Introduction

The counseling program prepares individuals as professional counselors in the areas of clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, student affairs and college counseling, and addiction counseling. Our program is designed to prepare graduates who have necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions to best serve in mental health centers, schools, recovery centers, and colleges.  Our program is exemplified by the quality and diversity of classroom instruction, field experiences, program options, students, faculty and the outstanding reputation of graduates in the community. The required core courses are those considered to represent basic knowledge and skills essential for professional counselors in all environments. The common CACREP core includes knowledge and skills in:

  • profession­al orientation and ethics,
  • human growth and development,
  • social and cultural diversity,
  • helping relationships (e.g., counseling theory, counseling methods),
  • career development,
  • group work,
  • assess­ment,
  • research and program evaluation.

The Counseling Program also maintains the Community Counseling Clinic that provides free or reduced cost counseling services to residents of the Youngstown area. All students in the clinical, school, addiction and college counseling options take one practicum course and counsel clients via the clinic during their first practicum experience.  We have a strong connection with alumni, program supervisors, agencies and schools, and community leaders who support the profession of counseling in the Youngstown area.

For more information about the Department of Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology, contact the Department Office at 330-941-3257 or visit our Department website.

Welcome

Our program is designed to prepare graduates that have necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions to best serve in mental health centers, schools, recovery centers, and colleges in the area. Our program seeks to meet the Addiction Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, Student Affairs & College Counseling needs of Northeast Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and other areas of the state/country. 

We are CACREP accredited and nationally awarded - 2015 ACES Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award and the 2014 NCACES Innovative Counselor Education Program Award. Our program is exemplified by the quality and diversity of classroom instruction, field experiences, program options, students, faculty and the outstanding reputation of graduates in the community. We have a 45 year history and over 1500 master’s degree graduates who have served the area as licensed professional clinical counselors, licensed/certified school counselors, licensed/certified chemical dependency counselors, student affairs professionals, professors, agency directors, and public servants. We have a strong connection with alumni, program supervisors, agencies and schools, and community leaders who support the profession of counseling in the Youngstown area. Master’s students will find a unique educational experience that prepares them for employment and/or advanced study in Counseling. I encourage you to review the website and to contact the program director with any questions.

Jake J. Protivnak, Ph.D. 
Chair / Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Special Education & School Psychology
(330) 941-1936
jjprotivnak@ysu.edu

Program Director

For specific questions about the Master of Science in Education Counseling program, please contact the program director:

Matthew Paylo, Ph.D., Associate Professor
3312 Beeghly Hall
(330) 941-3264
mpaylo@ysu.edu

Addiction Counseling

The Addiction Counseling Program prepares students to work in a variety of community settings, including addiction/recovery centers, residential/community mental health centers, hospitals, employee assistance programs, and private practice.  Students are taught to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders using a variety of interventions and methods. Students within this program focus on all areas of addiction including drug and alcohol, gambling, sexual, and other process addiction. The Addiction Counseling Program is currently accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) under the 2009 standards for Community Counseling programs as a Community Counseling program. The CACREP 2009 standards provide a new CACREP specialty in Addiction Counseling.  Completion of this program will satisfy the educational portion of the requirements for Professional counselor and Professional Clinical Counselor licensure by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. In addition to the 63 semester hours of coursework, students complete experiential activities early in the program, a practicum, and a 600-hour internship in one of a variety of addiction settings in Northeast Ohio or Western Pennsylvania.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program prepares students to work with children, adolescents, and/or adults and are employed in a variety of settings, including:

  • community mental health centers,
  • hospitals,
  • addiction/recovery centers,
  • employee assistance programs, and
  • private practices. 

Students are taught to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders using a variety of interventions and methods. Students are also taught ways to facilitate clients’ growth and wellness, and how to help people live optimally as they move through developmental changes. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is currently accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). A completed 600-hour internship in an appropriate community setting is required. Students interested in clinical mental health counseling complete a 63-semester-hour curriculum that is recognized by the state of Ohio’s Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. The curriculum enables graduates to pursue Ohio Professional Counselor licensure and Professional Clinical Counselor licensure. Students seeking counselor licensure in other states, such as Pennsylvania, have the responsibility to ensure that they meet the requirements of those particular states.

