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Student Handbook

Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Professional Counseling! Our department was one of the first in New Jersey to offer a degree meeting all the educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license, and was the first in New Jersey to offer a 60-credit Master of Science program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This M.S. was also the first mental health counseling program in the State of New Jersey to be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. We look forward to your successful completion of our graduate program and congratulate you on your commitment to helping others.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement of the Department of Professional Counseling

The Department of Professional Counseling honors the worth, dignity, potential, and individuality of everyone by acknowledging diversity and advocating for social justice and equality. This department views diversity from an intersectional perspective, recognizing the ways in which identities operate within systems of power, privilege, and oppression. This department strives to be a diverse community in both membership and leadership.

The Department of Professional Counseling does not tolerate discrimination against any individual based on race, ethnicity, culture, religion/spirituality, age, ability status, gender identity and expression, sexual/affectional identity and orientation, relationship status, spoken language, socioeconomic status, or any other personal characteristic not related to academic performance or disposition.

Purpose of This Handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to provide you with information about the Department of Professional Counseling at Monmouth University, the available programs of study, and the policies, regulations and professional activities relevant to our programs. Information about updates to this manual will be made available in your classes, through emails sent to our students, and on our website. It is the students’ responsibility to be familiar with the current student handbook. In the first semester, students must acknowledge (via eCampus assignment in PC505) that they have read/understood this handbook. Students with questions regarding the handbook can ask their advisory and/or department chair. An updated hard copy of this handbook is maintained in the department office. The handbook can also be accessed online.

Department Offices, Faculty and Resources

The Department of Professional Counseling is located in the Monmouth Graduate Center at the Monmouth Park Corporate Center, only 2.5 miles from Monmouth University main campus. Students seeking information or appointments with department faculty members should contact those faculty members directly, or contact the office coordinator by email or by calling 732-571-3570.

The department website is used to provide needed information to the students and faculty. The website contains faculty bios, printable versions of the student handbook and the Field Placement Handbook, answers to frequently asked questions, video recordings of student information sessions and other media presentations, and important links to professional associations and other useful Monmouth University sites. Department bulletin boards are also used for conveying information to our students. You are encouraged to review these boards and the department website periodically.

Students have access to Department of Professional Counseling library, located in the student lounge. The library includes many professional books, journals, and pamphlets covering both general and specific topics in counseling. The department also houses two observation rooms (MCP132, 133, 134), each connected via one-way mirrors with a control room that allows observation or recording abilities of the activities in the observation rooms. These rooms are used to observe practice counseling sessions in both a live mode, as well as via audio and video recording and viewing equipment. The observation rooms are used for several courses. In addition, the Monmouth University Graduate Center has a computer lab available for our students, allowing them access to the university’s technology resources.

Students may only be in the building when there is a safety officer present. Consequently, the building is open to students only on the following days/times:

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

If any student needs to use a computer lab on weekends, labs on the main campus are open and available. Students are not permitted to stay in the building after the departure of the safety officer.

Meet the Faculty

Megan Delaney (she/her/hers), Associate Professor. Montclair State University. Dr. Delaney created and oversees the Ecotherapy specialization and teaches the Ecotherapy: Counseling and the Natural World and the Adventure Based Ecotherapy courses at Monmouth. Her research agenda focuses on clinical outcomes in Ecotherapy as well as student experiences in nature-based counseling curriculum. Her book, Nature is nurture: Counseling and the natural world (2020) combines research and practical application for counselors to infuse nature as a therapeutic partner. She also has a private ecotherapy practice, Therapy Without Walls, LLC and is a regular contributor to Psychology Today.

David Julius Ford, Jr. (he/him/his), Associate Professor & Interim Department Chair. Ph.D., Old Dominion University. Dr. Ford is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in North Carolina and Virginia. He is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS). Dr. Ford’s professional interests are Black Greek life; multicultural issues; college students; African American males in higher education; career counseling; addictions counseling; supervision; group work; qualitative research; the LGBTQQIA community; Intersectionality; and persons living with HIV/AIDS. He has experience as an instructor for undergraduate human services courses and has taught graduate courses on career counseling, testing and assessment, clinical mental health counseling, addictions counseling, practicum supervision, and group counseling. He has also taught a doctoral-level dissertation course.

Joanne Jodry (she/her/hers), Assistant Professor and Program Director. DMH, Drew University; Ed.D., Argosy University (Sarasota). Specializations in professional mental health counseling, with primary clinical interests in women’s issues throughout the life span, life crisis, and existential issues. Areas of interest in research include the interplay of psychology and religion (through a world religion perspective), the impact of therapeutic relationships on the therapist, and feminist counseling and its future impact on the mental health counseling field. 

Amelia D. Shannon (she/her/hers), Specialist Professor. Ph.D., LCPC., LPC, Hampton University. Dr. Shannon is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Maryland, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Connecticut and Virginia. Specializations in psychotherapy, with primary clinical interests in sexual trauma, women with autoimmune diseases, and complex trauma, psychology and faith. Areas of interest in research include college students, African American females in higher educations, resiliency, and trauma.

