Post Master s School Counseling Specialization

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1 Oakland University Post Master s School Counseling Specialization Student Program Guide (248)

2 POST-MASTER S SCHOOL COUNSELING SPECIALIZATION PROGRAM GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS Role of the Professional Development Office 2 Registration and Billing 2 Scheduling of Classes and Sites 3 Course and Instructor Evaluation 3 The Cohort What It Means to be a Member 3 General Information 4 Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course 4 Incomplete Grades 4 Disputing a Grade 4 Petitions of Exception 5 Communication 5 Obtaining the School Counselor License 6 Preparing for Employment in a School 6 List of Required Courses 8 How to Contact Us 9 Revised

3 CONGRATULATIONS! Congratulations on being accepted into the Post-Master s School Counseling Specialization. We have put together these materials so that you clearly understand the nature of a cohort, program requirements, services that are available to you and our expectations of your professional conduct. This information is the result of considerable experience with this program and the procedures participants need to know and the staff wants to communicate. Referring to this document will save all of us many s and telephone calls. THE ROLE OF THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICE The Office of Professional Development in collaboration with the Department of Counseling supports the School Counseling Specialization. For participants in this program, the PD department handles Registration Scheduling of Classes and Sites Student Problem Resolution Course and Instructor Evaluation Liaison to the Graduate Office Registration and Billing: Registration for all core courses in the program will be done through the Professional Development Office. You will receive your registration in one of several ways. 1. form in the mail or via with a deadline indicating when it must be returned. 2. message indicating the course number and section number with instructions on how to register via Oakland University s electronic system. 3. Send your registration forms to the Professional Development Office before the stated deadline or register via the web before the stated deadline It is very important that you meet the deadline so that if there are registration problems, they can be worked out before the beginning of class. Class lists are prepared in advance. If you do not register by the deadline, your name may not appear on the class roster. Send no money. You will be invoiced by Oakland University s student accounts department shortly after you register or at the beginning of the semester. If you do not receive an invoice or your name doesn t appear on the official course roster by the end of the 3 rd week of the semester, please notify us immediately. There may be a problem with your registration. If, for some reason, you have an outstanding balance for tuition or fees from a preceding semester, we will not be able to register you. Please make sure your balances are paid before sending in your registration

4 For extra courses that are required by the Department of Counseling (CNS 561 & 571 and the school counseling internship) you must register through the traditional method for Oakland University courses via the web or in person. Scheduling of Classes and Sites Every effort will be made to schedule courses on a predictable schedule throughout the program. Occasionally rescheduling of instructors or sites are necessary and beyond our control. We will keep in contact with you routinely and give you a heads-up on anything new. Providing us with changes in your address, phone number and address is critical to our ability to reach you. Most of our communications with you will be via . If you change your address, notify us immediately! Course and Instructor Evaluation All instructors who teach in this program are actively involved in either the school counseling field or in the K-12 school system. You will be asked to evaluate the course and instruction at the end of the semester. If your instructor is new to the course or to the program, he/she will also be evaluated at the semester mid-point. This gives the instructor an opportunity to know what is going well and what may need to be changed before the semester is over. Your cooperation in providing us with specific, detailed and constructive feedback is very important to this process THE COHORT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MEMBER A dictionary definition of cohort is A group or band united in a struggle. As part of this cohort you will become a member of a close-knit group of people united in attaining a common goal a school counselor license. Planned Courses Practically, being a cohort member means that you will be taking courses in a planned sequence as they are offered. Everyone in your cohort will take the same core program courses and will finish, barring any unforeseen circumstances, at approximately the same time. The cohort provides support and encouragement to its members. Keeping Up with Your Cohort To stay within the cohort core courses must be taken as they are offered a minimum grade point of 3.0 must be maintained If for reasons beyond your control, you drop out of your cohort, you may (with permission) pick up the program in the next round. Because there are courses that are unique to this program and must be taken in sequence, it is impossible to drop out one semester and re-enter the next. You will have to join the next cohort that will begin the following fall semester. Rumor Control Because of the closeness of its members, rumors tend to run rampant in a cohort. To minimize anxiety for your fellow classmates, before you pass on information make sure it

