Chairperson and Graduate Program Coordinator: Professor Elaine Bukowiecki
Graduate Program Directors:
Mental Health: Associate Professor Melissa Freeburg
Mental Health, International Non-Licensure concentration: Associate Professor Christy Lyons Graham
School Counseling: Assistant Professor April Megginson
Student Affairs: Assistant Professor Katherine Bender
Professors: Victoria Bacon, Louise Graham
Location: Kelly Gymnasium, Room 104
Advanced Group Counseling in Legacy Exploration and Preservation Group Work
- MEd in Counseling
Concentrations: Mental Health Counseling, Mental Health Counseling-Dual License, Mental Health Counseling-International Non-Licensure (Non-U.S. Citizens), School Counseling (PreK-8, 5-12), Student Affairs Counseling
Postmaster’s Licensure Program
- School Counseling (PreK-8, 5-12)
The following program is currently inactive:
- Mental Health Counseling, CAGS
Click on Academic Programs for program information and requirements.
The Bridgewater State University graduate Department of Counselor Education prepares professional counselors to provide counseling, consultation and preventive services to individuals, families, groups and communities in mental health, student affairs and PreK-12 educational settings. The faculty promote a professional identity as counselors and facilitate the development of this professional identity in students by integrating wellness, lifespan development, professional ethics, multicultural competencies and prevention. The counseling faculty are diverse with regard to background, experience and counseling orientation, and prepare counselors to help clients effectively respond to developmental, educational, career, mental health and other lifespan challenges. As professional counselors and student affairs professionals in training, students in the Department of Counselor Education are educated to think critically, communicate effectively and responsibly utilize innovative strategies to enhance the practice of counseling in the 21st century. The faculty facilitate the ability of students to translate theoretical and philosophical principles into practical application to promote wellness throughout the lifespan. Students graduate prepared to pursue licensure in their respective area of counseling.
Counseling Program Options
Advanced Group Counseling in Legacy Exploration and Preservation Group Work - 9 credits
Master of Education in Counseling
Mental Health Counseling - 60 credits
Mental Health Counseling: Dual License - 66 credits
Mental Health Counseling, International Non-Licensure (Non-U.S. Citizens) - 60 credits
School Counseling - 51 credits
Student Affairs Counseling - 39 credits
Postmaster’s Licensure in Counseling Program Options
School Counseling (PreK-8, 5-12)
The following program is currently inactive:
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Mental Health Counseling - 30 credits (minimum)
General Admission Criteria for the Counselor Education Programs
The counselor education faculty seek to admit students who will become highly effective professional counselors. As such, the faculty look at each student’s application as a whole and do not exclude students based on any one criterion. Students must submit a complete application by Oct. 1 for spring semester admission and Feb. 1 for fall semester admission. In addition to the admission standards set by the university, there are general admission criteria for counseling that are based on state and national standards outlined below. Specific program admission requirements are identified under individual program options on the following pages.
- Each applicant is reviewed by counselor education faculty who serve on the Counseling Programs Committee.
- Each applicant must demonstrate success in forming effective interpersonal relationships in individual and small group contexts.
- Each applicant must demonstrate aptitude for graduate-level study.
- Each applicant must provide career goals and objectives and their relevance to their chosen program.
- Each applicant must demonstrate openness to self-examination and personal and professional self-development.
Degree-seeking students who desire to change programs must file a formal petition with the Counseling Programs Committee and meet all admission requirements of the desired program. A student whose petition is approved must adhere to the specific program requirements in place at the time of approval.
The counselor education faculty actively seek to recruit applicants with diverse backgrounds.
Counseling Program Planning
All accepted students must attend a new student orienation held in January for spring admission and in May for fall admission, as well as meet with their faculty advisor upon acceptance.
The Department of Counselor Education has some courses that are open to non-matriculated, prospective students to take. Interested students would need to apply to be a non-degree seeking student, wait at least two weeks after registration has opened, and seek approval from the instructor of the courses.
The Department of Counselor Education takes very seriously its responsibility and commitment to train professional and ethical counselors. Faculty are committed to supporting student success, and providing remedial interventions, when needed. However, the department also recognizes that there will be a small number of students for whom it becomes clear that transitioning out of the program is necessary. The department has written a Learning Contract that reflects ACA ethical standards, university guidelines, department expectations and requirements, as well as the procedures that will be followed in response to academic, personal and/or professional student-related concerns that may arise. During the new student orientation experience, the department’s Learning Contract is reviewed and discussed with all students; students will sign and receive a hard copy of the contract. Students must sign and receive a copy of the Learning Contract to continue to take courses as degree-seeking students. A signed copy will be put in each student’s file at the College of Graduate Studies.
Students must receive a grade of “B-” or higher in each graduate course or fieldwork experience; students who receive a grade lower than “B-” must repeat the course. In addition, students who receive a grade of “F” in any course will be placed on academic probation by the department. Any student who receives a second grade of “F” will be dismissed from the program. Lastly, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or will be placed on academic probation as outlined in the graduate student handbook.
Field experiences (e.g., practicum or internship) are required of all matriculated students. Depending on the counseling program, students complete between 300 and 1000 hours of supervised fieldwork experience. Each student, in conjunction with the fieldwork director, selects an appropriate site and is supervised by an on-site professional while meeting with a Bridgewater State University faculty member for a fieldwork seminar. Most important, students must submit a fieldwork application to the fieldwork director to participate in any fieldwork experience. Fieldwork applications must be completed by the first Monday in April for the summer semester, by the first Monday in June for the fall semester, and by the first Monday in November for the spring semester.
As part of the graduation requirement in the department, students are expected to complete a culminating experience which is overseen by members of the Department of Counselor Education faculty. The culminating experience focuses on students’ ability to integrate counseling and development theory into direct practice. Through the culminating experience, students will demonstrate the counseling competencies that align with current CACREP standards (Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs), as well as standards that align within respective programs of study. Students will have the choice of a master’s thesis; CNGC 502 - Research ; taking the CPCE Exam (Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination); creating a capstone portfolio, CNGC 585 - Capstone in Counseling – Portfolio ; or a project paper, CNGC 586 - Capstone in Counseling – Project Paper . Students completing a master’s thesis must follow the guidelines established by the College of Graduate Studies. Students who are considering pursuing future doctoral studies are especially encouraged to select the master’s thesis option.
CAGS in Mental Health students have the option of submitting a passing score on the LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) exam in lieu of the above mentioned culminating experiences.