Sarah Springer (she/her/hers), Associate Professor. Ph.D., LPC, ACS, CDWF, Montclair State University. Dr. Springer specializes in the areas of group counseling, children and adolescent counseling, counseling in the schools, and supervision. She also received training from Dr. Brené Brown’s organization and is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. 

Matthew Tirrell (he/him/his), Director of Field Placement, Adjunct Professor. M.S., Monmouth University. Matthew is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of New Jersey. Matthew’s clinical focus is on counseling people with co-occurring disorders through a multicultural lens, and his areas of teaching include practicum, counseling theories and drug and alcohol counseling. Matthew facilitates the professional development of the student body and the greater Monmouth University community through his roles in field placement and alumni connection.

Matthew Tozzi (he/him/his), Assistant Professor, Ph.D. University of Florida. Dr. Tozzi has over seven years of counseling experience conducting individual, group, and family sessions and over 3 years of experience providing clinical supervision. His focus is working with the substance abuse population treating voluntary and court ordered clients. He currently maintains a caseload of clients for general counseling services and has experience counseling a wide variety of children, adolescents, and adults in an outpatient, intensive outpatient, in-home, inpatient, and prison counseling setting. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Qualified Supervisor in New Jersey. Dr. Tozzi’s dissertation focused on sexual assault in college students, and his other research interests include trauma, mindfulness, and counselor burnout.

Jennifer Trimarchi (she/her/hers), Instructor, M.S. Monmouth University, ME.d. Widener University. Professor Trimarchi is a full-time instructor and program director of Addiction Studies in the Department of Professional Counseling. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) with a private practice in West Long Branch. She works with adolescents and adults, offering individual, family and couples/relationship counseling. Some of her specialties focus on anxiety, OCD, sexuality, intimacy, and infidelity. She is also one of the co-founders of the Counseling Alumni Connection (CAC) for Alumni of the Department of Professional Counseling. She is currently finishing her supervised hours to become a certified sex therapist.

Faculty and Staff Contact Information

Dr. Megan Delaney732-571-3558mdelaney@monmouth.eduAssociate Professor
Dr. David Ford732-923-4620dford@monmouth.eduChair, Associate Professor
Dr. Joanne Jodry732-263-5115jjodry@monmouth.eduAssistant Professor Program Director, Clinical Mental Health
Dr. Sarah Springer732-923-4570sspringe@monmouth.eduAssociate Professor
Matthew Tirrell732-923-4514mtirrell@monmouth.eduDirector of Field Placement
Dr. Matthew Tozzi732-923-4621mtozzi@monmouth.eduAssistant Professor
Dr. Amelia Shannon732-263-5697ashannon@monmouth.eduAssistant Professor
Cally Sherman732-571-3570csherman@monmouth.eduOffice Coordinator

Faculty Advisor

Each student is assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to the program. It is the student’s responsibility to know who is serving as their faculty advisor, and this information can be obtained from Web Advisor. The faculty advisor is each student’s primary contact person regarding their program of study, choice of courses, registration questions, general information about academic progress, career plans, etc. The responsibility for this relationship is the student’s, since each advisor has many students on their case load. The department encourages students to take the initiative to foster this relationship.

Any questions regarding registration, course selection, etc., should be directed first and foremost to students’ advisors, and students should first visit our department web site, since the answers to many questions are already there (for example, see the FAQs). Questions of purely administrative nature (for example, “where can I find this form”) can be directed to our office coordinator (again, first check the web site). All questions pertaining to any academic issues must be directed to students’ advisors.

Please note that administrative changes in advisors may need to occur from time to time. This may be precipitated by several reasons – faculty going on leaves, changes in personnel, or graduation rates that require redistribution of remaining students to other advisors. While we try to make such changes as infrequently as possible, they are sometimes unavoidable. We encourage our students to ask questions of any of faculty members, so please feel free to approach any faculty member in our department for academic advice. However, when asking advice about proceeding through your studies, please make sure that your advisor is “in the loop.” Thus, please feel free to ask other faculty members in addition to asking your advisor, but not instead of asking your advisor.

Program Goals and Objectives

Department Mission Statement

The department’s graduate level programs are designed to train a diverse body of highly qualified students to be practitioners, leaders and advocates in the field of mental health. Our programs are designed to be accredited and are based on humanistic values promoting prevention, wellness, personal growth and human development, and on the benefits of counselor-client interaction. Our students will be individually supported to receive an effective educational experience tailored to their needs. Our graduates will meet the academic and skill requirements for state and national licensing and certification, and given a foundation for further education in the field.