5 is accurate. When you hear something that you think needs clarification, please talk to your program administrator in the Professional Development and Education Outreach Office and check it out. GENERAL INFORMATION Dropping or Withdrawing from a Course A list of critical dates to drop a class without penalty (refund of tuition) and to withdraw from a class will be sent to you with your registration material each semester. Critical dates are also included in the front section of the University Schedule of Classes for each semester. Dropping a Class If you intend to drop a class within the specified time limit, please notify the Administrative Secretary in the Professional Development Office immediately by fax or . Include your name, student number and the course name and number you wish to drop. Withdrawing From a Class. After the drop period, should you wish to withdraw from a class, you may do so within the period allowed for withdrawal (see critical dates for the semester) Simply notifying the instructor and/or ceasing to attend class does not relieve you from the obligation of officially withdrawing. Students must officially withdraw from a course by sending a letter of intent by certified mail or FAX ( ) to the Professional Development Office, School of Education and Human Services, Oakland University, Rochester, MI Your signature, student ID number (your social security number), course title and number must be included on any notice of withdrawal. Failure to withdraw will result in a failing grade. Incomplete Grades The I (Incomplete) Grade: The I grade is temporary and may be given only after the cut-off date for use of the W (withdrawal) grade. It is used in the case of severe hardship beyond the control of a student that prevents him or her from completing course requirements. Course work to remove an "I" grade must be completed within one year. If the course requirements are not completed within that period, the "I" grade will become permanent. A student who wishes to receive an Incomplete grade in a course must notify the instructor and send a letter by certified mail or fax ( ) to the Professional Development Office. School of Education and Human Services, Oakland University, Rochester, MI The letter must state the reason the student you are unable to complete course work. Accompanying the letter must be a statement written and signed by the instructor indicating his or her willingness to grant the I grade and the schedule he or she sets for completing the term's work. Disputing a Grade Occasionally students will receive a grade that is different from what they expected

6 To resolve a dispute about a grade, follow the procedure below: Step One: Contact the instructor and inquire how the grade was determined. If the grade is to be changed, a grade change form must be signed by the instructor and submitted to the office of Professional Development. The Change of Grade form is available from the P.D. Office. Step Two: If the dispute has not been resolved, write a letter to the Director of Professional Development stating your reasons for the change of grade and your attempts to resolve it with the instructor. Include any pertinent documentation. Stick to facts and omit subjective information. The Director will talk with you and the instructor to resolve the dispute. Step Three: If the dispute has not been resolved in step two, your letter and a report from the Director of Professional Development will be submitted to the Chair of the Teacher Development and Educational Studies Department. Step Four: If the dispute has not been resolved during the preceding steps, you may appeal to the Dean of the School of Education and Human Services whose decision is final. Note: You must follow the steps in sequence. There is a protocol for a grade change and no steps can be skipped. Petitions of Exception: If you have taken education courses and they are no older than 6 years, they may be allowed to replace one or more of the core courses. If you have taken school counseling courses that you believe may replace either one of the core courses or the additional courses that are required by the Department of Counseling, you may petition to have a course waived. To petition to have a course waived, follow this procedure 1. Fill out a Petition of Exception Form (available from the Professional Development Office). 2. Include a syllabus from the course (usually available on-line at the institution you attended) 3. Write a strong rationale as to why this course should be waived. 4. Include a transcript with the course listed on it. 5. Submit the petition to the Professional Development Office Staff and the faculty advisor for the program will review the petition and a copy of your petition will be returned to you either approved or denied. The original petition will be kept in your file. Communication The Program Administrator, faculty, and internship coordinator are here to help you with any difficulties you may have. It is important to keep in touch and communicate

