Course Outlines

Counseling (CNS) CNS490 Selected Topics (1-3 crs.)

 CNS 504 Introduction to School Counseling (3 crs.)

This course is designed to give prospective school counselors: (a) an understanding of the historical impetus which led to the development of counselors and counseling programs in schools; (b) a means to make practical use of the counseling and guidance theories and techniques as they apply in the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) requirements; (c) exposure to administrative activities that provide the framework for school counseling services; (d) prevention and intervention strategies that contribute to students' academic, career, personal, and social growth and development; and (e) an understanding of proactive leadership as it relates to student advocacy as well as the challenge of developing new paradigms for the future.


CNS505 Organization and Administration of School Counseling Services (3 crs.)

Studies basic philosophy, principles, and current trends in the organization and administration of comprehensive school counseling programs. Emphasis is given to line-staff organization, guidance committees, counselor-teacher relationships, adult-community guidance services, and roles of school personnel and community agencies in understanding and promoting the school-community guidance programs. Prerequisites: Completion of Phase I of program and CNS585.


CNS508 Marital, Couple and Family Counseling (3 crs.)

  Designed to aid student in gaining experience and competency in the use of therapeutic interventions with married person, couple, and families. Emphasis on the understanding of prominent theoretical modalities and applying the relevant techniques to classroom simulations. Students gain understanding and experience in dealing therapeutically with typical marital, couple, and family problematic concerns. Prerequisite: Completion of Phase I or permission of instructor.


CNS509 Multicultural Counseling (3 crs.)

Designed to sensitize students and promote an understanding of their own self as a cultural being and to acquire expertise in the use of therapeutic interventions with diverse populations. Emphasis on the learning of approaches and application of techniques that facilitate intra- and intergroup and multicultural experiences.


CNS510 Drug and Alcohol Counseling (3 crs.)

Designed to aid students in understanding the theories of causation and treatment of alcohol and drug addiction abuse. Students also gain experience and competency in the use of therapeutic interventions and techniques through classroom simulations. Prerequisite: Completion of Phase I or permission of instructor.


CNS512 Group Counseling and Leadership Skills (3 crs.)

Students will develop theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, methods, and skills. Topics include characteristics of effective group leadership, group member roles, and therapeutic factors. Attention is given to adapting strategies for various types of groups (i.e., task/work groups, psycho education groups, and counseling and psychotherapeutic groups) and across diverse populations. Course includes an experiential group component where students will participate as members in a small group activity.


CNS515 Career Development (3 crs.)

A counseling-oriented course designed to enable the counselor to understand the psychosocial dynamics of identity and career development through the life span. Emphasizes development of counselor competencies in the areas of collecting, evaluating, classifying, and using accurate occupational, avocational, educational, and personalsocial informational materials. Students will investigate theories of career development and career decision-making models; their relevance and utility to students’ personal and professional interests will be considered throughout the course. Also considered are occupation and labor markets (micro and macro), computer-based career resources, and career relevant assessment instruments and techniques. Career counseling processes applicable to populations in a global economy are also studied. Other topics include the interrelationships among and between life roles and cultural factors, career development programming, educational planning, and ethical and legal issues in the career counseling process.

CNS519 Implications for Human Development for Counseling (3 crs.)

Specifically designed for counselors. Content is rooted in developmental theory with an emphasis on identity development. Professional counselors pay particular attention to our clients’ development across the lifespan; implications of their development on all aspects of life weigh importantly on the way we conceptualize clients’ challenges, adjustments, disorders, and growth. The information and experiences gained will serve as a structural foundation for understanding theories of development and their significance in the work professional counselors perform.

CNS522 Assessment Techniques (3 crs.)

The study of assessment as used in counseling and the helping processes including historical foundations, current concepts, procedures, psychometrics, and techniques. Students will learn assessment skills including selection, administration, scoring, interpretation, use of technology, and critique of specific measures. Practical applications covered will include assessing students with special needs, assessment bias, serving diverse populations, and legal and ethical principles of measurement. Emphasis is on the appropriate and meaningful use of assessment data in diagnosis, case conceptualization, treatment planning, and referral. Prerequisite: CNS600.

