Print
Master of Science in Counseling & Student Affairs

Program Coordinator: Kenneth Messina, Ph.D, LPC
Counseling & Student Affairs
Lommen 113J, (218) 477-2506
kenneth.messina@mnstate.edu

The Counseling and Student Affairs (CNSA) program emphasizes the integration of counseling and developmental theories with interpersonal skill development.  It has a generalist orientation, but can be individualized to meet each student’s educational and professional goals.  The program provides extensive practical opportunities through practicum and internship experiences as well as relevant coursework.  It can be completed full-time (maintaining 6-9 credits per semester) in two years or part time students have up to five years.  The curriculum is designed to help students develop core-helping skills and engage in concentrated study in one of three degree emphases: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Student Affairs and College Counseling, each of which has specialized accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  These programs also prepare students to apply for state licensing and national certification in professional counseling.

Minnesota State University Moorhead's graduate program in Counseling and Student Affairs has specialized accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  The specialized accreditation is granted by CACREP which is an accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.  The program offers three CACREP emphases: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling (K-12), and Student Affairs and College Counseling. 

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling emphasis prepares students for positions in community mental health settings as well as college and universities counseling services. A counseling practicum and an internship in a community counseling setting or college counseling center is required. Graduates may work in settings such as community mental health clinics, hospital in-patient facilities, marriage & family centers and college and university settings.

The School Counseling emphasis prepares students for licensure or certification as a school counselor.  Students complete coursework as well as one semester of practicum and two semesters of internship in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.  School counselors are no longer required to have a teaching license in order to become a school counselor in Minnesota or North Dakota.

The Student Affairs and College Counseling emphasis prepares students for positions in colleges and universities. The Student Affairs emphasis provides coursework specific to student affairs in higher education as well as three semesters of practicum/internship in a college or university setting.  Student affairs graduates may work in areas such as admissions, residence halls, the student union, financial aid, and advising centers.  The College Counseling emphasis prepares students to work in college counseling centers or college career counseling centers.  A counseling practicum with college students and an internship in a college counseling center is required.

***There is the option for dual emphasis areas/dual licensure. See Course Requirements for further information.

The Counseling and Student Affairs graduate program at MSUM is unique in its flexibility and individual attention to graduate students. Some of the strengths of the program include: small class sizes, frequent interaction between faculty, staff, and students, with additional faculty support provided during practicum and internship semesters.  In addition, students have an outstanding record of excelling on standardized national counselor examinations, which are necessary for certification and licensure. Graduates have high placement rates obtaining relevant employment in their field of interest.  All of the courses are offered after 4:30 p.m. in the evenings and many are offered as hybrid delivery (combination of online and face-to-face classroom learning) to accommodate working, part-time and full-time student needs.


Master of Science in Counseling and Student Affairs

Description
Counseling and Student Affairs - 60 credits

Admission Requirements

Information on admission requirements can be found on the Graduate Studies webpage.

Student Learning Outcomes

The Counseling and Student Affairs (CNSA) program prepares graduate students for careers and leadership positions in education, mental health and human service professions. The essence of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Student Affairs and College Counseling professions is the ability to relate to clients and students in ways that are helpful which facilitates personal and professional growth. The basic knowledge and core skills required are essentially the same for all three emphases. 

  1. Foundations: Students will demonstrate an understanding of their own beginning counselor identity, professional competencies and scope of practice.
  2. Ethics: Students will demonstrate knowledge and application of ethical standards and decision making models through the use of ethical case studies.
  3. Social Cultural: Students will demonstrate an understanding of issues related to diversity and privilege in counseling as it pertains to their experience and that of the clients and students that they will serve.
  4. Human Growth and Development: Students will demonstrate an understanding in applying theory and research in the needs of others at all development levels, and assist in their emotional growth and development.
  5. Career: Students will demonstrate an understanding and application of the career development process over the life span, career decision making and various assessment and sources of information used to provide career counseling.
  6. Helping Relationships: Students will demonstrate their ability to use intentional counseling skills while maintaining an empathic, nonjudgmental, and professional disposition.
  7. Theories: Students will display knowledge in a variety of counseling theories and can effectively integrate and apply theoretical techniques.
  8. Group Work: Students will display knowledge and understanding of theories and principles of group dynamics and can facilitate group process using knowledge of methods and skills in a direct group experience.
  9. Assessment: Students will demonstrate knowledge of a variety of assessment methods, skills, including individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
  10. Research: Students will demonstrate an ability to critique and use research methods, statistical analysis, and program evaluation to understand how to advance the counseling profession.
  11. Trauma Informed: Students will demonstrate their ability to provide trauma informed care as part of a Compassionate Community in their work with clients and students.

Core Requirements

The core must be completed by all students majoring in any of the Counseling and Student Affairs concentrations: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling or Student Affairs and College Counseling.

