Marymount Celebrates 25 Years of School Counseling Master’s Degree Program

Marymount University’s award-winning graduate program in school counseling celebrated its 25th anniversary with a reception at the Main House on campus for students, alumni and faculty on Thursday, Dec. 8.

“It was touching to have so many graduates come back and talk to us about how grateful they were for the training and support they were given,” said Dr. Michele Garofalo, coordinator of the program. “We celebrated the success of our program and the success of each of our students, all of whom are out there doing amazing things.”

Garofalo said supervisors in the field routinely tell her Marymount graduates are well-prepared, competent professionals who are sought after for school counseling positions. Most years the program sees 100 percent job placement. She said students do a one-semester practicum supervised by a school counselor, followed by a school-year long (two-semester) internship at a different grade level.

“We’re really proud of the program and the support we receive from the entire counseling faculty,” said Dr. Tamara Davis, who, like Garofalo, served as a school counselor before coming to Marymount. “Everyone works very hard to prepare our students in the best way possible.”

Dr. Lois Stover, dean of the School of Education & Human Services, praised the program for being very mission-focused.

“It also offers opportunities for people to figure out what grade level is their calling and test out whether they want to work with little kids or seniors,” Stover said.

She said counselors are on the front lines, working with students who may face pressures ranging from not knowing where their next meal is coming from to fearing that their parents will be deported, or at the other end of the spectrum, facing expectations that they be accepted to an elite university.

“As a former middle and high school teacher, I know the power of partnering with a good school counselor. They make a difference in the lives of their kids,” Stover added.

School counseling is one of three specializations offered in Marymount’s Master of Arts in Counseling program. The others are pastoral clinical mental health counseling and clinical mental health counseling (which also has a forensic and legal psychology option). All are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Marymount’s counseling program provides an opportunity to earn a degree and complete coursework needed for professional licensure in 60 credit hours. Individuals are eligible to sit for the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) examination toward the end of their program of study,  and they may begin the supervised experience necessary to become a licensed professional counselor upon completion of their degree.

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