School Counseling

The School Counseling option prepares students to work in public or private K-12 education settings. The program is designed to help students with or without teaching backgrounds to support the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students within a school system. The program has an urban focus and seeks to prepare students who understand the impact of poverty and culture on disenfranchised populations. The School Counseling program is currently accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program meets the education requirements for school counselor licensure in the state of Ohio. Students seeking school counselor licensure who do not have teacher certification in Ohio must have completed an approved school counseling program with a one-year induction process. Students must also pass the school counseling specialty por­tion of the Praxis Exam administered by Educational Testing Service for the State of Ohio or any other state required standardized testing. In addition to the 54 semester hours of coursework, students complete experiential activities early in the program, a practicum, and a 600-hour internship in one of a variety of school counseling settings in Northeast Ohio or Western Pennsylvania. Students seeking school counselor licensure/certifica­tion in other states, such as Pennsylvania, have the responsibility to ensure that they meet the requirements of those particular states.

Student Affairs and College Counseling

The Student Affairs & College Counseling program option prepares entry level student affairs practitioners and college counselors with the knowledge, skills, and practical experiences to facilitate the learning and development of college students. Preparation is guided by an understanding of student affairs and college counseling history and research, college student development theory, legal and ethical issues, college student diversity, current issues, administrative and leadership components, assessment practices, and an understanding of the dynamic nature of higher education.The Student Affairs and College Counseling program is currently accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Graduates from the Student Affairs & College Counseling program option pursue careers as professionals at college and universities across the country. Recent graduates have been:

  • academic advisors,
  • career services coordinators,
  • international recruiters,
  • residence directors,
  • area coordinators,
  • directors of residence life,
  • directors of student activities and
  • faculty members.

Individuals who complete the 66 hour licensure option are prepared to work with college students in community mental health centers, hospitals, addiction/recovery centers, employee assistance programs and private practices. Individuals are taught to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders using a variety of interventions and methods. Completion of the 66 semester hour licensure track will satisfy the educational portion of the requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor and a Professional Clinical Counselor by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. Individuals complete experiential activities early in the program, a practicum, and a 600-hour internship in one of a variety of college and university settings in Northeast Ohio or Western Pennsylvania.

Mission

The mission of the Counseling Program is to educate students, and to help them develop into counselors and related professionals who are sensitive to the impacts of human development, culture, and context upon students and consumers of counseling services; who are caring and compassionate counselors and people; who are self-reflective; who promote opportunity and social justice for the impoverished urban and rural populations; and, who are committed to empowering consumers of counseling services to thrive, and to achieve their fullest potential.

The Counseling Program advocates equality of opportunity for all persons. The curriculum and all educational experiences are designed to educate counselors in understanding and applying various counseling methods and techniques to aid a multicultural and diverse population with psychological, educational, vocational, and personal concerns. The Counseling Program fosters a learning environment that is challenging for both personal and professional development, humane in its emphasis upon respect for the dignity and worth of the individual, and realistic through its emphasis upon integration of academic, clinical, and field-based learning.

Program faculty are involved in scholarship, and university, professional, and community service, and to use those involvements to mentor students, to enhance students’ learning experiences, to serve the community, the counseling profession, and consumers of counseling services who reside in northeast Ohio.

Admission Requirements

Students from a variety of undergraduate majors (i.e. psychology, social work, education, communication, sociology, religion, philosophy, business, general studies, etc.) may pursue a master’s degree in counseling. Undergraduate and/or gradu­ate grade point average, a letter of intent, letters of recommendation, and a required interview are important factors in determining the admissibility of an applicant to the counseling degree program. Applicants will be interviewed by members of the Counseling Admissions Committee and must meet the standards prescribed in the counseling program’s admission policies. The following are the admission requirements

