Mark D. Nelson, Ed.D., LCPC, NCSC, ACS
Associate Professor
Graduate Coordinator
Program Leader in School Counseling

Curriculum Vita

 

Department of Health & Human Development
College of Education, Health & Human Development
Montana State University - Bozeman

Office: 406.994.3810
Fax: 406.994.2013

markn@montana.edu

 

305 Herrick Hall
Please contact me for an appointment.

School Counseling Program
Montana State University, Bozeman

 

Program Overview

Program Goals

Proposed Schedule

 

 

 

Courses: Syllabi and Notes  |  Montana School Counseling  |  Counseling Links

 

Program Overview

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The Master of Education School Counseling option is designed to prepare students to work in public or private schools as professional counselors. The School Counseling option is a 48-credit master's degree, and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Upon completion, students are eligible to apply for certification as a school counselor with the Montana Office of Public Instruction. School counselors in Montana can be certified with a Class 6 (Specialist) certificate (for those without a Montana teaching certificate), or certified with a Guidance and Counseling endorsement on a Montana teaching certificate.

There are two options for School Counseling certification: 1) Montana requires that the applicant be a certified teacher in Montana and have three years of teaching experience. The state Office of Public Instruction in Helena, Montana determines what constitutes three years of teaching. The applicant must have a valid teaching certificate. 2) A Class 6 credential category: A counselor can be endorsed as a school counselor by completing a master's degree in counseling with a 600-hour internship in the public schools (without a teaching certificate).

The program includes a counseling practicum (200 hours) and an internship (600 hours) totaling 800 hours of supervised counseling practice, and course work related to each of the CACREP core areas. Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in Montana must complete a 60-credit master's degree, which includes six credits of practicum and an internship experience, and 3000 hours of supervised counseling experience (1500 hours must be completed after graduation). If school counseling students complete an additional 12 credits (3 credits of which must be a second semester of practicum) they may apply for licensure as a licensed professional counselor with the Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors after completing post-graduate, supervised counseling experience in the field. Students acquire 800 hours (1000 hours with a second practicum) of supervised counseling experience prior to graduation, which can be applied to the 3000 hours of supervised experience needed prior to licensure.

Because school counseling requires high levels of professional maturity and interpersonal skills, the curriculum offers a number of experiential learning courses which are designed to foster students' personal development, relationship skills, and professional orientation. The courses include self-exploration and skill acquisition regarding personal values, professional issues, personal and professional relationships, and group dynamics. The courses offer opportunities for development of cohesive relations between students through self-disclosure, empathic listening, feedback, and role plays.

Competent counseling practice is informed and guided by theory. The program emphasizes thorough knowledge of clients' developmental and social contexts. Theory-based approaches to individual, family, and group counseling are covered in depth. During counseling practicum, students are closely supervised in their use of knowledge about clients and counseling theories. Students counsel school-aged children as well as adults and elders. Supervised practice continues and is expanded during internship. Upon completion of their internship, students will have met CACREP standards for training experience in school counseling.

School counseling students take a common core of classes with students from the Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Counseling programs. This core of course work provides all students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be a professional counselor and follows the standards developed by CACREP. In addition, students in the School Counseling option also study aspects of counseling germane to the school setting. These include school counseling program development, working with children and adolescents, professional issues in school counseling, and a 600-hour internship in a school setting. The program focuses on a comprehensive and developmental approach to designing and implementing a school counseling program, and follows the standards developed by the American School Counselor Association. The program emphasis strives to provide the necessary self-awareness, knowledge, and skills for counseling students to become competent and capable professional school counselors.

 

Program Goals

In addition to providing a core foundation in the profession of counseling, the School Counseling program promotes he development of a school counseling program based upon national standards developed by the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) through a variety of didactic and applied course experiences.

Students will develop skills to design, deliver, and evaluate school counseling programs.

A school counseling program is comprehensive, developmental, systematic, sequential, clearly defined, and accountable. It is jointly founded upon developmental psychology, educational philosophy, and counseling methodology. The program is proactive and preventive in its focus. It assists students in acquiring and using life-long learning skills. More specifically, it enhances academics, career awareness, basic work skills, self-awareness, relationship, communication, and life success skills for all students.

 

Students will acquire the knowledge and skills for coordination and collaboration.

