Jul 13, 2024  
2013-2014 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2019 
2013-2014 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2019 [Archived Catalog]

Counseling (MA)

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Affiliation: School of Health Sciences & Education


The Master of Arts in Counseling at Truman State University is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to serve the academic, career, and personal/social needs of culturally diverse students in the elementary, middle, and secondary schools. The program focuses on developing knowledge and skills involved in becoming a reflective practitioner in the art and science of school counseling. To assist school counselors-in-training to achieve the specified knowledge and skills, particular attention is given in the program to the application of personality and human development theories, counseling and guidance work including theories of career behavior and development, learning, personality, and child and adolescent behavior and development. Theories, research, and techniques that focus on individual and group counseling; appraisal, assessment, and measurement; multicultural/diversity issues; parent consultation; professional ethics and legal issues; and guidance program planning, management and evaluation are integral parts of the program. Through opportunities for personal growth, closely supervised clinical experiences, completion of a professional counseling portfolio, and passing of a comprehensive exam students are prepared to pursue professional credentialing as well as assume positions of leadership in a variety of professional education settings.


The Master of Arts in Counseling program at Truman State University has the following objectives:

  1. The preparation of students for advanced professional degrees in counseling psychology, counselor education, and school counseling;
  2. The preparation of students to assume positions of leadership in elementary and secondary schools;
  3. The preparation of students to apply research skills in advanced academic work and in professional school counseling work settings;
  4. The preparation of students to utilize theoretical models and research findings in:
    • Developing effective counseling relationships;
    • Working with culturally diverse students in various school counseling settings;
    • Measuring and evaluating various behaviors and personality traits;
    • Developing, organizing, administering, maintaining, and evaluating various school counseling services.


The Master of Arts in Counseling program has the following goals for each student. Each of these goals has specific outcome measures.

  1. Students understand the history and philosophy of the counseling and school counseling professions, ethical and legal considerations in professional school counseling, professional credentialing and professional organizations.
  2. Students understand counseling and consultation process within the schools and be able to demonstrate the development of a therapeutic relationship and an appropriate case conceptualization.
  3. Students understand both the theoretical and experiential basis of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 in school counseling.
  7. 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.
  8. Students understand research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation, and are able to use these principles to improve school counseling effectiveness and effect program modifications.
  9. Students understand various school guidance models with emphasis on the Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program, including structural components, guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, support services, and technology.

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is available to a cohort of approximately 25 students who take a specifically designed and sequenced curriculum consisting of six credits per semester, including summers. Fall and spring semester courses are offered in the evening, and classes offered during the summer sessions are during the day. Qualified applicants are accepted on a first come, first served basis through a monthly review of applicants. Upon completion of admission for a current cohort, students are offered admission to the next scheduled cohort class. Students are allowed to apply to their degree program up to six credits of graduate counseling classes completed prior to admission to the program. The Master of Arts in Counseling cohort classes start in January of even number years.


  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 (3.0 preferred);
  2. Completion and submission of GRE scores;
  3. Three letters of recommendation;
  4. A statement of personal philosophy and professional goals in school counseling.


  1. Completion of all coursework with a minimum of 3.00 GPA;
  2. Meeting all requirements for admission to the internship experience and completion of the internship;
  3. Passing a written comprehensive examination;
  4. Completion of digital portfolio;
  5. Completion of Praxis II (School Counseling).


Graduate Record Exam percentile rankings corresponding to mean scaled scores for incoming counseling students, fiscal year 2010:

Analytic Writing: 44%
Quantitative: 29%
Verbal 50%

Average GPA of incoming counseling students, fiscal year 2010: 3.31.



Counseling Internship

All candidates for the Master of Arts in Counseling degree must complete a 700 hour internship. The internship must be completed on a site appropriate to the student’s career goal.


The Master of Arts in Counseling program is flexible and allows students to meet the elementary and secondary school counselor certification and school counselor licensure requirements of most states. Students are urged to consult with the counseling faculty early in their program concerning specific requirements of the state in which they intend to practice. For individuals coming in without a valid teaching certificate, completion of the following 3 education courses (9 credits) are needed to pursue counselor certification in Missouri:

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