The program is diverse in nature. The age range of our doctoral students extends from the mid-20's to mid-50's. Professors represent various points of view in terms of philosophy of human services and modes of practice.
The program reflects its identity within the College of Education, Health, and Human Services. That is, it is devoted to the problems of daily living. Our focus is on situational crises, decision making, self-enhancement, social skills, adaptation to loss or to changed circumstances, career planning and changing, interpersonal relations, anxiety, loneliness, and other issues which most persons face during their lifetime. Preparation, however, also considers problems of daily living within the context of mental and emotional disorders.
There is a common base of knowledge, attitudes and skills, which is expected of all our students. This appears in the prerequisites to the program and in the doctoral core requirements.
Professional identity in counseling is fostered through mentoring, through involvement with professional organizations and activities, through participation in conferences and conventions, and through collaborative scholarship with professors and other students.
The curriculum of studies includes the development of skills to be of direct service to clients, the development of theory and research competencies, and the development of instruction and supervision competencies.
The practitioner aspect of the program integrates both theory and application. Students are presented with successive approximations to reality through in-class activities, then through controlled practica, and finally internship, all under supervision.
Knowledge about oneself is maximized with experiential learning. Practicum and other hands-on experiences are laboratories for testing of one's skills, for confirming or disconfirming one's strengths and weaknesses, for identifying biases, and for developing professional integration.
Our teaching model assumes that the student is an active participant, not a passive learner. In this condition we expect receptivity to supervision; willingness to test one's assumptions and hypotheses; readiness to share insights and information with one's student colleagues; solicitation of feedback and critique; and willingness to consider and try out alternative behaviors.