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Program Competencies

Program Competencies

To earn the MA in the Psychology or MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree, in the course of your studies you will demonstrate the following seven competencies:

While the same skills are addressed in each of the degree programs, specifics of evaluation criteria, methods, timeliness, and consequences are described for each area in the respective degree addenda. While all competencies must be satisfied by all students, the nature of the content of the work done to meet the competencies may be different for the different degree options.

The work done to meet a competency will become part of your portfolio demonstrating your progress toward satisfying the required program competencies.

The portfolio will be reviewed by your faculty advisor as each competency is satisfied, and at the end of each semester. While the work added to the portfolio may come from courses completed, it is a separate product demonstrating your progress of development. Its review by your faculty advisor each term ensures a close understanding of the your evolving strengths and challenges.

Written Communication Skills

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to appropriately use the APA style in their written work.
  • Students will demonstrate clear and concise writing.
  • Students will demonstrate a graduate level use of grammar, spelling, and organization in their written work.
  • Students will demonstrate these skills, in at least one written course product before they can be approved to begin work on their thesis or Capstone process.
  • While the faculty is happy to offer feedback on students’ written work for content and style, it is assumed that students working at the graduate level will make every effort to produce writing at or near a professional level.
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Oral Presentation Communication Skills

  • Students will demonstrate sensitivity to what is relevant in presenting material relevant to their learning.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to present in a concise and organized manner and with sensitivity to their specific audience.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to appropriately receive and respond to feedback in productive ways.

Research Proposals and Reports

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to create research proposals and reports using current professional standards, including a literature review.
  • This requirement may be met by successful completion of the Research Methods course and evaluation by the student’s Advisor. Course work from other courses may be used in the Advisors evaluation of this competency.
  • These requirements must be satisfied before the student can be approved to begin work on a thesis.
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Personal Development: Self-Awareness

  • Students will demonstrate an awareness of the personal issues relevant to their strengths and weaknesses in their chosen field (counseling, organizational development, etc.).
  • This competency can be met through written work, residency seminars, or documented communication with faculty.
  • This competency is awarded after the student has successfully completed the internship and is in the final semester of the program.
  • A detailed written product describing the students’ personal development should be submitted to their Advisor for consideration of inclusion in their portfolio.

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Personal Development: Growth

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to increase their awareness of personal issues and to appropriately integrate their strengths and weaknesses into their work for the program. Evidence of this ability may include written work, participation in relevant residency seminars, Internship Supervisor’s evaluations, and other activities documented and approved by the faculty.
  • A detailed written product describing the students’ personal development should be submitted to their Advisor for consideration of inclusion in their portfolio.
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Professional Strengths and Development

  • Students will demonstrate an awareness of their professional strengths and weaknesses. This can be accomplished in a series of discussions with the Advisor or another faculty member. It can also be documented in discussions with their internship site supervisor. Students must demonstrate the skills necessary to stay abreast of advances in the field.
  • This competency also includes professional ethics related to academic scholarship and practical work in the field. Students must demonstrate an understanding of the ethics of the field and an ability to apply those ethics in scholarly and practical applications.
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Counseling and Social Justice

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the history of social justice advocacy in counseling and their relation to it.
  • Students will participate in some activity related to issues of social justice in counseling.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ways social science research relates to issues of social justice.