Masters in Community Counseling

MACC Advisor 
 
Img: Peggy Bowen
 
Peggy C. Bowen-Hartung, Ph.D., C.T.S.
Associate Professor
Psychology & Counseling Department Chair

   Upland Center, Room 126c
   610.796.8483
   peggy.bowen@alvernia.edu


Admissions Staff
 

Maggie Place
Enrollment Coordinator
School of Graduate and Adult Education

   540 Upland Avenue
   Reading, PA 19611
   Phone: 610-796-5611
   Fax: 610-796-8367
   maggie.place@alvernia.edu

Dana Baker
Director of Philadelphia Center
School of Graduate and Adult Education

   1355 West Cheltenham Avenue
   Melrose Park, PA 19027
   215-635-4734
   dana.baker@alvernia.edu

Course Descriptions

COR 510: Moral Leadership (3 credits)

A discussion and analysis of philosophies of moral leadership. The course is designed to present a vision for the development of reflective, responsible, and socially engaged leadership for the community, workplace, society and the global world. It will include the study of topics such as: theories of and approaches to moral leadership; the ideal relationship between leaders and followers; historical exemplars of moral leadership; and the contrast between moral and immoral leadership.

COR 600: Organizational and Professional Ethics (3 credits)

A discussion and analysis of ethical issues in organizational environments and the professions. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the practical applications of ethical theory to diverse ethical issues in professional life. It will include the study of topics such as: major theories and principles of ethics; the nature of professional organizations and their contributions to society; the social responsibilities of professions, organizations and corporations; codes of ethics and standards of professional conduct; and decision procedures for resolving ethical dilemmas in the workplace. (To be taken with the final 12 credits.)

MCC 500: Introduction to Counseling (3 credits)

This course is required for all community counseling students as an introduction to the basic counseling and communication skills necessary when counseling clients with mental health and addiction disorders. Skills and techniques focusing on oral, written, and technological competencies in interpersonal relationships and community counseling agencies will be developed. This course will involve practicing the skills involved in relationship building, interviewing, role-playing, simulation, and micro-counseling. Writing professional reports and accessing relevant research via Internet and library resources for use in community counseling settings will also be addressed. (Prerequisite-undergraduate Introduction to Psychology)

MCC 510: Human Development Across the Life Span (3 credits)

This course examines the theory and research of human development from conception to death from a social psychobiological developmental perspective. Human development is examined from both historic and contemporary perspectives including the physical, intellectual, psychological, emotional, cultural, and social patterns that are woven by a unique combination of heredity and environment. Impact of addictive behaviors across the lifespan are explored.

MCC 515: Psychopharmacology (3 credits)

Professional counselors must have an applied understanding of the many classifications, actions, reactions and interactions of psychotropic medications as they work in clinics, hospitals and agencies. Medications are often used adjunctively with counseling and it is important for the professional counselor to have the skills to be able to work with the attending psychiatrist or physician in monitoring the effectiveness of the prescribed medications.

MCC 520: Counseling Theories (3 credits)

This course examines the spectrum of traditional and contemporary theories in counseling ranging from traditional psychodynamic, humanistic, learning, behavioral theories to cognitive behavioral, spiritually-based, creative arts, multiculturally-sensitive and current approaches to counseling theories and techniques. Techniques and issues in counseling such as transference and counter transference, resistance, self-disclosure, active listening, the use of silence, confrontation and the value of metaphors are among those that are examined. Students are able to assess the appropriateness of the various interventions in dealing with clients with both mental health and addiction disorders.

MCC 525: Psychobiology of Addiction (3 credits)

The pharmacological and physiological effects of alcohol and other drugs are investigated as well as the socio-cultural determinants of alcoholism and drug abuse. The mechanisms of action of each drug and drug class, current theories relating to the etiology of abuse, addiction and major psychological disorders, rationales for drug treatment, uses and limitation of psychopharmacology in the overall management of clients are discussed. Topics include research methods, informational resources, social policy, and enforcement of drug laws.

MCC 530: Multicultural Issues in Counseling (3 credits)

This course explores the social and cultural contexts of helping relationships. The ways that culture and ethnicity interact with human behavior are examined. Theories related to cultural identity, age, gender, sexual orientation, family values, coping, attributions, attitude formation, social power, addictive behavior, spiritual values, and socioeconomic conditions as they relate to impact counseling with diverse groups are examined. Current research regarding issues such as client/counselor match are analyzed. Ethical guidelines for counseling diverse groups provided by the American Counseling Association and similar professional organizations are studied. Students participate in experiential exercises and analyze case studies to apply theories and concepts to “real world” situations.

