College of Education

COUN FAQ

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Q1: How do I identify a quality counselor training program?

A: In order to ensure that the program has been evaluated for its quality and appropriateness to meet licensure requirements, it is recommended that students attend a program that is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Reviewing the CACREP website (www.cacrep.org) and asking faculty if the program is accredited can also assist students in making a determination. A major benefit of a program being CACREP accredited is that it allows students to take the National Counselor Exam (NCE) during their last semester of study.

Passing the NCE exam allows a student to be eligible to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC) following graduation. It is recommended to review the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) website when evaluating a counselor training program, www.nbcc.org.


Q2: What do I need to be admitted?

A. These are the requirements:

1. Submit all transcripts for completed undergraduate and/or graduate work.

2. Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller's Analogy Test (MAT) and be sure to send your scores to UCCS.

3. Obtain three letters of recommendation from professional and/or personal references. Please keep in mind that it is in your best interest to choose references that will provide a broad, comprehensive picture of who you are.

4. Develop and submit a Personal Goal Statement. Students should write a Personal Goal Statement which clearly articulates a student's motivation for applying to a graduate program in counseling. Questions to consider: What life experiences have led you to this decision? What personal attributes and skills do you possess which will contribute to you being a successful counselor? What do you hope to accomplish professionally after completing a graduate program in counseling?

5. Schedule an admissions interview with a DCHS faculty member. You may schedule this interview by contacting the COE Student REsource Office at 719-255-4996 or education@uccs.edu. The purpose of the interview is two-fold. First, faculty will pose questions which will help determine your fit for a career in counseling. Second, interviewees are invited to ask questions to ensure that our graduate programs are appropriate to help students accomplish their career goals.

6. Admission to our programs is competitive. All prospective students are encouraged to submit their application materials by mid-January of the year they plan to enroll. The application deadline is the last day of February.


Q3: How long will it take to complete a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling?

A: Beginning June 2011, both programs will require 60 credit hours of counselor training. Students enrolled full time can complete either program in two years. This includes required course work in both summers of enrollment (i.e. attend summer, fall, spring, summer, fall, Spring (graduate)). Students who work full time or who would like to complete their program at a slower pace have the option to do a three year graduate program.


Q4: When will I begin my graduate program?

A: All first year students begin their counseling training in June of the academic year in which they begin. We do not admit students in the fall or spring semester. Please be mindful of our admission deadline so that you will be a competitive candidate. We do allow students to take up to nine credits as an unclassified student without being admited. Please see available courses that are eligible for unclassified students.


Q5: Can I work full time and still go to school?

A: Yes. Several students have completed our degree programs while working full time. Typically students who work full time enroll in the evening cohort so that they may take all of their courses at night. This is also highly dependent on the student's situation. It is recommended to consult with faculty to help in structuring a plan for success.


Q6: When are classes offered?

A: We admit a day and night cohort every June. Day cohort students can expect to take courses during the day (e.g. 8:00 – 10:40 am, 10:50 – 1:30 pm, etc.). Night cohort students can expect to take courses during the evening (e.g. 4:45PM – 7:20PM, 7:30PM – 10:05PM, etc.).

During the second year, students may need to take fieldwork courses that are in the evening. We also offer some courses on weekends. However, students are NOT required to take a weekend course to meet the graduation requirements for the Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling programs. Typically weekend courses that are required are paired with a weekday offering or the weekend course is offered as an elective.


Q7: How many days a week must I commit to be enrolled in a graduate program?

A: Typically, students who are enrolled full time attend class two – three days a week.


Q8: What is the student-to-faculty ratio?

A: The faculty to student ratio in introductory counseling courses is 1:25 students. During fieldwork courses, the faculty to student ratio is 1:8-10.


Q9: Will I feel competent as a professional counselor when I complete a degree program?

A: Students begin to learn counseling skills during their first semester in graduate school. Our hands-on curriculum and counseling laboratory experiences both provide outstanding experiential learning opportunities. We train graduate students to understand and work with children, adolescents, college students and adults in a variety of counseling settings. Students participate in 700 hours of fieldwork which provides a great deal of on the job experience as well as a competitive edge in the employment market.


Q10: Do you offer an online program?

A: Our seasoned faculty believes that face to face, experiential training is the most effective mechanism for helping students develop the awareness, knowledge and skills that they need to provide high quality counseling services to clients and students. Our department offers some hybrid courses that combine classroom and online learning- providing the benefit of traditional experiential education while allowing students flexibility.


Q11: May I take classes in your department without being enrolled in a degree program?

A: Yes. If students are in the process of applying to one of our degree programs or contemplating enrollment but would like to "test the waters" first, we allow them to take the following courses without being enrolled in a degree program:

Fall Courses:
LEAD 5700 Introduction to Research and Statistics
COUN 5580 Sexuality in Counseling
COUN 5510 Principles of Addiction Treatment (2 credits) 5510 & 5520 taken concurrently
COUN 5520 Infectious Diseases in Addiction Treatment (1 credit) Counseling
COUN 5440 Advanced Psychopathology and Diagnosis

Spring Courses:
COUN 5040 Human Growth and Development
COUN 5430 Career Development
COUN 5070 Adventure Education & Experiential Learning
LEAD 5700 Introduction to Research and Statistics

Summer Courses:
COUN 5040 Human Growth and Development
LEAD 5700 Introduction to Research and Statistics
COUN 5590 Spiritual Dimensions of Counseling
We also invite current professionals who hold a Master's degree in Counseling or a related field to take advantage of our elective offerings.

Please contact the COE Student Resource Office at 719-255-4996 or education@uccs.edu for information on how to apply, course information or how to register as an Unclassified Student.


Q12: Will I be licensed when I graduate?

A: All students graduate and are eligible to obtain a license through their respective licensing sources such as the State of Colorado or Colorado Department of Education. Faculty will work with students to help them prepare for post graduate licensure processes.


Q13: What if I have been out of college for a very long time?

A: Our programs are made up of students from a variety of life circumstances from just having completed an undergraduate degree to those working on second careers or having been out of college for an extended period of time. Our faculty is experienced in working with and sensitive to the varying needs of a diverse student population.


Q14: What if my undergraduate degree is not in psychology or social work?

A: Our program does not have a requirement with regards to the type of undergraduate program obtained. It is designed to meet professional licensure requirements. Therefore, the curriculum is all inclusive and does not require prerequisites. Our student population has a diverse variety of undergraduate degrees and backgrounds.


Q15: How do I decide which program is best for me?

A: Faculty recommend that students review the following four websites in making a determination regarding which program is most suitable: American Counseling Association, www.counseling.org, American School Counselor Association, www.schoolcounselor.org, American Mental Health Counselors Association, www.amhca.org, National Board for Certified Counselors, www.nbcc.org, Chi Sigma Iota, www.csi-net.org


Additionally, students are encouraged to find a professional who works in a setting (school, agency, etc.) similar to one they are interested in following graduation. Interviewing and/or shadowing the professional may help provide further insight in making a determination regarding which program fits best. Faculty are also available to assist in the decision making process.


Q16: Can I meet with a faculty member before being interviewed as part of the admissions process?

A: We invite interested individuals to contact the COE Student Resource Office at 719-255-4996 or education@uccs.edu to set up appointments. Each faculty member makes time to speak with prospective students in person or over the telephone if travel to UCCS is a problem (i.e. prospective student who lives out of state).

 
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