CNS524 The DSM and Psychopathology for a CNS Perspective (3 crs.)

Studies the classification system of psychopathology. Special emphasis placed on building counseling models based on the integration of the classification and the client’s individual situation.

CNS530 Clinical Supervision Theory and Techniques (3 crs.)

Designed to help counselors in a variety of settings to develop and/ or enhance their professional functioning as clinical supervisors. No prior supervision experience is necessary. A concurrent experience providing supervision will be included in the course. Prerequisite: Master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent.

CNS531 Advanced Study in Multicultural Issues (3 crs.)

Designed for current practitioners in helping services who already have earned a master’s degree who desire to expand knowledge and skills in working with diverse populations and in creating a society where “freedom and justice for all” can become a reality. Prerequisite: Master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent.

CNS532 Advanced Drug and Alcohol Counseling (3 crs.)

Acquaints student with the concept of alcohol and drug dependence as a primary, progressive, chronic, potentially fatal, and symptomatic disease that impacts the entire family system. Explores the disease from a bio-psycho-social and spiritual perspective as well as demonstrating various multidisciplinary approaches to arresting and successfully treating the illness. Attention to principles of early intervention, prevention, special populations, and standards necessary for achieving certification as an addiction counselor in Pennsylvania. Explores the developmental models of recovery, relapse prevention methods, and treating the dually diagnosed client. Course designed to prepare students as facilitators who can utilize addiction concepts and skills in a variety of counseling settings. Prerequisite: Master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent.

CNS534 Treatment of DSM IV-TR Disorders (3 crs.)

Designed to engage practicing counselors in expanding their knowledge of the current DSM Disorders and its implication for developing treatment interventions and strategies. The classification system of pathology will be reviewed and current knowledge about the clinical presentation, etiology, and diagnosis of commonly encountered disorders will be explored. Models and theories that guide interventions and typical treatment settings will be discussed. Students will develop protocols for treatment and will be responsible for presenting these to class members. Prerequisite: Master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent.

CNS536 Counseling Challenging Adolescents (3 crs.)

Students will learn several unique ways of joining, finding empathy, developing and sustaining healthy boundaries, and creating ways of containing all that the most challenging adolescent clients bring to the therapeutic counseling relationship. A wide variety of professional counseling and therapy settings will be considered. Prerequisite: Master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent.

CNS537 Eating Disorders Across Gender, Cultural, and Racial Lines (3 crs.)

Designed to provide enhanced knowledge and in-depth understanding of the etiology of food and body image issues. Includes exploration of obsessions, compulsions, societal morays, and multiple messages and their effect on many groups of people. Prerequisite: Master’s degree in counseling or its equivalent.

CNS545 Leadership by Encouragement (3 crs.)

Provides a forum for students to learn how the principles and methods of Adlerian Psychology can be used to enhance leadership potential. Focus on assessing leadership style, listening, motivation, enhancing teamwork and productivity, and encouragement. Prerequisite: At least a bachelor’s or master’s degree in counseling, psychology, education, social work, administration, or business.

CNS546 Parent Education and Family Counseling (2 crs.)

Provides instruction in the practice and theory of parent education and family counseling primarily through parent education groups and the open forum center approach. Students will have the opportunity to observe and practice the methods. Prerequisite: At least a bachelor’s or master’s degree in counseling, psychology, education, social work, administration, or business.

CNS556 Guidance and Counseling Conference (1 cr.)

Concentrated one-week conference on a selected area of counseling and guidance. Recognized authorities in the field participate as lecturers and discussion leaders. In addition to participating in all aspects of the conference, students who are enrolled for credit attend an extra daily class session and complete an assignment related to the theme of the conference. A maximum of three semester hour credits earned in conferences may be applied toward meeting degree requirements.

CNS559 Introduction to the Helping Services (3 crs.)

Surveys a wide range of helping services and introduces the basic philosophical concepts underlying each, the principles by which such services operate, and the therapeutic practices which are characteristic of each service. Emphasis is on defining the helping relationship within each area and clarifying the ethical considerations which apply.

