STUDENT HANDBOOKMaster of Science Degrees in:Professional CounselingProfessional School CounselingDEPARTMENT OF COUNSELING & EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGYTexas A & M University-Corpus Christi6300 Ocean DriveCorpus Christi, Texas 78412Office (361) 825-3393Revised August 2, 2021

Table of ContentsIntroduction . 1Graduate Faculty and Staff . 1Full-Time Faculty . 1Administrative Staff . 2Adjunct Faculty . 2General Program Information . 3Mission Statement . 3Overview . 3Accreditation . 3Master’s Program Objectives . 4Program Objectives . 4Curricular Objectives . 4Professional Objectives . 5Application Requirements . 6Graduate Admissions . 6Program Admissions . 6Program Matriculation . 7Continuous Enrollment . 7Leave of Absence . 7Maximum Course Load . 8Repetition of a Course . 8Time Limit to Degree . 8Revalidation of Courses Beyond Degree Time Limit . 8Academic Requirements for Graduate Work . 9The Curriculum . 9Institutional Research Course. 9Core Courses . 9Specialty Program Courses . 9Course Sequencing. 10Practicum and Internship . 12i

Practicum . 12Internship . 12Site Selection . 14Criminal Background Checks . 15Steps for Applying for Practicum and Internship. 15Bridge Supervision Course. 17Professional Liability Insurance . 17Issuance of Grades for Practicum and Internship. 17Department of CNEP Community Outreach Counseling Collaborative . 18Exit Requirements . 19Comprehensive Examination . 19CNEP Department Policies and Procedures . 20Ethical Standards . 20Advising and Degree Plans . 20Individual Development Plan (IDP) . 21Grading Scale . 21Grades of Incomplete . 22Grade Appeals Process . 22Notification of Intent to Graduate . 22Endorsement Policy . 22Professional Duties and Responsibilities . 23Student Responsibility. 23Faculty Monitoring of Students. 23Personal Counseling . 25Student Review, Remediation, Retention, and Dismissal . 25The Remediation Process . 26Communicating with Students . 29E-mail . 29Blackboard . 29Financing Your Education . 30Financial Aid . 30Graduate Assistantships . 30ii

Scholarships . 30Professional Licensure and Certification . 31Professional Identity and Affiliations . 32Professional Identity . 32Professional Affiliation . 32Recommended National Organizations . 33Recommended State Organizations . 34Chi Sigma Iota . 34Workshops and Continuing Education Programs . 35Additional Information . 35Appendix A . 36Appendix B . 37Appendix C . 38Appendix D . 39Appendix E . 41Appendix F. 43iii

IntroductionThis handbook is designed to provide prospective and current students with information relatedto the master’s-level graduate programs offered in the Department of Counseling andEducational Psychology (CNEP) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC). Thehandbook addresses all policies, procedures, requirements, duties, and expectations set forth bythe Department of CNEP as related to graduate study in counseling. Students admitted into anyof the Department of CNEP programs are provided a copy of the handbook when they begintheir program at the new student orientation session. A digital copy is available for download onthe Department of CNEP website students.html. At times, policyupdates, curricular revisions, or accreditation changes may necessitate the Department of CNEPfaculty making updates to this student handbook. In such situations, all students will be informedof the changes and provided a copy of the new handbook. Unless otherwise noted, changes madeto this handbook will be made effective immediately.Students are responsible for reading and becoming familiar with the information contained inthis handbook. Students must confirm acceptance of the duties, expectations, and responsibilitiesoutlined in this handbook by signing the Statement of Understanding (see Appendix F).Signed copies of the Statement of Understanding must be submitted during the student’s firstsemester of enrollment in the program. The signed Statement of Understanding will generally besubmitted Rachel Perez, CNEP administrative associate via e-mail at [email protected] instructions will be provided during the new student orientation session scheduled at thebeginning of each semester.Graduate Faculty and StaffFull-Time FacultyJoshua C. Watson, Ph.D.Professor and ChairUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroECDC 150 (Phone: 361.825.2739) [email protected] Backer, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorWilliam and Mary UniversityECDC 141 (Phone: 361.825.2622) [email protected] M. Gerlach, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorVirginia Commonwealth UniversityECDC 148 (Phone: 361.825.3318) [email protected] Michelle Hunnicutt Hollenbaugh. Ph.D.Associate ProfessorThe Ohio State UniversityECDC 151 (Phone: 361.825.2451) [email protected]