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Mission Statement

The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to train a diverse body of service-oriented graduate students (largely from New Jersey and nearby areas) to be practitioners, leaders, and advocates in the field of mental health counseling. The members of the faculty are committed to graduating students who have exemplary theory-based knowledge and skills in counseling and who have demonstrated competence in providing counseling services to people from diverse populations. The department’s goal is to offer a program of study that seeks to stay consistent with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards, as well as the academic and skill requirements of state licensing and national certification for counseling.

Objectives

To carry out its mission, the department has specified a set of objectives that are implemented through its programs.

  1. Personal Qualities
    1. Self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-objectivity
    2. Empathy, other esteem, unconditional positive regard for others
    3. Personal congruence/authenticity
    4. Ability to interact constructively with diverse peoples
    5. Personal commitment to professional ethical standards
    6. Constructive professional relationships
    7. Commitment to multicultural dimensions and identities
    8. Respect for the dignity and worth of others
    9. Maturity, open-mindedness, and receptivity to feedback
    10. Commitment to personal and professional growth
  2. Understandings
    1. Development processes – typical and atypical
    2. Personality and adjustment processes – adaptive and maladaptive
    3. Diagnostic proficiency
    4. Counseling processes – individual, group, and family
    5. Group dynamics
    6. Measurement and evaluation
    7. Research methodology
    8. Career development
    9. Professional, ethical, and legal aspects of counseling
    10. Multicultural and social justice issues
  3. Skills
    1. Interviewing techniques
    2. Test administration and interpretation
    3. Case conceptualization and communication
    4. Individual counseling techniques
    5. Group counseling techniques
    6. Crisis and trauma interventions
    7. Evaluating and using research findings
    8. Responding to supervision and consultation
    9. Understanding of biological-psychological-social interpretations
    10. Diagnostic skills
    11. Intra/inter personal skills

Professional Expectations

As a department, we adhere to the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics, which includes honoring our diverse voices, providing equitable access for all students, and integrating inclusive pedagogical practices across the curriculum.

As students, you are expected to behave in ways consistent with our ethical code, including but not limited to standards expressed in its non-discrimination section. While our department believes in modeling mutual respect for a range of personal values aligned with our professional mission, we also expect that standards set forth by the ethical code, including the need to become aware of and impose personal value, be consistently demonstrated and upheld. For instance, counselors and counseling students do not base therapeutic decisions on their own religious and/or personal values and are not permitted to privilege their own religious and/or personal value system in the therapeutic and academic settings. Counselors and counseling students are therefore required to promote the values of the counseling profession and behave in ways congruent with those values, even if those values are discrepant with the counselor’s own values or religious beliefs. Counselors and counselors-in-training are expected to be engaged in personal and professional growth to facilitate both the bracketing of personal values and the ability to promote the diverse values of the counseling profession.

These department values are integrated into how we promote knowledge of our profession, facilitate self-awareness of our intersecting identities, and support the acquisition of skills relevant to culturally-diverse, underrepresented, and/or marginalized populations.

Accordingly, the ACA has articulated four points relating to client referral:

  • Professional counselors may not deny counseling services to an LGBTQIA+ client and all other marginalized class of clients based on the counselor’s values.
  • Referrals are to be made based on skill–based competency, not values.
  • To avoid abandonment, referral is an option of last resort.
  • Our ethical obligations to an individual begin at first contact or assignment, not at the first session.

By taking courses in our program, you acknowledge that you understand the standards and agree to abide by these standards throughout your academic program, and that failure to do so may result in corrective action, including dismissal from the program.

The academic programs in the department are established to prepare graduates of the program to enter mental health professions. The term “professions” in this context means (a) an occupation/career for which there is a known body of knowledge (both theoretical and research), (b) an identified set of appropriate skills, and (c) a set of behavioral standards adhered to by members of the profession. As a student admitted to a program in the department, you are engaged in a professional preparation curriculum. Therefore, upon admission, the department accepts you as a developing professional and expects you to act in accordance with the highest professional standards.

The most common manifestation of professionalism is adherence to professional ethical standards such as those of the (a) American Counseling Association and (b) the National Board for Certified Counselors. You will be required to read and understand several different sets of ethical standards as a part of your coursework in your program of study. The department faculty expects you to be knowledgeable of these standards and to act in accordance with them. However, professionalism encompasses much more than just adherence to ethical and/or other written standards. It includes appropriate and effective ways of interaction with people, matters of personal conduct and self- presentation, and respect of people, property and processes. If you have any concerns about appropriate professional behavior for you or for others, contact your faculty advisor immediately.

It is the department’s responsibility to graduate only those students who have shown evidence of being capable to handle professional responsibilities and behave in strict accordance with relevant legal regulations and ethical guidelines (for example, as per ACA Code of Ethics). Students who have not shown the ability to do so may be counseled out of the profession, and in cases of serious misconduct, may be terminated from the program. Similarly, students who have been referred for remediation and have not successfully completed recommended remediation steps, or those for whom remediation did not result in resolution of the problem, may also be terminated from the program.

