Philosophy and Goals


The general philosophy of the Department of Counseling at Idaho State University is based upon the following beliefs:


The Department of Counseling, as an accredited program through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, is required to provide an advisor for each student admitted and enrolled in the Department of Counseling's programs.

Operationally this means that prior to enrollment all students are assigned an advisor. Students receive a letter from the department informing them of their advisor's name and contact information. In addition, students are provided with a program planning sheet for their intended major. Doctoral students are assigned to the department chair.

The first semester of enrollment all students take a professional issues class. In this class it is explained that all students are expected to meet with their assigned advisor at least once per month. Additionally, it is also explained that the assigned advisor is a temporary adviser and that during spring semester of their first year, all master's students have the opportunity to choose a permanent advisor. This occurs usually early in April. Doctoral students also choose a permanent advisor but there is more leeway in terms of time. For doctoral students, this choice must be made prior to their fourth semester in the program.

All students are expected to see their advisor at least once per month during their entire time in the program. The faculty believe that good advising equates to fewer program errors, petitions, course issues, and ensures success in the program.


In the spirit of the Department of Counseling's commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse student body who is prepared to provide counseling services in a pluralistic society, we will follow the diversity action plan developed by the Graduate School and articulated within the Graduate School Recruiting Plan. To accomplish this recruitment, we will actively provide recruitment materials (i.e., program brochures, program planning sheets) to a representative of the Graduate School who will be recruiting across the nation and specifically at the Northwest Association of Independent Colleges with the aim of increasing our enrollment of students from diverse backgrounds.


Doctoral Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the highest university award given in recognition of completion of academic preparation for professional practice in counseling. Candidates are provided primarily with courses and practicum experiences which will be instrumental in assisting them to function more effectively as professional counselor educators and counseling practitioners and researchers.

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Counseling is designed to prepare counselor educators for work in counselor education programs and doctoral level counselors for work in university counseling centers and other counseling sites. The major emphasis of this program is to prepare graduates for a career in university teaching, supervision, and research in counseling programs.

Counselor education and counseling students at Idaho State University will be:

  1. Prepared to teach courses in counseling skills and counseling theories.
  2. Prepared to supervise counselors and counseling students who are providing individual/triadic, group, and/or marriage couple and family counseling.
  3. Prepared to teach selected courses in one or more of the CACREP major areas.
  4. Prepared to teach selected courses in the general CACREP common core.
  5. Prepared to evaluate counselor education programs and counseling sites.
  6. Knowledgeable of professional issues in the counselor education and counseling fields.
  7. Knowledgeable of ethical issues and practices of counselor education and counseling.
  8. Experienced in developing and conducting research.
  9. Experienced in writing for professional publication.
  10. Experienced in the advisement and mentoring of Master of Counseling students.
  11. Knowledgeable and skilled in providing advanced clinical counseling skills.
  12. Knowledgeable of the sociological manifestations of cultural diversity.

Master of Counseling Program

The general objective of the Master of Counseling (M.Coun.) degree is to prepare students to be professional counselors. The Department of Counseling faculty believes that the development of a strong professional identity, a rich knowledge base, and expertise in the skills of counseling are essential to functioning as a professional in each counseling setting.

The Master of Counseling degree is designed to be the strong foundation upon which graduates enter a lifetime career in the helping professions. This program prepares counselors to respond to the multitude of changes in society and to the ever-expanding counseling profession. In addition to knowledge and experience in the following eight common-core areas, graduates have specialized knowledge and skills as identified in the objectives of the Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Student Affairs Counseling majors.

The Department of Counseling has curricular and professional objectives for each Master of Counseling student. Each of these objectives has specific outcome measures.

Curricular Objectives:

  1. Students will have knowledge of Human Growth and Development in order to understand the nature and needs of persons at all developmental levels and in multicultural contexts.
  2. Students will have knowledge of Social and Cultural Foundations to be effective in a multicultural and diverse society.
  3. Students will be knowledgeable and skillful in Counseling and Consultation processes.
  4. Students will be knowledgeable about group development, dynamics, counseling theory, group counseling methods, and group work approaches.
  5. Students will be knowledgeable and understand career development and related factors.
  6. Students will understand and be knowledgeable about individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
  7. Students will be knowledgeable about various research methods and, statistical analysis, needs assessments and program evaluation.
  8. Students will be knowledgeable about the profession of counseling including history, organizational structures, ethics, standards and credentialing.

Student Professional Objectives:

In addition to the above curricular objectives, the Department of Counseling has program specific objectives. These include:

  1. School Counseling students will obtain certification as school counselors.
  2. Students in all majors (Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Student Affairs Counseling) will obtain the appropriate state licensure as professional counselors.


The Department of Counseling has been continuously gathering information for the assessment of its programs. We use information gathered by the general university-wide questionnaire as well as a specialized questionnaire which the university sends to graduates and employers. The information gathered is shared with the Department of Counseling Advisory Board and discussed by faculty to assess the effectiveness of departmental courses, program requirements, and other pertinent elements of the program. This information is then used to update and change the previous majors to improve the quality of the program.

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Last Modified: 10/13/16