2007-2008 Master of Science in Counseling Psychology

Program Goals | Admission | Retention | Academic Probation | Program Requirements | Course Descriptions

Faculty: Lesa Ellis, Angela Hicks, Cathleen Power, Paul Presson, Colleen Sandor, Jennifer Simonds, Barbara Smith, Janine Wanlass

Program Mission

The Masters in Counseling Psychology Program at Westminster College educates students in the fundamentals of psychological theory and practice in an experiential and interpersonal learning environment that facilitates personal and professional growth. Our aim is to train professional counselors with a sound basis in ethical behavior, psychological theories, and professional skills, creating a knowledge base and capacity for thinking that can be translated into effective counseling practice with individuals, families, and groups from diverse backgrounds. We strive to guide our students to become more self-aware and self-reflective as they hone their intellectual and emotional skills. We encourage critical thinking, emphasize professional honesty and integrity, and foster a commitment to providing services to local communities.

Program Goals

The program of study is designed to develop a student’s ability to:

  • Practice in the field of psychology with a comprehensive understanding of ethical and professional behavior.
  • Establish a professional identity in a career as a professional counselor within a local community.
  • Articulate a fundamental knowledge of research, theory, and practice in the field of psychology from a broad range of clinical perspectives.
  • Engage in critical thinking skills and develop a heightened self-awareness.
  • Appreciate and practice counseling skills with an acute sensitivity to issues of diversity.
  • Seek professional consultation with colleagues and supervisors, facilitating engagement in a life long learning process.
  • Assess individuals, families, and groups using appropriate theory and skills and derive appropriate intervention strategies to help these clients resolve their problems of living.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the program is based on an evaluation of demonstrated academic ability and potential for success in the counseling arena. Students enter the program at the beginning of fall semester only. To apply, candidates must submit the following materials to the Office of Admissions:

  1. A completed application for Graduate Admission with a $40 application fee.
  2. Evidence of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or a recognized international college or university.
  3. Official copies of transcripts sent by the registrar of each college or university attended.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional colleagues who can address the candidate’s academic and interpersonal skills relevant to practice as a professional counselor.
  5. A personal statement which addresses the candidate’s career goals, reasons for selecting Westminster College for graduate education, and practice/research interests.
  6. Scores on the Graduate Record Exam taken within the past 5 years.
  7. Proof of clear state and federal background checks at the time of admission.
  8. International students with baccalaureate degrees from countries other than the United States must present a TOEFL score of 600 or above.

Once an applicant’s file is complete, the application materials are evaluated by the MCP Admissions Committee. Once accepted into the program, the applicant must submit a $250 tuition deposit, which guarantees a place in the entering class.

Retention in the Program

The student must:

  1. Design and file an acceptable program plan with the Director of the Masters in Counseling Psychology program.
  2. Maintain a grade point average of 3.0. If the student receives a grade of B- or lower in any course, the credit hours for this course do not count toward graduation requirements.
  3. Pass comprehensive exams at an acceptable level prior to starting an internship placement.
  4. Complete the program within 5 years.
  5. Comply with ethical standards for counselors and all policies for practicum students, interns, or employees at community clinical placements. Failure to do so may result in suspension or dismissal from the program.

Academic Probation Policy

Students in the Masters in Counseling Psychology program are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation must earn a semester grade point average of at least 3.0 the next semester in which they enroll or face dismissal from the program. Academic probation students whose semester GPA is 3.0 or higher but whose cumulative GPA remains below 3.0 will continue on academic probation. Once a probation student’s cumulative GPA reaches 3.0 or higher, the student will be returned to good academic standing. To qualify for graduation, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a practicum/internship/classroom warning of program probationary status at any time during a field or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student’s performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course requirements. Students placed on program probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to satisfy the conditions listed in the written warning; however, any program probationary status will be documented in the student’s record.

A student can be dismissed from the Masters in Counseling Psychology program for any of the following reasons:

  • Violation of the academic honesty policy.
  • Violation of the ethical code for counselors.
  • Failure to maintain a GPA appropriate for the program.
  • A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.
  • A documented violation of agency policy or procedures in a clinical placement.

Appeals for Readmission

Students dismissed from the Masters in Counseling Psychology program must petition the Admission and Progression Committee for readmission if they wish to reenter the program. Matters of personal concern to the student will be considered at this time. The Admission and Progression Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences regarding readmission. Students have the right to appeal decisions of academic evaluation or dismissal through the Academic Grievance Process of the School of Arts and Sciences.

Program Requirements

Students must complete at least 60 hours of graduate course work drawn from the following:

MSPC Requirements

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

60

MSPC 610 Counseling Ethics and Professional Roles
MSPC 612 Statistics and Research Methods
MSPC 614 Psychopathology and the DSM
MSPC 618 Individual Psychotherapy
MSPC 620 Infant and Child Development
MSPC 622 Lifespan and Career Development
MSPC 625 Test and Measurement Theory
MSPC 628 Couple, Family, and Group Psychotherapy
MSPC 631 Applications of Cognitive Behavioral Theory
MSPC 633 Child Psychotherapy
MSPC 636 Clinical Assessment
MSPC 639 Multicultural Counseling
MSPC 640 Counseling Practicum
MSPC 642 Substance Abuse Treatment
MSPC 644 Applications of Psychodynamic Theory
MSPC 650* Special Topics Seminars
MSPC 652 Advanced Psychodynamic Theory
MSPC 660 Internship I
MSPC 661 Internship II
MSPC 670* Thesis Research

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TOTAL HOURS FOR THE MSPC

60

*All numbered courses are required; however, students may choose either 6 hours of special topics seminars or 6 hours of thesis research. Students are required to take and pass comprehensive exams prior to their internship year. (Students should be aware that completion of this program is partial preparation for licensure as an L.P.C., since additional clinical practice hours are needed to meet the licensure requirements. Utah requires 4,000 supervised clinical hours prior to licensure.)