General Program Information
Graduate School Contact:
Robin O’Dell; firstname.lastname@example.org; 423-439-6148
Janna Scarborough, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Program Coordinator
301A Warf-Pickel Hall
Patricia Robertson, Ed.D., Professor and Chair, Human Development and Learning
301 Warf-Pickel Hall
Brent Morrow, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Concentration Coordinator
322 Warf-Pickel Hall
Clifton Mitchell, Ph.D., Professor and Community Agency Concentration Coordinator
322 Warf-Pickel Hall
James Bitter; Graham Disque; Clifton Mitchell; Brent Morrow; Patricia Robertson; 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: community agency counseling, marriage and family therapy, school counseling, and higher education. 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 48 credit-hours are required to complete the Master of Arts degree in Counseling. The School Counseling, Community Agency Counseling, and Higher Education 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. Candidates for consideration are expected to have a minimum total of 2500 points based on the following formula: First we obtain the sum of the Verbal and Quantitative GRE general aptitude scores plus the Essay component score after it has been converted to a comparable scale. The conversion for the Essay component is to add one to the score and then multiply by 100. To this sum we add 400 times the applicant’s undergraduate grade point average (UGGPA). This total should be at least 2500. Stated mathematically, the formula would be: (Verbal + Quantitative + (Essay + 1) x 100) + (UGGPA x 400) > 2500.
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 individauls applying to the school counseling concentration must complete a successful background check in order to be fully admitted. To be considered for summer or fall enrollment, the early admission deadline is February 15. Applications that are not complete by the early deadline risk denial of admission due to no remaining available spaces.
In some instances, additional factors that are outlined below may also be considered in the decision process. Applicants who do not meet the admission criteria based upon the GRE/GPA formula but who present other evidence of potential for success in graduate study may apply to the counseling committee for further review. After review of the relevant documentation, the faculty may then request an interview. If the results of the interview with the faculty are positive, the candidate may be admitted as an exception to the formula entry standards.
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 institution;
- 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
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.
Community Agency Counseling Concentration
Clifton Mitchell, Ph.D., Professor and Community Agency Coordinator
322 Warf-Pickel Hall
Community Agency Counseling—This program is for students seeking preparation for counseling in community agency settings . Electives will be chosen from disciplines relevant to the area of professional interest of each student. Graduates who have completed the concentration in community agency counseling will demonstrate professional skills for working in community mental health agencies, substance abuse centers, correctional facilities, employee assistance programs, hospice services, or other human service settings.
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.