Program Mission & Goals
The Master of Science in Counseling program is designed to develop professional counselors and to prepare students for further graduate study in related doctoral programs. The program promotes scholarship, professionalism and excellence in counseling, and recognizes high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence.
Professional counselors practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, schools, colleges, universities, rehabilitation facilities, community counseling agencies, court systems, and other settings in which counseling or other mental health services are offered. Graduates are prepared throughout their program of study in regard to professional identity, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment, and research. It is recognized that advances in knowledge, skills, and technology within the profession require life-long continuing education for counselors.
Accreditation of universities and university programs is voluntary. Universities and programs within universities choose to seek accreditation to ensure that their programs meet the highest academic and professional standards.
State counseling licensure boards and school counselor certification agencies require that students have graduate degrees from universities that are regionally accredited. In addition, most jobs require that graduate degrees be granted from accredited universities. LSUS is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate and master's degrees.
The LSUS College of Education and Human Development is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Some states offer special consideration to graduates of NCATE accredited programs when they apply for state certification as school counselors.
The MSC program is based upon the practitioner--scientist model of training. While professional counselors work primarily in applied settings, it is important for them to be knowledgeable consumers of scientific literature. The program places primary emphasis on counseling related skills and theory. A secondary emphasis is placed on teaching research design and methodology to maintain the relationship between clinical practice and its empirical basis.
The program encourages the use of a wellness model. Although professional counselors are trained to recognize and treat pathology, they utilize this model to assess a client's level of functioning and assist the client to reach his or her optimal level of well-being. Cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems are viewed from a developmental perspective in that various stages of life present problems that must be addressed in order to progress successfully to the next stage of life. The program develops in students the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to provide mental health services to increase the quality of life for clients across the lifespan.