Counselors do not work alone. All educators play a role in creating an environment that promotes the achievement of identified student goals and outcomes. The school counselor and school counseling program use a collaborative model as their foundation. The counselor facilitates relationships with teaching staff, administration, families, agencies, businesses, and other members of the community. Working in cooperation with student service personnel, teaching staff, administration, families, community services providers, and businesses, school counselors establish positive linkages for the benefit of students. School success depends upon the cooperation and support of the entire faculty, staff, and student services personnel.

 

Students will gain skills in consultation and case management, and design guidance curricula.

As professional educators, school counselors are committed to participate as members of the educational team. They collaborate with teachers, administrators, and parents to assist students to be successful academically, vocationally, and personally. School counselors must be recognized as indispensable partners of the instructional staff in the development of good citizens and leaders. As schools and communities initiate and establish partnerships to address common concerns, it is important that these efforts are implemented in a manner that facilitates the educational process and the full use of school and other community resources on behalf of children and their families.

 

Students will understand and appreciate the present and future needs of a pluralistic society.

Our nation is rich in multicultural diversity. Effective school counseling programs and staff reflect and are responsive to the diversity in our schools and communities. Effective school counseling programs serve all students, and acknowledge that diversity and individual differences are valuable to all. The programs and staff ensure that communication is open, and that the community is represented as counseling programs are developed and implemented. Counseling programs help ensure equal opportunity for all students to participate fully in the educational process.

 

The following courses represent the counseling core and the professional school counseling specialty.

 

Human Growth and Development 

Credits

  HDCF  554  Human Development in Family and Social Context

3

 

HDCO 

525 

Counseling Children and Adolescents

3

 

Social and Cultural Foundations

  HDCF 563 Individuals and Families in a Social Context

3

 

HDCO

524

Consultation: Theory and Practice

2

 

Helping Relationships

  HDCO 508 Child, Family, and Marital Therapy

3

  HDCO 510 Counseling Theories

3

 

HDCO

521

Counseling Skills Lab

  1

 

Groups

 

HDCO

522

Group Counseling

3

 

Career and Lifestyle Development

 

HDCO

558

Career Counseling

3

  Appraisal
 

HDCO

551

Appraisal of Individuals and Systems

3

  Research and Evaluation
  EDCI 506 Applied Educational Research

3

 

HDCO

506

School Counseling Programs

3

  Professional Orientation
  HDCO 502 Counseling Ethics and Professional Orientation

2

 

HDCO

505

Professional Issues in School Counseling

3

  Clinical Skills
  HDCO 571 Professional Counseling Practicum

3

 

HDCO

576

Internship

6

Electives may be chosen with the consent of your advisor from any curriculum offering courses supporting a degree in School Counseling. These include, but are not limited to, selected courses in Adventure Counseling, Chemical Dependency Treatment, Human Development and Counseling, Elementary and Secondary Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Sociology, and Psychology. Courses must be graduate level or upper division.

 

Proposed Schedule - School Counseling

Example of course schedule for a full-time, two-year program:

 

Class Rubric

Title

Credits

 

Summer

 

 

HDCO

502     Counseling Ethics and Professional Orientation  2
 

HDCO

508 Child, Marital, and Family Therapy  3
 

HDCO

558 Career Development and Counseling  3
 

TOTAL

 8
 

Fall

 

EDCI

506 Applied Educational Research  3
 

HDCO

510 Counseling Theories  3
 

HDCO

521 Counseling Skills Lab  1
 

HDCO

522 Group Counseling Theory and Methods  3
 

TOTAL

10
 

Spring

 

HDCO

525 Counseling Children and Adolescents  3
 

HDCO

571 Professional Counseling Practicum   3
   

TOTAL

6
 

Summer

 

HDCO

506 School Counseling and Guidance Programs  3
 

HDCO

524 Consultation: Theory and Practice  2
 

HDCO

551 Appraisal of Individuals and Systems  3
  Adventure Counseling (3 credits - recommended elective)  
   

TOTAL

8
 

Fall

 

HDCF

554 Human Development in Family and Social Context  3
 

HDCF

563 Individuals and Families in a Social Context  3
 

HDCO

505 Professional Issues in School Counseling  3
 

TOTAL

9
 

Spring

 

HDCO 

576 Internship  6
 

Electives  1
 

TOTAL

7

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Mark Nelson, Program Leader
Department of Health and Human Development
305 Herrick Hall
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3540
Phone: 406.994.3810
E-mail: markn@montana.edu

Printable version (pdf)