7 regularly with them about potential problems with registration, courses, scheduling, and internships. See the last page of this handout for who to contact. OBTAINING YOUR SCHOOL COUNSELOR LICENSE There are two steps to obtaining your school counselor license. 1. Preliminary authorization for a license 2. Full license To apply for your preliminary authorization, you must have A Master s in Counseling Degree (or approved equivalent) Completed all of the core courses (12 credits) Completed any extra course work (CNS 561 & 571 or equivalent) Taken and passed the guidance counselor exam (commonly know as test #51) that is part the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification. Registration bulletins are available at the Advising Office of the School of Education and Human Services (3 rd Floor of the new Education Building) or by calling The test is administered quarterly October, January, April and July. Registration deadlines are generally 4 or 5 weeks before the test is administered. Filled out an application form and submitted it to the Department of Counseling To apply for your full school counselor license, you must have Completed all the steps listed above under the preliminary authorization Completed an internship in a K-12 school Filled out an application form and other required paper work for the internship and submitted it to the Department of Counseling. If you have fulfilled all the required steps for a full license, you may skip the preliminary authorization. The preliminary authorization allows you to look for and become employed in a school counseling position and, if possible, complete your internship on the job. For information about the internship and the semesters the class is offered, talk to the Internship Coordinator in the Department of Counseling and refer to the Oakland University Schedule of Classes. PREPARING FOR EMPLOYMENT IN A SCHOOL Networking If you have not developed contacts within school districts, taking time during this program to do so is very important. This will give the school personnel an opportunity to get to know you, learn about your goals and assess your skills

8 Professionalism During the Internship Your internship (student teaching) placement is an opportunity to show school personnel what kind of employee you might be. A few ideas about how to demonstrate your professionalism are listed below: Remember (unless you are employed there) you are a guest in the building. Dress professionally until you determine the appropriate dress code for personnel in the building. (Business casual is professional. No jeans, sneakers, sweatshirts or t-shirts.) Remember you are still a novice school counselor. Negative comments and criticism of the school, its administration, its teachers or students are not appropriate. Confidentiality issues are just as important in a school as they are in an agency or private practice. Address students by name Be positive and open to learning during the experience Use an experienced school counselor, the university internship coordinator and other interns as allies and coaches. Talking to Employers about your School Counselor License and Your Skills as a Potential School Counselor. Legislation was passed in the summer of 2000 that permitted individuals without a teaching certificate to become school counselors. The Oakland University Department of Counseling sent a letter to every school district explaining our program and the legislation that supports it. However, some districts still prefer the counselors they hire to be certified teachers with counseling degrees. Some districts may still not be aware that the rules have changed. As you apply for school counseling positions, you should be ready to Demonstrate your familiarity with the school environment, curriculum development and the role and tasks of the school counselor. Use what you have learned in your School Counseling Specialization coursework. Emphasize the counseling skills you bring to the job. Emphasize the new ideas you would bring to the job based on your research of the school s needs. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and skills for working with children. Explain, if necessary, that a teaching certificate is no longer required for employment as a school counselor. Expand your job search as widely as possible

9 POST-MASTER S SCHOOL COUNSELING SPECIALIZATION PROGRAM COURSE SEQUENCE* Core Courses Summer 2007 Orientation to the Program Fall 2007 CIL 500 Introduction to Teaching and the Schools (2 credits) CIL 511 Learning Theories (2 credits) Winter 2008 CIL 554 Advanced Interaction Laboratory For Teacher Development (4 credits) SE 500 Introduction to the Student with Special Needs (2 credits) Spring 2008 CNS 688 Seminar in Current Issues in School Counseling ** (2 credits) *Sequence of courses may be changed due to availability of instructors/sites. ** CNS 561/571 or equivalent must be taken before CNS 688 See box below Additional courses required to be recommended for school counselor license. Winter 2008 CNS 561 Introduction to School Counseling (2 credits) CNS 571 Consultation Theory and Practice (2 credits Offered Fall 2007, Winter 2008 and Fall 2008 CNS 666 School Based Internship (may be completed on the job if employed in a school counseling position) 4 credits All applicants for School Counselor License must pass the Michigan Test for Guidance and Counseling (#51 on the MTTC). This test is offered quarterly in July, October, January and April

10 HOW TO CONTACT US Professional Development and Education Outreach Office Main Number: FAX Number: Edwina Castone, Administrative Secretary Lisa Reeves, Executive Director Department of Counseling Main Number: Cathy Trahan, Internship Coordinator Barbara Smith, Administrative Secretary and Processor of Recommendations for License Telephone: Student Accounts Phone:

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