Personal Development, Certification, and Licensure

  • Professional Organizations: Because the department mission intends that students embrace a professional identity, students must become a member of at least one professional organization. Suggestions are listed at Note that these include state, regional, and national organizations. Also, students are urged to consult with faculty about other benefits of membership including applying for research grants, volunteer and leadership opportunities, obtaining professional liability insurance, and earning awards.
  • Professional Conference Attendance: Students are required to attend at least one professional conference prior to their candidacy interview. This may be a state, regional, or national association meeting. Students are encouraged to seek volunteer opportunities as part of their conference attendance in order to further their development as professionals. Though students are generally responsible for any travel, registration, or accommodation expenses, the department does have a few resources to assist students, particularly if students are presenting or co-presenting. Dates of association meetings are listed in the Counselor’s Clipboard, which is distributed twice a year, and are also available on association web pages.
  • Scholarship (presenting, researching, publishing): Students are prepared for professional scholarship through required course assignments, and are encouraged to adapt completed coursework for presentation at professional meetings. Faculty members provide mentoring and support to students who wish to propose and submit presentations at association meetings, and often include students as co-presenters. Department faculty members frequently invite student assistance with research projects, and may include students as co-researchers and/or co-authors.
  • Department Professional Development: The department hosts two professional development workshops each year. One is the Central Pennsylvania School Counselor Institute held in December and the other is Mental Health Day organized by the Clinical Mental Health Counseling faculty members. Students are encouraged to participate in both professional development opportunities.
  • Clinic: The department operates a free community clinic, with counseling services provided by qualified students under the supervision of faculty members. The clinic serves children, adolescents, and adults and addresses a wide range of mental health concerns. Other programs that allow students to practice skills and serve the community include Drew’s Hope (student led support groups for grieving children and families) and Children of Incarcerated Parents. For more information about these programs and others visit
  • Department Student Organizations & Leadership Opportunities: Opportunities for student involvement in student organizations include the counseling honorary Chi Sigma Iota (CSI). The department chapter of CSI, Upsilon, has created a mentoring program to assist new students. If interested in becoming involved with CSI-Upsilon, contact its advisor Dr. Marcy Douglass . Other ways to be involved include serving as a representative to the Grade Appeals Committee, the Student Advisory Committee, or the Graduate Student Association Board. Consult the student organizations link at www.ship/counsel/student-organizations/ or contact the Department Chair for additional information or see additional information below.
  • Events: Shippensburg University hosts a variety of opportunities for personal and professional enhancement. These include lectures and performances by prominent invited guests, the annual Wellness Fair, Connections Alcohol Education program, Student Recreation Center (graduate students must pay a fee), and Student Veterans Concerns Committee to name just a few.