Counseling and College Student Personnel Student Resources

There are plenty of resources available to Counseling and College Student Personnel students. Here you can find details about your program, professional information and necessary paperwork.

As always, feel free to reach out to your professors or stop in at the department office if you have questions or need assistance.

It is important to accurately represent your credentials while you are a matriculated student in any one of our four specializations in the department. As such, please be certain that you follow these guidelines. Failure to do so could result in you inadvertently misrepresenting yourself to the public and/or to potential employers. Such a violation could result in an ethics charge. Please protect your reputation by simply paying attention to guidelines. (For additional information regarding ethical violation charges and potential consequences please see the ACA Code of Ethics 2013, p. 9; Professional Responsibility, C.4.a, Accurate Representation.)

Simply stated, we present ourselves to the public with credentials earned, not with credentials in progress. For example: If you are currently a matriculated student, meaning that you have not yet earned the master's degree in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, College Counseling, or College Student Personnel, you may not list M.S. or M.Ed. after your name. Although it is common “acceptable resume building” language, do not list “anticipated” or “candidate” or “expected date of.” Such qualifiers, including any future date, are easily misread and place you at risk of misrepresentation.

Here are two acceptable signature blocks:

  • Alfred B. Sniglitz, B.A.,
    Currently matriculated in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master's degree program at Shippensburg University
  • Alfred C. Sniglitz
    Currently enrolled in the College Student Personnel Master's degree program at Shippensburg University

In case you have previously earned a “first (prior) master's degree,” you must be perfectly clear in representing that credential to insure that you do not to confuse or mislead a reader to believe that an M.Ed. or M.S. might have been earned in counseling or college student personnel. For example, you are matriculated in the School Counseling specialization but you have previously earned an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, you may list this degree previously earned but you must be clear that it is an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction; clarity is paramount here. For example:

  • Alfred A. Sniglitz, M.Ed. (Curriculum and Instruction, 2011)
    Currently enrolled/matriculated in the School Counseling Master's degree program at Shippensburg University

Be absolutely certain that this protocol is followed in your entire personal and professional interface with the public, to include but not be limited to Facebook, Linked-In, your ID on Monster.com, your Resume, your business card, your email signature, any application for internship, employment, or any other purpose. If you have any questions, please speak to your advisor or any of the department faculty.

Practicum and Field

Your practicum and field classes are a major part of your graduate program experience. There is a lot of time and paperwork involved. You must be sure that your practicum or field site is an approved Shippensburg site/supervisor (which can be verified in the Site Directory). If not, you must complete the extra paperwork, along with your supervisor, to have them become approved. Please turn in portions as required by your instructor. All students preparing for practicum must attend the mandatory practicum meeting the semester before enrolling in practicum.

These forms are available here as PDFs. Physical copies may be obtained in the department office.

Candidacy

During the term that a student takes Practicum, they will be required to go through a process called Candidacy. Candidacy is an opportunity for selected faculty members to review the student's progress thus far in the program, and to allow the student to reflect on what they have learned. The purposes of candidacy are to:

  • Ensure that students are integrating material from the classroom to real-life experiences
  • Verify that professional goals are specific and focused
  • Clarify that students have formulated a realistic view of what they need to do to become effective professionals
  • Ensure that students understand and can meet ethical standards
  • Ensure that students can express themselves regarding controversial issues in the field

Each candidacy process is a little different according to specialization, however all students will be required to fill out a Candidacy Application Form (PDF).

Other general candidacy requirements:

  • The applicant must have maintained a grade-point average of not less than a “B” (3.0) in all graduate courses.
  • A grade of “B” or better in CNS 578, Pre-Practicum in Counseling is required for continuance.
  • A grade of “B” or better in CNS 585, Practicum in Counseling is required for continuance.
  • The department's expectations are that the applicants have already attended a professional conference by this point. If not, they are expected to attend one prior to the completion of their Clinical Field II experience (Adv. Clinical Field for Mental Health students). Those who do not meet this requirement will receive an incomplete for the course.
  • The applicant must belong to a professional organization reflecting the students' professional concentration and development.
  • The specialization coordinator will then present the application to the Department for consideration of admittance to candidacy.

Once a decision is made, the student will receive a letter from the Department stating this decision.

Students will be required to show a 10-minute tape of themselves working with a client from their practicum site. It is also encouraged that the students bring their write-up regarding the video with them to the candidacy interview. The student and present faculty will discuss the tape, as well as another client vignette presented during the interview time. The student's progress and plan of work will also be discussed. The student is also expected to have completed a portfolio a week prior to the candidacy interview.

Students will be required to show a 10-minute tape of themselves working with a client from their practicum site. It is also encouraged that the students bring their write-up regarding the video with them to the candidacy interview. The student and present faculty will discuss the tape, as well as another client vignette presented during the interview time. The student's progress and plan of work will also be discussed. The student is also expected to have completed a portfolio.

Students will be required to present their research proposal to be reviewed during candidacy. Selected faculty will take some time discuss the student’s progress and the plan of work will also be reviewed. The student is also expected to have started working on their portfolio.

Students will be required to complete an essay 30 minutes prior to their interview time. During the interview the essay will be reviewed. Selected faculty will take some time to discuss students' progress and the plan of work will also be reviewed. The student is also expected to have completed a portfolio.

Forms

All current students are asked to submit a plan of work within their first semester of graduate school. You will find a time to meet with your advisor to discuss when you will take various courses, and when you plan to graduate from the program.

These forms are available here as PDFs. Physical copies may be obtained in the department office.

Professional Ethics, Liability Insurance and Clearance Information

Every practicing counselor and counselor in training is obligated to uphold a code of ethics. It is the responsibility of the individual to be aware of what they say and the standards they uphold. Please take some time to educate yourself on the most current standards being held by professionals in the field:

Before students begin their practicum class, they are required to obtain liability insurance. Students are responsible for maintaining the coverage throughout their time in practicum, and field classes, and providing proof of coverage to the faculty supervisor. Do not let your coverage lapse.

For insurance information you can contact the following sites:

All those within the clinical mental health, school counseling, and college counseling specializations are required to have up-to-date clearances. These include the FBI Fingerprinting, Child Abuse, and ACT 34 clearances, and they will need to be updated yearly. Please check early with your program advisor. Start the clearance process by visiting these sites:

All those in Clinical Mental Health and College/College Student Personnel are asked to check with their supervisors in regards to what clearances they will need for their sites.

Licensure and Certification

Students who graduate from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and College Counseling programs will be eligible to pursue licensure as a Professional Counselor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Graduates in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling will have fully met the licensure educational requirement for 60 graduate semester hours (PA Codes 49.1 and 49.2). College Counseling graduates will need to complete an additional 12 graduate semester hours before applying for licensure (these can be completed post-master's). Additional post-master's licensure requirements for graduates of all programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Satisfactory passing score on one of the approved licensure exams (e.g., the National Counselor Exam)
  • Successful completion of 3000 hours of supervised practice
  • Attestation of good moral and legal standing

View answers to frequently asked questions about the NCE.

Pennsylvania state licensure requirements are detailed and may have been amended since the publication of this information.

For current and detailed licensure information, please visit the website for the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors.

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) developed the first general practice counseling credential that was national in scope. NBCC began credentialing National Certified Counselors (NCCs) in 1983. Currently, approximately 40,000 mental health professionals throughout the United States and in over 40 other countries hold this voluntary professional credential. Although the NCC credential isn't required for independent practice and is not a substitute for the legislated state credentials, those who hold the credential appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met national standards developed by counselors, not legislators.