Q. What is CACREP, and why is it important to attend a university that is CACREP accredited?

A. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation from CACREP is voluntary. Those institutions who wish to receive this accreditation are required to meet a rigorous set of program and faculty standards.

For the incoming student, a CACREP accredited program is beneficial for a few reasons:

  • An assurance that the educational activities of an accredited institution or program have been found to be satisfactory and therefore meet the needs of students
  • Assistance in the transfer of credits between institutions or in the admission of students to advanced degrees, through the general acceptance of credits among accredited institutions when the performance of the student has been satisfactory and the credits to be transferred are appropriate to the receiving institution
  • A prerequisite in many cases for entering a profession

Q. When are applications due?

A. Application Deadlines.

Q. What are the prerequisites for entering the program?

A. Applicants for the Master of Arts degree must hold an earned Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.67 is strongly recommended. Applicants for the Certificate of Advanced Study must hold an earned Master's degree from an accredited college or university, completed with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00.

Q. Can I take classes before I am accepted into the program?

A. Yes, you are able to take up to six (6) credits in the School Counseling program and up to nine (9) credits in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program as a non-matriculated student before being accepted into the program.

Q. How long will it take to complete the program?

A. At a minimum, it takes 2 years. On average, it takes our students approximately 2.5 to 3 years to complete the program.

Q. What types of classes will I be taking?

A. Classes will cover various topics including counseling theories, fundamental counseling skills, group counseling, multicultural issues, research, assessment, ethical and legal codes, and career counseling.

Q. Will an advisor help me with a plan of study?

A. Yes. Once you are accepted into the program, you will receive a letter notifying you of your advisor's name. You will then be asked to contact your advisor to set up a meeting to discuss and design your plan of study.

Q. Will I have the opportunity to take elective classes outside of my required classes?

A. Elective classes are offered in the program; however, depending on your plan of study, you may or may not have an opportunity to take them.

Q. Will elective classes I take to earn a Master's degree count toward a Certificate of Advanced Study?

A. No.

Q. Are classes offered on the weekends or at night?

A. Classes are offered with the graduate student's schedule in mind. We offer weekday classes at night from 4:55-6:55 p.m. and from 7:15-9:15 p.m., as well as weekend classes.

Q. How do I find a practicum and internship site?

A. The program's Clinical Coordinator will assist you in finding a practicum and internship site.

To begin the practicum process, you must first turn in a completed, signed, Application for Practicum to the Clinical Coordinator by the date indicated on the Departmental Calendar. Then, you and the Clinical Coordinator will arrange to meet to discuss your career objectives and the availability of practica sites within your area of interest. Once the availability of a practicum site is confirmed, you will be asked to contact the site to arrange an interview.

For internships, some students will stay at their practicum sites. In other cases, students will have identified sites through contacts that they have made during practicum experiences. Others will require assistance from the Clinical Coordinator in finding and securing an internship site. In all of these cases it is the student's responsibility to take the appropriate steps to secure a site within a timely manner, which will require meeting with or contacting the Clinical Coordinator to ascertain that a particular course of action or setting is appropriate.

Q. Can I take practicum or internship during the summer?

A. No.

Q. Are internships one semester or a full year?

A. Internships are a two-semester (10-month), full-time commitment for those school counseling students who do not hold a Connecticut Teaching Certificate but wish to be certified as school counselors. For all others, the internship will consist of a 600-hour experience that can be completed in either one or two semesters.

Q. If I am a certified teacher, is a full year internship required?

A. If you are a certified teacher and have completed 3 years of successful elementary, middle, or secondary public school teaching, a full year internship is not required. What you are required to complete to be eligible for certification as a school counselor in Connecticut is a 600-hour full-time internship in a public school which can be completed in one semester.

Q. Is licensure required to work at a clinical mental health agency or as a school counselor?

A. You do not need to be licensed to work at a clinical mental health agency. You only need to be license-eligible, which you will be after completing the program. Licensure is also not required to work as a school counselor, but you do need to be certified as a school counselor which you will be upon completing the program.

Q. What is the process for securing certification as a school counselor?

A. Upon successful completion of the 48-credit Master's program, passing the comprehensive exam and receiving formal faculty endorsement, a student will be eligible to apply for Connecticut State Certification as a school counselor, grades K-12. Certification is granted by the Connecticut State Department of Education. To apply for state certification, the student must submit a completed application form, an official transcript of graduate work from the Registrar's Office, and a personal check made payable to the State Department of Education to the Associate Dean of the GSEAP. Upon receipt of the student's application materials, the Associate Dean will confirm with the Counselor Education Department chair that the student has met all state of Connecticut and University requirements for school counselor certification and will complete the form. The Dean's office will either send the paperwork to your address provided or contact you to pick up to forward the application to the Certification Office of the State Department of Education.

Q. What is the process for securing licensure as a counselor?

A. Counselors in the state of Connecticut are licensed through the Department of Public Health. Please visit the Department of Public Health for a list of requirements.

Q. Is financial aid available?

A. Yes, financial aid is available. Visit the Financial Aid website for further details.

Q. I still have questions. Where can I get further information?

A. Please come to one of our Graduate Information Sessions. Visit the Graduate Admission website for the schedule. You may also contact Dr. Diana Hulse, Program Chair for any additional information.

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