Counseling

Chair and Professor: Kleist

Associate Professors: Horn, Stewart

Assistant Professors: Astramovich, Chan, Moody, Yates

Clinical Assistant Professor: Parmanand

Adjunct Associate Professors: Erickson, Schmidt

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Niece, Tivis 

Emeriti Faculty: Allen, Crews, Feit, Edgar, Lloyd

Department Mission Statement

The principle mission of the Department of Counseling is to prepare quality counselors for various settings in Idaho and the nation. More specifically, we seek to prepare quality School Counselors for public schools in K-12 settings; Clinical Mental Health Counselors and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counselors for community agencies and other mental health settings; and Student Affairs Counselors for working in college settings such as advising, residence halls, and career centers.

We additionally prepare doctoral level counselor educators and supervisors to work primarily in institutions of higher learning as faculty members in counselor education programs. We believe that it is also our mission to:

  • instill a strong sense of professional identity as counselor educators, supervisors, and researchers;
  • help students gain an understanding of the rich knowledge base in counselor education;
  • facilitate expertise in the skills of counseling;
  • aid students to become certified school counselors and/or licensed as professional counselors;
  • aid students/graduates in their initial job placement;
  • teach and perform research applicable to the practice of counselor education, supervision and counseling; and
  • aid students in understanding the diversity of views and cultures within our profession and the environment in which counselors practice.

The Department of Counseling also has a mission within the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences, College of Health Professions, which is to represent the mental health perspective within the Division and to consult with Division faculty and departments in encouraging a holistic perspective toward health care services.

Counselor Education

Graduate-level preparation for

  1. counselors who seek employment in schools, universities, community mental health, and various other settings, and
  2. college student affairs professionals.

Pre-Counseling and Pre-Student Affairs

Preparation should consist of a broad undergraduate course of study, including some work in psychology (learning and personality theory), sociology, and the communication skills. For those seeking positions in public elementary and secondary schools, state certification requirements should be considered.

Degree Programs

Degree programs offered by the department include Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Specialist, and Master of Counseling. Majors are available in Counselor Education and Counseling (Ph.D.); Counseling (Ed.S.); Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling (M.COUN.); Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.COUN.); School Counseling (M.COUN.); and Student Affairs Counseling (M.COUN.).

Accreditation

The program for preparation of school counselors is credentialed by the State of Idaho.

The Counselor Education programs are approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) as follows: Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling (M.COUN.), Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.COUN.), School Counseling (M.COUN.), Student Affairs Counseling (M.COUN.), and Counselor Education and Counseling (Ph.D.).

Progression in Clinical Track Classes - Master's

Students who obtain a final grade of 2.7 (B-), or lower, in any clinical track class will be dismissed from the Department of Counseling. Students who withdraw from any clinical track class, without the prior approval of the department, will be dismissed from the program. Students can appeal their dismissal from the program through Departmental policy. The Counseling Department utilizes ISU's Appeal Policy.

Departmental Dismissal Policies

Master's Degree Retention and Dismissal Policy

Department of Counseling faculty are confident that each student admitted has the potential to be successful in graduate study. Success in course work, clinical practice, case presentations, comprehensive exams, oral exam, and enactment of the core dispositions are examples of a student's progress toward completing a degree in the Department of Counseling. However, admission into the counseling program does not guarantee success. Faculty expect students to fully engage in all aspects of the learning environment, showing openness to new experiences and risk taking necessary to develop as a person and professional counselor. The student’s Committee Chair plays an integral role in giving feedback to a student, thus providing opportunities for continued growth and development. Engagement in all aspects of the academic experiences developed by faculty in the Department exemplify professional competence and will increase the probability of successful completion of the program.

The Department of Counseling faculty members have a professional responsibility to serve as gatekeepers for the counseling profession. Counseling is a discipline that requires active and complex gatekeeping to protect the public welfare of our communities. In particular, gatekeeping refers to the responsibility of all counselors, counselor educators and student counselors, to intervene with counselor trainees, supervisees, professional colleagues, and supervisors who engage in behavior that could threaten the welfare of those receiving counseling services. This responsibility is mandated in the ethical standards of both the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) by specifying that counselors must act to rectify the problematic condition through appropriate organizational and professional channels (ACA, 2014, Section F.5.; NBCC, 2005, Section A; McAdams & Foster, 2009).

