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Masters of Arts in Counseling

College of Education

The Counseling Program is located within the College of Education and in the Mesa Building on the UTPB campus. We offer a Master of Education degree in Counseling, which provides coursework leading to state-level counseling licensure (Licensed Professional Counselor) or certification as a Professional School Counselor. The focus of this manual is on the needs and requirements of students fulfilling a Master’s degree in Counseling.

 

Program Mission   

The mission of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin’s Counseling Program is to prepare competent professional counselors and counselor educators who demonstrate the counseling knowledge, skills, disposition, and identity necessary to serve and to support a culturally diverse society.

 

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Graduates of the UTPB counseling program will acquire knowledge in the areas of ethical, legal and professional issues in counseling, as well as social and cultural foundations, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, appraisal (tests and measurements), and research and program evaluation. Graduates will also obtain a strong understanding of diversity issues and be able to address the needs of a progressively growing diverse population.

 

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Objectives

Students completing the program with a specialization is clinical mental health counseling will demonstrate knowledge of:  

  • The roles, functions, credentialing, and professional identity of community counselors;
  • Policies, laws, legislation, and other issues relevant to community counselors in a culturally diverse society;
  • Roles of the counselor in various community settings; legal dimensions of those settings; and general principles of community intervention, consultation, education and outreach;
  • Principles for assessment, diagnosis and the use of current diagnostic tools, and case conceptualization in a culturally diverse society;
  • Program development and delivery to diverse populations, including prevention, support groups, parent education, career/occupational information and counseling, and self-help;
  • Effective strategies for promoting client understanding of and access to community resources, and modalities for initiating, maintaining, and terminating counseling services.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling must earn a minimum of 60 semester credit hours.  Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in all courses. A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average will be required for graduation.  Students who obtain more than two grades of “C” will be placed on academic probation and may be required to complete appropriate remedial work. 

 

Clinical Mental Health Course Requirements

 

Core Requirements (18 hours)

COUN 6370 Life Span Development

COUN 6371 Professional Orientation and Ethics 

COUN 6372 Counseling Theory

COUN 6373 Career Development and Counseling

COUN 6374 Assessment and Appraisal Strategies

COUN 6375 Advanced Abnormal Human Behavior

 

Advanced/Specialization Courses (33 hours)

COUN 6376 Research Design in Education and Social Sciences

COUN 6377 Counseling Techniques

COUN 6378 Group Theory and Practice

COUN 6379 Multicultural Counseling and Advocacy

COUN 6380 Addictions Counseling

COUN 6381 Trauma, Crisis, and Grief Counseling

COUN 6382 Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Families

COUN 6383 Advanced Diagnosis and Treatment

COUN 6384 Consultation and Program Development

COUN 6386 Advanced Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling

COUN 6387 Psychopharmacology

 

Clinical Coursework (taken in final 9 hours)

COUN 6391 Practicum in Counseling 

COUN 6392 Clinical Counseling Internship I

COUN 6393 Clinical Counseling Internship II

COUN 6394 Comprehensive Evaluation

 

Credentialing

Upon completion of the Master of Art in Counseling, graduates will have met Texas Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) educational requirements. The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors is charged with the creation and implementation of rules and regulations to establish the practice and licensing of professional counseling in Texas. Education and experience required for licensure include:

 

  • A master's or doctoral degree in counseling or a counseling-related field from an accredited college or university.
  • A planned graduate program in counseling or a counseling-related field of at least 48 graduate semester hours. See board rules §681.2. for “counseling related field.”
  • Applicants are responsible for obtaining coursework in and demonstrating competency in the following specific areas: normal human growth and development; abnormal human behavior; appraisal or assessment techniques; counseling theories; counseling methods or techniques; research; lifestyle and career development; social, cultural and family issues; and professional orientation.
  • As part of the graduate program, a supervised practicum experience that is primarily counseling in nature. The practicum should be at least 300 clock hours with at least 100 direct client contact hours. Academic credit for the practicum must appear on the applicant's transcript.
  • After completion of the graduate degree and after an applicant has received a temporary LPC license from the Board, the applicant begins the supervised post-graduate counseling experience (internship); 3000 clock hours or 36 months of internship under the supervision of a Board-approved supervisor is required. The 3000 clock hours may not be completed in a time period of less than 18 months; if applying under the 36-month requirement, the candidate must average 20 clock hours per week of practice.
  • The applicant must take and pass the Texas Professional Counselor Licensure Examination. The examination may be taken at any time during which the applicant's temporary license is valid.

