General Program Information
Graduate School Contact:
Fiona Goodyear; firstname.lastname@example.org; 423-439-6148
K. Brent Morrow, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Program Coordinator
324 Warf-Pickel Hall
James Bitter; Rebekah Byrd; Graham Disque; Laura Farmer; Clifton Mitchell; Brent Morrow; Janna Scarborough.
The counseling program is designed for the advanced preparation of personnel to serve children, adults, and families in various school and community agency settings. The counseling program offers four (4) concentrations: clinical mental health counseling, college counseling/student affairs, couples and family counseling, and elementary/secondary school counseling. Emphasis is placed upon assisting students to develop a broad range of counseling skills that are applicable in a variety of professional settings. Students are admitted into the counseling program once a year in the fall or summer semesters. To be considered for summer or fall enrollment, the early admission application deadline is February 15. Applications that are not complete by the early deadline risk denial of admission due to no remaining available spaces. A minimum of 60 credit-hours are required to complete the Master of Arts degree in Counseling. The Elementary/Secondary School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and College Counseling/Student Affairs options are accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Program Admission Requirements
Each applicant for admission to the Master of Arts degree in counseling program must meet the following criteria:
Applicants to East Tennessee State University’s graduate program in counseling must be a graduate of a regionally accredited college or university. In addition to submitting an application and an official transcript of all academic work previously completed, applicants must submit three letters of reference and their general aptitude scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)*. After a review of the application materials, applicants whose documents indicate a potential for success will be invited for an interview with the counseling program faculty.
Because of the importance of interpersonal characteristics in the field of counseling, the interview is a significant component of the admission process of the counseling program. After interviews, candidates will receive a letter regarding admission. Students are admitted into the counseling program once a year for either the summer or fall semesters. Note that individuals applying to the school counseling concentration must complete a successful background check in order to be fully admitted. Students are admitted into the counseling program once a year. To be considered for summer or fall enrollment, the application deadline is February 15.
The counseling program does not condone or engage in discrimination based on age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, or socioeconomic status.Under the preceding procedures, factors given consideration in the admission decision include the following:
Faculty’s assessment of interpersonal skills and aptitude for counseling;
Level of GRE performance*;
Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA);
Undergraduate field of study;
Performance in previous graduate level study;
Related counseling work experience
Past and current positions
Years of experience
Scope and variety of experiences
Other evidence of success in academic and professional endeavors
Motivation for graduate study
*Note: The GRE is changing which will impact scoring processes. For up-to-date information on the program’s use of the GRE in the admission process, please see the counseling program website or contact the faculty.
Applicants who are otherwise qualified for admission may not be admitted based on program enrollment and limited resources, or determination of suitability by the faculty.
Elementary/Secondary School Counseling
Rebekah Byrd, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School Counseling Program Coordinator
417 Warf-Pickel Hall
The school counseling concentration is designed to prepare individuals to work in school settings and to be eligible for licensure as a K-12 school counselor. The school counseling concentration has been approved by the state of Tennessee as a preparation program for K-12 school counselors. To satisfy state requirements, candidates without teaching experience seeking to be licensed as school counselors for grades K-12 must take EDFN 2300, Foundations of Education (EDFN 5410 can be substituted) and SPED 5500 , History, Issues, and Trends in Educating Exceptional Learners (SPED 2300 can be substituted). Note that all school counseling students must have a successful background check in order to be fully admitted into the school counseling concentration. See the program coordinator for details.
* Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) eligible means that students will have met the academic requirements for these licenses in the state of Tennessee (and many other states.) Thesis/non-thesis option: Students may replace an elective with a thesis. This is not a change in the curriculum and has been the practice of the Counseling Program.
Total Hours Required for M.A. Degree: 60 Credit Hours
ALL concentrations to meet CACREP guidelines; all graduates immediately eligible to become National Certified Counselors.
Recommended Electives—It is recommended that students, with written approval of their advisor or advisory committee, choose electives with a focus clearly related to their specific professional objectives. Coursework can be chosen from the disciplines of counseling, special education, criminal justice, social work, sociology, psychology, early childhood education, health education, personnel management., and other approved disciplines. Courses should be approved for elective credit before the courses are taken.
Retention and Dismissal—As required by ACA and AAMFT, students failing to demonstrate personal, professional, and/or ethical behaviors, as these behaviors relate to the ability to function as a counselor, upon review and substantiation (with due process), can be denied continuance in counseling programs. All counseling graduate students are evaluated twice a year. If intervention is indicated and completed, the student may petition the department for readmission.
Students are responsible for being familiar with and following all graduate school admission and retention requirements as stated in the front section of this catalog and in the counseling graduate student handbook.
Licensure Information—In order to be eligible for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) status in Tennessee, applicants must have 60 credit-hours of coursework in counseling or a related field. Tennessee’s licensure coursework requirement is 12 credit-hours beyond the 48 credit-hours required for graduation in any of the four (4) counseling concentrations. Thus, students ultimately seeking LPC licensure should note that additional courses will be required beyond those necessary to graduate with a Master of Arts degree in Counseling at ETSU. Many students delay graduation until 60 credit-hours are accumulated in order to maintain tuition scholarships, graduate assistantships, or paid internships—and in order to be license eligible with regard to coursework upon graduation. Delayed graduation is not required, however, and many other students choose to complete their licensure courses after graduation while being fully employed. In addition, it is highly recommended that those seeking an LPC obtain the Mental Health Service Provider (MHSP) designation that requires certain courses. Students should refer to the Counseling Program Handbook or contact their designated advisor for details on obtaining MHSP status.