School Counseling and Preventive Mental Health

Program Director: Jan Powers

Graduate Study in Counseling

This program is organized on the assumption that an effective counselor must be a personally adequate person who has a cognitive understanding of humankind and counseling theory. In addition to intellectual understanding, the counselor must continually develop proficiency and competence in specific skills germane to the helping relationship. It is important for the student beginning this program to understand that he or she is expected to further his or her maturity in all three areas — personal growth, cognitive understanding, and technical competence.

Programs are designed to meet the needs, on the Master’s level, of those interested in school counseling roles. These programs are designed to develop the competencies demanded of an individual embarking on a career in this area. Such individuals are usually employed by school systems. To be employed in a school system in Nebraska, a counselor must be certified by a State Department of Education. In many states, counselor certification demands a teaching certificate and teaching experience. It should also be noted that potential employers frequently impose additional requirements above those needed for certification, e.g., teaching experience within that system.

Program Goals

The School Counseling and Preventive Mental Health Program is approved by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The program is modeled after the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) national model and aligns with the NDE's endorsement for school counseling. The program goals encompass the following categories:

• Professional Orientation
• Foundation Knowledge and Ethics
• Delivery Systems and Services
• Management Systems
• Professional Accountability and Research
• Oneself and others as spiritual beings and integrates Ignatian charisms into practice.

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application and application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • 3.00 GPA (minimum undergraduate)
  • One-page resume
  • Writing sample: Personal statement on "Why I want to be a counselor"
  • Notarized Convictions Statement and Mental Health capacity forms.
  • Successful background check
  • TOEFL scores for students from countries in which English is not the native language

The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) oversees each teacher education institution in the state.  The NDE requires individuals seeking a school counselor certification without a teaching certificate to complete an additional 12 credits of teacher preparation courses.  In the absence of a teaching certificate, a student in Creighton’s school counseling program must complete COU 617, COU 618, COU 619 and COU 620. 

Internship commences with the student completing all coursework and culminates with the student practicing in real-world counseling settings. A student may not enroll in internship until the core requirements including a practicum have been completed. The student who does not plan his or her course work to accomplish this will need to return during another semester or summer session to complete the degree requirements. Occasionally, a student may have completed a core course on another campus before transferring to Creighton. Even though the credit is accepted in the transfer, the competencies assigned to that course must be demonstrated prior to being permitted to enroll in internship. The internship requires 600 clock-hours on site at a school or agency during normal business hours with a minimum of 240 clock-hours identified as direct, face-to-face service. It is expected that the internship will extend over a two-semester period. The course requirements demand two or more semesters for students who cannot gain released time from their present employment.

The internship is taken only after all core courses are completed satisfactorily.

Courses

COU 600. Professional Orientation to School Counseling. 1 credit.

This course introduces the student to the profession of counseling and the comprehensive nature of the profession. The course is also designed to present how school counseling fits into the expansive profession of Mental Health Counseling. P: Admission to the Graduate Program or DC; CO: COU 601 and COU 602.

COU 601. Ethical Guidelines for School Counselors. 1 credit.

This class introduces students to the ethical guidelines outlined by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA). It discusses the guidelines, related to practical cases, and opportunities for developing an ethical decision making perspective. P: Admission to the Graduate Program or DC; CO: COU 600 and COU 602.

COU 602. Introduction to the ASCA Model of School Counseling. 1 credit.

The class introduces the student to the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) model for comprehensive, developmental programming for schools. Content includes description of the components of foundation, management, delivery, and accountability and how each is integrated to provide exemplary school counseling programs. P: Admission to the Graduate Program or DC; CO: COU 600 and COU 601.

COU 603. Action Research in School Counseling. 3 credits.

This class introduces the basic elements of Educational Research with a specific focus on Action Research in the school setting. Students will be introduced to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and an ethic of working with Vulnerable Populations. Students will start conceptualizing a small scale study. P: COU 600, COU 601, and COU 602.

COU 604. Issues in Child and Adolescent Development for School Counselors. 3 credits.

This class is a consideration of child and adolescent development specifically for the school counselor. The course also focuses on preventive interventions that keep children and adolescents on the path to normal physical, cognitive, and social/emotional development. P: COU 603.

COU 605. Individual and Program Assessment in School Counseling. 3 credits.

This class will focus on the ethic of: selection, administration, score, interpretation, and communication of test results in the school counseling setting. Individual and program assessment will be covered. P: COU 604.

COU 606. Theoretical Perspectives in School Counseling. 1 credit.

A review of counseling and ecological theories to help school counselors better understand the dynamics of the children and families with whom they will work. P: COU 605; CO: COU 607 and COU 608.

COU 607. Data-Driven Perspectives in School Counseling. 1 credit.

An overview of data-driven, evidence-based counseling approaches for the school counselor. P: COU 605; CO: COU 606 and COU 608.

COU 608. Career Perspectives for Children and Adolescents. 1 credit.

A review of career development and career planning approaches for the school counselor. This class will focus on introducing students to the integration of personality and the world of work. Introducing career exploration and the use of assessments to discover career interests will be an additional focus. P: COU 605; CO: COU 606 and COU 607.

COU 609. Individual Planning and Counseling Techniques for School Counselors. 3 credits.

