master of arts (m.a.) in counseling
The M.A. in counseling programs are designed to equip students to become counselors in a variety of settings, including but not limited to social agencies, schools, hospitals, colleges, career counseling, rehabilitation, and mental health centers, and other community and government agencies. The programs prepare counselors to facilitate normal and optimal development for individuals, groups, and organizations. Students are trained in the assessment, evaluation, amelioration and treatment of socio-emotional disorders and dysfunctions. Moreover, students are trained as counselors who not only focus on problem areas, but who also effectively identify and leverage strengths toward helping individuals, groups, and organizations achieve their full potential. The objectives of the program are to train counselors who:
- Focus on the personal, relational, and career development of individuals and groups
- Focus on clients' strengths and assets, and the importance of person-environment interactions
- Provide mental health services to client and client systems
- Are competent in providing workshops and psycho education to individuals, groups, and organizations
- Are self-aware and reflective about social and cultural constructions, and issues related to identity group membership
- Are competent in interpreting cutting edge research and applying it to understanding the human condition and best practices in counseling
- Develop identities as ethical counselors and social justice agents who can play an active role in making the world a better place.
These objectives will help prepare counselors who are competent to assist people in navigating personal and/or occupational adjustment issues. Counselors help people clarify their concept of self in relation to others and in relation to the world of work. This is done through individual counseling, group counseling, program development, family counseling, psycho-educational workshops, implementing systemic change, etc. The role of a counselor is to help individuals from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds utilize internal and environmental resources in order to live more optimally. They are skilled in working with people from different demographic backgrounds and developmental stages.
The 60-credit program in mental health counseling is designed to meet the current pre-Master's requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts. LMHC’s are not licensed to work as school counselors. However, the school counseling program is also a state-approved program designed to meet the current requirements for initial licensure as a school guidance counselor in Massachusetts.
Click here for information regarding licensure in Massachusetts. In addition to becoming licensed counselors, many graduates of the M.A. programs pursue doctoral training within a few years after graduation.