The Master of Arts in Professional Clinical Counseling offers intensive studies that stress skill training and clinical preparation for licensure as a professional counselor.
What is Counseling?
Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals (ACA, 2010). In contrast to other mental health professionals who utilize a “medical model,” professional counselors utilize a “wellness model” when providing professional services to clients, assessing a client’s level of well-being and assisting the client in reaching an optimal level of functioning. Whereas other mental health professionals view mental or emotional problems as “illnesses” from the medical model perspective, counselors view such problems as a part of the normal process of living. All mental, behavioral, and emotional problems are viewed from a developmental perspective in that various stages of life present concerns that must be addressed in order to progress successfully to the next stage of life. In addition, mental health is viewed on a continuum, in that individuals are seen as constantly moving along this continuum depending on their life circumstances and emotional states of being. Therefore, the professional counselor provides services to increase the quality of life for clients, taking into account the developmental and emotional state of the client.
Who Are Professional Counselors, and what do they do?
Although the specific title differs from state to state, professional counselors are master’s-level clinicians who provide mental health, psychological, and/or human development principles to address wellness, personal growth, career development, and mental or emotional health issues. Education and training is oriented toward the adoption of a client-centered, rather than an illness-centered, approach. Professional counselors work with individuals or groups in the assessment and treatment of psychological disorders. Other activities of counselors include consultation, prevention, and research. They make up a large percentage of the workforce employed in mental health agencies and organizations, and their work is covered by managed care organizations and health plans. Many professional counselors have a private practice.
What is La Salle’s Program?
The Professional Clinical Counseling (PCC) degree at La Salle places an emphasis on the integration of theory and practice. It is a 60 credit-hour degree that can be completed part-time (three to four years), full-time (two to three years), or in an accelerated full-time weekend option. Refer to the Schedule Options for more information.
The required courses (48 credits) fulfill the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Pennsylvania (and most other states) as well as for certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). There are several choices to complete the additional 12 credits for the 60-credit degree. Students can continue taking courses in professional counseling, choosing from several electives or students can choose a minor in Marriage and Family Therapy, Addictions Counseling, or Industrial Organizational Counseling and Consulting.
The PCC program progresses from a knowledge base of core courses in counseling theory to a sequence of skills courses in assessment and intervention. The experience culminates with clinical practice in a one-semester Practicum, which is followed by a 12-month Internship in the final year. For more information, view the Mission Statement and Educational Outcomes and FAQs.
La Salle’s PCC degree prepares students for licensure as professional counselors (LPC) in Pennsylvania and most other states and for employment in many professional settings, including mental health agencies and hospitals, college counseling and career centers, and employee assistance programs, as well as for private practice. Upon graduation from the program, students are eligible to take the national exam for licensure. The PCC degree also is excellent preparation for those students planning to pursue doctoral studies in counselor education and supervision or a related field.
Why study Professional Counseling at La Salle?
La Salle University believes in a personal, practical, and professional graduate education, and occurs in the context of the Lasallian traditionfocusing on excellence in teaching and concern for both ultimate values and for the individual values of its students.
La Salle’s Counseling and Family Therapy Master’s Programs have been training counselors and therapists since 1979. Its resources are extensive, and include the following:
- Diverse faculty possessing a wide range of disciplinary expertise dedicated to teaching, scholarship, and service.
- Connelly Library—a state-of-the-art library with extensive holdings in counseling and counselor education.
- An Assessment Laboratory that contains a wide variety of assessment materials and resources.
- Affiliations with many nationally recognized agencies and clinics in the Philadelphia area, which is especially rich in its mental health resources. These include the following:
- Aldie Counseling Center (Doylestown, PA)
- Arcadia University Counseling Center (Glenside, PA)
- Behavioral Health Center for Older Adults (Langhorne, PA)
- Catholic Charities (Camden and Trenton, NJ)
- Eagleville Hospital (Eagleville, PA)
- Drexel University Counseling Center (Philadelphia, PA)
- Intercommunity Action (Philadelphia, PA)
- Lenape Valley Foundation (Doylestown and Bristol, PA)
- Northern Home for Children (Philadelphia, PA)
- NHS Human Services (Philadelphia and Sharon Hill, PA)
- Today, Inc. (Middletown Township, PA)
- One-on-one advisement and individualized plans of study that meet students’ interests and career goals.
- Late afternoon and evening classes convenient for the full-time or part-time student, and the working professional.
- Approval by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) to offer the National Counselors Exam (NCE), the exam accepted by Pennsylvania and many other states for licensure as a Professional Counselor.
The thoroughness of La Salle’s training is widely recognized in the Philadelphia area and sets its graduates apart.
View the Admission Requirements for eligibility criteria and application deadlines.