James Ikonomopoulos, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorTexas A&M University-Corpus ChristiECDC 152 (Phone: 361.825-3467) [email protected] Mincey, Ph.D.Clinical Assistant Professor/COC Clinical DirectorTexas A&M University-Corpus ChristiNRC 2700 (Phone: 361.825.3995) [email protected] Nelson, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorUniversity of Central FloridaECDC 149 (Phone: 361.825.3393) [email protected] Oliver, Ed.D.Professor and CGS Associate DeanTexas A&M University-Commerce (ETSU)FC 151C (Phone: 361.825.3216) [email protected] Ratanavivan, Ph.D.Clinical Assistant ProfessorTexas A&M University-Corpus ChristiECDC 150B (Phone: 361.825.2849) [email protected] J. Ricard, Ph.D.Professor and COEHD Associate DeanHarvard UniversityFC 204B (Phone: 361.825.2731) [email protected] StaffRachel G. PerezAdministrative AssociateECDC 150A (Phone: 361.825.3393) [email protected] FacultyThe Department of CNEP employs adjunct faculty on an as-needed basis. Please note thatadjunct faculty course assignments are subject to change and should not be consideredpermanent assignments. While adjunct faculty do not maintain offices on campus, you can reachthem through your Blackboard course shell, or the e-mail contact information provided in yourcourse syllabus. You also may contact the Department of CNEP main office to leave a messagefor your instructor to contact you as soon as possible.2

General Program InformationMission StatementThe Department of CNEP at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, devoted to excellence ininstruction, research, and service, prepares graduate-level counselors and counselor educators,representing diverse backgrounds and experiences, to facilitate impactful societal changes at thelocal, state, national, and international levels.OverviewTexas A&M University-Corpus Christi, through the College of Education and HumanDevelopment (COEHD), offers two Master of Science (M.S.) degrees preparing top levelcounselors to work in clinical mental health settings; hospitals; school systems; marriage, couple,and family counseling centers; and private practice. The Master of Science in ProfessionalCounseling (60 semester hours) offers training in three major areas: a) addictions counseling; b)clinical mental health counseling; and c) marriage, couple, and family counseling. Uponcompletion of the degree program, students will have met all relevant Texas LicensedProfessional Counselor (LPC) educational requirements. Students who complete the marriage,couple, and family counseling emphasis will also meet all relevant Texas Licensed Marriage andFamily Therapist (LMFT) educational requirements. The Master of Science in ProfessionalSchool Counseling (60 semester hours) prepares students to counsel in PK-12 school settings.Upon completion of the degree program, students will have met all relevant educationalrequirements for Texas Education Agency school counselor certification and Texas professionalcounseling licensure (LPC). Students seeking school counseling certification should consult withthe professional school counseling program coordinator and certification office staff on campusregarding current state certification requirements to ensure eligibility prior to graduation. In bothdegree programs, students’ personal and professional development will be periodically reviewedby the Department of CNEP faculty. Students who are unable to demonstrate mastery of thefundamental counseling knowledgebase, or who are observed to be experiencing challenges withappropriate personal and professional deportment, communication skills, interpersonal skills,and/or counseling skills will be asked to seek remediation or, in extenuating circumstances, maybe dismissed from the program.AccreditationAll programs in both the M.S. in Professional Counseling and the M.S. in Professional SchoolCounseling are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and RelatedEducational Programs (CACREP). Consistent with current CACREP standards, the overallphilosophy of the Department of CNEP is to prepare master’s-level counselors with theacademic, professional, and personal credentials needed to perform at a high level ofeffectiveness in their anticipated work settings. Individual, systems, and integrated training areemphasized with a focus on students understanding and being able to competently applyevidence-based research findings demonstrating effectiveness in their counseling practice. Addictions Counseling (accredited through 2022)3

