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Counseling increases course offerings, professional degree tracks

Loyola press release - April 26, 2010

The Loyola University New Orleans Department of Counseling increased its master’s degree program from 54 to 60 hours, after approval by the University Courses and Curriculum Committee, which met on March 18. The change was prompted by new standards set by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs which requires all programs to increase their master’s program degree requirements.

Housed in the College of Social Sciences, the department of counseling offers Master of Science degrees in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling. Both tracks prepare students to become licensed professional counselors in Louisiana, and the school counseling track enables students to become certified school counselors. The department also offers a dual degree with the Loyola Institute for Ministry in counseling and pastoral studies.

With the increase in hours, students will now be required to take two diagnosis and treatment courses instead of one. One course focuses on diagnosing and treating children, and the other focuses on adults. Students will also be required to take an additional elective.

The increase in hours will enable the department to provide for licensing and additional certifications in the following specializations:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Licensed Professional Counselor
  • School Counseling: LPC, Ancillary Louisiana Certification
  • Marriage and Family: LPC, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Play Therapy: LPC, Registered Play Therapist
  • Group Counseling: LPC

Students who are already enrolled will have the option to either continue on their original plan of study, change to the 60-hour degree plan or graduate under their original degree plan and stay to complete a post-master’s specialization.

Reaction to the change from students has been positive.

“I think that the program change is a great idea,” said first-year graduate student Stephanie Ducros. “I will take advantage of the program increase and the opportunity for additional certification and licensure. An additional specialization will be beneficial to me when I am applying to Ph.D. programs, and it will provide me with more knowledge and skills when working with clients.”

Department of Counseling Director LeAnne Steen, Ph.D., LPC, RPT-S, shared Ducros’ enthusiasm.

“This program increase is exciting in so many ways,” Steen said. “Having the specialization or dual specialization opportunities for our graduate students attracts high-end students. We are thrilled to offer students opportunities to meet all of the educational requirements for two different types of licensure for mental health counselors as well as certification opportunities in school counseling and play therapy.”

For more information on the department of counseling, contact Steen at 504-864-7855 or LSteen@loyno.edu.