2019-20 Catalogs

Counselor Education Overview

The basic belief of the USM Counselor Education program is that people often need assistance in addressing typical developmental transitions as well as difficult life situations. Mental health, rehabilitation, and school counselors are trained to help people with these challenges.

The Master of Science in Counseling degree prepares its graduates to act as facilitators of change in the lives of individuals at all developmental levels. By modeling high standards of professionalism and offering a foundation of knowledge, skills, self-awareness, and practice, the program prepares counselors of the highest quality to work in schools, mental health agencies, businesses, hospitals, rehabilitation organizations, private practice, and other settings.

The Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) degree provides graduates with the counseling knowledge and skills used in school, clinical mental health, and rehabilitation settings. Students study human development and behavior, individual counseling theory, group theory and dynamics, research methodology, and psychological measurement and evaluation, in addition to courses in individual concentrations—school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and rehabilitation counseling. The Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) post-bachelor's certificate program may be taken independently of the master’s degree (applications through Rehabilitation Counseling). The certificate of advanced study in counseling is a post-master’s program for current counselors who are interested in pursuing advanced coursework.

Depending on the MSC concentration, we offer face-to-face, online, hybrid, blended, or any combination of for synchronous and asynchronous course delivery. Course instruction includes a variety of teaching and learning strategies, depending on the nature of the course, such as lectures, group discussion (synchronous and asynchronous), in–class exercises, supervised case review, cooperative learning, service learning, guided practice, introspection and critical thinking. In addition to coursework, each student must successfully pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).

The counselor education program holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) for the clinical mental health, rehabilitation and school counseling concentrations, and from the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) for the rehabilitation concentration.

PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS

A Master of Science in Counseling with the combination of required courses can prepare graduates for one or more of these professional credentials:

  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Certified Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling (CADC)
  • Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor (LADC)
  • Certified School Counselor
  • National Certified Counselor (NCC)
  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC)
  • Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician- Community Certification (MHRT-C)
  • Employment Specialist

*Students must work with their advisor to ensure eligibility when seeking additional credentials*

Within the area of counselor education, the School offers a master's degree, certificate programs, and a post-master's certificate of advanced study. The Master of Science in Counseling degree provides its graduates with the counseling knowledge and skills used in school, clinical mental health, and rehabilitation settings. Students study human development and behavior, individual counseling theory, group theory and dynamics, research methodology, multiculturalism and diversity, and psychological measurement and evaluation, in addition to courses in individual concentrations–school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and rehabilitation counseling. The Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) post-bachelor’s certificate program may be taken independently of the master's degree and is integrated within the Rehabilitation Counseling concentration which has been approved for meeting the newest MHRT-C competencies. The certificate of advanced study in counseling is a post-master's program for current counselors who are interested in pursuing advanced coursework.

The primary mission of the counselor education program is to prepare counselors for ethical practice through high quality, nationally accredited graduate level training. The basic beliefs of the USM Counselor Education Program are (1) People often need assistance, including support and treatment, in addressing typical developmental transitions as well as difficult life situations. (2) Mental health, rehabilitation, and school counselors are trained to help people with these challenges.  The program prepares its graduates to act as facilitators of change in the lives of individuals at all developmental levels. By modeling high standards of professionalism and offering a foundation of knowledge, skills, self-awareness, and practice, the program aspires to prepare counselors of the highest quality to work in schools, mental health agencies, businesses, hospitals, rehabilitation organizations, private practice, and other settings.

Students in the Counselor Education Program will be able to competently:

  • demonstrate knowledge of core curriculum.
  • demonstrate an integration and application of their knowledge and skills in the concentration areas in counseling (school, clinical mental health, and rehabilitation).
  • demonstrate knowledge and skills in addressing issues of diversity.
  • apply individual and group counseling skills and techniques.
  • reflect on their personal and professional strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and challenges to identify professional development needs.
  • analyze and apply relevant technologies for the growth and practice of counseling and rehabilitation.
  • apply ethical decision-making in counseling situations.
  • articulate how their professional identity is grounded in their personal identification with the standards and ethical practices of the counseling profession.

Curriculum includes the core of counseling practice, concentrations and areas of expertise (family systems, psychiatric/mental health rehabilitation and substance abuse). The clinical education component with practicum and internship placements provides a practice-based experience in settings locally and regionally throughout Maine.