Clinical Mental Health Counseling (accredited through 2022)Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling (accredited through 2022)School Counseling (accredited through 2022)Master’s Program ObjectivesThe Department of CNEP has identified several foundational program, curricular, andprofessional objectives for each student enrolling in one of its master-level counseling programs.Each of these objectives has specific outcomes measures.Program ObjectivesThe Department of CNEP faculty are committed to graduating competent and ethicalprofessional counselors. As such, they strive to: Foster a learning community where students can develop professionally and personallyand achieve their highest potential.Create a culture of accountability in which all students are expected to maintain highprofessional standards for ethical behavior, academic performance, clinical skilldevelopment, interpersonal relationships, professional attitudes, and personal character.Utilize anti-racist pedagogical approaches and practicesProvide curricular and extracurricular experiences for students to learn and demonstrateknowledge of the CACREP core standards.Curricular ObjectivesGraduates of the Professional Counseling and Professional School Counseling master’sprograms will be able to: Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of professional orientation and ethicalpractice into contemporary counseling practice.Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of social and cultural diversity intocontemporary counseling practice.Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of human growth and developmentinto contemporary counseling practice.Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of career development intocontemporary counseling practiceKnowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of counseling and helpingrelationships into contemporary counseling practice.Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of group counseling into contemporarycounseling practice.Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of assessment and testing intocontemporary counseling practice.Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of research and program evaluationinto contemporary counseling practice.4

Additionally, students in the addictions track will be able to: Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of substance abuse treatment intocontemporary addictions counseling practice.Work with populations in various stages of recovery for all biological and behavioraladdictions.Additionally, students in the clinical mental health track will be able to: Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of holistic evidence-based care intocontemporary clinical mental health counseling practice.Work with the mental health needs of individuals and families based on the strengthbased, preventative, and wellness tenets of the counseling profession.Additionally, students in the marriage, couple, and family track will be able to: Be able to knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of relationships and familysystems into contemporary marriage, couple, and family counseling practice.Work with individuals, couples, and families in a variety of professional settings.Additionally, students in the M.S. in Professional School Counseling program will be able to: Knowledgeably integrate fundamental principles of comprehensive guidance curriculumdevelopment and delivery into contemporary school counseling practice.Work as professional school counselors and promote the academic, career, and socialemotional development of PK-12 students.Professional ObjectivesThroughout their program of study, across a variety of curricular and extracurricularexperiences, students in the professional counseling programs will develop the ability to: Apply a scholarly approach to theory, research, and practice that allows for theintegration of the knowledge and skills needed to be successful as practicing counselors.Develop, through reflection and insight, an understanding of oneself and the use of self inthe counseling process.Use critical thinking to make sound, responsible judgments and decisions when workingwith clients, students, peers, and other helping professionals.Develop ethical decision-making skills and function in a manner consistent with codes ofethics and standards of practice set forth by the American Counseling Association,National Board for Certified Counselors, and all applicable state regulatory agencies.Advocate for clients, causes, social change, and the counseling profession itself.Self-monitor and engage in personal-care activities to maintain and promote their ownemotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.5

Application RequirementsThis section of the handbook includes standardized information about rules and policiespertaining to graduate education at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. It is not intended tobe comprehensive. You are strongly encouraged to read the sections of the catalog pertaining tograduate students, which will provide more detail and additional topics that may impact you.You will also find information about your program.Graduate AdmissionsTo be admitted to a program of graduate study, an applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree froman accredited institution of higher education in the United States or an equivalent foreigninstitution. (Note: The requirement to hold a bachelor’s degree does not apply to studentsenrolling in the RN-MSN option in nursing.) Decisions concerning admission to graduate studyare based on all admission criteria. To be considered for a graduate program, a minimum last 60hour GPA of 2.5 is required. Some programs may have higher GPA requirements; reviewspecific program information in the graduate catalog or elsewhere in this handbook. Allapplications must be made via the following web site: Forcomplete information, see the Catalog, Graduate Admissions section.Graduate students should be aware of their enrollment status, as it may impact financial aid,veteran’s benefits, or other important aspects of graduate life. In addition, international studentshave specific requirements about enrollment status. Enrollment status for graduate students isdefined as follows:Full-time graduate studentFall or spring term 9 hoursCombined summer terms 6 hoursThree-quarter-time graduate student Fall or spring term 7 hoursCombined summer terms 5 hoursHalf-time graduate student:Fall or spring term 5 hoursCombined summer terms 3 hoursProgram AdmissionsIn addition to the University requirements described above, students seeking to pursue a graduatedegree in one of the counseling programs must meet certain college (COEHD) and department(CNEP) graduate admission requirements as specified in the COEHD and CNEP GraduatePolicies and Regulations sections of the University’s Graduate Catalog, including: Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate studyMinimum GPA of 3.0 in any graduate level courseworkThree letters of recommendation500-700-word professional writing samplePersonal interviewPotential for success in forming effective and culturally relevant interpersonalrelationships in individual and small-group contexts6

