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    Saybrook University
  Apr 25, 2024
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
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2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum

Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision

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Overview of Program

Saybrook University's Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation assures that the content and quality of our program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. The program is accredited through October, 2026. 
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 Ph.D. 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. 

Program Learning Outcomes

The program learning outcomes were born directly out of the department core values, and build from our MA Counseling Learning Outcomes.  
Upon completion of Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, students will: 

  1. Demonstrate an advanced ability to assess, integrate and respond to individual and relational dynamics within a systemic framework.   
  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.  
  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.   
  4. Demonstrate an advanced ability to apply, critique and synthesize theory as they integrate this knowledge into their teaching and supervision.    
  5. Utilize effective communication skills to advocate for individual and social change within their advanced clinical work, supervision and teaching.   
  6. Apply relevant professional ethical codes and ethical decision making to guide their clinical work, supervision, and teaching.   
  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.    
  8. Describe, demonstrate, and teach M.A. 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 Opportunities

Upon completion of the Ph.D. 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. 

Program Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Applicants for the Ph.D. 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 - One letter should be from a clinical supervisor, and the second from an academic advisor or faculty member from the applicant’s MA program. Saybrook MA graduates are excused from the academic advisor letter. 

University Learning Experience

Residential Learning Experience (RLE) - Required, Community Learning Experience (CLE) - Required

All new students begin their studies with a Welcome Week. Welcome Week activities, including a degree program orientation, are held online during the week ahead of the start of the fall and spring semesters. Participation is strongly encouraged.

Residential Learning Experiences 
Activities during the required RLEs 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 learning experiences, during completion of coursework (not including dissertation) is required. 

Program Specific Requirements

Transfer Credits 

Generally, students may transfer in up to 9 core course credits from another Ph.D. 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”. 


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 4-day Residential Learning Experiences (RLEs). Travel to and successful completion of all RLE’s during coursework is required to fulfill degree requirements. Ph.D. students will have a combination of coursework, and teaching experiences at each RLE. After the RLE 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 advanced practice opportunities- 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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D.-level counselor education graduates. The common core areas are: 

  • Counseling 
  • Supervision 
  • Teaching 
  • Research and Scholarship 
  • Leadership and Advocacy 

Mode of Delivery

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 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. 

Length of Program

The Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision program is 54 credits (post-M.A. degree) and is designed to be completed in 4 years, inclusive of dissertation, depending on student research topic, methodology, and individual pacing. 

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