Course Descriptions

COU 500. Counseling Foundations. 3 hours. F.
An intensive look at the profession of counseling and the professional roles, tasks-responsibilities, and identity of the counselor. This course also includes an opportunity for an in-depth understanding of the many aspects of professional counseling including similarities and differences of other mental health professions, educational preparation, professional counseling organizations, ethical standards, legal aspects of counseling, and state and national credentialing. The course emphasizes self-awareness and growth as it relates to becoming an effective facilitator of individual, group, and family change.

COU 501. Clinical Intervention I. 3 hours. F.
The development of basic counseling techniques with an introduction to counseling theory, philosophy and principles as applied to skill development.

COU 502. Clinical Intervention II. 3 hours. Sp.
A study of advanced counseling techniques. Skills for diagnosis, case conceptualization, treatment planning, intervention and evaluation of treatment will be targeted. A number of counseling approaches-techniques will be examined for student development, demonstration, and possible integration. Prerequisite: COU 501 Clinical Intervention I.

COU 505. Life-Cycle Development. 3 hours. F.
A thorough survey of the specified divisions of the life cycle from early childhood to death. Topics include life-cycle theories of development, developmental tasks, normal-abnormal behavior, models of moral, intellectual, social, and physical development and learning theories will be explored. Counseling strategies for specific concerns in the life cycle will be emphasized.

COU 510. Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy. 3 hours. Sp.
An intensive study of selected theories of counseling and psychotherapy with a review and critique of motivation and process dynamics of each theory in light of current research and theory. Students are encouraged to begin to identify and personalize their own theoretical approach.

COU 514. Psychopathology I. 3 hours. F.
An in-depth study of abnormal behavior including the theories of psychopathology, etiology, and epidemiology of mental disorders. The course, prognosis, and cultural differences of each mental disorder are given special attention. Students will be introduced to the DSM-5 approach to defining and diagnosing mental disorders.

COU 515. Psychopathology II. 3 hours. Sp.
An in-depth study of the DSM-5 approach to diagnosing mental disorders. Emphasis will be given to DSM-5 criteria, case studies, and differential diagnosis of mental disorders. Prerequisite: COU 514 Psychopathology I.

COU 520. Assessment I. 3 hours. F.
A study of the administration, scoring, and interpretation of assessment-appraisal instruments used in counseling. Emphasis is on the use of test results in counseling with individuals and families. Case note fundamentals and report writing are also studied.

COU 521. Assessment II. 3 hours. Sp.
An intensive study of the application of assessment-appraisal techniques in counseling. Emphasis is on the selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of personality assessment instruments. Synthesis of various forms of data into a comprehensive assessment report will also be studied. Prerequisite: COU 520 Assessment I.

COU 525. Marriage and Family Counseling. 3 hours. Su.
A study of the dynamics of marriage and family relationships with emphasis on understanding of the structure and function of marriage, the various aspects of the marital relationship, family systems, and the way in which the counselor may approach marriage and family counseling as a creative, preventative, and healing avenue.

COU 530. Group Counseling. 3 hours. Su.
A study of the principles of group counseling dynamics, theory and techniques. Students participate in face-to-face task groups. Emphasis is placed on developing competencies in self-intervention and growth as well as competence in processes of small group phenomena.

COU 535. Ethical Issues in Counseling. 3 hours. Su.
An in-depth study of professional ethics, legalities, and professional issues relating to the professional practice of counseling.

COU 540. Research Methods in Counseling. 3 hours. Sp.
An introduction to research methods and their application to research problems with emphasis on the conceptualization, design, completion, and evaluation of research in counseling. Prerequisite: 12 hours of counseling courses.

COU 545. Practicum I. 3 hours.
The student works in a face-to-face relationship with a client under the supervision of a field supervisor. A minimum of 150 clock hours is required for this practicum. Weekly campus meetings are also required. Weekly meetings will be organized and directed by the graduate faculty. Prerequisites: COU 500, COU 501, COU 502, COU 510, COU 514, COU 515, COU 535, and Liability Insurance.

COU 550. Career Counseling. 3 hours. Sp.
This course will review concepts, issues, and trends in the field of career education. It is designed to consider the role of the counselor in the career decision-making process, as well as current issues in the facilitation of career decisions for women and men across the lifespan. Topics will include, but may not be limited to: selected theories of career-life planning and development; techniques designed to bring about greater awareness of needs, ethnicity, values, interests, and abilities related to career decision-making; and a range of techniques counselors may choose to facilitate work with clients.

COU 555. Theories of Personality. 3 hours.
Representative theories of personality are analyzed for their contribution to understanding human growth and development, psychopathology and behavior change. The relationship of theory to assessment and research is examined.

COU 560. Counseling Diverse Populations. 3 hours. Su.
This course is designed to address societal changes, influences and trends, human roles, societal subgroups, social mores, and diversity of life-styles. Social change and individual/societal responses, and multicultural issues are examined. Other major issues addressed include religion, racial issues, ethnicity, gender issues, sexual preference, aging issues, and subgroup/cultural communication patterns. Methods of addressing the provision of counseling services and alleviating those concerns are explored. Because of the nature of this course it will be team taught.

COU 565. Addictions Counseling. 3 hours. F.
This course provides an intensive understanding of the etiology, progress and counseling strategies for addictive disorders. Emphasis will be given to the DSM-5 classification of addictive disorders, the interaction of addiction within and upon the family system, and effective techniques for counseling addicted persons and their families. Prerequisite: Admission to M.S. program or approval to take courses.