For Additional Information:

 

Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors

Texas Department of State Health Services

1100 West 49th Street

Austin, Texas 78756-3183

Web: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/default.shtm

Email: lpc@dshs.state.tx.us

Telephone: (512) 834-6658

Fax: (512) 834-6789

School Counseling

Students who complete the school counseling emphasis will meet TEA educational requirements for Professional School Counselor certification

 

School Counseling Objectives

Students completing the program with a specialization in School Counseling will demonstrate:

 

  • Competencies required to work with all students K-12 individually or in groups to address their personal, social, academic, and career concerns.
  • Consultative and coordinating competencies required to work with parents, educators, other professionals, and community stakeholders collaboratively to address the developmental needs of all students.
  • Knowledge of the role and function of the professional school counselor, including competencies necessary to conduct research and use assessment in order to development, implement, and maintain a comprehensive developmental guidance program.
  • Knowledge of Texas Education Agency’s Comprehensive and Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program and the American School Counselor Association’s National Standards for School Counselors.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree in School Counseling must earn a minimum of 60 semester credit hours. Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in all courses. A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average will be required for graduation.  Students who obtain more than two grades of “C” will be placed on academic probation and may be required to complete appropriate remedial work.

School Counseling Course Requirements

 

Core Requirements (18 hours)

COUN 6370 Life Span Development

COUN 6371 Professional Orientation and Ethics

COUN 6372 Counseling Theory

COUN 6373 Career Development and Counseling

COUN 6374 Assessment and Appraisal Strategies

COUN 6375 Advanced Abnormal Human Behavior

 

Advanced/Specialization Courses (33 hours)

COUN 6376 Research Design in Education and Social Sciences

COUN 6377 Counseling Techniques

COUN 6378 Group Theory and Practice

COUN 6379 Multicultural Counseling and Advocacy

COUN 6380 Addictions Counseling

COUN 6381 Trauma, Crisis, and Grief Counseling

COUN 6382 Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Families

COUN 6383 Advanced Diagnosis and Treatment

COUN 6385 Advanced Principles in School Counseling

COUN 6386 Advanced Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling

COUN 6387 Psychopharmacology

 

Clinical Coursework (taken in final 9 hours)

COUN 6391 Practicum in Counseling

COUN 6392 Clinical Counseling Internship I

COUN 6393 Clinical Counseling Internship II

COUN 6394 Comprehensive Evaluation

School Counselor Credentialing

The program curriculum is designed to align with the Texas School Counselor standards and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) ethical guidelines. This degree fulfills the educational qualifications necessary to meet the course requirements to become Professional School Counselors certified by the Texas State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC).

 

The school counseling specialization meets the academic requirements for certification as a Professional School Counselor in Texas. In addition to completing the program, students are required to have the following:

  • 2 school years of classroom teaching experience in a public or accredited private school.
  • The applicant must take and pass the TExES examination.

    Even students who have not yet satisfied their two-year teaching requirement are eligible to take the TExES exam (practice and then “real” exams) as soon they begin practicum. All students are strongly encouraged to take the TExES before graduating or shortly thereafter.

  • For certification information to: Guidance Counseling FAQ or http://tea.texas.gov/

Probationary Certification

One-year probationary certificates are available for eligible candidates prior to completion of program.  To qualify, you must meet the following criteria: Must have a position for which the candidate is preparing. Must have advisor approval.

 

One-year extensions are available for candidates who have not completed programs.  No more than two extensions are allowed by the Texas Education Agency.

 

      Additional Certification Resources:

Course Descriptions

A description of the courses needed for a Masters of Arts in Counseling follows:

 

COUN 6370 Life Span Development

This course provides an in-depth study of theories of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development from the prenatal period through aging and death. Biological and environmental foundations, cultural influences, and strategies for facilitating development are considered.

 

COUN 6371 Professional Orientation and Ethics

This course provides an orientation to the counseling profession, its history, professional standards, credentials, areas of specialization, and the development of skills necessary to create a helping relationship. Students will also examine ethical and legal standards related to professional practice and the impact of personal values on the counseling process.
 

COUN 6372 Counseling Theory

This course provides an overview of the major theories and techniques in counseling. Each theory is presented with its historical development, key concepts, therapeutic process, and application for appropriate counseling intervention. Students will be given an opportunity to develop a personal model of counseling.
 

COUN 6373 Career Development and Counseling

This course presents principles of career development and addresses career counseling issues through the lifespan, uses of career/occupational testing and computer-assisted guidance systems, sources of educational and occupational information, and career and lifestyle trends. Multicultural issues and needs of special and diverse populations will be presented.

COUN 6374 Assessment and Appraisal Strategies
This course introduces basic statistics and focuses on application and interpretation of formal and informal measures of intelligence, achievement, aptitude, interests, and personality. The course provides an overview of standard measurement and assessment concepts that apply in both educational and community counseling settings.

 
COUN 6375 Advanced Abnormal Human Behavior
This course provides an overview of the principles of understanding the dysfunction in human behavior and development. Students will learn how dysfunctional behavior, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, manifests and consider factors that increase one’s vulnerability to abnormal human behavior.


COUN 6376 Research Design in Education and Social Sciences
This course is designed to acquaint students with how research is conducted in the fields of education and the social sciences. Students will select and evaluate research findings within their specific fields and learn how to plan their own research studies.


COUN 6377 Counseling Techniques
This course focuses on developing each student’s basic counseling skills via role play and review of recorded practice sessions. In addition, the course presents a general model of counseling.


