The counseling program at Northern State University is a 60 semester hour program that prepares students for a career in counseling and other helping professions. The CACREP (Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs) approved program leads to a master's of science degree in education with preparation for K-12 school or clinical mental health counseling certification. The program of study provides the student the theoretical base and skills necessary to provide counseling services. Students admitted into the program are required to meet and maintain the graduate student requirements outlined in the Graduate Student Handbook. Specific course descriptions can be found in the course description section of the catalog.
The program subscribes to the American Counseling Association (ACA) and American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The prescribed ethics and standards are very clear about the potential counselor's ability to serve clients/students and addresses issues and expectations for the training and the acquisition of counseling skills and knowledge base of students, in order to uphold the standards of the counseling profession. Commitment to academic and personal growth and development is expected of each student. Students in the program are encouraged to develop an individual counseling style; no single educational or counseling approach is imposed. The code of ethics and standards of practice are very clear concerning the rights of students and clients with regard to openness and diversity of lifestyle and culture. Acceptance of diversity (i.e., age, disability, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.) is a necessary part of each student's personal makeup. If one's values, beliefs or behaviors are such that they do not allow the student acceptance of and flexibility to work with a wide variety of clients, the student will be encouraged to pursue another course of study.
Career directions: Students selecting Clinical Mental Health Counseling will be prepared to enter into an agency setting working with children, adults, families and groups. They are also prepared to select a career guidance or employment setting. Students selecting School Counseling will be prepared to counsel K-12 children in private, public, or parochial schools. All students are prepared to take a state licensure or national certification exam in their area.