CNS560 Introduction to College Personnel Work (3 crs.)

Surveys basic principles and practices of student personnel work in higher education. Consideration is given to problems in residence hall management, counseling services, student activities, financial assistance, student government, and other relevant topics that promote an appreciation of the conduct of student personnel services in higher education.

CNS562 Student Personnel Work in Higher Education (3 crs.)

Designed to provide the role concept for students in student personnel work at the college/university level. Designed to deal with specific issues and trends in the field; develop a design or operational model for program development, implementation, and evaluation; establish an operational role concept for specific student personnel positions. Prerequisites: Completion of Phase I, CNS560, and CNS565.

CNS563 Professional Orientation to Community Counseling (3 crs.)

Designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the rapidly evolving field of community counseling. Studies basic philosophy, principles, and current trends in the provision of community counseling services. Students gain understanding of topics such as: psychoeducational and developmental counseling, health-promotive services, indirect counseling services, crisis counseling, and ethical and legal issues.

CNS564 Grief and Loss Issues in Counseling (3 crs.)

Designed to help students identify, clarify the differences between grief, mourning, and bereavement and understand grief as a response to any loss, including death. Deals with the development of skills as a competent and caring counselor and helps to achieve a deeper self-understanding of the student’s own feelings, attitudes, and values regarding loss and death. Prerequisite: Completion of Phase I or permission of instructor.

CNS565 The College Student and the College Environment (3 crs.)

Examines the impact of the college environment on both traditional and nontraditional students and provides in-depth understanding of the characteristics, attitudes, and developmental needs of those students. It also suggests methodology for identifying needs and assessing environmental characteristics. Prerequisite: CNS560.

CNS567 Counseling Children (3 crs.)

Intense study of basic theoretical foundations and approaches in counseling children, including play therapy. Childhood psychological disorders are surveyed using the current edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Prerequisites: Completion of Phase I and CNS573.

CNS568 Professional Orientation to Mental Health Counseling (3 crs.)

Designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the rapidly evolving field of mental health counseling. Studies basic philosophy, principles and current trends in the provision of mental health counseling services. Students gain understanding of topics such as: treatment of psychopathology, diagnosis, direct counseling services, prevention and psychoeducational approaches, crisis counseling, and ethical and legal issues.

CNS570 Working with Dreams, Sandtrays and Music in Counseling (3 crs.)

Designed to acquaint students with the Hill cognitive-experiential model of dream work and the use of music and sandtray in counseling. This course includes a strong experiential component that provides students with an opportunity to practice various approaches for working with dreams and using music and sandtray in counseling. Prerequisite: CNS578. Intensive study of basic concepts and theoretical foundations of counseling. Emphasis is on the student’s ability to conceptualize client concerns, select appropriate counseling interventions, and apply the relevant theories to classroom simulations. Prerequisite: CNS559 or concurrent registration with permission of instructor.

CNS578 Pre-practicum in Counseling (3 crs.)

This course is designed to provide an understanding of, and applied practice in using, the fundamental skills of the helping process. Student-centered methods encourage collaboration, active listening, and peer-to-peer learning exchanges. The course emphasizes the development of effective relationship‑building skills as well as the practice of approaches that facilitate client growth and change.  Increased counselor self-understanding and self-analysis are a critical component of the course as well as students beginning to develop a personal style of counseling. Counselor and client characteristics, relationship variables, and external factors (e.g., societal and environmental) that influence the helping process will be addressed. 



CNS580 Clinical Field Experience I (3 crs.)

The culminating experience for all programs, the field experience sequence consists of six (6) semester hours and is the internship requirement of the SU counseling programs. Students must complete 300 clock hours for each field experience in a professional setting appropriate to their career interests, skills, and program of study. Site selection must be approved by advisor. Course is offered on a pass/ fail basis. Prerequisites: Completion of Phases I and II, advisor’s approval, attendance at orientation meeting the prior semester, pre-registration form, and candidacy. CNS589 is required to satisfy the six credits for field placement.

CNS581 Counselor Supervision (3 crs.)

