Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Q. What is the minimum GPA required for admission?
A. For the clinical mental health and college counseling programs, and for the college student personnel program, a 2.75 undergraduate GPA is the minimum. For the school counseling program, a 3.0 undergraduate GPA is the minimum as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Q. If I have less than a 2.75 then what?
A. For the clinical mental health and college counseling programs, and for the college student personnel program, the applicant must successfully complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Students in the school counseling program must have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA; therefore, completing the GRE or MAT is not an option.
Q. Are there additional requirements for admission to the School Counseling Program?
A. The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires School Counseling students to take and pass the PRAXIS I, Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST). The PPSTs are comprised of the reading, writing, and mathematics tests. Upon finding that you are accepted to the school counseling program, we strongly recommend that you take the PPSTs prior to beginning the rigorous coursework of the program. If you have not passed the PPSTs by the time of candidacy, which is usually your third semester of full time coursework, your candidacy and possibly coursework may be placed on hold until successfully passing these tests.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education also requires school counseling students to take the PRAXIS II examination, the Counseling Subject portion. Graduate students usually take the PRAXIS II during their last semester (although it can be taken earlier), but it must be taken prior to graduation.
Q. What is the rule regarding transfer credits?
A. We will accept a maximum of 9 transfer credits with a grade of “B” or better. Courses that will be accepted for transfer must be graduate classes, and must have the student’s advisor’s approval. Generally, the credits should not be more than five years old.
Q. What constitutes full-time status?
A. Nine (9) credits per semester are considered full time for graduate school. Anything less than 9 credits constitutes part-time status.
Q. What about financial aid concerns?
A. If you are a full-time student, you are eligible for a graduate assistantship, which gives you a tuition waiver and a small stipend. Students who have a graduate assistantship are responsible for paying for textbooks and student fees. Please note there are more students wanting GA positions than are available. If you are scheduled for six credits, you are eligible for a Stafford Loan through the Office of Financial Aid. If you hold a GA, you can still apply for a Stafford Loan and receive the money allocated through the loan to pay for you own living expenses. Please keep in mind that applying after March 1, will give you a decreased chance of securing a graduate assistantship.
Q. Is there on campus housing for graduate students?
A. For more information regarding on and off campus housing, contact the Office of the Dean of Students (717-477-1164) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How many years do I have to complete my degree?
A. All course work and research for the master’s degree must be completed within a seven-year period.
Q. If I have questions about scheduling courses, where do I go for information?
A. Approximately three weeks before scheduling begins, a memo is emailed to all students who are currently taking classes in the counseling program. Students are admitted into classes based on the number of credits that they have completed, with a preference given to students who have more credits. Students must submit their schedules on-line at http://www.ship.edu/counsel/. Schedules are emailed directly to the department secretary for processing. If students want to take classes concurrently with a class that is a pre-requisite, they must obtain permission from their advisor and submit a Pre-Requisite Waiver Form. Any student scheduling a class after the deadline set by the Registrar’s Office will have to schedule through the Registrar’s Office and pay for their classes at the time they schedule. Non-degree students may only schedule non-clinical classes and will only be considered AFTER all active students have been scheduled. In addition, they must receive permission from the faculty member teaching the course.
Q. If I have questions about grades, withdrawing from a class, scheduling courses, or candidacy, where do I go for information?
A. Contact your advisor or specialization leader.
Q. Each program requires applicants to have a minimum of one year’s experience prior to admission. What counts as experience?
A. You need to have a minimum of one year experience, either paid or volunteer, with the age group of people you ultimately wish to work with, for example, children, adolescents or adults. Some common experiences include volunteer work with a crisis line or Hospice, internships completed at the undergraduate level, and working as a Therapeutic Support Staff. Faculty members in each specialization will make the final determination as to what counts as relevant experience for that particular program.
Q. When can I start the program?
A. Completing the application process generally takes 4 – 6 months. After the Department receives your completed application from the Office of Graduate Admissions (717-477-1213), the applicant will be scheduled for the next available on-campus interview. While we will make every effort to schedule you for classes the semester following your interview, there is a possibility that if the classes are filled, you would have to wait an additional semester. Keep in mind that applying after March 1 gives you a decreased chance of obtaining a graduate assistantship.
Q. By when should I apply?
A. Shippensburg University is on a rolling admissions program, which means that we accept new students fall, spring, and summer semesters. However, the reality is that our classes fill up and those applicants who want to apply for graduate assistantships need to be admitted by March 1. To ensure a seat for fall classes prospective students who are not interested in graduate assistantships should submit their application by March 15.
Q. What kinds of jobs do graduates obtain and what is the placement rate of students graduating from the Dept of Counseling & College Student Personnel?
A: Job placement rate is 92% for our graduate students. The following is a list of positions and locations that recent graduates have obtained.
- Assistant Dean for Admissions, Shippensburg University
- Resident Director, St. John's University, Queens, NY
- Career Counselor, Penn State York
- Professional Advisor, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies, Penn State University
- Assistant Director of Student Activities, Mt St. Mary's, Emmetsburg, MD
- School Counselor, James Buchanan High School, Mercersburg, PA
- School Counselor, Washington County Schools, Hagerstown, MD
- Outpatient Counselors in Chambersburg and Carlisle, PA
- Alcohol & Drug Specialist, Lebanon Valley College, PA
- Director, Outpatient Community Service Program, Harrisburg, PA
- Counselor, Department of Communications, Arts & Sciences, Harrisburg Area Community College
- Counselor, MECCA Services, Community based substance abuse & behavioral health services, Iowa City, Iowa
- Academic Specialist, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Q. What is the department's retention, demographics, faculty to student ratio and number of students in the Dept of Counseling & College Student Personnel program?
A. Number of Students 2008-2009
187 students by headcount
87 fulltime equivalent students
37% take 6 credits
25% take 3 credits
In the fall 2010 enrollment includes:
51% school counseling students
16% college counseling/college student personnel students
33% clinical mental health students
Faculty and Teaching Capacity
8 faculty members teach three 3 credit courses
2 faculty members teach two three credit courses
We offer 332 class seats in the fall, 329 class seats in the spring
We have 9 fulltime faculty members with a ratio of 9.58 students to 1 faculty member
After seven years of academic work, the following percentage of students earned degrees:
Of those who registered in: 2000-2001 – 70% completed degrees in seven years
2001-2002 – 71%
2002-2003 – 76%
2003-2004 – 74%
2004-2005 – 73%
2005-2006 – 74%
2006-2007 – 74%
In 2007 a study was undertaken to determine what percentage of May and August graduates had found employment in six months. It was determined that at least 92% of those who graduated found jobs in 2007 in the field of counseling and college student personnel.
A 2010 survey of 140 alumni respondents who graduated from 1995-2009 indicated that 83.6% were employed in the counseling and college student profession, 86.4 % were employed, 2.1% were doctoral students, and 2.1% were stay at home moms. Hence, 90.6% of our alumni are either employed, continuing their educations, or are stay at home moms.
Demographic Data of Students 2010
94% from PA
.01% International students
9% Black/African American