About the Program
Our nationally accredited counseling program enables graduates to deliver professional counseling services in a clinical mental health or school settings.
The sequential nature of the program integrates academic knowledge and counseling theory with closely supervised counseling practice. Students enrolled in the sequence progress through the program in a cohort model. The cohort model allows students to develop a strong bond with one another and establish a supportive community while in the program and a professional network of future colleagues. As students advance through the program, they must find a workable integration of theory, philosophy, and counseling skills that are consistent with the student’s self-views and beliefs about the nature of people. Throughout the course sequence, students are expected to uphold the American Counseling Association’s 2014 Code of Ethics, the American School Counseling Association’s 2022 Code of Ethics, the program’s professional dispositions, and maintain a 3.00 GPA.
Courses are offered in-person at the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend, Oregon. The program is distinguished by exceptional in-classroom instruction, where learning objectives are accomplished through multiple methods of instruction including lecture of content, seminar-based discussions, role plays, experiential activities, written assignments, the use of online material and media, and accrual of clinical hours through field-based experience.
The OSU Counseling Program faculty, staff, and students endeavor to support the principles of dignity, respect, integrity, value, and equality in all we do. We prepare professional counselors who promote the social, psychological, and physical well-being of individuals, families, communities, and organizations in order to continually improve global welfare. We believe that professional counselors stand for social, economic, and political justice and therefore must be prepared to be proactive educators, change agents, and advocates in the face of injustice. Development across the lifespan, cultural diversity, and a global perspective are integral to the preparation of professional counselors.
- Students demonstrate sufficient knowledge and skills aligned with core and specialty areas of the CACREP Standards.
- Students demonstrate professional dispositions required for vocational success in the counseling profession.
- Students within the counseling program reflect the demographic diversity of the communities in which they will be working.
Students elect to concentrate in one of two options:
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program (90 credits)
The Clinical Mental Health counseling track is designed for individuals who want to work in community agencies, treatment programs, community colleges, and other counseling centers. During practicum, graduate students in the clinical mental health counseling program work in the OSU-Cascades Counseling Clinic which offers free mental health services to the Central Oregon community.
School Counseling Program (90 credits for students entering 2023 and later)
This program is designed for persons seeking an initial school counseling license. Incoming students must complete the 90-credit MCoun degree to be eligible for the Initial School Counselor license. Coursework in this track includes two field experiences: a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour practicum in a K-12 school.
The counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accrediting Counseling and Related Educational Programs, (CACREP), the gold standard in graduate counseling programs. This accreditation emphasizes the importance of a strong professional counselor identity; verifies that the program’s quality has been evaluated; assures prospective students that appropriate content, knowledge, and skill areas are addressed; and prepares students to take exams needed to meet initial eligibility requirements for licensure as an Oregon Licensed Professional Counselor. The program is recognized by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and the National Board of Certified Counselors as meeting the coursework requirements for state licensing and national certification.
OSU Counseling Academic Unit (CAU) faculty engages in continuous curricular and program assessments. Areas evaluated align with, and exceed, those specified by CACREP and the OSU Graduate School. We aim to provide exceptional learning environments and educational experiences for counseling students. Faculty collect and review comprehensive data each academic year (AY) as detailed in the CAU comprehensive assessment plan. This annual program report summary includes assessment results. The report can be found here.
Two-Year and Three-Year Options
The OSU-Cascades Master of Counseling program offers an option that spans three years as well as an option that can be completed in two years. Program begins June of each year. Students choosing the three-year option take on average two classes per term, while students choosing the two-year option average four classes per term. All classes are held in the evenings, starting at 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday with an occasional class being offered in a weekend format.
Practicum and Internship
The coursework for this program integrates academic knowledge and theory with counseling practice and internships. In addition to coursework, students complete a 100 hour practicum and a 600 hour internship for school track or a 900 hour internship for Clinical Mental Health. The master's level internship hours in the final year are intensive and typically range from 20-30 clock hours per week.
Completion of this degree meets academic eligibility requirements for School Counselor Licensure from TSPC and Licensed Professional Counselor from the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists.
All admitted students to the OSU-Cascades Master of Counseling program must (a) verify they accept the offer of admission, (b) sign a Memorandum of Agreement to secure their matriculation to the program. Any student with a GPA of less than 3.0 is admitted on a conditional basis per OSU Graduate School guidelines. These students must maintain a 3.0 GPA during their first 18 credits of study. (c) Newly admitted students must pay a $350 matriculation fee, (d) and attend a new student orientation.
Licensed Professional Counselor
All MCoun Graduates are eligible to apply for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) from the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists. Graduate students in counseling are eligible to take the National Counselor Examination during the last quarter of their degree program. The results of this examination and other post-degree experiences required by OBLPCT are used to earn LPC status in Oregon.
School Counselor Licenses
The school counseling program has Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) approval to offer both initial and continuing state licensure as a school counselor. Individual advisement by your major professor is necessary to evaluate readiness for licensure. (TSPC website)
Housing for Graduate Students
Enjoy on-campus living in the OSU-Cascades residence hall. Graduate student housing at OSU-Cascades is designed to give you a living environment full of amenities that's close to all campus resources. Our residence hall offers a state-of-the-art fitness center, bike/ski/snowboard storage, no deposits or utility fees, laundry and high-speed internet access. Learn more