  • Applicants must have earned above a 2.7 grade-point average.  (If an applicant's GPA is slightly below the minimum required, an applicant may include a GRE or MAT score to have their application reviewed.);
  • Letter of Intent (approximately 4 pages double-spaced)with response to the following items:
  1. What factors are motivating you to pursue a masters degree in Counseling at this time?
  2. Please give an example of when you have determined to make desired changes in your life. What motivated you to seek this change and what obstacles did you overcome?
  3. What do you believe are the most important counseling skills for helping a culturally-different individual?
  4. The Counseling Program offers four (4) options; Addiction Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Student Affairs/College Counseling.  Which Counseling Program option(s) are you most interested in pursuing? What is your motivation to specialize in this area and what type of work would you like to be doing in 5 years?
  • Three Letters of Reference or Reference forms, at least two of which should be prepared by current or former faculty;
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate or graduate work completed;
  • Counseling Interview. 

Accreditation

The Counseling Program emphasizes high standards of professional competence. The Counseling Program continues to remain committed to its stated mission through ongoing accreditations by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Counseling Program also emphasizes ethical practice and keeps with state and national standards for certification and licensure for practice in educational, mental health and social service environments. Department programs have full approval by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapists Board (OCSWMFT), and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The Department engages in ongoing program development and refinement based on accrediting bodies' and licensure boards’ developments and recommendations, and sensitivity to licensure requirements and legal and ethical issues is a priority.

Our program is fully accredited by CACREP through 2023. Our last site visit was December 4, 2014 and we will have our next campus visit prior to the date of our next accreditation in 2023. 

Victoria E. White Kress, Ph.D., Professor
Self-injurious behavior; complex psychological trauma; child abuse, domestic violence, rape/sexual trauma survivors; DSM; strength-based/creative counseling interventions

Don Martin, Ph.D., Professor
Academic and social skills among students of poverty; neuropsychology rehabilitation of stroke and CNS disorders; sports psychology with emphasis on D1 athletes

Kenneth L. Miller, Ph.D., Professor
Measurement of cultural bias and discrimination; child abuse; technology use in clinical supervision; gender equity

Matthew Paylo, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Child and adolescent treatment; qualitative research; residential and prison mental health; advocacy and social justice issues

Jake J. Protivnak, Ph.D., Associate Professor
School counseling; professional advocacy and development in counselor education; ethical issues; career development

Students are required to complete appropriate coursework for their program option, including satisfactory completion of the counseling comprehensive examination prior to beginning their field placements. Coursework related to specialized cognate areas (e.g., electives and/or thesis) serve to enhance each program option.

Twelve semester hours of internship are required. Since this requirement entails 20 hours per week at the internship site, students who are employed full time may need to arrange for accommodations with their employers to fulfill this requirement.

Addiction Counseling Program Curriculum

  1. Internship placement involves a minimum of 600 clock hours completed over two semesters. COUN 7002 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum 2 is to be completed the semester immediately prior to beginning the internship.  Students are to apply for their field placement for the fall or summer semesters no later than the fourth week of the spring semester.  (Application forms are online and should be submitted to the internship coordinator.) If a student would like to begin his or her field placement in the spring semester, the student should apply no later than the fourth week of the fall semester. Students who fail to submit their field placement application form by the deadline will not be permitted to complete their field placement during the specified semester. For further information refer to the appropriate Fieldwork Handbook
  2. Not all courses are offered every semester. It is the student’s responsibility to carefully plan his or her program of study in order to meet all prerequisite course and graduation requirements.
  3. All candidates are required to purchase a Task Stream account to complete the critical task for each courses which is essential for the CACREP accreditation.
COURSETITLES.H.
Required Courses
COUN 5898Orientation and Ethical Issues in Community Counseling (take within the first 3 semesters)3
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
COUN 6902Theory and Foundation of Addictions Counseling3
COUN 6903Addictions Counseling: Treatment and Intervention3
COUN 6910Human Development and Family Systems Counseling3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 6964Appraisal Techniques in Counseling3
COUN 6968Research in Counseling3
COUN 6972Career Counseling3
COUN 6973
6973L
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Laboratory
3
COUN 6976Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling3
COUN 6980Diagnosis of Mental Disorders3
COUN 7001Counseling Practicum 13
COUN 7002Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum 23
COUN 7031Clinical Psychopathology and Treatment3
COUN 7034Advanced Evaluation of Mental and Emotional Status3
COUN 7037Counseling and Psychopharmacological Treatments of Mental and Emotional Disorders3
or COUN 7003 Counseling Children and Adolescents
COUN 7041Case Conceptualization, Treatment Planning, and Clinical Supervision3
Internship
COUN 7010Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship12
Total Semester Hours66

