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Counselor Education Ph.D. Program

HutchisonCareer1.jpgThe 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

Program Objectives

  1. 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.

  2. The program consists of a minimum of three academic years of graduate-level preparation( post-master’s degree). Doctoral candidates graduate with approximately 96 graduate-level credits with 30-36 counseling master’s degree credit-hours applied to the candidate’s doctoral program of study.

  3. Learning experiences beyond the masters-level are required in all of the following content areas:

    • theories pertaining to the principles and practice of counseling, leadership, advocacy, group work, systems, career development, 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, multivariate, 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

4. 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

Admissions Requirements

Students admitted to the doctoral program must have completed master's level studies that are comparable to CACREP entry-level standards and provide evidence of a knowledge base of a professional counselor. As part of the doctoral program, students can focus on a specialty area of interest including school counseling, mental health counseling, and rehabilitation counseling. Current full-time students generally receive financial assistance in the form of fellowships or graduate assistantships.

NOTE: This program is not offered online. It is only offered in residence at the University Park campus. 

Doctoral Program Contacts:

JoLynn V. Carney, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Counselor Education
Coordinator, Doctoral Program
Phone: (814) 863-2404

Jena Soult
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (814) 865-8304