Faculty, site supervisors, and doctoral students systematically discuss and evaluate students’ progress in the program. When impediments are identified, the student will be informed verbally and in writing. Impediments may include, but are not limited to, those offered by Frame and Stevens-Smith (1995):

  1. inability to be open, flexible, positive, and cooperative
  2. unwilling to accept and use feedback
  3. unaware of impact on others
  4. inability to deal with conflict and accept personal responsibility
  5. inability to express feelings effectively and appropriately

The above examples are also found in the description of the Core Dispositions (see page 6 of the Student Handbook). If others (i.e., faculty, doctoral level supervisors, and site supervisors) have made similar observations, the Department Chairperson, Master's Committee Chair, or other faculty will initiate a meeting with the student to discuss the apparent impediment to progress toward professional competence. Remedies and expected behavior changes will be discussed and outlined in written and verbal form.

Students will be given specific feedback on the nature of their impediment(s) as well as steps to remove the barrier(s) to progress when appropriate. In many instances a Professional Progression Plan (PPP) will be crafted to provide clear and specific ways the student can improve and continue to progress in the program. However, in more extreme cases (e.g., student poses a potential harm to self or others), faculty may choose to remove the student from the program without a PPP. In such cases, faculty will meet to discuss the student's failure to meet continuation standards (i.e., retention requirements) and a vote for dismissal will be entertained, guided by Graduate School policy.

The PPP represents a formal agreement between the Department and student who has been identified as having impediments to her/his progress as a counselor in training. Upon receipt of the PPP, the student will review the plan and provide her/his signature indicating an understanding of the requirements expected and as agreement to meet the requirements described within. A student who chooses not to sign the PPP should understand this will initiate a faculty meeting to discuss the student's failure to meet continuation standards, and a vote for dismissal will be entertained, guided by Graduate School policy. The Chairperson will inform the student of the appeals process.

Dismissal of a master’s student can be initiated in a variety of circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Dismissal will occur when students violate the criteria established by the Graduate School (see Appeals and Dismissals in the Graduate Catalog).

Dismissal for failure to meet continuation standards related to academic and clinical competency) will occur when a student: 

  1. Earns a B- or below in COUN 6696 Prepracticum Counseling Techniques,
  2. OR earns a B- or below in COUN 6621 Counseling Ethics,
  3. OR earns a 8- or below in COUN 6624 Cultural Counseling,
  4. OR six credits at or below 2.7 (B- or below),
  5. OR below a 3.0 GPA (B),
  6. Or when students earn less than 3.0 (B) in Practicum COUN 6697 or Internship COUN 6698.

In addition, students earning a 2.7 (B-) or below in clinical coursework must petition and gain approval from the graduate faculty in the department in order to continue in the program. The Department of Counseling follows the Appeal Process detailed in the Appeals and Dismissals section of the ISU Graduate Catalog.

Due to the nature of the program, students can be dismissed for professional competence concerns (i.e., unrelated to success with course assignments and grades). The American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2014) requires counselor educators to provide remediation and/or dismissal from counseling programs when “they become aware of limitations that might impede performance” or when students are unable to demonstrate “they can provide competent counseling services to a range of diverse clients (6.f.b.).” As stated above, gatekeeping is an ethical mandate for counselor educators and designed to protect counselors in training and their current and future clients. Professional competence concerns that could lead to dismissal include, but are not limited to, impairment as described by Frame and Stevens-Smith (1995), academic dishonesty, ethical violations, lack of professional comportment, personal attitudes or value systems that conflict with effective counseling relationships, and personal concerns or psychopathology.

Academic Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating and plagiarism. For the complete statement on academic dishonesty, please refer to the Academic Dishonesty section of the ISU Graduate Catalog. Examples of ethical violations include, but are not limited to, the improper use of technology, failure to secure informed consent, and breach of confidentiality. Lack of professional comportment includes, but is not limited to, a lack of engagement in course requirements, issues within interpersonal relationships with peers, doctoral students and faculty, and inappropriate use of power with clients and other students. The faculty believe the enactment of the core dispositions embodies the values of the counseling profession and deficiencies in these areas could lead to dismissal. All students are encouraged to seek counseling and attend to their mental health. A student’s unwillingness to attend to intra- or inter-personal impediments contributing to impairment may lead to dismissal.

Dismissal Process Flow Chart

Process is continuous from start to graduation.

Dismissal Process Flow Chart

In addition to the ACA Code of Ethics, the Department of Counseling adheres to Idaho State University policies with regard to student conduct and academic dishonesty. For more information about university expectations of student conduct, see the Idaho State University Handbook located on the Division of Student Affairs website: https://www.isu.edu/studentaffairs/.