Students who do not meet the requirements for full admission into the department may beadmitted on a conditional status and take courses approved by the CNEP faculty.Conditionally admitted students are permitted to register for nine (9) semester credit hours andmust earn a grade of “B” or better in each course taken during their probationary period.Students who do so become eligible for full admission status. No more than nine (9) semestercredit hours of coursework completed under the conditional status may be applied to thestudent’s specific program of study. Students who fail to meet the conditions stipulated in theiradmission letter by the Department of CNEP will be suspended from the COEHD for a period ofat least one year (12 months). During this suspension, they cannot take any graduate courses inthe COEHD. After the suspension period, students may reapply to the program.Students may request additional information about the department admissions process from theCNEP Admissions Coordinator, Dr. James Ikonomopoulos ([email protected])Program MatriculationStudents pursuing either the M.S. in Professional Counseling or M.S. in Professional SchoolCounseling degree must satisfy all the following standards to be eligible for graduation: cumulative GPA of 3.0 or betterNo more than two courses with a grade of C being applied toward the degree planNo course with a grade below C being applied toward the degree planNo grade below B in Practicum or Internship being applied toward the degree planSuccessfully achieving a passing score on the comprehensive examinationNo more than two (2) CNEP Student Review and Remediation Evaluations (SRREs) thatresult in a formal remediation plan for academic, dispositional, or ethical-related issuesbeing placed in a student’s fileStudents may choose to begin their practicum or internship once all prerequisite coursework hasbeen completed (see list of prerequisites in this handbook). However, students are prohibitedfrom proceeding to practicum if they have not met the standards in 1-3 above. Additionally, theymay not proceed to internship if standards 1-4 have not been met.Continuous EnrollmentThe University does not have a continuous enrollment policy for master’s students. However,you should be aware of your own program’s requirements, which may differ from generalUniversity requirements. Master’s students should also know that if they do not attend for twoyears, they will be required to reapply to the University. Students should consider applying for aleave of absence (see below), especially if the time-to-degree and recency of credits requirementswill be impacted by a needed absence.Leave of AbsenceStudents experiencing life changing or catastrophic events should consult with their programcoordinator and/or department chair and request a Leave of Absence in writing from the College7

of Graduate Studies using the Request for Leave of Absence form. A student who is in goodstanding may petition for a leave of absence of no more than two full academic terms. Themaximum number of leave of absence requests permitted in a program is two. A request for aleave of absence requires approval in advance by the faculty advisor, Program Coordinator,College Dean, and Graduate Dean. If the Graduate Dean approves the petition, the registrationrequirement is set aside during the period of time of the leave. Students should be aware thatleaves of absences require suspension of all activities associated pursuit of the degree. See thecatalog for more information.Maximum Course LoadGraduate students may not register for more than 12 hours in a regular semester, 6 hours in asingle session of summer school, or 12 hours in the combined summer session (not includingMaymester) without the approval of the COEHD Dean. See the Maximum Course Load sectionin the catalog.Repetition of a CourseThere are specific policies about repeating courses for higher grades, including the provision thatgraduate students may retake a maximum of two courses during graduate study at the University.Each course may be repeated only once. Some courses may be repeated for multiple credit ifthose courses are so designated in the course description and approved by the faculty or programadvisor as designated by their college. Complete catalog information may be found in theGraduate Academic and Degree Requirements section of the catalog.Time Limit to DegreeThe requirements for a master's degree at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi must becompleted within seven years subsequent to admission to the program. The seven-yearperiod begins the first semester of enrollment and is calculated from the date of degree conferral.Credit that is more than seven years old will not be counted toward a master's degree. Exceptionswill require strong justification in writing from the student requesting the exception as well assubmission of a revalidati

All programs in both the M.S. in Professional Counseling and the M.S. in Professional School Counseling are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Consistent with current CACREP standards, the overall philosophy of the Department