Provides experience in supervision of counselor trainees, including review of interview recordings; constructive critique of trainees, individually and in group settings; and reading and criticizing of written reports. Significant involvement with counselor trainees, if required, in order to experience a true supervisory and helping relationship. Prerequisites: Permission of the advisor and prior employment as a counselor. Note: Restricted to students enrolled in the Supervisory Certificate Program through Educational Administration and Foundations Department.


CNS585 Practicum in Counseling (3 crs.)

Field-based assignment in an agency, school, or institutional setting providing supervised professional experiences. Students must accumulate a minimum of 150 clock hours at a site appropriate to their program of study during one academic semester. Students must have a site approved by their advisor prior to course registration. Prerequisites: A grade of B or higher in CNS578, permission of advisor, attendance at orientation meeting the prior semester, and pre-registration form.

CNS586 Advanced Practicum in Counseling (3-6 crs.)

Extension of CNS585, permits student to gain greater specialized competencies in the same general setting. Prerequisites: CNS585, consent of advisor, attendance at orientation meeting the prior semester, and pre-registration form.

CNS587 Research Seminar in Counseling (3 crs.)

Presents the advanced student an opportunity to examine, evaluate, synthesize, and bring into final form previous learning and research to a consistent philosophical approach. Students are expected to address topics such as: race relations, women’s concerns, human sexuality, family counseling and/or other appropriate counseling concerns as addressed by recent research.  Prerequisite: CNS600.

CNS588 Counseling Strategies and Techniques (3 crs.)

This course introduces students to training and applied practice in a range of skills necessary to address counseling needs across the mental health continuum, from crisis intervention to promoting wellness. Areas of skill development include: disaster response and psychological first aid, suicide risk assessment and prevention, crisis and trauma intervention, facilitating the change process, wellness models and strategies, and counselor self-care. Attention is given to adapting strategies across the lifespan, including the needs of children, adolescents and older adults. Prerequisites: Completion of Phase I and CNS573.


CNS589 Clinical Field Experience II (3 crs.)

Continuation of CNS580, Clinical Field Experience I, placement. Students must register for this course in order to satisfy the six (6) credit hour field experience requirement. Students must complete 300 clock hours for each field experience in a professional setting appropriate to their career interests, skills, and program of study. Site selection must be approved by advisor. Course offered on a pass/fail basis. Prerequisites: Completion of CNS580, approval of advisor, and pre-registration form.

CNS590 Advanced Clinical Field Experiences (3 crs.)

Continuation of the CNS580/589 field experience. Course offered on a pass/fail basis. Prerequisites: Completion of CNS580/589, advisor’s approval, and pre-registration form. Site selection must be approved by advisor.

CNS593 Theories of Personality and their Implications for Counseling (3 crs.)

Acquaints counselors with the more prominent theories of normal personality development and supporting research evidence, with consideration given to the process of intervention and change within the counselee.

CNS596 Selected Topics (1-3 crs.)

CNS599 Independent Study (3-6 crs.)

Provides opportunities for students to pursue independent study designed to develop critical thinking and individual initiative through planned scholarly endeavor. The student, under the advisement of an assigned faculty member, engages in a study of a significant program not clearly a part of existing courses. Prerequisite: Permission of advisor.

CNS600 Research and Statistics (3 crs.)

Introduction to problems of structure and function of research in the counseling programs where attention is directed to the importance of individual differences, measurement of several variables, and the task of developmental understanding. Designed to develop competencies and explores empirical findings in both the production and consumption of current research. It considers experimental design, practical use of both descriptive and inferential statistics with application to measures of central tendency, variability, dispersion, correlation and tests of differences.

CNS 602 Advanced Field in School Counseling (3 crs.)

Advanced Field in School Counseling is the culminating experience for students seeking certification as school counselors.  The field experience sequence consists of 3 - 6 semester hours and is the internship requirement of the School Counseling program. Students will complete 300 clock hours for each field experience in an elementary, middle, or high school that your advisor must approve. 

CNS609 Internship (3 crs.)

CNS612 Thesis I (3 crs.)

CNS613 Thesis II (3 crs.)