College of Liberal Arts and Education

Program Coordinator: Dr. Karen Stinson
Program Advisor: Besty Klinger
Office: 134A Doudna Hall
Telephone: 608.342.1294

The MSE program in Counseling Psychology is no longer taking applications.

Statement of Purpose

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Counseling Psychology Program, located in Southwest Wisconsin and serving the tri-state region, provides the opportunity for graduate study in school counseling, mental health, and student services in higher education. Graduate study in the program is designed to help the student develop unique potential as a professional. The faculty works to identify and enhance the knowledge and skills needed for professional licensure. The faculty also emphasizes providing a structure and environment that facilitate students’ growth in their ability to think critically, reflect with personal insight, and integrate feelings and thoughts. The goal is to assist students in the development of their professional, personal, and social identity.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  • demonstrate professional judgment and therapeutic interpersonal skills;
  • apply critical knowledge of human development, counseling theory, measurement, and assessment;
  • demonstrate competency in using counseling processes;
  • apply critical knowledge, skills, and disposition of the Pupil Service Standards and the Content Guidelines for School Counselors;
  • exhibit a working knowledge of the ethical standards of the ACA and ASCA;
  • demonstrate competence in the use of research methodology applied to the fields of counseling psychology and counseling;
  • show self-awareness and sensitivity to one’s impact on others;
  • exhibit respect for the dignity and worth of the individual and appreciation of human diversity;
  • display active involvement in the counseling profession.


The Counseling Psychology Program was established in 1966 as part of the School of Education. It is accredited by the North Central Association and is an approved program for school counselor licensure by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Students admitted into the program work toward a Master of Science in Education in Counseling Psychology degree. All students begin the program by taking core courses in the curriculum. Students who gain clinical approval may take courses in the clinical tracks. The three clinical tracks are school counseling, mental health, and student services in higher education. The school track prepares students to be certified and eligible for a school counselor license (PK–12). The mental health track prepares students to work in human services settings. The student services in higher education track prepares students to work in roles within the college and university setting.

Courses are offered in late afternoons and evenings (4–7 and 7–10 p.m.) in the fall and spring semesters with occasional classes from 1–4 p.m. Day and evening courses may be offered during the summer semester. All courses necessary to achieve the competencies for the degree are offered during the academic year. The program can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. Students must complete their program within a seven year time-frame.


Prospective students must meet the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and have completed at least 12 undergraduate credit hours in courses related to behavioral sciences. Students whose preparation is judged deficient in behavioral sciences will be required to make up such deficiencies prior to admission in the program.

Students who have received a master’s degree from another counseling psychology program and wish to be certified in an additional track must sign a release to permit communication with faculty in that program and previous practicum on-site supervisors.

Prospective students who hold “emergency” licenses as school counselors at any time before being enrolled in the clinical courses may not be admitted. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Counseling Psychology faculty does not endorse emergency certification of counselors; however, students who hold such certifications will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Prospective students must have at least a 2.75 undergraduate grade point average with a minimum of 12 credits in the area of behavioral sciences. Individuals must possess personal characteristics that will foster trust with clientele, which requires strong communication skills. Persons must also have prior experience in education, human services settings, or other appropriate background in working with others.

Admission to the Program

During the first year, all students complete a series of academic core courses. The second year involves clinical study, including track courses, practica, and electives.

A minimum of 48 credits of required for a single track. School Counseling students are required to complete 51 credits. Students wanting certification in more than one specialty must add nine credits for each specialty, and may waive the seminar or thesis requirement. A nine credit load or less is recommended for fall and spring semesters. A six or less credit load is recommended for the summer semester. A student wishing to take an overload will have to acquire special permission from the Counseling Psychology department. Within these limits, a student can complete the 48 credit program in a minimum of five course semesters plus one summer.

Each clinical track consists of a Practicum I, Practicum II, and a didactic course. The didactic course is designed to introduce students to the role and responsibilities of a professional counselor in a school or mental health setting. Practicum I is designed to provide breadth so that the student may experience a variety of programs, counselor models, sites, and basic supervised interventions. During Practicum II, the student becomes actively involved in all aspects of counseling interventions at a single site.

Admission to Candidacy

The Graduate Council requires that each student seek admission to candidacy after nine credits and before the end of the following semester. Candidacy is the departmental approval that allows a student to pursue a master’s degree. The application for admission to candidacy can be obtained from the Counseling Psychology program office.

To apply for admission to candidacy, the student must:

  1. Provide recommendations from three professionals outside the department (i.e., previous employers, co-workers, etc.) who can address the prospective student’s potential as a counselor. These reference forms are also available at the Counseling Psychology Office.
  2. Submit an advisor approved Program Plan to the office program assistant for your file.
  3. Verify that all deficiencies have been removed.

