State Report for 2009 Reaccreditation Visit Peabody College of Vanderbilt University Department of Human and Organizational Development

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1 State Report for 2009 Reaccreditation Visit Peabody College of Vanderbilt University Department of Human and Organizational Development THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT COUNSELING PROGRAM School Counselor PreK-12 Licensure PURPOSE The primary purpose for the master s degree program in School Counseling is to train knowledgeable, competent, and skillful professional counselors to provide guidance and counseling services which meet the academic, social, psychological, and emotional needs of students, PreK-12. Both HDC (community agency and school counseling) programs are fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Human Development Counseling Program has been accredited by CACREP since In addition, the School Counseling Program is approved by the Tennessee State Department of Education. HDC PROGRAM OBJECTIVES The objectives listed below represent the major program objectives for all students in Human Development Counseling. The more specific objectives related to each of these provide the skeletal framework for the coursework offered to students and thus will be found in each course syllabus. To provide students with a thorough and comprehensive knowledge base in those areas of the social/behavioral sciences applicable to the helping profession. This includes a special emphasis on life-span human development. To aid students in the acquisition of counseling and helping skills such as individual counseling, supervision, testing, consulting, group work, interviewing, diagnosis, and assessment. To provide students with a knowledge of the organization and administration of human service agencies or schools as well as clarity regarding the role of the professional counselor in each of these settings. To educate students in research/evaluation tools relevant to the delivery of helping services in a community agency, school, or corporate setting. To introduce students to the wide scope of diverse populations they will encounter in their work settings. SCHOOL COUNSELING TRACK The HDC program in School Counseling is based on the American School Counseling Association National Model and the Tennessee state model for professional school counseling. The school counseling program is a two-year, entry level training program requiring the successful completion of a 48- semester-hour Program of Studies. The program also requires a full-year, 700 clock hour supervised field experience in a school setting and a written comprehensive examination or completion of a thesis to earn the Master of Education degree. 1

2 The knowledge base for the program is derived primarily from the field of counseling but also includes the fields of life-span developmental psychology, social psychology, educational psychology, teaching and learning, and special education. Because the HDC program also offers a master s degree in Community Agency counseling, students in both tracks work in conjunction on the foundational coursework representing the domains mentioned above. Students in the HDC program have access to coursework and faculty in the Departments of Psychology and Human Development, Special Education, Teaching and Learning at Peabody College, as well as the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Science. Admission into the program requires the following: Completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of B or higher (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). Submission of test results indicating either a minimum score of 1000 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or a minimum score of 50 on the Miller s Analogy Test (MAT). Submission of three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the candidate s ability to successfully complete graduate level work and/or the appropriateness of this program for the candidate. Submission of a Letter of Career Aspiration which includes a description of the candidate s history related to helping others as well as career goals and aspirations. This information enables the admissions committee to determine the candidate s appropriateness for entrance into the program and also provides a sample of the candidate s writing skills. An interview or review of the candidate s application by a HDC faculty member. The HDC program is viewed as a two-year training program, although students may choose to take longer to complete it. Within the two-year framework, the first year is seen as a time for foundational and theoretical coursework, as well as skill building curriculum. Students do, however, receive field experience during their first year. A pre-practicum skills development course requires a one-day shadowing assignment. The second semester of the first year includes a 100-hour supervised practicum field experience. The second year features two 300-hour, semester-long internship placements. These three semesters of field experience, conducted in PreK - 12 school settings, cover a total of 700 clock hours, with one semester each spent in elementary, middle, and high school settings. During field experiences, the student works under the direct supervision of a licensed school counselor (mentor counselor) and an on-campus faculty member. Required experiences include individual and group counseling, teacher and parent consultation, cooperative relationship building in schools, and the development of partnerships with community stakeholders. Additionally, the intern participates in a 1 ½ hour weekly seminar with 4-6 other student interns and a faculty supervisor. As part of this course a 1-hour individual supervision session is held biweekly with that same faculty supervisor. The field placements in coordination with university coursework are designed to not only provide on-site experiences from Pre-Kindergarten through 12 th grade in diverse school settings, but also to give students the opportunity to analyze, learn, and grow from these experiences. Over the three semesters of field experience, students must accumulate 100 hours of classroom guidance or instructional experience and observation. If these hours are counseling related, they may be applied toward the 700-hours required for practicum/internship. 2

