Acceptance to the M.A. in Counseling Programs should not be confused with degree candidacy. At degree candidacy, each student’s professional development, attitudes, academic achievement, written and verbal skills, adherence to ethical standards, personal maturity, relational skills, motivation, dependability, emotional stability, professional commitment, and fitness for the counseling profession are assessed. Graduate students in Counseling must apply for Degree Candidacy following the completion of 12 credits and before the completion of 27 credits in the program. Applications for Admission to Degree Candidacy are printed in the Appendix of this Counseling Student Handbook.
Achievement of satisfactory grades is only part of the degree candidacy process. Students applying for degree candidacy will be asked to file a degree candidacy application accompanied by a sample of writing and an essay in which they analyze themselves, their worldview, and their professional goals. Because of the nature of the counseling profession, students applying for degree candidacy also will be asked to discuss personal and professional issues in a degree candidacy interview with M.A. in Counseling Programs faculty members. During the interview, students may be asked to discuss readings that impacted their thinking as counselors, to analyze their current strengths and weaknesses, to discuss their spiritual perspectives, and to describe a plan for continuing professional growth. Students are encouraged to recognize degree candidacy as an important step in their professional growth. Degree candidacy interviews should reflect careful preparation, a positive attitude, professional attire, and promptness.
Following the submission of an Application for Admission to Degree Candidacy to the M.A. in Counseling Office, students will be contacted within two to three weeks regarding an appointment for a degree candidacy interview. Upon completion of the candidacy interview, students will be notified of either acceptance into Degree Candidacy, denial of Degree Candidacy, or will be placed on a Hold status. If a student receives a Hold, he or she will be informed of current deficiencies, and it will be the responsibility of the student, in consultation with his or her academic advisor, to make a written plan. This plan may include obtaining personal counseling, repeating or taking additional courses, or gaining additional experiences. Following the completion of the plan, students may reapply for degree candidacy. Students may appeal a Degree Candidacy decision. Students will not be permitted to exceed 27 credits until degree candidacy is applied for and a decision is rendered by the M.A. in Counseling faculty.