Programs of Study

Overview

Monmouth University’s Department of Professional Counseling offers two graduate programs that equip students with the theoretical and practical aspects of a career in the field of mental health.

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit program that allows the students to complete all the credits, including the core curriculum, required for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensure in New Jersey (and many other states) and the National Certified Counselor credential. In addition, students have the option to pursue specialty areas and enhance their counseling skills with field experience. The M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This program’s mission is to train students to be leaders and social justice advocates in the field of mental health counseling.

The Graduate Certificate in Professional Counseling is an eighteen-credit program designed for students who are completing or have completed a CACREP-accredited master’s degree in counseling and need additional hours to complete the educational requirements of the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensure in New Jersey. Up to six credits may be waived if students completed PC 505/EDC 505 and/or PC 525/EDC 530 as part of their CACREP-accredited master’s degree. The Graduate Certificate allows students to pattern their choice of free elective courses to complete courses with a common theme about specialized areas of counseling, such as addictions counseling, counseling children and adolescents, couples and relationship counseling, family counseling, ecotherapy and spirituality.

Curriculum Charts

These curriculum charts detail the course requirements for each of the two programs offered by the department. Please refer to the Graduate Catalogue for course descriptions, required course sequences and prerequisites.

Specialization Areas

Students enrolled in the 60 credit M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling may elect to concentrate in various areas of counseling. Students must complete a form (see Appendix C) located in the department office.

  1. Alcohol & Drug Counseling
  2. Spirituality & Religion  
  3. Couples/Relationships & Family Counseling
  4. Ecotherapy
  5. Children & Play

In addition, depending on specific interests, students may design a custom-made specialization area with their advisors. Your advisor is available to discuss the specialization areas in greater detail.

Course Sequencing

Full-time status is 9 credits per semester. Students who take fewer than 9 credits are considered part-time status.

All students must successfully complete PC 505 during their first semester of study. Students who do not successfully complete PC 505 in their first term of study will be blocked from continuing in the program until PC 505 is completed.

Generally, students should complete PC 523, PC 525, PC 512, and PC 515 early in their studies, as these courses provide important background information that will allow students to learn more in subsequent courses in the program. Students must check the Graduate Catalog to observe any prerequisites listed for any of the courses in the program.

Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)

Students in the M.S. program must pass the CPCE to be able to graduate from the program. The CPCE was developed by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and is used by the Department of Professional Counseling as an exit requirement for students to obtain their M.S. degree. Because the CPCE examines the same eight content areas as the National Counselor Exam (NCE), the CPCE also serves to prepare students for the NCE. The CPCE has 160 questions, with 20 questions in each of the eight content areas.

The CPCE is administered on the fourth Saturday after the start of classes every semester. Students are encouraged to begin preparing for the CPCE well in advance of the planned examination date.

Students are required to take the CPCE in their last semester of study as a capstone exam, and students must have completed a minimum of 48 credits prior to taking the CPCE. Students have a maximum of three attempts to pass the CPCE to graduate from the program. The CPCE is administered via computer, and students requiring accommodations must consult with the Department of Disability Services (DDS).

A student will have a maximum of three attempts to pass the CPCE. In the rare instance that a student fails the CPCE on the third attempt, the student will not graduate that semester. In consultation with the department chair, it may be determined if it is appropriate to develop a comprehensive plan (based on the results of the failed CPCE) that will enable the student to demonstrate mastery of the CORE material. If the department chair determines such a plan is appropriate, the student must complete a 1 credit independent study the following semester. The assignments and assessments of mastery are at the discretion of the faculty serving on the independent study and must be completed to the satisfaction of the faculty member and the department chair. Incomplete assignments in the timeframe given or unsatisfactory work that does not prove mastery may result in a termination from the program without graduation.

Clinical Experience in the Field

A key part of our programs of study is clinical field experience. Students complete 9 credits of supervised field experience that provides the opportunity to work with clients at department approved field sites. Students have the opportunity to take a fourth clinical experience through an elective. Students have the opportunity to help diverse client populations, and students in the M.S. are strongly encouraged to complete placement experiences in at least two sites. Each field experience course is aided by close clinical supervision at the site, as well as group supervision at the department. The Field Placement Handbook provides the students with the details of the requirements for entering and completing such site experiences and registering for the associated practicum and internship courses, including the process for selecting sites and all the details for completing the two levels of training – the practicum (the initial field experience) and subsequent internships. All the forms that need to be completed before and during the field experience are also included in the handbook, which is posted in eCampus and on the department’s website.

Department Regulations and Policies

All students have an email address based on their student ID number. Students must check their email frequently (at least once a day) as faculty and the university uses this method to communicate important information. In addition, several courses use on-line technology to teach and disseminate information, and students can contact Monmouth University Help Desk to receive instructions about how they can access their Monmouth University email from home and on their cell phones.