Comprehensive examination prerequisites

COURSETITLES.H.
COUN 5898Orientation and Ethical Issues in Community Counseling3
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
COUN 6910Human Development and Family Systems Counseling3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 6964Appraisal Techniques in Counseling3
COUN 6968Research in Counseling3
COUN 6972Career Counseling3
COUN 6973
6973L
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Laboratory
3
COUN 6976Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling3
COUN 6980Diagnosis of Mental Disorders3

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Curriculum

  1. Internship placement involves a minimum of 600 clock hours completed over two semesters. COUN 7002 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum 2 is to be completed the semester immediately prior to beginning the internship. Students are to apply for their field placement for the fall or summer semesters no later than the fourth week of the spring semester. (Application forms are online and should be submitted to the internship coordinator.) If a student would like to begin his or her field placement in the spring semester, the student should apply no later than the fourth week of the fall semester. Students who fail to submit their field placement application form by the deadline will not be permitted to complete their field placement during the specified semester. For further information refer to the appropriate Fieldwork Handbook
  2. Not all courses are offered every semester. It is the student’s responsibility to carefully plan his or her program of study in order to meet all prerequisite course and graduation requirements.
  3. All candidates are required to purchase a Task Stream account to complete the critical task for each courses which is essential for the CACREP and CAEP accreditation.
COURSETITLES.H.
Required Courses
COUN 5898Orientation and Ethical Issues in Community Counseling (take within the first 3 semesters)3
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
COUN 6902Theory and Foundation of Addictions Counseling3
or COUN 6903 Addictions Counseling: Treatment and Intervention
COUN 6910Human Development and Family Systems Counseling3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 6964Appraisal Techniques in Counseling3
COUN 6968Research in Counseling3
COUN 6972Career Counseling3
COUN 6973
6973L
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Laboratory
3
COUN 6976Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling3
COUN 6980Diagnosis of Mental Disorders3
or COUN 7013 Topical Seminar in Counseling
COUN 7001Counseling Practicum 13
COUN 7002Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum 23
COUN 7031Clinical Psychopathology and Treatment3
COUN 7034Advanced Evaluation of Mental and Emotional Status3
COUN 7037Counseling and Psychopharmacological Treatments of Mental and Emotional Disorders3
or COUN 7003 Counseling Children and Adolescents
COUN 7041Case Conceptualization, Treatment Planning, and Clinical Supervision3
Internship
COUN 7010Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship12
Total Semester Hours63

Comprehensive examination prerequisites

COURSETITLES.H.
COUN 5898Orientation and Ethical Issues in Community Counseling3
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
COUN 6910Human Development and Family Systems Counseling3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 6964Appraisal Techniques in Counseling3
COUN 6968Research in Counseling3
COUN 6972Career Counseling3
COUN 6973
6973L
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Laboratory
3
COUN 6976Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling3
COUN 6980Diagnosis of Mental Disorders3

School Counseling Program Curriculum

  1. Internship placement involves a minimum of 600 clock hours completed over two semesters. COUN 7007 School Counseling Practicum 2 is to be completed in the fall semester immediately prior to beginning internship. Students are to apply for their field placement for the fall or summer semesters no later than the fourth week of the spring semester.  (Application forms are online and should be submitted to the internship coordinator.) Students who fail to submit their field placement application form by the deadline will not be permitted to complete their field placement during the specified semester. For further information refer to the appropriate Fieldwork Handbook.
  2. Internships must be completed in approved educational settings. In order to provide a comprehensive experience, Practicum II/Internship are only offered beginning in the fall semester of the final year in the program. This experience is comprised of 750 supervised hours in an approved setting in an August through June format.
  3. Not all school counseling courses are offered every semester. Students are responsible for carefully planning their programs of study in order to meet all prerequisite course and graduate requirements.
  4. Students are required to purchase a Task Stream account to complete the critical tasks for each course which is essential for CACREP and CAEP.
COURSETITLES.H.
Required Courses
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
COUN 6910Human Development and Family Systems Counseling3
COUN 6961Orientation and Ethical Issues in School Counseling (take within the first 3 semesters)3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 6964Appraisal Techniques in Counseling3
COUN 6968Research in Counseling3
COUN 6972Career Counseling3
COUN 6973
6973L
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Laboratory
3
COUN 6976Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling3
COUN 7001Counseling Practicum 13
COUN 7003Counseling Children and Adolescents3
COUN 7018Diagnosis and Treatment of Children and Adolescents3
COUN 7019School Counseling Program Development3
COUN 7007School Counseling Practicum 23
Internship
COUN 7010Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship12
Total Semester Hours54

