IUP’s Community Counseling and School Counseling master’s degree programs have received two-year accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. The two programs are offered through IUP’s Department of Counseling.
Both programs were described by the accrediting agency as programs that “substantially meet the requirements for accredited status.” Agency officials also recognized IUP’s faculty in the program for the “time, energy, and commitment” offered through the accreditation process.
“Accreditation is validation of a program’s academic excellence and its ability to adequately prepare students for work in the counseling profession,” said Claire Dandeneau, chair of IUP’s Counseling Department.
“Achieving accreditation is the result of documentation of our work and outcomes and reflects that we are meeting our mission, which is to prepare and train school and community counselors who are actively engaged in scholarship, practice, and reflection to promote their professional competence and personal development.
Dandeneau said much of the credit for achieving accreditation goes to Nadene L’Amoreaux, coordinator of the on-site accreditation visit and chief author of the department’s expansive self-study report that was prepared for the accreditation review, and Mary Ann Rafoth, dean of IUP’s College of Education and Educational Technology.
“She worked to fully understand the accreditation standards of our discipline and then worked collaboratively with us to meet those comprehensive and rigorous standards,” Dandendau said of Rafoth.
The Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling is designed to prepare students to work in a variety of settings including mental health centers, drug and alcohol treatment programs, specialized community agencies, vocational education or rehabilitation programs, correctional institutions, health care settings, social services, business, and industry. This program is also offered at IUP at Monroeville.
The Master of Education degree in School Counseling certification is designed to prepare elementary and secondary counselors to qualify for institutional and commonwealth certification. It is a 48-credit, competency-based program that includes a series of counseling skills courses and a field experience under the supervision of a certified school counselor.