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    Saybrook University
  Nov 28, 2023
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

PhD Counselor Education and Supervision

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PhD Counselor Education and Supervision

The Doctoral degree program in Counselor Education and Supervision at Saybrook University, is intended to prepare students to work as counselor educators, supervisors, and advanced practitioners in academic and clinical settings. Graduates are prepared to contribute to the knowledge base in field of counseling, through leadership and research skills. The PhD program will hold to the broader mission of preparing advocates and leaders in Humanistic social transformation that is at the core of the mission of Saybrook University.

This program is designed to appeal to Master’s level clinical practitioners, with an interest in teaching and providing advanced supervision.

Department Core Values & Dispositions: The Counseling Department has adopted a set of professional and personal qualities to be demonstrated by all students and faculty.  These qualities are directly linked to the mission and core values of Saybrook University. HUMANITI is a representation of our core values. All members of the counseling community are expected to embody these qualities inside and outside courses to the greatest extent possible. The qualities include: 

  • Holistic: We approach what we do from a holistic and systemic perspective based on a belief in the inherent interconnectedness of all things. 
  • Unconditional Positive Regard: We create relationships and communities built on compassion, respect, authentic voice, deep listening, reflective awareness, support and challenge leading to responsible presence and action. 
  • Multiple Perspectives: We seek to honor difference because we recognize that there are many ways of knowing and there are inherent strengths in diverse perspectives. 
  • Academic Rigor: We are committed to rigor in our academic and clinical experiences, with the desire to best serve others.  
  • New Possibilities: We are creative, imaginative and courageous leaders who challenge assumptions and imagine and embody new possibilities.  
  • Integrity: We live and conduct our work and relationships with integrity.  
  • Transformation: We are scholar-practitioners who seek and apply knowledge to solve problems and foster personal, relational and social transformation. 
  • Inclusive: We value life and embrace our responsibility to support the potential of those we serve to thrive in a just, inclusive, healthy and sustainable world. 

PhD Program Learning Outcomes: The program learning outcomes were directly born out of the department core values, and build from our MA Counseling Learning Outcomes. 

Upon completion of PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, students will:

Program Learning Outcome #1: Demonstrate an advanced ability to assess, integrate and respond to individual and relational dynamics within a systemic framework.  

Program Learning Outcome #2: Discern the elements of an effective therapeutic alliance, and demonstrate the ability to co-construct and maintain a counseling relationship. In addition, students will show a high level of competency in supporting MA level students in gaining these skills- demonstrated in teaching and/or supervision. 

Program Learning Outcome #3: Examine and demonstrate an advanced understanding of diverse experiences and the role of privilege, marginalization, and how aspects of power impact individual, familial, group and community experiences- including skills in exploring these areas with MA level students.  

Program Learning Outcome #4: Demonstrate an advanced ability to apply, critique and synthesize theory as they integrate this knowledge into their teaching and supervision.   

Program Learning Outcome #5: Utilize effective communication skills to advocate for individual and social change within their advanced clinical work, supervision and teaching.  

 Program Learning Outcome #6: Apply relevant professional ethical codes and ethical decision making to guide their clinical work, supervision, and teaching.  

Program Learning Outcome #7: Utilize professional literature, research knowledge and best practices to generate original research to support counselor development and preparation, as well as to support individual, familial, group and community change.   

Program Learning Outcome #8: Describe, demonstrate, and teach MA level students the relationship between their “self” as a therapist, their professional identity as a counselor, and their responsibility to serve clients and the community. 

Career Outcomes 

Upon completion of the PhD in CES, graduates will be prepared to seek full-time or adjunct faculty positions in Counselor Education programs. In addition, individuals will be qualified to provide advanced supervision, and will have more advanced clinical skills, allowing for more advanced positions within the Counseling field - such as Clinic Director and similar positions.

Residential Orientation

All new students in the PhD CES program begin their studies with a one-time, virtual  Orientation. The virtual orientation includes a Canvas orientation course shell, and a virtual meeting ahead of the start of the term.  ahead of the RC at the start of the Fall and Spring semesters.

Residential Conferences

Activities during the required RCs are designed to expand further on the knowledge from coursework, to develop teaching, and supervision skills, and to participate in professional development through workshops, courses, and seminars, as well as formal and informal meetings and discussions with faculty, advisors, and peers. Although students complete most of their coursework online, attendance at residential conferences, during completion of coursework (not including dissertation) is required.

Online Coursework

Online courses are a combination of learning goals, objectives, strategies, and delivery formats, including assigned readings, papers, and projects, as well as asynchronous online discussions and, at times, synchronous teleconferences and/or videoconference sessions with faculty and peers.

Online Teaching/Supervision

Throughout the doctoral program, students will have opportunities to engage in online teaching, and supervision. This training will have a developmental trajectory, with all students starting with co-teaching, with a goal of independent (supervised) teaching by the end of the doctoral program. Students will also have opportunities to engage in supervision- both online and through synchronous course meetings. Similar to teaching, our supervision training will begin with co-supervision, and lead to independent (supervised) supervision of master’s level students.

Application Documents Required

Applicants for the PhD Counselor Education and Supervision must submit the following documents:

  • Application for Admissions
  • An official transcript from an accredited university demonstrating successful completion of a Master’s degree in Counseling or closely related field, with a 3.0 GPA or better;
  • Professional resume or CV;
  • Personal statement; and
  • Two Letters of recommendation *

*1 Letter of recommendation should be a clinical reference, the other an academic reference

Students completing their MA degree at Saybrook University will only submit 1 clinical reference letter

More information can be found in our program handbook

Transfer Credits

Generally, students may transfer in up to 9 core course credits from another PhD in CES programs.  Students are required to submit a written transfer request and provide a copy of the syllabus of the desired transfer course in advance of taking it, so the faculty can determine if the course sufficiently aligns with the course it intends to replace. No guarantees are given that courses will be transferred in. *See University Catalog for full transfer policy. No transfer credit will be accepted for courses more than five years old, or for grades lower than a “B”.

Program Course Requirements

The four-year program provides a low-residency, blended, and mixed model of distance learning. At the beginning of each fall and spring semester faculty and students come together for intensive face-to-face learning at 5 day Residential Conferences (RCs). Travel to and successful completion of all RC’s during coursework is required to fulfill degree requirements. PhD students will have a combination of coursework, and teaching experiences at each RC. After the RC students join their student cohort online to learn together and receive instruction from faculty in a predominately asynchronous environment. A portion of the 54 (post-master’s degree) credit program includes three semesters of supervised field work- inclusive of teaching, supervision, research, and leadership activities; Advanced Practicum, Advanced Internship I, and Advanced Internship II, as well as 9 credits of Dissertation. Graduates of the PhD CES program are prepared for careers in higher education teaching- in counselor education departments, supervising clinical mental health counselors, advocating to improve the lives of marginalized individual and families, and conducting research through a humanistic lens. The five core areas represent the advanced knowledge required of all PhD-level counselor education graduates. The common core areas are:

  1. Counseling
  2. Supervision
  3. Teaching
  4. Research and Scholarship
  5. Leadership and Advocacy 

Required Courses

The following table lists the required courses.

PhD Counselor Education and Supervision

Total Required Core Courses: 54

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