2020-21 Catalogs

Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling

The post-master's Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Counseling is designed to offer a broad range of professional development opportunities for practicing counselors. The overall goal of the certificate program is to enhance and enrich the counselor's educational foundation and to give focus to advanced knowledge and skills that will shape future professional practice. Many applicants utilize the CAS to augment their existing degree in counseling to fulfill the requirements for state certification in rehabilitation or school counseling, as well as for state licensure in mental health counseling or as a substance abuse counselor.

The CAS includes 30 credit hours of graduate coursework, 18 of which must have a counseling focus. If not already documented through an applicant’s master’s degree, three (3) of these credits must reflect an introduction to the counseling profession (HCE 500 Orientation to the Counseling Profession; HCE 510 Introduction to Rehabilitation and Services; or HCE 640 Professional Issues in Mental Health Counseling). Students will work cooperatively with faculty to design a certificate program that is substantive, developmental, and focused on career goals. Matriculation into this certificate program qualifies students for financial aid.

Focus Area (30 credits)

The CAS in Counselor Education is self-designed, allowing students to develop a professionally relevant focus area of their own with the assistance of a faculty advisor. It is important that students consider a cohesive focus when designing their program of study.

Counseling courses may be chosen from the full menu of options offered through the USM Counselor Education Program.  For course information and descriptions please see the Course Listing connected with the program.  Some courses may be grouped together for students to pursue specific interests. (Please know that courses or specialty areas may change with changes in program faculty.) Example interest areas might include:

Family Systems:

HCE 650 Basic Concepts in Couple and Family Counseling
HCE 670 Application of Family Systems Theories


HCE 507 Spirituality and Religion in Counseling
HCE 619 Recovery-Oriented Origins of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practice
HCE 641 Mind/Body Techniques

Play Therapy (summers only):

HCE 623 Theories and Applications of Play Therapy: Summer Institute
HCE 624 Child-Centered Play Therapy
HCE 625 Adlerian Play Therapy

Substance Use:

HCE 642 Perspectives in Chemical Dependency
HCE 643: Psychopharmacology, Substance-Related Disorders & Integrated Co-Occurring Treatment

Students develop a professional portfolio describing progress toward professional goals while in the CAS program. Portfolios are used in final seminars as the basis for discussion, summary, and sharing among completing students.


At the completion of the required 30 credit hours, students will develop a professional portfolio describing progress toward professional goals while in the CAS program. Portfolio requirements are to be scheduled at the end of each student’s program. These presentations typically take place during the last semester of internship. For those CAS students who are not enrolled in an internship class, the portfolio presentation will be scheduled with the aid of the faculty advisor.