COU 570. Crisis Counseling. 3 hours.
An examination of the theory, practice, cultural dynamics, and legal implications of crisis intervention as applied to crisis-induced dysfunctional behavior. Recognizing crisis situations and having knowledge of crisis intervention strategies and brief therapy techniques will be the main objective of this course. Prerequisite: Admission to program or approval to take course.

COU 575. Agency Counseling. 3 hours.
An advanced study of the clinical skills and administrative knowledge unique to Mental Health Counselors in Agency Settings (i.e. Community Mental Health Centers, profit/non-profit counseling service agencies, psychiatric settings and private practice) with varied clientele. Included are the topics, concepts and skills of “community” assessment, program development, administration, delivery and evaluation. Prerequisite: Admission to program or approval to take course.

COU 585. Psychopharmacology for Counselors. 3 hours. Su.
A course designed to teach the prospective counselor about the history and development of psychopharmacologic agents, the biochemical nature of the central nervous system and the relationship of the system of psychopharmacology. The legitimate use of medications, the importance of treatment for some psychological disorders, and coordinating treatment among professionals will also be examined.

COU 590. Counseling and the Law. 3 hours.
This course will provide an overview of the American legal system, with special attention given to legal terminology, how to minimize legal problems, how to deal with members of the legal profession, preparing for court appearances, and handling a legal audit. The primary focus of the course is on avoiding malpractice. Topics include informed consent, confidentiality/privileged communication, duty to warn, duty to report, record keeping, and risk management. As time and interest permit, additional topics related to employment law will be discussed.

COU 598. Independent Study. 1-3 hours.
A cooperatively planned reading-research course or special project guided and evaluated by a member of the graduate counseling faculty. May be repeated as needed. Prerequisite: student must have “regular admission” status, have completed 12 graduate hours with 3.0 or above GPA, and complete required forms with appropriate signatures before the drop/add date of the semester for which the credit is to be earned OR gain special permission from the director of the Program for Special Circumstances, i.e., Conference Credit, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to develop a proposal, initiate contact with a faculty member willing to serve as mentor and see that all requirements are met.

COU 600. Practicum II. 3 hours.
A continuation of Practicum I. The student works in a face-to-face relationship with a client under the supervision of a field supervisor. One-hundred-fifty (150) clock hours of counseling and counseling-related activities is the minimum requirement for successful completion. Weekly campus meetings are also required. Weekly meetings will be organized and directed by the graduate faculty. Prerequisite: COU 545 Practicum I, Completion of Core course work, and Liability Insurance.

COU 605. Internship. 6 hours.
A field-based clinical-counseling experience supervised by a qualified, licensed mental health professional at a site selected by special arrangement with the intern, the program director, and a mental health agency. Interns spend a minimum of 600 clock hours over one semester for six credit hours. Specific emphasis is placed on direct contact with consumers of mental health counseling services. The internship includes all activities a regularly employed mental health counselor would perform. It provides interns with an opportunity to develop and apply clinical diagnostic skills and counseling skills in a practical setting. Prerequisites: Completion of core coursework (including and passing practicums with a 3.0 GPA or better), admission to candidacy and completion of final coursework as specified in the student’s degree plan (ex. transfer work), and permission of the program director.


COU 599A. Counseling Children and Adolescents. 3 hours.
A topical seminar designed to develop skills in counseling children and adolescents individually and in family therapy. Coordination of services with other agencies, work with the juvenile court system and the use of assessment instruments with this age group will be studied.

COU 599B. Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. 3 hours. Su.
The foundation of an effective treatment plan is the data gathered through biopsychosocial assessment. Data can be obtained from interviews, client history and records, testing or collateral contacts. This course presents specific steps for developing an effective treatment plan based on assessment data and recognizing the uniqueness of each client. Plans will include a variety of interventions and approaches based on both behavioral problems and/or DSM-5 diagnosis. The case study method will also be used to develop such plans in class for discussion and presentation. Prerequisites: COU 514 and COU 515 Psychopathology I and II, COU 520 and COU 521 Assessment I and II, or special permission of instructor.

COU 599D. Premarital Counseling. 3 hours.
A topical seminar designed to introduce the student to the concepts, various models, resources, and process for leading couples through premarital preparation. The student will become familiar with the theological issues as well as the practical implications of having a Christian marriage and family in today’s society.

COU 599E. Grief Counseling. 3 hours.
This topical seminar provides content on the concepts of human attachment, loss, death, dying, and bereavement. Special clinical attention is given to the processes of grief therapy in resolving pathological grief and facilitating grief related to special kinds of losses. Grief is studied within the context of family systems.

COU 599F. Counseling for Church Leaders. 3 hours.
This course is intended to give the church leader basic counseling skills needed in a church setting. A basic introduction to counseling principles and concepts will be given from a strong, but not exclusive, Christian perspective. The church leader will gain a fundamental knowledge of psychopathology, so as to know how and when to make a referral. Topics that have special application to a church setting will be pursued, e.g., basic counseling within the congregation, marital and family counseling, Christian family life, conflict management, crisis counseling, the problem of suffering, counseling in the hospital (i.e. intensive care unit), dealing with anger, abuse, family dysfunction, spiritual disorders, Christian stewardship, affairs, divorce, and ethics. (Same as BIB 536.)

BIB545. Christian Leadership . 3 hours.
Leadership principles from the business world and from Scripture applied to the church, qualifications of effective spiritual leaders and methods of developing them, and consideration of the urgency of developing leaders.