The primary mission of the Counselor Education Program is to prepare effective professionals as they attain the M.S.E. degree in School Counseling. Utilizing the Reflective Practice model, the faculty provides a rigorous curriculum in which students’ knowledge base, skill acquisition, and personal development are thoroughly integrated. In addition to content, this curriculum includes experiential classroom and fieldwork experiences, individual and group-designed projects and supervised practice.
Faculty priorities for students and themselves are the respect for human dignity and cultural diversity in the broadest sense, excellence in counseling practice, and lifelong commitment to personal and professional growth. The process of personal and professional growth evolves by gaining knowledge and self-awareness while integrating theoretical, clinical, legal and professional information. Counselors-in-preparation also participate in supervised counseling experiences which move developmentally from structured to more independent experiences.
Counseling is a process whereby an individual is as aided in discovering, appreciating and actualizing their unique selves in their relations with others and with the environment in which they live. Counseling is founded on the assumption of the worth, dignity and developmental potential of all individuals. It is further based on the proposition that people can grow and change and that this growth takes place through facilitative experiences, and that individuals are basically responsible for themselves and their behavior. The counseling process of understanding, accepting, and adapting may be facilitated by a variety of methods and strategies including individual and group counseling, advocacy, and systems change. Counseling is conducted by a personally and professionally competent counselor. The objectives that follow serve as the foundation for our counselor education program.
The University of Wisconsin – River Falls, Counselor Education Program, is designed to develop practitioners in the field of counseling. As such, the program provides a balance between didactic learning, experiential learning, research and evaluation skills and supervised clinical practice embodied in the following competency areas:
I. Professional Development
II. Personal Development
III. Research, Measurement, and Evaluation
IV. Theoretical Knowledge of Counseling, Human Behavior, Development and Sociocultural Dynamics
V. Counseling and Consultation Skills
VI. Ethical and Legal Standards
(Please consult the Counseling Handbook for more detail in this area.)