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    Saybrook University
  Oct 01, 2023
2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
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2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum [Archived Catalog]

Counseling, M.A. (Residential Program)

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Program Overview

The MA Counseling, Seattle Program prepares students with a rich foundation in humanistic and systemic principles to work in the field of clinical mental health counseling. The program caters to both students within Washington, and can support students across the United States.

Residential/Weekend Learning Model: The MA Counseling, Seattle degree program combines face-to-face learning, in a weekend format (Educational Conferences), along with Residential Conferences (in California with the full university), inclusive of experiential intensives, workshops and classes to support students in working toward the MA Counseling degree. The faculty also utilize some online work to support connection between conferences.

Residential Orientation
All new students in the MA Counseling, Seattle program begin their studies with a one-time, two-day Residential Orientation. Residential Orientations are held two days ahead of the Residential Conference at the start of the Fall and Spring semesters.

Residential Conferences: All students participate in two five-day long required residential conferences per year (one at the beginning of the Fall semester and one at the beginning of the Spring semester) in California, for the duration of the program. Activities during the required residential conferences are designed to expand further on the knowledge from coursework, to practice clinical skills, and to participate in professional development through lectures, workshops, invited talks, roundtables, courses, and seminars as well as formal and informal meetings and discussions with faculty, advisors, and peers. In addition, students attend face-to-face programing in Bellevue, to continue their coursework. Full attendance at all residential conferences, and educational conferences is an academic requirement, and their completion is important for successful academic progress as well as allowing students to meet with faculty and co-learners in a stimulating face-to-face environment.

Student Mentoring: Faculty and peer mentoring is a distinguishing feature of the program. Upon admission, students are assigned a faculty advisor and peer mentor to support both the transition into graduate school and success throughout the program.

Professional Licensure:  The MA Counseling, Seattle program is aligned with the degree and coursework requirements to be eligible for the licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington. Candidates for licensure must meet all other state-specific requirements including passage of a National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) exam, post-master’s supervised experience, and completion of the application process, which includes fees and/or background check.  For further information about licensure, please visit the Washington Department of Health.   

It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements outside of Washington.  The MA Counseling, Seattle program may meet some or all of the requirements for other states, but additional state-specific approvals or coursework and/or practicum hours may be required beyond the MA Counseling, Seattle program’s graduation requirements.  Licensing requirements include the following for most states: completion of a master’s degree (including specific coursework and clinical field placement), post-graduate supervised experience, examination, background check, and application for license.  Students should contact the specific state licensing board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure.  A list of state board contact information is available via The American Counseling Association

Program Requirements

Master of Arts (MA) Counseling

60 Semester Credits Required

The six-semester program provides a residential model for learning, where students join a cohort of fellow students studying together through the Residential Conference and Educational Conference experiences. Students can complete their degree without relocating and without leaving their current career. Students can choose either a Fall semester or Spring semester start date.  Students who follow the 6-semester plan of 9 credits per semester can complete their degree in three years or six semesters. This plan includes some summer coursework.

A portion of the 60-credit program includes three semesters of field work referred to as Practicum, Internship I and Internship II. Students locate appropriate practicum and internships and supervision in their geographic area, working in conjunction with Saybrook’s faculty and the Director of Clinical Training. Faculty support and supervise year-round practicum and internship training so that students can accrue clinical training hours at their field experience sites during summer and semester inter-sessions.

Transfer Credit
M.A. Counseling, Seattle students can transfer up to 9 approved semester credits from an accredited academic institution. To transfer hours earned at another institution to the MA Counseling Program, the student must provide an official transcript from the institution where the credits were earned. The student must also provide evidence that the course was approved for graduate credit at the institution where the course was completed. To determine course equivalency, students will need to submit the official transcript, course title, course description and (when required) the course syllabus. No more than 9 semester hours that have been transferred from another accredited institution may be used for meeting the credit hour requirements of a master’s student’s program. The Department Chair and appropriate program faculty will review each course transfer request on an individual basis. Clinical courses such as practicum and internship are not eligible for transfer review. 

Institutional Transfer Credit Guidelines

The following courses are required for the 60-credit MA Counseling, Seattle degree program:

Total required credits: 60

Residential Conference Workshops and Special Population Intensives

The following required workshops, intensives and experientials are completed at the Residential Conferences, in California. These workshops are designed to support the coursework for the LMHC/LPCC or equivalent. We have found that all of our students benefit from the depth of conversation in these critical areas. The workshops are:

COUN 2539   Child Abuse Assessment & Reporting

 COUN 2709  Overview of Mental Health Counseling

The following workshops are offered on a rotating bases, and are optional for MA Counseling, Seattle students:

COUN 2538   Aging & Long-Term Care

COUN 2544   Mental Health Recovery

COUN 2639   Severe Mental Illness & Developmental Disabilities

COUN 2640   Partner Abuse and Domestic Violence

Residential Conference Experiential Training

These two day experientials allow students to practice their skills, engage in group work, and discuss these topics in depth and with the students in the online program. The experientials are:

        COUN 2701  Experiential: Basic Counseling Skills

COUN 2705   Experiential: Group Counseling & Psychotherapy

COUN 2704   Experiential: Relationship & Family Intervention

COUN 2703   Experiential: Crisis & Trauma Intervention

COUN 2706   Experiential: Child & Adolescent Counseling

COUN 2707   Experiential: Counseling Theories

Residential ProSeminar Training

The ProSeminar courses take place for the last two days of the California Residential Conferences. Each ProSeminar is designed to build on the student’s developmental level, and they are also used for Practicum and Internship supervision. The following is a list of ProSeminars:

COUN 2400A   PrePracticum ProSeminar

COUN 2400B   PrePracticum ProSeminar

COUN 2400C   PrePracticum ProSeminar

COUN 2400D   PrePracticum ProSeminar

COUN 2401A   Practicum ProSeminar

COUN 2401B  Practicum ProSeminar

COUN 2401C  Practicum ProSeminar

COUN 2401D   Practicum ProSeminar

The MA Counseling program is designed to address national counseling standards. To this end, the curriculum includes the following ten competency areas:   

  1. Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice
  2. Social and Cultural Diversity
  3. Individual and Family Development
  4. Career Development and Life
  5. Helping Relationships and the Counseling Process
  6. Group Counseling and Facilitation
  7. Assessment in a Multicultural Society
  8. Research and Program Development
  9. Professional Clinical Practice
  10. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

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