Requirements Common to the Mental Health and School Counseling Programs

Because uniform program requirements would be inappropriate for students wishing to work in a variety of settings, students take courses in their chosen area of specialization, and with their advisors select elective courses in each of the program areas that meet the individual student's needs. These electives should be based on a foundation of Counselor Education core and required specialty area courses. The Mental Health and School Counseling programs include a twenty-nine (29) semester-hour common core in areas considered necessary for all professional counselors. The courses in this common core are the building blocks for professional counselors, regardless of their work settings. These are based on the 2001 standards published by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). All students in the Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling programs take courses in the following areas:

* Helping relationship and basic helping skills * Lifestyle and career development

* Professional identity, orientation, and ethics * Multicultural counseling

* Counseling theory * Measurement and appraisal

* Group theory, dynamics, and process * Research and evaluation

Field Experience

In addition to the common core courses listed above, the Mental Health and School counseling programs include additional specialized course work and supervised counseling experiences providing preparation for different work settings. All students are required to complete a 100-hour practicum experience. Students in the School Counseling program must then complete a minimum of six (6) credit hours in a supervised counseling internship. Students in the Mental Health Counseling program complete a minimum of nine (9) credit hours in a supervised counseling internship. All internship placements are based on the student’s intended work setting. A minimum of 100 on-site hours is required for each 1-semester hour of internship credit. We include additional information on practicum and internship experiences specific to the Mental Health and School counseling programs.

Common Core Courses Required for Students in the Mental Health and School Counseling Programs

The common core courses (28 credit hours) listed below are required for students in the Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling programs. Advisors must approve any transfer courses (a maximum of 6 credits). Note that all skills-based classes (e.g., Essential Skills, Practicum, Internship) must be taken at the University of Virginia for credit to be applied for degree programs in Counselor Education. Additional courses required for the program options are listed on the following pages. Common core courses and courses required within each program option are not necessarily offered every semester. Thus, it is essential for student to work closely with their advisors to plan schedules in order to avoid graduation delays. For descriptions of specific course offerings, consult the University of Virginia Graduate Record (also available at http://www.virginia.edu/~regist/gradrec/).