OF RESEARCH (3)

PYC 7422SOCIAL/CULTURAL CONCERNS IN COUNSELING (3)

PYC 7802PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING (3)

PYC 7822LIFE PLANNING AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT (3)

PYC 7832HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT (3)

PYC 7922COUNSELING THEORIES (3)

PYC 7932GROUP COUNSELING AND DYNAMICS (3)

PYF 8012PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN COUNSELING (3)

PYC 8040ADVANCED PSYCHODIAGNOSTIC AND TREATMENT PLAN (3)

PYC 8112THEORY AND TECHNIQUES IN MARRIAGE & FAMILY COUNSELING (3)

PYC 8142INTRODUCTION TO SUBSTANCE ABUSE, ADDICTION AND RELATED DISORDERS (3)

PYF 8512MA COMPREHENSIVE EXAM (No Credit)

PYF 8600FIELD PLACEMENT (3)

PYF 8610FIELD PLACEMENT CONTINUED (No Credit)

PYF 8600, 8610 Field Placement - 9 credit hours

Students may not begin field placement until 18 credit hours have been completed, including PYC 7922 Counseling Theories, PYC 8040 Advanced Psychodiagnostics, PYF 8012 Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling and PYF 7132 Counseling and the Helping Professions.  PYF 7132 and PYC 7922 must have been completed with a grade of "B" or better.  Students in provisional or probationary status are not eligible to begin field placement.

Students who did not meet the program prerequisite courses of abnormal psychology, developmental psychology/human development, theories of personality, or equivalents at admission may be required to complete additional coursework.

Additionally, 36 hours of Professional Growth Seminars are required for degree completion.

Additional Information

The counseling programs share the Graduate Counseling Blackboard shell. Students are encouraged to regularly check Blackboard for announcements, Professional Growth Seminar schedules, program information, etc. Blackboard is accessible from the main Ottawa website (www.ottawa.edu).

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive examination (CPCE) is a standardized, national assessment. The multiple choice format assesses core competency areas: human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping professions, group work, career and lifestyle development, appraisal, research and program evaluation, and professional orientation and ethics. For further information on this assessment, see www.cce-global.org/cpce.html.

This comprehensive examination may be taken after completing all core/foundation courses.

Professional growth seminars (PGS) are required, non-semester credit seminars on current topics in the practice of counseling designed to supplement the formal graduate program through ongoing professional development.

Students are responsible for submitting copies of the certificates to the Office of Graduate Studies. PGS hours are reviewed and sent to the Office of the Registrar for transcript posting. Students are encouraged to keep copies of all materials which are submitted for later re-verification.

Expressive Arts Therapy

This area of study offers an opportunity for students to develop and integrate clinical skills with therapeutic art.  Expressive arts can be utilized with a variety of populations and within a wide range of settings.  Expressive arts therapy approaches include art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, phototherapy, poetry/writing, as well as other expressive arts mediums.

Prerequisites for entry into the program:

Application and interview with portfolio approval

12 semester credit hours of studio arts courses

18 semester credit hours in degree program

Required Core Courses:

Core/Foundation

Required Concentration Courses:

PYC 8132 Expressive Arts Therapy

PYC 8172 Applications and Integration of Expressive Arts

PYC 8312 Principles, Techniques, and Practice in Expressive Arts Therapy

PYC 8342 Clinical Issues in Expressive Arts

PYC 8552 Advanced Special Topics in Counseling or approved elective

Treatment of Trauma Abuse and Deprivation

This concentration allows students to develop understanding and clinical skills for working with individuals, families, and groups who are recent victims or adult survivors of violence, abuse, emergency and disaster, loss, and/or neglect and deprivation.

Core/Foundation

Required Concentration Courses:

PYC 8082FUNDAMENTALS OF TREATMENT OF TRAUMA, ABUSE, AND DEPRIVATION (3)

PYC 8132EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPIES (3)

PYC 8422CLINICAL ASSESSMENT TRAUMA (3)

PYC 8442ADVANCED CLINICAL APPLICATION (3)

PYC 8282CHILD AND ADOLESCENT THERAPY (3)

OR

PYC 8122HUMAN SEXUALITY (3)

Gerocounseling

According to the US Census Bureau (2007), the population of people 65 and older is projected to increase by 200 percent by the year 2025.  As the segment of the population of older adults continues to grow, the demand for competent mental health professionals to provide treatment interventions to this population will also grow.  A concentration in gerocounseling allows students to graduate with a competency and increased marketability for employment.

Core/Foundation

Required Concentration Courses:

PYC 7392PERSPECTIVES ON AGING (3)

PYC 8132EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPIES (3)

PYC 8372COUNSELING ADULTS II:LATE ADULTHOOD (3)

PYC 8452WELLNESS COUNSELING: RISK, PREVENTION AND MODIFICATION (3)

PYC 8552ADVANCED SPECIAL TOPICS: COUNSELING (3)

Christian Counseling

This cooperative program with Phoenix Seminary is designed for students who are interested in a program that meets educational requirements in counseling combined with coursework providing a focus for Christians who works as counselors in Christian and secular settings.  Students in the Christian Counseling specialty must be simultaneously, but separately, admitted to both the Ottawa University and the Phoenix Seminary programs.  The program consists of significant coursework from both schools.  Upon successful completion of all requirements for each school, graduates are awarded the Ottawa University Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) and the Phoenix Seminary graduate diploma in Christian Counseling (GDCC) by their respective institutions.  The following courses are required for Ottawa University's degree. 

Required Core Courses:

PYF 7001 Graduate Seminar in Clinical Foundations (If required per acceptance letter)

PYC 7422 Social and Cultural Concerns in Counseling

PYC 7922 Counseling Theories

PYC 7832 Human Growth and Development

PYC 7932 Group Counseling and Dynamics

PYF 7162 Methods and Models of Research

PYF 8012 Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling

PYC 7802 Psychological Testing

PYC 7822 Life Planning and Career Development

PYC 8040 Advanced Psychodiagnostics, Treatment, Planning, and Program Evaluation

PYF 8600 Field Placement

PYF 8610 Field Placement

Required Concentration Courses:

CF 500 Counseling Skills

PYC 7862 Biological Bases of Abnormal Behavior

CF 508 Marriage and Family Counseling

CF 509 Integration of Psychology and Christianity

CF 510 Human Sexuality: A Christian View

CF 511 Addictive Disorders

CF 503 Counseling Issues and Strategies (Christian Counseling Workshop)

CF 530 Counseling Pre-Practicum (100 hours)

Select two from the following:

CF 512 Counseling Adults from Dysfunctional and Abusive Families

CF 513 Trauma, Loss, and Grief

CF 514 Child and Adolescent Counseling

Total of 6 hours for PYF 8600 and PYF 8610