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Offering Master of Science (M.S.) and 6th Year Certificate of Advanced Study Degrees
We have a long tradition of preparing our graduates for outstanding careers in professional counseling and seek students interested in personal as well as professional growth.
The Counseling Program promotes academic excellence, personal responsibility, and commitment to community service. Our curriculum is offered in an international, culturally diverse, supportive learning environment which prepares counselors for leadership in our increasingly interconnected world.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration is designed to prepare students to function effectively in public or private agencies that provide direct services to clients with mental health and substance abuse issues. Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration are eligible for licensure as professional counselors (L.P.C.) in Connecticut. 60 credits are required for the masters degree and licensure in Connecticut and most other states. This program may be accomplished on a full-time or part-time basis.
The Master of Science in Counseling offers three concentrations:
- College Student Personnel -prepares students for careers in higher education
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students for careers in community counseling, substance abuse treatment, crisis counseling centers and mental health
- Human Services prepares students for careers in social service agencies
Students in each concentration share a core counseling curriculum with the remaining coursework selected based upon their chosen concentration. All counseling students complete a supervised field and internship experience in their area of concentration, college student personnel, Clinical Mental Health counseling/mental health, or human services.
Coursework for Adult Learners and Professionals
The Master of Science in Counseling degree program runs coursework evenings (beginning at 4pm) and weekends to meet the needs of working adults. With the help of a personal academic advisor, each student completes the program at his or her own pace. Core courses build counseling knowledge and counseling skills in the following areas:
- Human growth and development
- The helping relationship
- Lifestyle and career development
- Research and evaluation
- Social and cultural foundations
- Professional orientation, ethics and behavior
There are three dimensions to your development as a counselor:
- Your personal growth and development (you as a person who counsels)
- Your intellectual growth and development (your professional knowledge)
- Your counseling skill set
Our curriculum is designed to address all three dimensions, inspiring personal growth, building professional knowledge and honing counseling skills. These aspects of counselor development are important to all counseling students irrespective of their specific career path.
6th Year Program
The 6th Year Program is designed for students who have achieved a masters degree applicable to counseling or related field and need to supplement their coursework in clinical mental health skills and appraisal procedures. This advanced 30 credit program offers core courses in substance abuse counseling, psychopharmacology, evidence based therapies, and counseling special populations. In addition an internship/practicum in clinical mental health is required.
The Division of Counseling offers a Master of Science degree in Counseling with concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Human Services, and College Student Personnel. In addition to the masters degree, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) is offered for those who wish to take specialized courses beyond the masters and/or complete licensure requirements. Students who apply to one program and wish to transfer to another must apply to change programs.
Upon entry into a program, students plan an individualized plan of studies with their advisor in which graduate transfer credit of no more than six credits may be included. While students can take courses at their own pace, all of the counseling degree programs require a minimum of two years to complete. There is a set sequence of courses for each concentration and some courses have prerequisites. Courses are offered once a year, typically in the evening or on weekends. In addition, there is a seven year time limit for completion of all degree requirements.
Typically students take two or three courses each term. Many students have full or part-time employment. Although it is possible to take all course work in the late afternoon, evening, or on weekends, some additional time during the day may be required to meet course expectations. This is especially true for internship placement.
Students interested in licensure should consult the state in which they wish to practice for specific requirements. The State of Connecticut requires 60 credit masters degree. Specific areas of coursework are also required. In addition, candidates for licensure must complete supervised clinical experiences and obtain a qualifying score on a standardized examination. Students who wish to pursue licensure should select the Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration.
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study
For individuals who hold a masters degree in Counseling or a closely related field but lack one or more of the requirements for licensure as a professional counselor, we offer a specialized program of study leading to a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The requirements of this program are individualized to the needs and goals of each student and consist of 30 credits.
The practicum is designed to allow students to develop their counseling skills in a closely supervised setting. The course instructor, students advisor, and site supervisor determine appropriate practicum activities. Activities could include observing/shadowing, attending staff meetings, tutoring, advising, interviewing professional staff members, studying materials and procedure manuals, and other support functions.
Following the practicum and pre-requisite courses, students will pursue an internship. The goal of the internship is to further develop and refine the skills established during practicum. You are eligible for the internship component of your program after completing the required coursework and approval from faculty. The internship is the heart of the masters degree training program in Counseling at the University of Bridgeport (UB). It provides a venue within which students receive the guidance necessary for development as an entry-level counselor. Program faculties provide didactic and experiential training, which serves as the foundation for the development of skills necessary for independent work in clinical settings. The internship operationalizes this training and, in the person of the clinical supervisor, personifies the profession with which the intern ideally identifies. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to the type of internship site that you choose and you should discuss this closely with your advisor. Successful internship training can only occur when program faculty and site supervisors form a close collaborative relationship with the mission of providing quality training and the development of the intern as a whole person. Internships are not guaranteed and approval to attend internship is dependent upon students performance both interpersonally and academically. Internships must be completed over two semesters, typically over the course of a full academic year, starting in the fall and ending in the spring.
The internship is the heart of the masters degree program in Counseling at UB. It provides a venue within which students receive the guidance necessary for development as an entry-level counselor. Program faculties provide didactic and experiential training, serving as the foundation for the development of skills necessary for independent work in clinical settings.
Internships are not guaranteed and approval to attend internship is dependent upon academic performance. Internships must be completed over two semesters, typically over the course of a full academic year, starting in the fall and ending in the spring. Supervised field and internship experience is critical to counselor development and job placement. With the help of an internship advisor, two semesters of supervised internship or practicum are completed at an approved site determined by the students respective concentration. This intense experience adds perspective to each students individual learning experience.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Two 300-hour semester internships, for a total of 600 hours
College Student Personnel
- Two 250-hour semester internships, for a total of 500 hours
- A reduction in hours may be granted for those students who hold an approved graduate assistantship or an approved full-time position in student affairs
- Two 250-hour semester internships, for a total of 500 hours
Counseling, 6th Year
- If required, two 300-hour semester internships, for a total of 600 hours
The objectives of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration foster the individual growth and professional development of students, preparing them for careers as licensed professional counselors who provide psychotherapy services.
- Graduates will have a basic knowledge foundation in the areas of legal, ethical, professional issues in counseling, social and cultural foundations, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, appraisal, evidence based therapy, research methods and program evaluation.
- Graduates will be prepared for a career in counseling for using their counseling, consultation assessment skills effectively.
- Graduates will demonstrate competence in the skill areas of individual counseling, family counseling, group counseling, consultation, and overall clinical work.
Personal characteristics students cultivate in our program include:
- Self-reflection skills
- Determination and confidence
- Leadership skills
- Sound decision making skills
- Strong organizational and managerial skills
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Communication and motivational skills
- Familiarity with information technology
Upon completion of the program students will be prepared to work in a variety of settings including:
- Mental health counseling centers
- Career centers
- Substance abuse treatment centers
- Crisis counseling centers
- Other clinical mental health agencies offering counseling services
The University is accredited by the State of Connecticut Board of Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Professional association guidelines and standards are followed within the program, an d the Clinical Mental Health Concentration closely follows the guidelines provided by the Connecticut Department of Public Health for the licensing of professional counseling.