COUN 6378 Group Theory and Practice
This course provides an in-depth study of group development and group counseling theory, with consideration of group leadership styles, methods and skills, and ethical concerns in group work. Group dynamics will be demonstrated through student participation in an experiential growth group.


COUN 6379 Multicultural Counseling and Advocacy
This course provides a comprehensive investigation of multicultural issues, theory, research, and practice relevant to the field of counseling. Cultural identification and exploration of one’s heritage and how it impacts the therapeutic process will be required. Students will examine the role of social responsibility within the counseling profession, and explore strategies relevant to social change.


COUN 6380 Addictions Counseling
This course is designed to investigate physiological, emotional, social, and physical aspects related to addictions including but not limited to substances of primary choice, treatment interventions, legal and ethical issues, prevention, and applied recovery techniques.


COUN 6381 Trauma, Crisis and Grief Counseling
This course prepares student to respond effectively in critical situations and to help counseling clients who are experiencing crisis events in their lives. Students will learn about crisis, trauma, and grief theory and intervention techniques.


COUN 6382 Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Families
This course covers principles and techniques associated with counseling of children and adolescents. Content includes developmental phases, family considerations, theoretical models, and skills needed to work with children/adolescents.


COUN 6383 Advanced Diagnosis and Treatment
This course covers case conceptualization, treatment planning, and use of empirically-supported treatment options for types of human distress, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Strategies and techniques for working with clients in a variety of settings will be considered.

COUN 6384 Consultation and Program Development
This course provides students with a framework for understanding and practicing consultation in school and community settings. Students examine the historical development, major models, and ethical and legal issues related to consultation and program evaluation.


COUN 6385 Advanced Principles in School Counseling
This course covers the organization, management, and evaluation of comprehensive school guidance programs; appropriate roles and functions of school counselors at various school levels; the coordination of professional services, interventions, consulting and collaboration with school and agency professionals; and professional ethics and legal issues.


COUN 6386 Advanced Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling
This course explores the ethical and legal issues that affect the practice of counseling in both community and educational settings. Students will become familiar with the ethical codes and laws regulating the counseling profession.


COUN 6387 Pharmacology
An overview of psychopharmacological medications, their basic classifications, indications, contraindications, and side-effects will be provided. The goal of this course is to introduce the students to the basic terminology and models of pharmacokinetics as they relate to clinical mental health counseling and pharmacological treatment.

6391 Practicum
A minimum of 100 clock hours of supervised counseling experiences, including 40 hours of direct services with clients. The clinical setting must be approved by the practicum coordinator.


6392 Internship I
6393 Internship II
A minimum of 300 clock hours of supervised counseling experiences, including 120 hours of direct service with clients. Clinical setting must be approved and appropriate to the student’s emphasis. The semester prior to enrollment, the student must complete the internship application process. Grade will be credit/no credit.


6394 Comprehensive Evaluation
1 hour credit course: independent study course for the purpose of taking the comprehensive examination. May be repeated as many times as approved by the Graduate Committee. Enrollment is required each term in which the exam is taken.

Program Admission Requirements

In accordance with the policies of the Office of Graduate Studies and the College of Education, students are admitted to the department as follows:

 

Regular Admittance

  • Undergraduate (overall or last 60 credit hours) or postgraduate GPA of 3.0 or better
  • 3 letters of recommendation (supportive of student). Evidence of honorable discharge following military service may be used in place of one letter of recommend
  • Essay (submitted and reviewed)

Provisional Admittance

  • Undergraduate (overall or last 60 credit hours) or postgraduate GPA of 2.5 or better
  • 3 letters of recommendation (supportive of student). Evidence of honorable discharge following military service may be used in place of one letter of recommend
  • Essay (submitted and reviewed)

Conditional Admittance

  • Overall undergraduate of GPA of 2.00 or better
  • 3 letters of recommend (supportive of student). Evidence of honorable discharge following military service may be used in place of one letter of recommend
  • Essay (submitted and reviewed)
  • Personal interview (telephone or face-to-face
  • Written explanation of extenuating circumstances contributing to low GPA

When evaluating conditional admittance, the department will consider cultural components including, but not limited to, English as a second language, weak academic preparation that can be remediated, student motivation and desire to succeed, evidence of success in career field (e.g. teaching or service awards) and/or ethnic representation within the counseling field.

Additional Information

 

 

Counseling Program Faculty

María D Avalos, Ph.D., LPC-S     Dr Avalos

Assistant Professor

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

4901 E. University Blvd., MB 3240

Odessa, Texas 79762

432-522-2153

COEGraduateAdvising

 

Dr. Maria D. Avalos is a first-generation college student and holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Southwestern University, a master’s in Education from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas -Austin.  She has 20 years of teaching experience in K-12, secondary, and post-secondary settings and is licensed professional counselor - supervisor (LPC-S).  Her current research focuses on first year college retention and transition as it relates to first generation and marginalized students. She also studies the professional and personal experiences of educational leaders who are underrepresented in both the public and higher education.