Admission to Advanced Candidacy
In order to enroll in Advanced Area core classes and to apply for Practicum and Internship, students must apply for and be accepted into Advanced Candidacy. The Advanced Candidacy application should be completed at least three weeks before the start of the semester in which the student intends to enroll in Advanced Core classes. Applications are available from the MSC Coordinator’s office and from the Academic Program Assistant for Graduate Studies.
To qualify for degree candidacy, a student must:
• have a GPA of 3.0 or better, and
• have completed all of the following courses:
· MSC 500 Professional Orientation
· MSC 508 Psychopathology
· MSC 512 Theories of Counseling *
· MSC 516 Statistics and Research Methods
· MSC 517 Techniques of Counseling *
· MSC 526 Professional Ethics *
· MSC 529 Development Across the Lifespan
· have completed at least 12 semester hours of the above courses at UGF
* must have B or better
The Candidacy Committee will review the Application for Advanced Candidacy and inform the student of his/her candidacy status before the student will be allowed to enroll in Advanced Core classes.
Professional counseling is a combination of knowledge, skill, and art, in which the uniqueness and personality of the counselor have enormous influences on relationship building and counselor effectiveness. It is imperative that each student progressing through the MSC degree program be willing to grow in self-awareness and be open to direction from faculty. Students are also expected to exhibit the highest professional and ethical standards of practice and to actively contribute to the well-being of clients and other students.
Successful completion of the Master of Science in Counseling program is based on the demonstration of competence in academic, professional, and personal areas as they relate to a student's professional objectives. The faculty has a professional responsibility to assess the academic, professional, and personal development of every student in the MSC program. As part of the student review and retention policy of the UGF Graduate Studies, faculty may share information about student progress with one another.
All students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to graduate from the MSC program. Only two (2) grades of C or below are accepted for degree completion. If a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation and has until the completion of the next semester of enrollment to restore the GPA to at least a 3.0. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the MSC program.
In addition to maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.0, specific courses are considered essential to successful progression through the MSC program. Students must earn a minimum of “B” in Techniques of Counseling, Professional Ethics, Group Counseling, Advanced Techniques of Counseling, and the Counseling Practicum. Internships are graded on a Pass or Fail basis. If the student does not achieve the minimum requirement, the student cannot enroll in sequence courses until the student retakes the course and completes it with a grade of “B” or better.
Assessment is an ongoing process that begins with admission to the MSC program, and continues through a final comprehensive review. Accumulation of credits and satisfactory grades are not a guarantee of successful program completion. MSC students are assessed for fitness as counseling professionals. Assessed characteristics include but are not limited to: self-awareness, self-confidence, resilience, balance, emotional stability, communication skills, professional presentation, and interpersonal skills.
Personal Growth Experience
Effective counselors strive for self-awareness, personal congruence, and their own continual personal growth. Prior to or during the practicum and internship, all students are required to participate in a personal growth experience, which includes receiving a minimum six (6) hours of personal counseling, either individual or group in nature.
Many students choose to remain in personal counseling beyond the minimum six-hour requirement. During the internship, many students have recognized the value of working through personal issues so that they do not interfere with professional performance and service to clients. Participating in a personal growth experience will be documented by the student in the form of a written evaluation of the experience.
Program of Study
The MSC program requires 60 credit hours of the outlined course work. The program typically takes two calendar years (Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions) of full-time study to complete. Students who are employed full-time, and/or have other outside obligations are strongly encouraged to attend MSC courses on a part-time basis. Part-time attendance will extend the length of time required to graduate, but will enhance academic and personal success.
It is important for students be familiar with the sequential course structure of the MSC program. Course emphases move from a focus on foundations in the history and theories of counseling and related fields, to skill acquisition and practical experiences. The MSC curriculum sequence is designed so that students gain competency and integrate the content into a meaningful, practical body of professional knowledge and skills. Students are expected to become increasingly autonomous in their professional activities, academic and otherwise, as they progress through the program.
The clinical practicum course undertaken near the end of the program is designed to facilitate development of higher levels of counseling skills. Before enrolling for Practicum credits, students must complete a Practicum Application, for approval by the Program Coordinator, and have completed a minimum of 40 credit hours. These 40 hours must include the Core Courses. Proof of professional liability insurance must be provided by the student prior to enrollment in Practicum.
Prerequisites must be completed successfully before enrollment in the next course in the series. Concurrent enrollment of a course with its prerequisite is not permitted.
MSC 516 - Statistics and Research Procedure is a prerequisite to MSC 510 - Outcome and Program Evaluation and MSC 515 - Standardized Testing and Individual Assessment.
MSC 512 - Theories of Counseling and Personality Assessment is a prerequisite to
MSC 517 - Techniques of Counseling.
MSC 517 - Techniques of Counseling is a prerequisite to MSC 607 - Group Counseling, and
MSC 617 Advanced Techniques of Counseling.
MSC 512, 517, and 607 must be completed prior to enrollment in MSC 695 - Counseling Practicum.
MSC 695 must be completed prior to enrollment in MSC 696 - Advanced Counseling Internship