The Ph.D. program, accredited by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs), prepares students to work as counselor educators, clinical supervisors, and advanced practitioners in academic and clinical settings.
A sample of program awards include:
- consistent top 10 rankings in the country by U. S. News and World Report
- consistent top 10 rankings in the country by the Chronicle of Higher Education in terms of faculty scholarly productivity
- faculty recognition by various professional organizations for outstanding teaching and mentoring, including the Rehabilitation Counselor Educator of the Year Award, the Penn State University Outstanding Teaching Award, the Penn State University Excellence in Advising Award, and the Penn State University Outstanding Student Organization Adviser of the Year Award.
- faculty members have served as editors, reviewers, and editorial board members of leading journals in the field including: Journal of Counseling Development; Counseling Today; Career Development Quarterly; Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision; Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin; Journal of Rehabilitation; The Family Journal; Journal of Mental Health Counseling; Professional School Counseling; Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development.
The mission of the program is to:
- extend the knowledge base of the counseling profession in a climate of scholarly inquiry
- prepare students to generate new knowledge for the profession through research that results in scholarly publications
- prepare graduates to be leaders and advocates for change
An emphasis is placed on faculty involvement in areas including:
- teaching, research, and professional service
- leadership in national counseling associations and organizations
- leadership as journal editors or associate editors
- research and development: faculty have written over 600 journal articles and 50 books, and have delivered over 600 presentations at international, national, and state professional conferences
- The Counselor Education doctoral program objectives address the professional leadership roles of counselor education, supervision, advanced counseling practice, and research competencies expected of doctoral graduates.
- The program consists of a minimum of four academic years of graduate level preparation (including master's-level preparation), defined as eight semesters, with a minimum of 96 graduate-level credits required of all students in the program.
- Learning experiences beyond the master's-level are required in all of the following content areas:
- theories pertaining to the principles and practice of counseling, career development, group work, systems, and consultation
- theories and practices of counselor supervision
- instructional theory and methods relevant to counselor education
- pedagogy relevant to current social and cultural issues, including social change theory and advocacy action planning
- design and implementation of quantitative research methodology, including univariate, mutlivariate, and single-subject design
- design and implementation of qualitative research, including grounded theory, ethnographic, and phenomenological methodologies
- models and methods of assessment and use of data
- ethical and legal considerations in counselor education and supervision
- the role of racial, ethnic, and cultural heritage, nationality, socioeconomic status, family structure, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual beliefs, occupation, physical, and mental status, local, regional, national, international perspective, and equity issues in counselor education programs
- Counselor Education doctoral students will have experiences that are designed to:
- develop an area of professional counseling expertise
- develop collaborative relationships with program faculty in teaching, supervision, research, professional writing, and service to the profession and public
- foster participation in professional counseling organizations, including the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) and the American Counseling Association (ACA)
- meet criteria for appropriate credentials
- promote scholarly counseling research
- enhance technical competence
Students admitted to the doctoral program must have completed master's level studies that are comparable to CACREP entry-level standards