The Master of Arts in Counseling at Truman State University is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to serve in one of two important counseling capacities. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Track will be prepared to serve as Licensed Professional Counselors. Students in the School Counseling Track will be prepared to serve the academic, career, and personal/social needs of culturally diverse students in the elementary, middle, and secondary schools.
This program focuses on developing knowledge and skills involved in becoming a reflective practitioner in the art and science of counseling. To assist counselors-in-training to achieve the specified knowledge and skills, particular attention is given in both tracks to the application of personality and human development theories, the nature of the counseling relationship and the procedures and techniques of counseling practice, research and assessment, and intervention strategies. Specialty areas provide focused study on issues germane to the focused area of practice. Students in both tracks complete the necessary curricular requirements to pursue licensure or certification in their area of practice, including required practicum and internship experiences.
The Counseling program curriculum is aligned with the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Truman is concurrently launching its self-study for CACREP accreditation with the beginning of this program, and graduates of this program will be deemed to have graduated from a CACREP accredited program, once and provided accreditation is granted, if they are enrolled during the self-study period. Students should consult the state licensing board in their state of residence to verify any additional requirements for their state.
The Master of Arts in Counseling: Mental Health Counseling program at Truman State University has the following objectives:
- The preparation of students for advanced professional degrees in mental health counseling;
- The preparation of students to demonstrate compassion, competence, professionalism, and leadership in the clinical mental health profession;
- The preparation of students to apply research skills in advanced academic work, in clinical mental health practice, and/or in professional school counseling work settings;
- The preparation of students to utilize theoretical models and research findings in:
- Developing effective counseling relationships;
- Working with culturally diverse clients and students in various counseling settings;
- Assessing various behaviors and personality traits;
- Creating and implementing treatment plans appropriate to client needs, counselor expertise, and employment;
- Mental health promotion and prevention;
- Developing, organizing, administering, maintaining, and evaluating counseling services in a variety of employment settings.
The Master of Arts in Counseling: Mental Health Counseling program has the following goals for each student. Each of these goals has specific outcome measures.
- Students understand the history and philosophy of the clinical mental health professions, ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling, professional credentialing and professional organizations.
- Students understand counseling and consultation processes and are able to demonstrate the development of a therapeutic relationship and an appropriate case conceptualization.
- Students understand both the theoretical and experiential basis of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches.
- Students understand the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels, situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior, and strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life-span.
- Students understand the cultural context of relationships, issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society related to such factors as culture, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomic status and unique characteristics of individuals, families, ethnic groups and communities.
- Students understand individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation, general principles and methods of case conceptualization, and strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques.
- Students understand career development and decision-making models, as well as assessment instruments and techniques that are relevant to career planning, counseling, and decision-making.
- Students understand research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation, and are able to use these principles to improve counseling effectiveness and effect program modifications.
The Master of Arts in Counseling program is available to students exclusively online and is designed to meet the most commonly accepted standards for counseling preparation nationwide: those of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Mental Health Counseling degree is composed of 60 credits: a 39-credit Core Curriculum and a 21-credit specialization that includes 12 credits in internship experiences (2 separate 6-credit courses).
Qualified applicants may enroll at any of several starting points throughout the academic year. With the exception of practicum and internship experiences, all courses are scheduled in 8-week terms. Students are allowed to apply to their degree program up to fifteen credits from another CACREP-accredited counseling program. Credit transfers from non-accredited programs will not be accepted. Students may not transfer COUN 656G , COUN 663G , Practicum, or Internship credits. The Program Director reserves the right to deny transfer of credits from a CACREP-accredited program if the curriculum of the proposed transfer course does not adequately align with the Truman curriculum.
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75;
- A personal statement;
- Successful completion of a required criminal background check.
- Completion of all coursework with a minimum of 3.00 GPA;
- Meeting all requirements for admission to the practicum and internship experiences and completion of the practicum and internship
All students must pass an FBI background clearance before being placed in practicum or internship assignments. The background check must be current (within one year) when applying for certification.
Core Requirements for All Counseling Students (39 Hours)
Requirements for Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialty (21 Hours)
Students complete a post-practicum supervised capstone clinical experience. Students will enroll in the internship course twice. Each internship involves logging 300 hours with 120 hours of direct service for a total of 600 hours with 240 hours of the 600 hours in direct services. Students may receive an “in progress” designation if they are unable to complete the necessary hours in 16 weeks. Students will continue to participate in individual supervision weekly while logging hours. Students will be expected to participate in group supervision when available while logging hours.
Certification and Licensure
Certification and licensure requirements are determined on a state-by-state basis. Students in Mental Health Counseling typically must complete additional internship hours, after graduation from the program, before final licensure is granted. As requirements are regularly changing, it is the student’s responsibility to verify the requirements applicable to the state in which they intend to work.