Approval for Clinical Tracks

A student must have Counseling Psychology program faculty approval to enroll in any Clinical Track coursework (Practicum I, Practicum II, etc.). The faculty will consider the student’s demonstrated counseling skills, communication skills, appropriate personality characteristics, behavioral characteristics, and ability to establish counseling relationships and professionalism in making their decision.

The student must first check with the department program assistant to ensure that he/she has been admitted to candidacy. He/she can then request to have his/her advisor bring him/her up for consideration for clinical work at a faculty meeting. After the meeting, the student can check with the department program assistant to ensure that he/she has been approved for the clinical portion of the program.

The student may then pick up a Practicum I and/or a Practicum II approval card prior to registering. These cards are available from the department program assistant once the student has been approved. This card needs to be signed by the instructor and one other faculty member in order to be processed.

Licensure as a School Counselor

Students who wish to be certified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction should work closely with their advisor to ensure meeting Wisconsin standards. The School Counseling track coordinator will assist all eligible students in the license application process at the appropriate time.

The Core, Research and Writing, and Clinical Track courses are as follows:

Core Courses

COUNSPSY 6250Group Counseling3
COUNSPSY 6600Measurement for Counselors and Educators3
COUNSPSY 6630Introduction to Professional Counseling3
COUNSPSY 7020Individual Counseling Techniques3
COUNSPSY 7070Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy3
COUNSPSY 7080Career Counseling3
COUNSPSY 7190Multicultural Counseling and Education3
COUNSPSY 7650Research Procedures for Professional Counselors3

Research and Writing Courses

COUNSPSY 7920Seminar Paper Research2
COUNSPSY 7990Thesis Research3-4

School Counseling Track

COUNSPSY 7230Family and Couples Counseling3
COUNSPSY 7200Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment of Psychopathology3
COUNSPSY 7010Counseling in the School3
COUNSPSY 7050Practicum I: School Counseling3
COUNSPSY 7060Practicum II: School Counseling3-12

Mental Health Track

COUNSPSY 7170Advanced Counseling Techniques3
COUNSPSY 7200Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment of Psychopathology3
COUNSPSY 7150Mental Health Counseling3
COUNSPSY 7350Practicum I in Clinical Mental Health Counseling3
COUNSPSY 7360Practicum II Internship in Mental Health Counseling3-6

Student Services Track

COUNSPSY 7240Adult and Advanced Developmental Psychology3
COUNSPSY 7140Student Services in Higher Education3
COUNSPSY 7250Practicum I: Student Services in Higher Education3
COUNSPSY 7260Practicum II: Student Services in Higher Education3-6


Elective courses must be in the behavioral sciences. They will vary according to the track chosen and the interests of a particular student. Electives must be selected with the approval of a student’s advisor and in the case of transfer credits, the Counseling Psychology program faculty. Behavioral science topics may include such areas as philosophy, professional education, sociology, psychology, and criminal justice.

Other Requirements

Each student will produce papers indicating familiarity with the process of reviewing research literature and designing studies. The American Psychological Association Publication Manual standards are applied to course papers, seminar papers, and theses unless otherwise indicated. The writing requirement may be satisfied by doing one of the following:

  • Write a seminar paper for 2 credits.
  • Write a thesis for 3 or 4 credits.
  • Complete 6 additional approved course credits.

If the student selects the seminar paper option or the completion of six additional approved course credits option, he or she must take the master’s comprehensive examination in the last semester of study. If the student selects the thesis option, he or she must orally defend the thesis. Students should explore the implications of each option with their advisor. Students are required to submit an approved research paper proposal before enrolling for either COUNSPSY 7920, Seminar Paper Research or COUNSPSY 7990, Thesis Research.

COUNSPSY 6250 Group Counseling 3 Credits

This course presents the theory and applied models of structured and developmental group counseling. The emphasis is placed on facilitating a gradual increase in problem-solving skills leading to wellness.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 6600 Measurement for Counselors and Educators 3 Credits

This course is designed to study assessment instruments and procedures in areas of interest including; aptitude, achievement, intelligence, personality, career, and clinical diagnostics. There is also discussion focusing on the psychometric properties of assessment with relevant descriptive statistics taught.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 6630 Introduction to Professional Counseling 3 Credits

This course is an exploration of the historical, psychological, sociological, and philosophical foundations of the helping professions. Students explore basic theories, concepts, research, and skills associated with school and mental health counseling, as well as various roles and responsibilities assumed by the professional counselor. Emphasis is on important legal, professional, and ethical issues.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7010 Counseling in the School 3 Credits

