Mar 29, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling Department

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Clifford Wilson Brooks Jr., Ed.D., Chair (717) 477-1668
Marcy J. Douglass, Ph.D.
Kurt L. Kraus, Ed.D.
Kathryn Newton, Ph.D.
Matthew R. Shupp, Ed.D
Linwood G. Vereen, Ph.D.
Todd K. Whitman, Ph.D.

Department Mission and Student Learning Goals

The mission of the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel, as an entity of Shippensburg University, its Graduate School, and the College of Education and Human Services, is to develop students’ academic and personal potential through a comprehensive counselor education program for graduate counseling and college student personnel students and through multi-faceted counseling services for all university students. The department’s mission integrates the principles of a meaningful learning environment, professionalism, and individual responsibility. It strives to be a respected leader in the promotion of dignity, acceptance, and collaboration within the Shippensburg University campus environment.

Specifically, it seeks to graduate highly skilled practitioners in counseling and college student personnel by utilizing experiential learning opportunities in an atmosphere of intellectual, investigative, and creative scholarly curiosity. The department nurtures students to become congruent lifelong learners, noble practitioners, and leaders in the profession who embrace scientific inquiry, technology, and innovative practices. Through authentic relationships with invested faculty who model intentional practice based firmly in theory and cultural advocacy, students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be purposeful, effective practitioners with a strong sense of personal and professional identity.


  • Students will become professionally oriented and practice ethically.
  • Students will become knowledgeable about the cultural context of the practice of counseling and college student personnel and advocate for its inherent value in practice.
  • Students will comprehend the importance of theories and models of growth and development across the lifespan in the counseling and college student personnel professions.
  • Students will become knowledgeable of the lifelong career development process and its relationship with wellness, identity, and life satisfaction.
  • Students will become skilled counselors and college student personnel professionals who counsel, supervise, advocate, consult, collaborate, and coordinate.
  • Students will develop theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, and methods and skills pertinent to facilitating groups (i.e., task/work groups, psycho education groups, and counseling and psychotherapeutic groups).
  • Students will become competent in the ethical use of individual, group, and environmental approaches to assessment, measurement, and evaluation.
  • Students will understand and apply research methods, quantitative and qualitative analysis, needs assessments, and program evaluations.
  • Students will learn how to integrate technology into the professional practices of counseling, supervision, and college student personnel.
  • Students will be effective professional communicators.


In addition to the accreditations shared with the university, the College Student Personnel, School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, and School Counseling programs are approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA). CACREP approval is a professional standards accreditation that validates the quality of education of counseling and related programs. Accreditation in counseling is closely related to the credentialing process established by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Upon successful completion of the National Counselor Exam, graduates of CACREP approved programs are eligible to become Nationally Certified Counselors.

Programs Offered

The Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel offers master’s degree programs leading to (a) a 60-hour Master’s of Education degree in School counseling (K-12, PDE certificate), (b) a 60-hour Master’s of Science degree in College Counseling and Student Personnel, (c) a 60-hour Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, (d) a 48-hour non-accredited Master of Science Degree in College Student Personnel and (e) a 57-hour Doctoral Degree in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Admission to Program

All applicants for admission to the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel program must begin by applying to graduate programs in SLATE which is the online application process.  Once an application is complete and all materials have been submitted, the admissions coordinator for the department will review the applicant’s materials and a decision will be made for admission. 

Applicants for admission to the program must meet the requirements for the specialization and for the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel in addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate study.

  1. Applicants to the School Counseling concentration are expected to have relevant experience working with children (for example, as a teacher, probation officer, child protective services worker, etc.), and a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate degree work as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  2. If the applicants to Clinical Mental Health, College and Student Personnel, and Student Affairs in Higher Education Programs have less than a 2.75, they must successfully complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

Because counseling and personnel work include a variety of experiences in practicum, internship, or other clinical experiences, the student’s effectiveness and suitability for the program will be subject to an ongoing and broad-based evaluation by faculty and/or field supervisors. Decisions regarding continuance of studies will be predicated on a combination of factors such as demonstrated clinical skills and other relevant professional competencies in addition to grades in coursework.

Under certain conditions, a counseling department committee may ask students to do one or more of the following:

  1. Interrupt their program for a specified period of time.
  2. Engage in a therapeutic relationship with a qualified mental health specialist for the purpose of remediation or for the purpose of decreasing behaviors that detract from the ability to provide a constructive helping relationship with others.
  3. Submit for review additional supportive evidence that demonstrates competence in the skill areas deemed deficient via presentations of skills.
  4. Limit enrollment to those courses that do not have a significant experiential component for a specified period of time.

Admission to Candidacy

  1. All students must apply through the department for admission to candidacy. This should be done during the semester CNS 585 - Practicum in Counseling Credits: 3  is scheduled and in conjunction with advisement.
  2. The purposes of candidacy are to ensure students are integrating material from the classroom to real-life experiences, to verify professional goals are specific and focused, to determine if students have formulated a realistic view of what they need to do to become effective professionals, and to ensure students can express themselves regarding controversial issues in the field.
  3. Candidates are evaluated with respect to aptitude, competency, and potential for completing the requirements of their requested program.
  4. Specific procedures for admission to candidacy are outlined in the Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel’s Student Manual made available online at

Practicum and Field Internships

The Department of Counseling and College Student Personnel offers a 60-hour graduate curriculum that enables students to become eligible for licensure as a professional counselor in Pennsylvania. Practicum and field students must complete all required paperwork the semester prior to their intended practicum or field. Missed deadlines will delay students’ enrollment in practicum and field.

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