MCC 535: Counseling Children and Adolescents (3 credits)

This course focuses on unique counseling theories and techniques applicable to counseling early childhood and preschool children and their families. Play therapy, puppet therapy, doll therapy, creative arts therapy, in vivo therapy and other therapy modalities are explored. This course focuses on unique counseling theories and techniques applicable to working with adolescent youth, exploring issues of identity, peer acceptance, conformity and deviation, sexuality, experimentation with substances, youth culture and issues of youth in the contemporary society.

MCC 540: Addiction and Society (3 credits)

This course analyzes the behavioral, pharmacological, historical, social, legal and clinical perspectives that surround the use, abuse and addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Current methodologies are examined as to their effectiveness in both the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders. Other addictions and related high-risk behaviors are analyzed from an addiction model of behavior.

MCC 545: Family Therapy Concepts and Methods (3 credits)

A study of established systems of contemporary family therapy. Each approach will be examined in terms of leading figures, theoretical formulations, normal family development, impact of addiction on the family system, development of addiction and behavior disorders, goals of therapy, conditions for change, techniques, and evaluations of theory and results. Role playing will involve both system specific and core techniques.

MCC 550: Practicum (100 hours) *Please see requirements at bottom of page.

Students spend 100 hours assigned to a placement facility observing and being exposed to activities in a professional counseling venue over the course of a semester. Supervised practicum experiences include a minimum of 40 hours of direct service with clients, including individual and group counseling, weekly supervision by a faculty member of at least one hour of an individual or triadic nature and an average of 1.5 hours per week of group supervision that is provided by a faculty member and an evaluation of the student’s performance throughout the practicum including a formal final evaluation after practicum completion.

MCC 560: Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide the counselor in training with an understanding of the major ethical and legal issues involved in the practice of mental health and addictions counseling. The ethical code of the American Counseling Association and the Pennsylvania Certification Board will be explored. Legal issues involved with mental health and addictions counseling will also be addressed. The case study format will be used to develop and practice the process of ethical decision making in counseling situations.

MCC 600: Advanced Counseling Theories and Techniques with Individuals (3 credits)

Students in this course compare and contrast various intervention theories and counseling models in working with individuals with both mental health and addiction disorders. Students examine the unique dynamics of the therapeutic/interpersonal counseling relationship and how change is effected by that interaction. Students learn how to do clinical assessments for diagnostics, develop treatment plans, goals and objectives and evaluate outcomes as they apply to clinical practice with individuals in community counseling care settings.

MCC 605: Counseling Special Populations (3 credits)

In an increasingly diverse world, many distinct groups in society emerge whose needs must be understood and addressed. Counselors work with people from these groups and must have the skills and knowledge to be professional and effective. These groups include, but are not limited to: homosexuals; ethnic, cultural and religious minorities; and physically and/or mentally challenged individuals. Counselors are expected to develop their multicultural competencies.

MCC 610: Advanced Counseling Theories and Techniques with Groups (3 credits)

Students learn to apply group theories and techniques of counseling as they work with an increasingly diverse constellation of groups (both formally and informally constructed groups) in contemporary society. Theories include group theory, student survey, Yalom, Corey, Carroll, and others. Students learn how to conduct assessment of families and groups for the purposes of diagnosing problems and dysfunctions, developing intervention strategies and evaluating the outcomes.

MCC 615: Relapse and Recovery (3 credits)

Examines the psychological, biological and environmental perspectives of the primary factors that contribute to the systematic onset and eventual occurrence of relapse. Through extensive research in journals and other professional publications as well as interviews with treatment professionals and people in recovery, relapse is examined as both an event and a process that for some individuals may be a predictable part of a sustained and life long recovery from addictions.

MCC 620: Research Methods and Program Evaluations (3 credits)

Students survey research methods in the behavioral sciences so that they can critically evaluate research that is published in the field. Students are able to differentiate different research methodologies in the behavioral sciences and will develop an applied knowledge of basic descriptive statistics through basic inferential statistics using correlation analyses and ANOVA. Students are required to do a research project. (Prerequisite – undergraduate course in statistics or quantitative methods of research).

MCC 625: Spirituality and the Healing Process (3 credits)

The spiritual dimension of recovery from addictive diseases is examined in depth. Topics include: dynamics of the 12- Step Fellowships (A.A., N.A., Al-Anon, etc), religious conversion, religious-oriented programs, spiritual development and the use of clergy in working with clients coping with addictions problems. Spiritual values and approaches are examined from a clinical perspective looking at meetings, partial programs and in-patient recovery facilities.

MCC 630: Appraisal, Tests and Measurements (3 credits)

Students learn to evaluate reliability, validity, standardization methods and test construction of instruments used in the treatment of mental health and addictive disorders. In addition, students learn to discern the appropriateness of objective and projective tests and measurements of tests to meet specific client needs. Students practice administration; scoring and interpretation of tests appropriate for use by Master level clinicians.

