Masters in Community Counseling

FAQs

What are the requirements for entering the Masters of Arts in Community Counseling program at Alvernia University?
Please see the Admissions Procedures tab for admission information.

I want to apply to your program, but I don’t have an undergraduate major or minor in psychology, can I still apply?
Yes! Students with any bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university are eligible for entry into the program. There are three mandatory prerequisite courses: Introduction to Psychology, Psychopathology, and a course in Statistics or Quantitative Methods of Research, which students must complete prior to beginning coursework. A graduate school entrance examination, preferably the Millers Analogies Test (MAT), is required. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is also acceptable.

Is there a comprehensive examination required to complete the master’s degree in counseling?
No. However, if students plan to obtain the LPC, then Alvernia University offers the NCE on a voluntary basis.  The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is required as preparation for the NCE in Internship I.

What field experiences are required for the degree?
Students must complete a Practicum of 100 hours, and two Internship field experiences at 300 hours each.

How long will it take to complete the MA program in counseling?
With three semesters a year, our MACC program lets you complete your coursework at a fast pace without sacrificing quality. Most students take three classes per semester, and with summer classes and finish their degree requirements within three years.

What are practicum and internship?
Practicum and internship are experiences designed to provide you with an opportunity to practice and expand your counseling skills in a fieldwork site. Practicum is an opportunity to begin to experience a wide gamut of essential counseling services at an actual agency with children, adolescents, and/or adults while under direct supervision of a Alvernia University counseling faculty and a site-based supervisor. Internship is the culminating experience of the counseling program of studies leading to the master’s degree.   The practicum and internship experience are both comprehensive and professional. The intent of each experience is to provide you with supervised training activities in an appropriate site congruent with your interest within the counseling program.

Can I do practicum and internship at the same time?
Student must complete 100 clock hours of practicum experience prior to starting internship.

How can I find out about practicum/internship sites?
The Counseling Faculty and the Coordinator of Practicum/Internship conduct a practicum/internship orientation each semester to explain details, requirements, and procedures for attaining a practicum/internship placement. All students planning to take practicum/internship courses must attend an orientation session the semester prior to actual placement. Dates are posted on the website and on the bulletin board inside the office.

What are the required credentials for a site supervisor?
The on-site supervisor must be a licensed professional counselor, a LCSW, LSW, licensed psychologist, or licensed marriage and family therapist.

Can I get a paid internship?
Paid internships are rarely available.   

Can I get internship credit for the job I am doing now?
You CANNOT receive credit for internship for the job that you are already doing—that would not allow you to acquire new skills. However, it is possible to work an internship experience into your current job if you develop a plan that allows you to perform counseling-related activities that are significantly different from and that are at a more challenging level of expertise than your current job requires, usually in a different department than where you are employed.

How should I prepare and what should I expect on the Practicum/Internship interviews?
Students should attend the orientation the semester BEFORE the semester of their placement. These questions will be answered at the orientation.

What are the procedures for registration for practicum/internship?
Students will attend an orientation session the semester prior to actual placement.  The procedure and requirements will be discussed at the orientation.

If I complete my Practicum and Internship hours can I count additional hours towards my LPC?
Accumulation of clinically supervised hours can only occur after the completion of 48-semester hours of coursework.  Practicum and internship hours cannot be counted toward the 3,000 hours needed for licensure as an LPC.  Additional conditions regarding the accumulation of supervised hours can be found in the licensure regulations.

What can I do with an LPC?
An LPC is a counseling license with both title and practice protections. This means that when you obtain your LPC, you can call yourself a licensed professional counselor on your resume, on business cards, to your clients, the general public, to other professionals, and in any other way in which professional designations may be used.

As an LPC, you can work as a professional counselor offering counseling services to children, adolescents, adults, families and couples. You may work in a community agency, school, or higher education setting. You may work in a private practice setting. Under the law, you may also work without supervision. You may also receive reimbursement from third party payers, including insurance and managed care companies.

How do I get my LPC?
Please refer here. There are three requirements for licensure in Pennsylvania:

  • 60 hours of graduate work around an approved curriculum
  • passing scores on an approved national test
  • 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience

With the NCE, Alvernia students can complete two of the three requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor in Pennsylvania. Alvernia chose the NCE because of its portability to other states for licensure purposes. For more information on the National Counselor Examination (NCE), please visit their website.

Where and when do I sign up to take the National Counselor Exam?
Alvernia's MACC program sponsors the administration of the National Counselor Examination (NCE), one of seven examinations approved by the state for licensure as a Professional Counselor. In addition to the academic preparation of students seeking licensure as a Professional Counselor in Pennsylvania, students in the MACC program also have the opportunity to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) during their final semester of coursework. Most Alvernia students who take the NCE in their final semester of coursework pass this examination on their first attempt.

What are CEU credits and how do I earn them?  Also, when do I need to begin earning CEU credits?
Continuing Education Units are required for license renewal for all LPC’s.  Thirty (30) hours of continuing education units are necessary for all LPC’s and they must be completed by February 28 of odd-numbered years. Child abuse and ethics hours are required of the 30 hours needed.  They can be obtained by attending conferences and workshop.  See the ACA website for a list of approved CEUs. http://www.counseling.org/

How long will it take to earn my LPC?
A minimum of 3,000 hours over 6 years with a minimum of 2 years of post-master’s degree supervised clinical experience, performed within two years of completing your Master’s level degree is needed in order to obtain your LPC.

What areas of study should I concentrate on for the comprehensive exam?
One study approach should be a review of the core graduate courses. The exam is built on your acquired knowledge of counseling and psychology. Therefore, a thorough review of your graduate courses is an important part of your study process.

Is there a study guide that can aid me in studying for the comprehensive exam?
Yes, there are many study guides available.

Once I am accepted who do I contact with questions?
Upon acceptance students are assigned an advisor who is a full time faculty member at Alvernia University.

How do I decide what courses to take?
Within the first semester, while enrolled in Introduction to Counseling, the student and advisor create a program of study to follow, which provides students the classes for each semester.


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




masters in community counseling

1.888.alvernia
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