Course Registration

Each year, the university publishes a Graduate Catalog, which is available on the university website. The graduate catalog in effect at the time the student was admitted to the graduate program is the catalog of record for that student’s course of study, and each student will generally graduate in accordance with the provisions described in that catalog. However, prerequisites for any courses may change along the way, and students are bound by the new prerequisites regardless of whether these were in effect when students entered the program. This catalog also includes course descriptions for each course offered in the degree programs. For each course, the catalog also lists any required prerequisites for each course.

Once per year, approximately mid-way through the spring semester, the university posts all courses available for registration on WebStudent. A few weeks prior to the opening of pre-registration period, Registrar’s notifies all students (via email) of the specific date/time when students will be able to pre-register. On the target date and time, graduate students (except those on conditional status) become able to self-register on-line (using WebAdvisor for Students). From this point forward, students can register for any available courses until the end of the add/drop period at the start of this semester (which generally is the end of the first week of classes for that semester). Any changes in course schedules, additions, cancellations, etc. are reflected on WebAdvisor for students, and students are encouraged to check the listing regularly. To receive academic advice, students are encouraged to contact their advisors.

Except for students on conditional status (who cannot self-register), all other graduate students are expected to self-register for the courses they desire. Students who are on conditional status must work with their advisors to register for classes. Students are advised to carefully check prerequisites for courses.

Students are not able to self-register through WebStudent for field placement courses (practicum/internship). A student may be registered for a field placement course once they have met the designated requirements for practicum or internship that are listed in the field placement handbook. The department has computerized a portion of the process for field placements. The Tevera software, already in use for outcome assessment, is the host for the Field Placement Process. The application and documentation form are accessed, completed, and approved via this system, and students must complete those forms within Tevera to initiate the process. All other forms are on paper. For any questions about field placement courses, contact our Director of Field Placement

The department maintains the ultimate control over the registration for its courses. This ensures that only qualified individuals obtain certain professional credentials, and ensures that all pre-requisites for a course have been satisfied. The department considers the forgery of a signature on a registration form (or any other misrepresentation) to be unethical and unprofessional. This behavior is sufficient cause for immediate dismissal from enrollment in the program and/or may be reported to the state licensure board.

Please note that not all classes are offered every semester. Although there is an attempt to maximize CORE class offerings each semester, there are circumstances where courses may not be offered. It is to the students benefit to take advantage of the courses when they are offered and not plan a future semester. Low class enrollment, instructors expertise and other factors can affect the offerings.

Registration Over Capacity

Students should not ask faculty members to allow them to register for courses that are full. All students wishing to register for a course that is already closed should add themselves to the wait list. Wait lists are regularly monitored and additional sections will be opened if size of the wait list for any course warrants another section and the department is able to get the course covered by a faculty member willing to teach it. Students must be prepared to take another course if another section of the desired course is not opened.

Transfer Credits

Generally, students transferring into the M.S. are limited to 9 transfer credits. Credits transferred must be prior graduate work equivalent to current Monmouth University graduate courses, and may not be courses that were used to obtain any prior degree. In all cases, transfer of credits must be approved by the department, via the student’s advisor and the department chair. In addition, all students currently in our program must pre-approve any course they wish to take at another institution if they plan to apply these courses toward their M.S. degree.

College Retention Standards

The requirements of a particular master’s program must be satisfied within a period not exceeding five calendar years and not including a period of service in the Armed Forces. The graduate catalogue in effect at the time of admission, readmission, or the change in major (whichever is later), shall normally be the student’s official catalogue of record. If a student has not completed the requirements of the curriculum within five calendar years, the student must update the curriculum of record (including all requirements) to the current one in existence when the 5-year period elapsed. Requests for exceptions to a curriculum update should be directed in writing to the chair of the Department of Professional Counseling. The chair’s recommendation is then forwarded to the academic school dean and graduate school dean for final approval. The acceptance at Monmouth University of graduate courses taken elsewhere more than five years prior is at the discretion of the advisor and chair and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Minimum Academic Standing

Graduate students are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better. Students who fail to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, or who accumulate as many as six credits of, “C+”, “C”, or “C-” or three credits of an “F” grade will be subject to review by the Academic Standards and Review Committee. Under no circumstances will more than six credits of “C+”, “C” and “C-” grades accumulate toward degree credit. Students will not receive their degrees until all the policies on the number of “C” grades and GPA are met. Students must achieve a final grade above a “B” in PC 505, PC 523, PC 526, PC 529 and PC 550, or they must repeat the course and achieve a minimum of a “B” to move on in the program.

Academic or Non-Academic Dismissal

A student shall become subject to dismissal for any of the following conditions:

  1. For failing to earn in three continuous semesters a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
  2. For accumulating nine credits of “C+”, “C” and “C-”.
  3. For accumulating six credits of “F”, or three credits of “F” and three credits of “B-”, “C+”, “C” and “C-”.
  4. For excessive course withdrawals. A student is considered to have withdrawn excessively if credits for those courses in which “W” grades have been received total more than 25% of the total number of credits attempted at Monmouth University. This policy affects all students after they have attempted at least 12 credits at Monmouth University.
  5. For serious professional/ethical misconduct.
  6. For failure to successfully implement the recommendations of the department’s Professional Development Committee, or when implementing the recommendations of the department’s Professional Development Committee did not sufficiently resolve the original problem (see below).