MCC 635: Criminality and Healing Process (3 credits)

This course prepares students for clinical interventions and treatment of psychopathology and aggressive behaviors that are common to the criminal justice system. Differentiation between adolescent and adult pathologies are examined ranging from Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, various Anti-Social Mood Disorders (including explosive behavior disorders) and various personality disorders. Students learn clinical interventions and protocols that are most affective with the addictive criminal. The focus is on assessment of criminal responsibility as well as treatment and relapse issues that are specific to the criminal population.

MCC 640: Psychopathology (3 credits)

This course examines special theories and practices of the complex area of assessing, diagnosing and treating individuals and families where mental health and addiction problems exist and influence one another. This course surveys mental disorders as classified by the latest version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostics and Statistics Manual. Students develop a professional operational knowledge of all forms of mental disorders and are able to distinguish Mood and Affective Disorders, Organic Disorders from Personality Disorders from Phase of Life Disorders and from normal developmental issues and psychopathology and addictive patterns.

MCC 645: Current Issues in Crisis Counseling  (3 credits)

This course will examine the various crisis intervention models and basic principles of crisis intervention strategies. An emphasis will be placed upon serving persons with different types of psychological trauma, such as sexual assault, partner violence, chemical dependency, and personal loss. The course will examine crises in various settings, such as schools and the workplace. An examination will be made of hostage negotiation and disaster response as well as the issues of compassion fatigue and burnout. Multicultural issues will be addressed separately and throughout the course.

MCC 650: Career Counseling (3 credits)

This course surveys the theories (including but not limited to Hoppock, Hoyt, Herr, and Kramer) and research on vocational development as well as methods to assess vocational choice. This course looks at the psychosocial, mental health lifestyle implications of vocational choice, and look at the various personality, skills and interests, and attitudinal variables that go into healthy career decision making. Students survey the various vocational development career assessment instruments (aptitude, skills and interest inventories and vocational personality instruments), research databases and technology for vocational decision-making.

MCC 655: Program Management and Clinical Supervision (3 credits)

This course provides an understanding of the various types of management and supervisory styles used in community counseling settings. Specific emphasis is placed on the development of skills that serve as a catalyst to employee professional growth and assist the counselor to define and maintain counselor/client boundaries. The course examines program/agency administration to include strategic planning, financing and marketing, and program policies and procedures.

MCC 670: Internship I (300 hours) *Please see requirements at bottom of page.

Students practice professional counseling in a venue where professional community counseling takes place under the supervision of a faculty member and licensed professional counselor. Students are required to have a minimum of 300 hours direct client contact, with weekly supervision of 1 hour in an individual, dyadic or triadic format by an on-site licensed supervisor, with an average 1.5 hours per week group supervision performed by a licensed faculty member. The internship experience provides students with the opportunity to: assess and treat clients, follow client progress, keep records, have supervision, attend staff meetings, participate in service training and other professional activities. Students present their work using audio or videotape for formal professional critique by supervisors and other interns. A formal evaluation for fitness to practice is made upon completion of the internship experience.

MCC 680: Internship II (300 hours) *Please see requirements at bottom of page.

Students continue to practice professional counseling in a venue where professional community counseling takes place under the supervision of a faculty member and licensed professional counselor. Students are required to have a minimum of 300 hours direct client contact, with weekly supervision of 1 hour in an individual, dyadic or triadic format by an on-site licensed supervisor, with an average 1.5 hours per week group supervision performed by a licensed faculty member. The internship experience provides students with the opportunity to: assess and treat clients, follow client progress, keep records, have supervision, attend staff meetings, participate in service training and other professional activities. Students present their work using audio or videotape for formal professional critique by supervisors and other interns. A formal evaluation for fitness to practice is made upon completion of the internship experience.

MCC 685: Advanced Clinical Internship (400 hours) *Please see requirements at bottom of page.

This course is designed to offer students advanced diagnostic and therapeutic skills in effective treatment interventions with the supervision of a licensed practitioner. Students understand and critically analyze both the theoretical constructs and practical skills that are effective when therapeutically engaged with individuals, families or groups. Students are required to have a minimum of 400 hours of direct client contact, with weekly supervision of 1 hour in an individual, dyadic or triadic format. Students present their work using audio or videotape for formal professional critique by supervisors and other interns. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to function independently as a licensed practitioner. (Required for specialization in Mental Health).

* For the Practicum and Internship experiences, students are required to obtain the following clearances before interviewing for any field experience: Act 151 (PA Child Abuse Report History), Act 34 (PA State Criminal History Record), and FBI Criminal History Report and fingerprinting. If you have lived in Pennsylvania for fewer than 2 years, you must then complete Act 169 (Older Adults Protective Services Act) clearance. Students must comply with agency and university regulations regarding all clearances and health checks before being permitted to work with clients in a particular agency. Students are responsible for the costs associated with these screenings.