A total of 60 (54 for School Counseling) credits is needed for the degree.

CORE - 36 credits

CNSA 605 Counseling Research, Statistical Methods and Program Evaluation (3)
CNSA 610 Foundations of Counseling (3)
CNSA 611 Theories of Individual and Family Counseling (3)
CNSA 612 Counseling Assessment & Appraisal (3)
CNSA 613 Career Development (3)
CNSA 614 Human Growth and Development for Counselors (3)
CNSA 615 Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling (3)
CNSA 620 Counseling Skills I (3)
CNSA 630 Group Counseling (3)
CNSA 640 Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling (3)
CNSA 682 Trauma Informed & Crisis Management (3)
CNSA 696 Plan B or CNSA 699 Plan A (3)

Program Requirements

  • A core of 36 credits is required of all candidates. Additional credits specific to each of the emphases are also required.
  • Continued improvement in interpersonal competence and counseling skill development. Students are reviewed each semester to determine their satisfactory progress.
  • A 3.0 grade point average is required for courses submitted for the degree and a grade of B or better in all required courses.
  • Successful four-or six-credit internship.
  • Comprehensive examination passed.
  • Master's thesis, or Project satisfied through Plans A or B.
  • Oral examination which is a review of the student's Capstone project.

Students must adhere to ethical standards of the profession, function in an adequate fashion and at an acceptable professional level in the practicum and internship settings, demonstrate personal qualities consistent with professional norms, and maintain continuous registration.

Detailed information on these requirements and department policies are procedures may be obtained from the Counseling and Student Affairs Graduate Program Coordinator.

Emphasis in Student Affairs and College Counseling

Program Requirements ( 24 credits )

Fifteen credits plus nine more credits of electives required.

CNSA 660 Introduction to Student Affairs and College Counseling in Higher Education (3)
CNSA 662 Administration of Student Affairs and College Counseling in Higher Education (3)
CNSA 669C Internship in Student Affairs and College Counseling (6) *was CNSA 692C
CNSA 691C Practicum in Student Affairs and College Counseling (3)

Student Affairs Electives - need to take 9 more credits
ED 630 Leadership, Planning, and Organizational Behavior in Education (3)
ED 635 Personnel, Supervision and Staff Development (4)
ED 636 Policy and Educational Finance (2)
ED 767 Organization and Administration of Higher Education (3)
ED 782 Supervisory and Administrative Theory (4)

College Counseling Electives - need to take 9 more credits
CNSA 655 Counseling Children, Adolescents and Their Families (3)
CNSA 670 Administration of Clinical Mental Health Services and Counseling (3)
CNSA 672 Clinical Appraisal and Diagnosis, Intervention and Treatment Planning (3)
CNSA 674 Psychopathology for Mental Health Professionals: Childhood to Adulthood (3)
CNSA 676 Clinical Supervision and Ethics (3)


Emphasis in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Requirements ( 24 credits )

CNSA 655 Counseling Children, Adolescents and Their Families (3)
CNSA 670 Administration of Clinical Mental Health Services & Counseling (3)
CNSA 672 Clinical Appraisal & Diagnosis, Intervention & Treatment Planning (3)
CNSA 674 Psychopathology for Mental Health Professionals: Childhood to Adulthood (3)
CNSA 676 Clinical Supervision and Ethics (3)
CNSA 669D Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - 750 hours (6) *was CNSA 692D
CNSA 691D Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - 150 hours (3)

These courses also required for Clinical Mental Health Counseling students wanting School Counselor Licensure:
CNSA 650 Organization and Administration of School Counseling Programs (3)
CNSA 652 Classroom Management for School Counselors (1)
CNSA 669A Internship in School Counseling - 300 hours (3) *was CNSA 692A
CNSA 691A Practicum in School Counseling - 150 hours (1)
PSY 634 Methods for Evidence Based Practice (2)


Emphasis in School Counseling

Program Requirements ( 18 credits )

CNSA 650 Organization & Administration of School Counseling Programs (3)
CNSA 655 Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Their Families (3)
CNSA 652 Classroom Management for School Counselors (1)
CNSA 669A Internship in School Counseling - 750 hours (6) *was CNSA 692A
CNSA 691A Practicum in School Counseling - 150 hours (3)
PSY 634 Methods for Evidence Based Practice (2)

School Counseling students wanting LPC/LPCC are required to take the following additional coursework:
CNSA 670 Administration of Clinical Mental Health Services & Counseling (3)
CNSA 672 Clinical Appraisal & Diagnosis, Intervention & Treatment Planning (3)
CNSA 674 Psychopathology for Mental Health Professionals: Childhood to Adulthood (3)
CNSA 676 Clinical Supervision and Ethics (3)
CNSA 669D Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - 550 hours (4) *was CNSA 692D
CNSA 691D Practicum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - 150 hours (1)