Professional Development Process

Counselor education programs are mandated to monitor the development of counseling students. The primary source for this mandate is the American Counseling Association’s (ACA; 2014) ACA Code of Ethics. Section F.9.b of the ACA Code of Ethics states that counselor educators are to consistently monitor and address student deficiencies significant enough to impair their ability to provide counseling (ACA, 2014). Additionally, programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) must carry out comprehensive appraisals of student performance (CACREP, 2009). Faculty who identify a student who is experiencing academic and/or non-academic concerns may refer that student to the department’s Professional Development Committee. The Professional Development Committee (PDC) consists of three faculty members and is designed to assist students who are experiencing academic and/or non-academic difficulties through the implementation of a professional development plan agreement. Students are bound by this agreement, and failure to implement the agreement may result in dismissal from the program.

Non-Academic Performance Requirements

Students are also expected to meet various non-academic performance requirements. These include abiding by the code of behavior of the University (for example: rules and policies regarding plagiarism, sexual harassment etc.), as well as the Ethical Code of the American Counseling Association. Violations of these codes, or poor fit with the skills and characteristics required for the counseling profession (provided in the Program Goals and Objectives section of this handbook) can result in disciplinary action with consequences up to and including dismissal from the program. It is the responsibility of the students to familiarize themselves with these codes of behavior.

Recommendation and Endorsement Policy

The graduate programs of the department have been carefully designed to prepare the students who graduate for specific professional settings. Therefore, the department members can only provide endorsements for professional positions and position levels appropriate to the respective programs completed. Thus, for example, the department cannot give a recommendation for an alcohol and drug counselor position to someone who did not have that concentration and did not complete a field experience consistent with this area of practice.

The department faculty does not “automatically” provide verbal and/or written endorsements. If a student desires to have a department faculty member provide a verbal and/or written endorsement, a specific request must be made to the faculty member for a specific endorsement. The faculty member will give and honest endorsement based on their assessment of the student’s personal and professional disposition and their ability to grow.

In general, the department members are happy to provide both written and verbal endorsements for graduates of the programs in the department as long as the requested endorsements are appropriate and sufficient response time is provided. In addition, when the student is requesting a written recommendation, they must provide a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.

Other Requirements and Recommendations

APA Style Writing

The Department of Professional Counseling has implemented the requirement to use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020), also known as the APA manual, as the guide for all written assignments in the department. Students in the program should be familiar with this style guide prior to completing and handing in any papers for graduate courses. The APA manual may not be a required text for many of the graduate courses taken; however, students are expected to refer to it for guidance for all written assignments in Professional Counseling courses taken at Monmouth University.

Professional Liability Insurance

Adherence to professional ethical standards, as well as high standards for personal and professional conduct, is perhaps the best way for professionals to avoid involvement in litigations. However, the department requires students (at their expense) to obtain professional liability insurance prior to enrollment in any field placement course. Students can apply for professional liability iinsurance through professional organizations (for example, as listed on the ACA website). Fees for professional liability insurance obtained through professional organizations are in addition to the organization’s membership fees.

Licensure and Certification

The National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. (NBCC) is the national professional certifying agency for professional counselors at the national level. Professionals who obtain certification by the NBCC may refer to themselves as National Certified Counselors (NCCs). Graduation from our M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling satisfies the educational requirements for the NCC. In addition, the NBCC administers the National Counselor Examination (NCE) for Licensure and Certification as a requirement for eligibility for the NCC.

New Jersey licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) requires, in part, 60 hours of graduate coursework and graduation from a CACREP-accredited master’s degree. These requirements are satisfied when students graduate from our M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Many states have licensure requirements that are similar to those in effect in New Jersey, however students must ascertain their own needs if they are preparing to practice in other states, and the department does not guarantee that our program meets education requirements for LPC or any other license/certification in any jurisdiction outside New Jersey.

Licensure and certification of other professional specialties (for example, Alcohol/Substance Abuse Counseling, Substance Abuse Coordinator, etc.), have varying requirements. Students may consult with their advisors to ascertain whether the courses they take are adequate for such careers.

Professional/Student Organizations/State Boards

Students are encouraged to join and participate in the activities of national, state and local professional counseling organizations. The department faculty members recognize that students’ financial resources are limited. Therefore, the department faculty does not require that you become a member of one or more professional organizations pertinent to your professional goals. However, the department does believe that membership in professional organizations is an important aspect of professionalism, and therefore strongly encourages you to join professional organizations if able to do so. Most professional organizations offer student affiliate rates, making the process more affordable for students.

National Level

The American Counseling Association

The American Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional, and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world’s largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings.