This class provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate the specific skills and tools required within school counseling programs for individual planning and counseling. In addition, students will counsel and offer assistance to an individual student within the school setting. P: COU 606, COU 607, and COU 608.

COU 617. Practicum I. 3 credits.

This course is required of students who enter the program without a teaching certificate. This course requires a student to spend 100 hours in a school setting completing required tasks to acquaint the student with the culture of the school. P: COU 603; CO: COU 604.

COU 618. Practicum II. 3 credits.

This course is required of students who enter the program without a teaching certificate. This course requires a student to spend 100 hours in a school setting completing required tasks to acquaint the student with the culture of the school. P: COU 617; CO: COU 606, COU 607, and COU 608.

COU 619. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. 3-4 credits.

Candidates will refer to state and national standards in order to develop a long range curriculum map and two daily lesson plans. They will read a textbook that introduces basic assessment concepts and apply their learning to tests used in their internship settings. They will also work in small groups that simulate K-12 curriculum committees. P: COU 600, COU 601, COU 602, COU 603.

COU 620. Differentiated Learning: Instruction, Classroom Management and Special Education. 3-4 credits.

This course prepares non-certified candidates to demonstrate knowledge, skill and dispositions to conceptualize and design differentiated instruction and classroom management strategies for all students. Current Special Education concepts will be introduced. This course meets the Nebraska Department of Education Rule 24 regulations for certification. P: COU 600, 601, 602, 603.

COU 660. Group Counseling Approaches for Children and Adolescents - Group Dynamics. 1 credit.

A study of group dynamics with particular application to the work of the school counselors. P: COU 609; CO: COU 661 and COU 662.

COU 661. Group Counseling Approaches for Children and Adolescents-Classroom Guidance. 1 credit.

An emersion into the world of classroom guidance activities as strategies for prevention and remediation in the school setting. P: COU 609; CO COU 660 and COU 662.

COU 662. Group Counseling Approaches for Children and Adolescents-Small Group Counseling. 1 credit.

An overview of the knowledge and practice in the skills necessary to conduct successful small group counseling for children and adolescents. P: COU 609; CO: COU 660 and COU 661.

COU 663. Diagnosis and Mental Health Issues in Children and Adolescents. 3 credits.

This class will introduce the task of using DSM principles to conceptualize a diagnostic impression for children and adolescents. The diagnostic impression is the second step after assessment in the continuum of care and treatment planning. P: COU 660, COU 661, and COU 662.

COU 664. Issues in Elementary School Counseling. 3 credits.

This class addresses the critical issues that permeate school counseling today. Issues revolve around the areas of academic success, career exploration, and personal/social development. These topics are related to the counselor who serves the elementary school setting. P: COU 663; CO: COU 682.

COU 665. Issues in Secondary School Counseling. 3 credits.

This class addresses the critical issues that permeate school counseling today. Issues revolve around the areas of academic success, career exploration, and personal/social development. These topics are related to the counselor who serves the secondary school setting. P: COU 663; CO: COU 684.

COU 667. Social Justice and Diversity in School Counseling. 3 credits.

This class will focus on cultural competence counseling in school settings. With the changing demographics and immigration/migration dynamics taking place locally, nationally, and internationally, students will be introduced to the diverse nature of students and their needs. P: COU 682 or COU 683.

COU 670. Selected Topics in Counseling. 1-3 credits. SU

Theoretical and applied aspects of counseling as selected by the designated instructor.

COU 682. Internship In Elementary School Counseling. 3 credits. FA, SP

This class culminates the students' clinical experience in an elementary school counseling setting. Students will demonstrate competence in the following areas: Individual, Group counseling, Individual Student Planning, Developmental Classroom Guidance, and Consultation. In addition, the student completes the Action Research-related project begun in the COU 603 class. P: COU 663 and DC.

COU 683. Advanced Internship in Elementary School Counseling. 3 credits. FA, SP

This is a continuation of COU 682 and will culminate in the accumulation of the hours and experiences necessary for program completion. P: COU 682 and DC.

COU 684. Internship in Secondary School Counseling. 3 credits. FA, SP

This class culminates the students' clinical experience in a secondary school counseling setting. students will demonstrate competence in the following areas: Individual, Group counseling, Individual Student Planning, Developmental Classroom Guidance, and Consultation. In addition, the student complete the Action Research-related project begun in COU 603. P: COU 663 and DC.

COU 685. Advanced Internship in Secondary School Counseling. 3 credits. FA, SP

This is a continuation of COU 684 and will culminate in the accumulation of the hours and experiences necessary for program completion. P: COU 684 and DC.

COU 793. Directed Independent Readings. 1-3 credits. FA, SP

Intensive reading in an area as approved by the department. P: DC.

COU 795. Directed Independent Study. 1-3 credits. FA, SP

Independent research on a topic designed by the student with the approval of an adviser from the department. P: DC.

COU 797. Directed Independent Research. 1-3 credits. FA, SP

Intensive research in an area as approved by the department. P: DC.

COU 799. Master's Thesis. 1-3 credits. FA, SP

Research in connection with the preparation of the Master's thesis. Students must register for this course in any term when engaged in formal preparation of the Master's thesis; however, six credit hours are the maximum applicable toward the degree.