Clinical requirement for Practica in School Counseling. Study of the essential elements in a school counseling program including the early identification of problems, individual and group counseling, classroom activities, preparation for education and work, consultation with parents, use of community and community counseling resources, and research concerning children and adolescent issues. Students will also demonstrate knowledge of ethical and legal issues involved when counseling children and adolescents.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7020 Individual Counseling Techniques 3 Credits

Focuses on the fundamental conversational skills used by counselors. Coursework is dominated by practice in the use of techniques that optimize listening and responding to client concerns. Students prepare audio-taped interviews with typescripts for review and critique.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7050 Practicum I: School Counseling 3 Credits

The purpose of this class is to become familiar with the school counselor role. Throughout the semester students will observe a variety of counselor styles and settings and have the opportunity to learn more about their future profession. Practicum 1 is designed for students to observe counseling related activities that are new to them. Self-reflection and discussion will be encouraged.
Components: Field Studies
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7060 Practicum II: School Counseling 3-12 Credits

Practicum II is an applied experience during which the Practicum Student works as a professional counselor in training in cooperation with a school districts counseling personnel. The practicum is the culmination of the counselor education students preparation. The emphasis of practicum is on counseling skills, generalizability to work with actual students, and the development of insight. The practicum II experience requires 525 hours of counseling tasks across all levels. The minimum number of hours at any one level is 100 hours.
Components: Field Studies
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7070 Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy 3 Credits

An introductory course designed to examine the philosophical bases, processes, and issues surrounding predominant counseling theories and techniques.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7080 Career Counseling 3 Credits

This core course is designed to prepare students for counseling in the area of career and life planning. Focus will be on increasing students knowledge of career development theories, career assessment instruments, career resources, and job search strategies. Career and life planning will be conceptualized from a holistic perspective; thus theories and skills will be integrated into personal counseling process and placed in social, familial, cultural, and developmental contexts.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7110 Topical Seminar in Counseling 1-3 Credits

Emphasis is on in-depth study of current issues, ideas, and/or topics of interest to the professional counselor. Students read, study, write, and discuss various aspects of the topic to be covered. The name of the topic is appended to the course designation in the timetable.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7130 At Risk Youth 3 Credits

At risk youth present many challenges to society, families, and the educational system. Further, the issues that put youth at risk interfere with their ability to be successful in many areas of their lives. Consequently, in many cases, they find themselves "in trouble" with the law. This course is intended to assist the educator, counselor, and/ or police officer in understanding the factors that put a child at risk, as well as presenting a model of intervention and remediation to decrease and/or eliminate the risk. Practical strategies will be discussed.
Components: Class
Cross Offering: COUNSPSY 7130
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7140 Student Services in Higher Education 3 Credits

Clinical requirement for Practica in Student Services in Higher Education. This course is an orientation to College Student Personnel. Students will become familiar with the higher education system and the counseling needs within it. Focus for this course will be practical application and discussion of topics relevant to the College Student personnel Counselor.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7150 Mental Health Counseling 3 Credits

An orientation to the counseling professions especially with an emphasis on mental health counseling: organizations, administration, accountability systems, types of services, and training requirements will be studied. The mental health counseling track prepares license eligible graduates in professional counseling, and the department is an Approved Program by the Licensed Professional Counselor Section of the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board of the State of Wisconsin. P: core courses in the program.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7170 Advanced Counseling Techniques 3 Credits

This graduate-level course is designed to advance the psychotherapy skills of counselors-in-training. Specifically, intervention techniques will be introduced, observed, and practiced beyond core relationship skills. The course is experiential in nature, although strong components of theories of psychotherapy and research evidence are imbedded within the structure and process of the course. Graduate students in this course will read about, discuss, observe, practice, and provide feedback about the implementation of techniques.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7190 Multicultural Counseling and Education 3 Credits

This graduate course is intended to help students further their Multicultural Counseling Competencies as defined by the American Counseling Association in the context of clinically working with clients as well as with students in a variety of settings. The first half of the semester focuses on the influence given to counselors and educators, the development of racial/ethnic identity of all people, microaggressions, and the implementation of culturally appropriate counseling/educating practices. The second half of the semester focuses on different racial/ethnic groups as well as on womens psychological development, LGBTQ issues, and working with the elderly.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7200 Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment of Psychopathology 3 Credits

A practitioner-oriented seminar course designed to teach students the efficient use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in assessing and diagnosis of the more prevalent psychological and substance abuse disorders. The format consists of experiential exercises, case conceptualizations, class and group discussions, library research, and lecture.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7230 Family and Couples Counseling 3 Credits

