Master's in Counseling Mission Statement
The mission of the master’s program in Counseling at Ball State University is to prepare students for a career in the helping professions. The program will help students develop a professional identity as a counselor and prepare them to work in a variety of community settings. Intensive, supervised practica and internships are required, providing real-life work experience in the application of basic psychotherapeutic procedures and evaluation techniques in an approved and appropriate setting. Two program options are offered for the MA in counseling (Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling). A dual major in social psychology and counseling is also offered.
Please see the Department Handbook for degree requirements for students pursuing a master's degree in counseling.
The specific training goals for students pursuing master’s degrees in counseling align with the eight core curricular experiences identified in CACREP standards. These include: professional orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, group work, assessment, helping relationships, research and program evaluation, and career development. The goals are as follows:
- Develop Professional Counselor Identity
Students will understand the history of professional counseling, have knowledge of the philosophical foundations of the profession, knowledge of the roles and functions of counselors, and knowledge and understanding of professional ethics.
- Develop Sensitivity to Social and Cultural Diversity
Students will be sensitive to diversity issues and will develop awareness of power and privilege. They will develop awareness of self and others, and necessary knowledge and skills to work effectively with diverse populations. Will develop strategies for eliminating barriers, prejudice, oppression and discrimination.
- Gain Knowledge of Career Development
Students will learn about theories and models of career development, career counseling, and decision making. They recognize the importance of career counseling as unique to the counseling profession, and recognize the value of career work in all counseling settings and will use the necessary tools to advocate for and facilitate skill development aiding career and educational development, and employment opportunities in a global economy.
- Understand Counseling and Helping Relationships
Students will learn about theories and models of counseling and consultation. They will develop interviewing, diagnostic, counseling, and case conceptualization skills. Will develop treatment plans, intervention, and prevention plans consistent with their theoretical orientation, and will be able to assess the effectiveness of their interventions. They, will be able to critically evaluate the therapeutic literature, and will follow best practices in their work with individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations.
- Gain Knowledge in Assessment and Testing
Students will learn about the nature and meaning of assessment in counseling. They will learn to assess client risk to self and others, and will learn about clinical judgment and statistical concept relevant in test and measurement. They will learn about the use of assessment to aid with diagnosis and treatment planning and will learn about ethical and culturally relevant strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment results.
- Gain Knowledge in Research and Program Evaluation
Students will understand the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession, including how to critique research to inform counseling practice. Students will learn about qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods, designs used in research and program evaluation, and will learn about ethical and culturally relevant strategies for conducting, interpreting and reporting results of research and program evaluation.
- Develop Reflective Practice
Students will develop a high degree of self-understanding, will develop strategies for personal and professional self-evaluation, and will develop self-care strategies appropriate for the counselor role.