Comprehensive examination prerequisites

COURSETITLES.H.
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
COUN 6910Human Development and Family Systems Counseling3
COUN 6961Orientation and Ethical Issues in School Counseling3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 6964Appraisal Techniques in Counseling3
COUN 6968Research in Counseling3
COUN 6972Career Counseling3
COUN 6973
6973
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Theory and Practice
4
COUN 6976Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling3

Student Affairs and College Counseling Program Curriculum

  1. Internship placement involves a minimum of 600 clock hours completed over two semesters. COUN 7004 Practicum in Student Affairs and College Counseling is to be completed in the fall semester immediately prior to beginning internship. Students are to apply for their field placement (note: application forms are in the central office and should be turned in to the internship coordinator) for the fall or summer semesters no later than the fourth week of the spring semester. Students who fail to turn in their field placement application form by the deadline will not be allowed to complete their field placement during the specified semester. Refer to Fieldwork Handbook for additional information.
  2. Not all courses are offered every semester. It is the student’s responsibility to carefully plan his/her program of study in order to meet all prerequisite course and graduation requirements.
COURSETITLES.H.
Required Courses
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
COUN 6930College Counseling and Student Mental Health3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 6968Research in Counseling3
COUN 6972Career Counseling3
COUN 6973
6973L
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Laboratory
3
COUN 6976Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling3
COUN 7021Legal and Ethical Issues in Student Affairs 23
COUN 7023Life Span and College Student Development3
COUN 7026Orientation and Functions of Student Affairs (take within the first 3 semesters)3
COUN 7044Leadership and Administration in Student Affairs3
COUN 7046Assessment in Student Affairs Practice3
Ohio Licensure Option 2
Orientation and Ethical Issues in Community Counseling
Diagnosis of Mental Disorders
Clinical Psychopathology and Treatment
Advanced Evaluation of Mental and Emotional Status
Case Conceptualization, Treatment Planning, and Clinical Supervision
Counseling Practicum 1 (permit required)
Practicum/Internship
COUN 7004Practicum in Student Affairs and College Counseling (permit required) 13
COUN 7005Internship in Student Affairs and College Counseling (permit required) 16
COUN 7005Internship in Student Affairs and College Counseling 16
Total Semester Hours51
1

COUN 7004 Practicum in Student Affairs and College Counseling & COUN 7005 Internship in Student Affairs and College Counseling will have licensure and non-licensure track internship settings

2

 Ohio Licensure Option will include an additional 18 semester hours of listed coursework.  COUN 7021 will not be required for Non-Licensure students.

Comprehensive examination prerequisites

COURSETITLES.H.
COUN 7026Orientation and Functions of Student Affairs3
COUN 7023Life Span and College Student Development3
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 7046Assessment in Student Affairs Practice3
COUN 6968Research in Counseling3
COUN 6972Career Counseling3
COUN 6973
6973L
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Laboratory
3
COUN 6976Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling3

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the curriculum content of CACREP’s eight core courses
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to use foundational counseling techniques/ micro-skills
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and the ability to apply ethical standards and engage in ethical counseling and professional practices
  4. Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and skills related to counseling diverse populations
  5. Demonstrate a professional identity, as well as professionalism, and fitness to practice as a professional counselor
  6. Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills specific to their program areas (i.e., Clinical Mental Health, School, Student Affairs)