Other Professional National Counseling Organizations

State-Level: New Jersey Counselor Association

Student Organizations

Chi Sigma Iota (CSI)

Chi Sigma Iota is an international honor society for counseling. Students are eligible to become members when they have completed at least one semester of full-time study (9 credit hours) and have a grade point average of 3.5 or above.

Monmouth University’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota is Mu Upsilon Omega. The faculty advisor for the Professional Counseling program is Dr. Megan Delaney. To join, or for more information about CSI, please visit the Chi Sigma Iota page on the University website.

Counseling Student Association (CSA)

All graduate students enrolled in the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Monmouth University are members of the Counseling Students Association (CSA). Each semester, the CSA sponsors events such as a semi-annual Labyrinth Walk, trips to relevant shows and workshops in New York, guest speakers on campus, an annual Meet & Greet to welcome our incoming counseling students, and more. The CSA is a dynamic organization that is run by and for our entire department’s graduate counseling students. Please email Dr. Jodry at jjodry@monmouth.edu with any questions.

State Licensing Board Websites

Appendix A

Commonly Used Forms—Students in Department of Professional Counseling

FormPurposeSourceDestinationDeadlinesNotes
Change of ProgramChange major/degreeeForms (student or advisor initiated)Registrar’sn/aIf student-initiated, must be preapproved by advisor.
Change of ProgramUpdate a degree program to the most current description and requirementseForms (student or advisor initiated)Registrar’sJuly 1 of the academic year when the form is submittedRequired if student did not complete program in 5 years. If student-initiated, must be preapproved by advisor.
Transfer of CreditsTransfer free-standing (not applied toward any degree) graduate credits toward MU degreeeForms (student or advisor initiated)Registrar’sn/aMust be preapproved by advisor.
Course SubstitutionSubstitute another course for one listed in require curriculumeForms (student or advisor initiated)Registrar’sn/aMust be preapproved by advisor.
Practicum ApplicationPetition for permission to take PC 595 (Practicum in Counseling)TeveraAdvisorSummer semester – due by January 1.
Fall semester – due by May 1. Spring semester – due by November 1.
Must attach current degree audit.
Internship ApplicationPetition for permission to take PC 680 (Internship in Counseling)TeveraAdvisorSummer semester – due by January 1.
Fall semester – due by May 1. Spring semester – due by November 1.
Must attach current degree audit.
Field Placement AgreementApproval of specific placement to complete PC 595 or PC 680TeveraDirector of Field PlacementSummer semester – due by April 1.
Fall semester – due by August 1. Spring semester – due by prior December 1.
Must be signed by site supervisor for proposed placement.
Graduation ApplicationApplication to be permitted to graduateeForms (student initiated)Registrar’sConsult the current academic calendarMust be preapproved by advisor.

Appendix B

FormPurposeSourceDestinationDeadlinesNotes
Certificate ApplicationApplication to be permitted to receive the post-Master’s certificate.eForms (student initiated)Registrar’sConsult the current academic calendarMust be preapproved by advisor.
Add a courseRequest permission to register for a course during add/drop periodeFormsRegistrar’sConsult the current academic calendarn/a
Withdraw from a courseRequest permission to drop a course in progress during the semestereForms (student initiated)Registrar’sConsult the current academic calendarn/a
Independent Study FormApprove an independent study projecteForms (professor initiated)Supervising professor, then chairEnd of add/drop period (consult the current academic calendar).An independent study CAN NOT be used to complete any course currently listed in Monmouth’s Graduate Catalog.
Change of AdvisorPermission to change advisorseFormChairn/an/a
Independent Study ApplicationPermission to register for an independent studyeForms (professor initiated)Supervising faculty member, then Chairn/aIt is NOT permissible to take any existing course (currently listed in the catalog) as an independent study.
Leave of AbsenceApply for a leave of absence from matriculation (must be filed if student wants to take a semester off and not take courses, and yet remain in the program)eForms (student initiated)Registrar’sn/an/a