3 The HDC program enjoys a fine working relationship with the public school systems in Davidson and Williamson Counties, as well as many private schools. Mentors are licensed school counselors with a minimum of two years of school experience and evidence of current professional knowledge. Alternative License Type 1 Program at Vanderbilt We (along with other Vanderbilt programs) have participated in the interim licensing process with Metropolitan Nashville Schools and Williamson County Schools. In the past, students with completed master s counseling degrees outside school counseling and/or second-year school counseling master s students have been allowed to be employed as a school counselor on Interim A licenses. In 2007, Vanderbilt University made a decision to stop participating in the Interim/Alternative licensing process for its student teachers. School counseling students, however, as professional counselors or second-year school counseling graduate students, were determined by the University to be an exception. A new policy was drafted and put into place for the HDC School Counseling program in Under the new policy, only interns recommended by the HDC department who have completed a master s program in counseling and/or hold National Certification or LPC distinction would be allowed to participate in the Alternative Type I licensure process. Vanderbilt s school counseling program has many interns each year who have completed Master s degrees and own (or are actively pursuing) National Certified Counselor and/or Licensed Professional Counselor/Mental Health Service Provider Credentials. A number of these interns have returned to Peabody to complete the requirements for School Counselor licensure. These students would all have at least one year of supervised internship experience and in some cases years of professional counseling experience already completed. The Tennessee Board of Education provides for candidates who hold a graduate degree in community/agency counseling to be employed on an Alternative License Type I. For this reason, HDC has an agreement with the State of Tennessee for our students to allow us to continue to attract top students/professionals to our program and to facilitate their employment while they complete the final requirements for full recommendation for the School Counseling PreK-12 license in Tennessee. UPDATES The School Counseling program has doubled its enrollment over the last three years. Since the last report in 2002, the program replaced Professor Richard Percy, who organized, taught in, and administered the program for almost 30 years. Dr. Percy retired in The HDC Program Director, Gina Frieden, oversaw the school counseling track on an interim basis until From , Dr. Lori Schnieders was the school counseling coordinator. Dr. 3

4 Schnieders received her doctorate at the University of Missouri-Columbia, home to Dr. Norm Gysbers, whose comprehensive school counseling model provides the basis for the ASCA national model and Tennessee state model for professional school counseling. Dr. Schnieders was replaced by Dr. Andrew Finch in Dr. Finch is the current school counseling coordinator, and he is a graduate of the HDC program (spring 1996). Dr. Finch was a student of Dr. Percy and program founder, Dr. Roger Aubrey. He brings many years as a licensed professional school counselor and school administrator in Tennessee to the program. Other than coordinating the school counseling program, Dr. Finch teaches three required courses (HDC 3660: Developmental Counseling Psychology, HDC 3470: Psychology of Careers, and HDC 3340: Foundations of School Counseling). While Dr. Finch is the only full-time faculty member assigned to the school counseling track, a number of talented adjuncts assist. Mitzi Shewmake (an HDC graduate and professional school counselor) and Carlene Ford (with over 20 years as a Metro Nashville Public Schools counselor) are clinical supervisors and internship course instructors. Dr. Kellie Hargis, a Metro schools assistant principal and former Director of School Counseling for the State Department of Education, also teaches three required courses (HDC 3420: Theories and Techniques of Counseling Children and Adolescents, HDC 3600: Social, Legal, and Ethic Issues in School Counseling, and HDC 3470: Psychology of Careers). After a few years of limited enrollment due to transition from the prior coordinator, currently there are 10 second-year students in the program and 10 first-year students. HDC typically admits students per year with a goal of having an equal number of students in both tracks: school and community. School counseling students have been successful in passing state-required PRAXIS examinations. For the cadre of nine 2005/2006 students who were recommended for the School Counselor PreK-12 endorsement in Tennessee, the average of scores for the PRAXIS II School Guidance and Counseling specialty exam (code 420) is 699. For six recommend in 2006/2007, the average is 690; for five recommended in 2007/2008, the average is 684. The minimum acceptable score for that test in Tennessee is 580. The School Counseling Program is approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program has taken steps over the last three years to align with the ASCA National Model, which was not in existence during the last visit. The 4

5 ASCA model was the template for Tennessee s state model. Additionally, state guidelines for school counseling programs were modified in 2007, and HDC has made modifications to remain in compliance. Program improvements have included: Now require one semester of clinical training (700 hours over one practicum semester and two internship semesters) in all three levels of schooling (elementary, middle, and high school). Previously, students were placed at all three levels during the 100 hour practicum (about 30 hours/school), and then spent 600 hours all at one level over two internship semesters. The Foundations of School Counseling course is now aligned with the ASCA National Model. The course has been moved to the first semester of coursework to help prepare students for their practicum placement. A one-day shadowing experience is a combined assignment for the first semester prepracticum course and Foundations of School Counseling. The program continues to consider how to provide school counseling-specific instruction within its curriculum. The Ethics course will be offered as a school counseling ethics course for the first time in Spring Group Dynamics is now cotaught by a professional school counselor (beginning May 2008), as is Practicum (beginning Fall 2008). HDC has long offered a one-day workshop for site supervisors. Beginning in Fall 2008, a school counselor specific workshop was offered for the first time. Plans are to hold a second such workshop for practicum supervisors in January Henceforth, two workshops will be held annually for school counseling site supervisors. Schools counselors are now urged to take the National Counselors Exam (NCE). In the past, few did, as it is not a licensure requirement. However, many districts (including Metro Nashville) are now recognizing this certification as a national board certification under the highly qualified rubric for No Child Left Behind. This makes our graduates eligible for a higher pay grade, as well as more prepared should they decide to pursue a community counseling license in the future. Director of Teacher Licensure, Chris LaFevor, now manages all licensure files for our school counseling students/graduates, as she has for the teaching students for years. This has made our licensure accounting more seamless. The HDC program is exploring how to better train counselors for the classroom, and is in discussion with Dr. Alene Harris, the classroom management expert in the Teaching and Learning department, about possibly leading a section of HDC 3871: Orientation to the Classroom. 5

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