Here is a list of some of the most frequent questions asked by prospective students. Hopefully you will find these helpful as you prepare to apply to a SUNY Brockport Counselor Education Program in School Counseling, College Counseling, or Mental Health Counseling.
l. Do you have a quota of students whom you accept for the program?
To some extent, yes we do. We need to keep our admissions at a certain number in order to remain within our accreditation requirements and because of the size of our department. We attempt to select the best students who are qualified and motivated to learn about counseling and as such may exceed even our own guidelines.
2. Where do your graduates get jobs after graduation?
During the past several years, the department has averaged about 30-35 graduates per year. Although some of the graduates remain in the position they had upon entering the program, approximately 64 percent enter school counseling, 12 percent enter college counseling and 24 percent enter various agency settings as counselors. A follow-up study of each graduating class is available for your perusal by contacting any of the department members or chairperson.
3. Do you help your graduates get jobs?
Yes, the department maintains a bulletin board with job listings next to room l83 Brown Building, the Department of Counselor Education Graduate Student Office. In addition, students in their last semester receive notices about area job openings via e-mail. Often employers will call the department with job announcements. These are passed on to our students as soon as we receive them.4. What kind of undergraduate preparation do I need to be accepted into your program?
Applicants applying to the program come from a variety of academic majors. Although many applicants have a major in the behavioral or social science areas, students with a variety of other majors have successfully completed the program. The Department does not require a specific undergraduate major in order to apply. An undergraduate course in Statistics, however, is required. If an applicant has not taken an undergraduate Statistics course, the candidate will be required to take an undergraduate Statistics course as a prerequisite to the program.
5. Is this program full- or part-time?
The MSEd in Counseling and MS in Mental Health Counseling programs are designed to be part-time. We are geared for the returning adult student who may have other responsibilities in addition to being a student. Some students, however, desire to be full-time students. Full-time graduate work is 9 credits (12 credits if you are receiving TAP financial Aid). Once students begin their clinical experiences, full-time graduate status becomes more difficult due to the time demands of the clinical courses. Some students, however, do manage full-time status by taking additional (not required) courses. Deciding upon part-time or full-time status is something students should discuss with their advisor.
6. How does the Counselor Education Department approach the training of counselors?
This program seeks to prepare excellent counselors who choose an emphasis for special preparation in college, mental health, or school settings. Such counselors possess knowledge of human behavior and social systems, counseling and communication skills, self-awareness, and respect for human dignity and diversity. As a result, they are able to integrate this knowledge, skill, and attitude with their personhood. This combined emphasis on skill development, theory, and utilization of self produces counselors who function effectively in a variety of helping settings and who have a positive impact on the individuals, agencies, institutions, and/or communities in which they work.
The philosophy of the program emphasizes the personhood of the counselor and utilization of self as the most important instruments in effecting therapeutic and systemic change. Thus, classroom instruction combines experiential (self) and didactic learning to create opportunities for students to acquire and demonstrate theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and understanding and utilization of self necessary to be effective counselors. Further, the program exposes students to multiple theoretical orientations. Finally, students are expected to learn how to learn, by acquiring the skills necessary to continue personal growth and professional development while in the program and after the completion of their formal education.
7. Should I take EDC 501, 502 or 503: Self in Society before applying to the program?
Some students indicate that taking EDC 501, 502 or 503 before applying was helpful for them. The rationale seems to be that the applicant becomes more aware of our program in terms of the department’s expectations and our experiential focus (re: work requirements, self-awareness, ability, commitment and interpersonal skills). Therefore, if you want to take a course before applying to the program, the department recommends that you take EDC 501, 502 or 503. However, you may be accepted into the program, before, while or after you have taken EDC 501, 502 or 503. You may also take other courses besides EDC 501, 502 or 503 but check with the department regarding which courses are appropriate for you to take.
8. Why are the department’s programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)?
CACREP provides leadership and promotes excellence in professional counselor preparation through the accreditation of counseling programs. As an accrediting body, CACREP is committed to the development of standards and procedures that reflect the needs of a dynamic, diverse, and complex society. CACREP is dedicated to (1) encouraging and promoting the continuing development and improvement of preparation programs, and (2) preparing counseling and related professionals to provide services consistent with the ideal of optimal human development .
9. What difference will it make if I graduate from a CACREP approved program?
At last count, 203 higher education institutions have CACREP accredited programs. There are approximately 460 CACREP accredited programs nationally and internationally (see www.CACREP.org). Our institution was the first to gain CACREP accreditation in New York in 1987 and is currently one of only five CACREP accredited programs across the state of New York. Our MSEd – Counseling program (with emphases in school counseling and college counseling) and our MS in Mental Health Counseling program are CACREP accredited.
Students are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) during their last semester. This exam leads to the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential. The experience requirement for the NCC is waived for students graduating from a CACREP accredited program.
10. What is the difference between certification and licensure?
Certification is a “professional, statutory, or nonstatutory process by which an agency or association grants recognition to an individual for having met certain predetermined professional qualifications” (Fretz & Mills, 1980, p.7). A state or national board issues a certificate to an individual in a specialty. Certification deems that a person meets the minimum skills necessary to engage in that profession and has no known character defects that would interfere with such practice.
Licensure is a “statutory process by which an agency or government, usually a state, grants permission to a person meeting predetermined qualifications to engage in a given occupation and/or use a particular title and to perform specified functions” (Fretz & Mills, 1980, p.7). Like certification, licensure requires that the individual meets predetermined educational and experiential qualifications. Once licensure requirements are established by a state, for example, individuals cannot practice a profession legally without obtaining a license.
The department’s MSEd – Counseling program, School Counselor emphasis results in students receiving provisional certification as school counselor in the State of New York. Provisional certification is granted by the New York State Education Department. This certification allows students to work as school counselors. Currently, the state requires that students obtain permanent certification as a school counselor within 5 years from graduation. In order to obtain permanent certification as a school counselor, graduates must complete an additional 12 credits (for a total of 60 masters level credits) (the department has a Certificate of Advanced Study, or CAS, for this) and work the equivalent of two years as a school counselor.
Graduates of the department’s MS – Mental Health Counseling program are eligible to sit for New York State’s Mental Health Licensure examination. The 60 credit-hour program has met the New York State Education Department’s requirements and is registered as a license-eligible program.
The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) (www.nbcc.org) is the leading national organization that certifies counselors. All students enrolled in both the MSEd degree and MS degree programs are eligible to apply for certification from NBCC. Individuals who take and pass the National Counselor Exam (NCE) (offered twice a year – in October, and in April) receive the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential.
11. Can I talk to an alumnus to learn more about this program and their experiences?
Absolutely! Contact Anne Nenni, department secretary, at (585) 395-2258 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.