Latest News in M.Ed. in Counseling
Welcome to the Stephens College M.Ed Counseling Program. We are glad you’re considering us, and look forward to helping you pursue a fulfilling career as a counselor. We do have some news and information to share.
Special announcement for all current and prospective M.Ed. Counseling students
We are excited to announce Stephens College is preparing to apply for accreditation with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP is the organization that accredits counselor education programs across the country. CACREP-accredited programs are considered the gold standard in counselor training.
CACREP accreditation requires changes to our curriculum, the number of credit hours required for completion, and the number of hours required for your practicum and internship. As part of our application, we are making these changes effective Fall 2017. Applying for accreditation can take up to 24 months, and even longer in some cases. During this application period, we will continue offering our existing curriculum (for students who enrolled before Fall 2017) and the new, CACREP-aligned curriculum (for students who enroll Fall 2017 or later).
Frequently asked questions about CACREP accreditation
Accreditation is recognition that an institution or organization meets certain standards. Colleges and universities that have earned institutional accreditation are monitored for the quality of their programs, the credentials of their faculty, student success rates and more. Institutional accreditation applies to the entire college, including all its majors, minors and programs. Within a college, individual programs can earn specialized accreditation, demonstrating that the program meets professional standards for quality, rigor and appropriate training of future professionals.
Yes. Stephens College is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In addition, several of our programs are accredited by bodies specific to their program. For example, our Health Information Administration (HIA) program is accredited by CAHIIM, and our Physician Assistant Studies program has earned provisional accreditation status from the ARC-PA.
The M.Ed. program is currently approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to operate a school counselor program and to recommend successful students for school counseling certification. The CACREP accreditation we are now applying for will be an addition to the DESE approval.
We are optimistic that our CACREP-aligned curriculum and program plans will meet CACREP standards. However, it is important to remember that even if we follow the process, CACREP accreditation is not guaranteed.
All students are required to complete the curriculum outlined in the Graduate Curriculum Catalog that was in effect when they matriculated. If you enrolled before Fall 2017, then the curriculum is not aligned with current CACREP standards. You have the option of completing the curriculum you started or moving to the new CACREP-aligned curriculum. You will have many opportunities to consider your options and make choices that are best for you. Please speak with your adviser if you’re considering switching to the newer curriculum. If you enrolled starting Fall 2017 or later, you will be completing the CACREP-aligned curriculum.
Available tracks include School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Students who enrolled before Fall 2017 can complete the existing curriculum. We anticipate that full-time students in all tracks should be able to complete their programs by Summer 2020, and that part-time students in all tracks should be able to complete their programs by Summer 2021. To ensure that students have the flexibility they may need to complete the current curriculum, the cut-off date for completing the existing curriculum is Summer 2022.
The primary benefit to earning your degree from a CACREP-approved institution is that your state counseling licensure process flows more easily, making mobility across states more efficient. In addition, there are a number of positions or agencies that require a provider to have a degree from a CACREP-accredited institution. Some examples are LPC roles at any federal agency (like the Department of Veteran’s Affairs) and Tricare (the veterans’ outpatient health insurance organization). Beginning in 2022, the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential will only be available to those who have graduated from a CACREP program.
Each state handles its own licensure and is not affected by CACREP. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Addictions tracks both meet Missouri’s educational requirements for the LPC license. School Counseling is a certification that meets Missouri’s educational requirements for school counseling certification.
All CACREP tracks require 60 credits. We anticipate that most students will be able to complete their programs and graduate in two to three years.
CACREP states that students who graduate within 18 months of an institution being granted CACREP accreditation and have completed the required CACREP-aligned curriculum can say that they graduated from a CACREP-accredited program.