Appendix C

Appendix D

Professional Development Committee Policies and Procedures

  1. A faculty member who has become aware of concern(s) will meet with the student, if feasible, to discuss the concern(s) and attain a resolution. The faculty member will document the concern and any attempts at resolution. If deemed necessary, the faculty member (hereafter referred to as the referring faculty) will refer the student to the Professional Development Committee (PDC). The referring faculty member will complete the PDC Referral Form and specify in writing the reasons for the referral, and will provide documentation of all methods utilized thus far to resolve the problem. The referral and any supporting written documentation will be submitted to the PDC chair, copying the student, the student’s faculty advisor, and the department chairperson.
    • Note: Faculty will initiate the review process at any time for students who engage in illegal or unethical (as defined by the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics) activities or for students whose professional performance is deemed to present an immediate threat to the well-being of others. In such cases and depending upon the level of perceived threat, the full counseling faculty may recommend immediate discontinuation from the program.
  2. If the referral takes place at the time when a normal academic term is in session (Fall, Spring or Summer semester), within fourteen (14) calendar days of the receipt of the referral, the PDC chair will contact the student to set up an initial meeting. If the referral occurs during a time when normal academic term is not in session (break between semesters, spring recess, etc.), the student will be contacted by the end of the second week an academic term is resumed. If the student does not respond within seven (7) calendar days of the receipt of the PDC’s contact to request a meeting, the PDC will send a follow-up request by sending an email, delivery receipt and read receipt requested as well as a letter to the student’s address via first class and certified mail, return receipt requested. If the student still does not respond within fourteen (14) calendar days of the student’s first receipt of the follow-up request (whether by email or mail), the University will place a hold on the student’s account. If a hold is placed on the student’s account, the student will not be permitted to register for courses, graduate or request a transcript. The student’s grades will also be withheld. The hold will remain in place until the student meets with the PDC.
  3. Present at the initial meeting will be the members of the PDC and the student. The student may be assisted or supported at the hearing by an advisor who is a member of the University community. A member of the University community shall include any current member of the faculty (other than the referring faculty member(s), administration, or staff). Under no circumstances may the advisor be an attorney-at-law or parent. The student is responsible for presenting his or her own information, and therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the meeting but are only allowed to provide support and/or guidance to the student. NOTE: If a student fails to appear to the initial PDC meeting and fails to provide timely and sufficient documentation explaining the failure to appear, the student relinquishes his/her right to be heard before the PDC, and the PDC may develop a professional development plan that the student must sign, and it shall become binding even if the student refuses to do so. Alternately, the PDC may consider the student to be non-compliant with the referral and may act in accordance with #7 below.
  4. During this initial PDC meeting, the PDC and the student will discuss an action plan. The PDC will then develop a professional development plan. This professional development plan will include, but not be limited to the following:
    1. PDC expectations of the student and specific behaviors required;
    2. Tasks the student will engage in to facilitate his or her success (including timeframes);
    3. Consequences for not successfully completing the expected tasks or engaging in the required behaviors; and
    4. Signatures of the PDC members and the student. These signatures will confirm the PDC’s and the student’s understanding of the concerns, required actions, and their time frame, and consequences of their non-completion. Both the PDC and the student will retain copies of the signed professional development plan, and a copy will be forwarded to the student’s academic advisor and the department chairperson. If a student refuses to sign the professional development plan, or comply with the PDC’s recommendations, he or she may immediately be suspended from the program, either in whole or in part, as deemed necessary by the PDC and may be terminated from the program for non-compliance with the PDC’s recommendations.

Note: In some cases, a second meeting between the student and the PDC may be required to complete the professional development plan. If needed, this second meeting will be scheduled during the first meeting and its scheduled date/time will be documented and signed by the PDC members and the student.

  1. The PDC will monitor the student’s progress in following through with the professional development plan. If the student does not comply with the professional development plan, or if new concerns develop, the PDC may consult the student’s advisor, the department chairperson and/or the full department faculty regarding the development of additional/alternative remedial strategies and/or evaluation of the student’s fitness for continuation in the program. The department chairperson, the student’s academic advisor, the PDC, and the student will all retain signed copies of any revision(s) made to the professional development plan as a result of consultation with the full counseling faculty.
  2. The student will provide to the PDC appropriate documentation supporting successful completion of the required actions, at which time the PDC will review the received documentation and determine whether the professional development plan was successfully completed. This may require a meeting between the PDC and the student. In addition, the PDC may request interim meetings with the student to monitor the implementation of the professional development plan.
  3. If a student does not show for any scheduled meeting with the PDC, and fails to provide timely and sufficient documentation explaining the absence, the PDC may consider such failure to attend as evidence of non-compliance with the referral to the PDC and/or the terms of the professional development plan. At that time, the PDC may recommend to the chairperson to suspend the student’s progress in the program, which may include blocking the student from registering for future classes and withdrawing the student from current and future courses. If such a block and/or withdrawal from classes is implemented, the chairperson will notify the student in writing with copies to the student’s academic advisor and the PDC.
  4. All faculty recommendations for dismissal from the counseling program will be forwarded to (and will be the ultimate decision of) the dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, with notification sent to the Graduate Academic Standards and Review Committee.
  5. If the student wishes to appeal the required actions set forth in the professional development plan, the student may make an initial written appeal to the dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences within seven (7) calendar days from being presented with a professional development plan. The appeal shall be limited to whether or not the required actions set forth in the plan are appropriate. The dean shall have twenty-one (21) calendar days from receipt of the written appeal to render a written decision. Following a decision by the dean, a final written appeal can be made to the Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs or his or her designee. The Provost or his or her designee has twenty-one (21) calendar days to render a written decision. Following the Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs or his/her designee’s decision, there shall be no further recourse.

Note: The Department of Professional Counseling reserves the right to modify this process as appropriate and with notice to all students.