Competent counseling practice is informed and guided by theory. The school counseling
degree emphasizes thorough knowledge of counselees' 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 counselees 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.
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.
School counseling students take a common core of classes with students from the mental health counseling and marriage, couples, 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 program 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 within 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 strives to provide the necessary self-awareness, knowledge, and skills for counseling students to become competent and capable professional school counselors.
The program includes a counseling practicum (100 hours) and an internship (600 hours) totaling 700 hours of supervised counseling practice, and course work related to each of the CACREP core areas. Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPC) 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 they may apply for licensure as a licensed professional counselor with the Montana Board of Behavioral Health after completing post-graduate, supervised counseling experience in the field. Students acquire 700 hours of supervised counseling experience prior to graduation, which can be applied to the 3000 hours of supervised experience needed prior to licensure.
This program is an approved Western Regional Graduate Program. The WRGP allows master's, graduate certificate, and doctoral students who are residents of WICHE-member states to enroll in 900+ graduate programs at 60 public institutions outside their home state, and pay up to 150 percent of resident tuition. To learn more, please see the WICHE/WRGP website.
In addition to providing a core foundation in the profession of counseling, the school counseling program promotes the development of a school counseling program based upon national standards developed by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) through a variety of didactic and applied course experiences.
Anna Bartkowiak, PhD
Asst Professor, Counseling
Ed Dunbar, PhD
NTT Instructor, Addictions Counseling
Anna Elliott, PhD
Graduate Coordinator; Assoc Professor; Program Leader, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Katey Franklin, PhD
Asst Professor; Program Leader, School Counseling
Rebecca Koltz, PhD
Professor; Program Leader, Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling
Bryan Lamb, PhD
Director, Human Development Clinic; NTT Instructor
Sarah Mendoza, PhD
Asst Professor, Counseling