This graduate-level course is designed to help students gain knowledge of the concepts relative to family and couples counseling. Additionally students will begin to develop counseling techniques necessary to work with families and couples. Therefore, theory and research, as well as practice are emphasized.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7240 Adult and Advanced Developmental Psychology 3 Credits

This course is designed to understand the foundations and principles of human development throughout the lifespan including biological, cognitive, social, emotional, and identity development. Students will be able to identify people in the major states of the different developmental models. They will also incorporate a small sample of the literature in one developmental area into a coherent, thoughtful review.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7250 Practicum I: Student Services in Higher Education 3 Credits

This graduate-level practicum is designed for students to gain exposure to a variety of professional student services settings. A minimum of 25 `on-site hours per enrolled credit hour must be earned by the end of the semester. Students are encouraged to seek exposure to a variety of institutional settings (at a minimum of three). A variety of activities may be included: one-on-one work, group work, classroom presentations, administrative duties, etc., etc... Note: you must be admitted to candidacy and clinical before enrolling in any practicum course. P: Practicum I applicants must have passed candidacy and clinical, and completed all program core requirements.
Components: Practicum
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7260 Practicum II: Student Services in Higher Education 3-6 Credits

This graduate-level course is designed to help students develop professional knowledge and skills in a higher education context. It will provide a forum for helping students understand developmentally-based student services and how to administer them. This course is experiential in nature, focusing on skills that are components of student services programming. It is designed to provide students with both practice and feedback. P: The practicum applicant must have 1) been admitted to candidacy, 2) completed all required courses, 3) obtained departmental approval for clinical, and 4) succesfully completed Practicum I.
Components: Practicum
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7270 Play Therapy for Counselors 3 Credits

This course is designed to understand the development of children. Students will learn the process of working with children, including specific techniques, assessments and developmental theory. Discussion focuses on child-client needs within different counseling environments. Practice of techniques with children will also be included in this course.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7280 History, Philosophy and Organization in Higher Education 3 Credits

This graduate course will examine the history, philosophy and organization of higher education in America with emphases on how each of these three areas has influenced each other and how higher education today is a reflection of those influences.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7290 AODA and Psychopharmacology 3 Credits

The course provides advanced levels of substance abuse counseling foci with emphasis on a strenght-based perspective, including history and concepts of substance use and addiction, dependence, case formulation and assessment, developmental factors, diagnosis, biological interventions, treatment planning, and the complex interation of culture and providing treatment for substance abuse.
Components: Class
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer

COUNSPSY 7350 Practicum I in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3 Credits

The course aims to address observational and learning needs of counselors-in-training, promoting students professional identity and preparation for counseling as a career. Practicum I in Mental Health Counseling is designed for observation of counseling related activities that are new to the student. Practicum I is intended to occur in a variety of counseling settings. Students take the course for 3 credits and complete 150 hours of observation. P: core courses in the program.
Components: Practicum
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7360 Practicum II Internship in Mental Health Counseling 3-6 Credits

This course provides advanced graduate students with substantial experiences providing clinical psychotherapy and counseling techniques, participation in group supervision, case conceptualization development and presentation, ethical decision making in mental health counseling and/or relate placements, and other important aspects of the field. The objective is met through emergent personal and professional counselor development, ethical and legal awareness and practice, use of clinical supervision. P: core courses in the program.
Components: Practicum
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7650 Research Procedures for Professional Counselors 3 Credits

This course is designed to understand the foundations, principles, and purposes or research in counseling and education, including the philosophy of knowledge and the scientific method. This course will familiarize students with the formal processes of research and demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate scientific research. Major topics include hypothesis generation, research design, statistical testing, and methodological alternatives.
Components: Class
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7920 Seminar Paper Research 2 Credits

A graduate faculty member serves as the seminar paper advisor and must sign a seminar paper proposal that is submitted at registration for Seminar Paper Research.
Components: Seminar
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7980 Independent Study in Counseling Psychology 1-3 Credits

The total amount of credit allowed for independent studies may not exceed three credits except with the special permission of the Counseling Psychology Program and the graduate dean. Approval must be secured before independent study courses are begun. Students who register for independent study must submit at or before registration, descriptions of the subjects to be covered. These descriptions must be signed by the instructor overseeing the independent study. Independent study may not be used for collecting information for seminar papers or theses.
Components: Independent Study
Typically Offered:

COUNSPSY 7990 Thesis Research 3-4 Credits

Three graduate faculty members serve on the students thesis committee and must have signed a thesis proposal in order for the student to register for Thesis Research.
Components: Thesis Research
Typically Offered: