The Differences between the Master of Arts in Counseling and Master of Arts in Human Services
November 13, 2012
Our panelists discussed the Wake Forest University’s MAC & MAHS programs and outlined the differences between the two programs, learning outcomes and career path.
Pamela Karr, Program and Admissions Manager and former MAC student
Jacquelyn Loerop, Enrollment Advisor
Female Speaker: Hello. And welcome to the Wake Forest University’s Master of Arts in Counseling and Masters of Arts in Human Services Webinar. This session is entitled, “The Differences Between the Masters of Arts in Human Services and the Masters of Arts in Counseling Online Program”. Please note that your lines are muted, if you have questions during the presentation, please type them in the chat box located in the Control Panel and click send to submit your question. After the webinar, you will be able to obtain a PDF version of the slides in the archives recording from the Roman advisors whose contacts information will be listed at the close of this webinar. Today, we have two panelists that will be leading the webinar. We have Jacqueline Lorap and Pamela Karr. Ladies, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself? Jacqueline, you can start.
Jacqueline Lorack: Sure. Well, good afternoon, everyone. My name is Jacqueline Lorap and I’m one of the enrollment advisors for both the Masters of Arts in Counseling Program and the Masters of Arts in Human Services Program here at Wake Forest and I’ve been there when the programs sort of launched back in January. And to give you a little background about myself, I’m a graduate of Kelvin College and I have a degree in Business and have been in the educational field for the past two years and have been working with Wake Forest since January. So, very exciting program.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Jacqueline — Jacky. Pamela?
Pamela Karr: Hello? My name is Pamela Karr and I’m the Program and Admissions Manager for the Department of Counseling here at Wake Forest University. I graduated from this program in 1994 after a degree on Business and after graduation, I’m hired to manage the first accreditation application and then offered a permanent position taking care of details. Last year, I was offered one of the lead roles in developing and managing the online degree program which I accepted and I would be conducting your Student Orientation Course that runs about two weeks before a credit course start, so I get to meet you first and help you get ready to succeed. I’m a nationally certified counselor, North Caroline Licensed Professional Counselor and an Active Career Counselor. Welcome.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Pamela. Today, Pamela will talk about Wake Forest University and Jacqueline will outline the enrollment and requirements, excuse me, then Pamela will discuss common goals and objectives of the Human Services in Counseling Program as well as an overview of both programs. Then Jacqueline and Pamela will review and summarize each program. We’ll conclude this session addressing any questions that you may have, so please submit your questions in the chat box located on the Control Panel. Now, I’ll turn it over to Pamela who will discuss Wake Forest.
Pamela Karr: Hi, there. I have to warn you I’m a double D counselor in Wake Forest but briefly, I’m to provide an overview of the university and the Department of Counseling but I’m going to focus mostly on the differences between the two degrees. Now, Wake Forest is consistently ranked among the Top 25 Universities in the country. People asks to get the Masters on Counseling Programs are ranked, they’re not really eligible because you have to have a doctoral level program to be ranked and we prefer to focus our energies on our Masters Level programs.
So some of the things we have to offer is a spirit of service. The motto of this university is Pro Humanitate which we love on the counseling world and our faculty lead by example, for instance, they were there to help in the aftermath of 9/11, after Hurricane Katrina and in Virginia Tech after those shootings. So they’ve been all over the world training and developing counselors. As far as the clinical skills’ focus, most Masters programs require one counseling skills and techniques course, we require two and because of that, our graduates are priced by employers and doctoral programs because they think they have a specially strong counseling skills.
The student-centered motto is going to be there and it kind of begins with the Student Orientation Course because as much as possible, that’s a low pressure two weeks where you will be set up to succeed by learning how to use the tools that you need if you’re not familiar with online learning. And we want to be… we are totally committed to making this online experience comfortable in every way to our nationally renowned on-campus programs that have been going since 1969.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Pamela. Now, I’ll turn it over to Jacqueline Lorap who will talk about the enrollment requirements.
Jacqueline Lorap: All right. So basically as our job as the enrollment advisors, we are here to help you on your educational journey. We’re here to answer any of your questions as well as help you learn more about the program and to see if this is good… see if this is a good fit for both you and the university. So I’m going to go over through… go over some of the requirements and these are actually for both programs.
So the first thing, we do require that you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. We would like you to have at least 2.5 GPA and we do require the GRE of all our applicants and this does include, you know, if you do have a Masters — a previous Masters or if you also have any graduate work, we still require that all applicants take the GRE and we’re looking for at least a thousand on the all the score and a three on the writing and then there’s a new format which is more than a hundred so much more of to have a 300 in the writing or in the writing, have a three. So in the GREs, they are eligible for five years so they do expire after five years and we’re built to look at that as well. We also require three lyres of recommendation, a personal statement. There is an application fee of $75 and then there’s also an interview that we conduct one-on-one with the enrollment advisor over webcam and then we submit everything to the Applications Committee.
And we’re, as the enrollment advisors, we are able to help you with this and be able to… we’re here to guide you through the process.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Jacqueline. Now, I would like to remind you to submit your questions in the chat box located in the Control Panel and click send. Now, I’ll turn it back over to Pamela.
Pamela Karr: Okay, this is more of a show and nut tale. This is our common vision and mission statement which I’m not really going to read to you but I just wanted to say that the faculty has developed these objectives, mission and vision statements and they’re very, very meaningful to us. They guide our curriculum and our curriculum activities, they’re not just words. But you can find them on our webpage if you’d like to look at them more closely.
And here’s the vision statements and then you can pop up the mission statements. You can see there is Pro Humanitate, we prepare exemplary counselors and human services professionals to serve humanity, Pro Humanitate. I do want to tell you this rigorous intellectual climate is very true and they supported that atmosphere for personal and professional development is very true and then you can look at the other goals. Again, these are more than just words for us.
All right now, the next slide. Master of Arts in Human Services or Master of Arts in Counseling, which degree you choose depends on your career goals largely. Do you wish to serve people primarily by providing one-on-one and group therapeutic services? Or do you wish to serve more as a manager and leader? And the Master of Arts in Human Services is for students who want to help and support others but prefer to do it more as a manager or a leader then it’s one who acts primarily as a therapist. So this degree program, Master of Arts in Human Services designed for individuals who want a broader degree or maybe already be involved and enrolled and employed in the Human Services field but seek a Masters Degree which many leadership positions require in order to qualify for a management position. So if you like to help people, then you could go either way on that. But you also really enjoy planning and organizing, communicating and managing, you might want to consider this degree program. As a matter of fact, that actually might have been a good fit for me but it wasn’t really available at the time.
The Masters of Arts in Counseling Program is for students who plan to work primarily as counselors concentrating on the direct position of counseling services to individuals, to couples, to families and groups in very many different settings. So these students plan to become license eligible to work in schools or community settings.
All right, so how does this works and how did we design the Master of Arts Program for the overview. First, we started with a counseling base because a counseling base develops people who are really skilled communicators and leaders who know how to listen to people better than most. And so we’re starting with the 10 basic counseling skills including Basic and Advance Skills. We want to do this because we think we can develop really strong communication skills, empathy skills, leadership skills, the kinds of things you need when you want to work with clients or your other staff members, even your board members, policy makers and persons in other agency and volunteers. So on top of that counseling, then we’re going to add those program administration skills you need when you’re managing non-profit or human services organizations.
Specifically, we want you to know things like strategic planning. How to write grants? How to read a budget? How to develop a budget? How to negotiate contracts? You need to know how to recruit and manage your staff members and recruit and manage your volunteers and to cultivate good relationships with board members and donors. You’re going to learn how to assess an organization need to plan programs and services that will meet those needs. And then above all even more importantly, to evaluate the effectiveness of those programs and make some adjustments along the way.
So we think that this combination of counseling and management training will uniquely qualify our graduates to move into administrative and leadership and the vast network of what is human services.
Now there are some learning outcomes specific to human services. You will — if you compare this side by side with School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health, a lot of them are similar. One of the most important things to us is that we do want you to learn how to monitor your growth and development through reflection and self-evaluation. So when you’re in this program with us, we will have a lot of exercises designed for you to learn more about yourself in order to be a better helper.
Again, I let you go and find this if you need to read them more carefully. So let’s go in to have a quick deal of works. Okay, one of the differences between the two counsels that it takes less time to do the Master of Arts in Human Services, you can do that in two years plus one semester because it’s 13 courses in length, 13 on credits to graduate. Foundation courses, same as counseling. Core courses, same as counseling. And two human services courses. Now, some of the counseling courses will be tapered specifically to the types of skills and knowledge you need. So they won’t be exactly the same.
And then there is a field experience. So I’ve already told what some of those courses will be in the special key courses or organizational management supervision, et cetera. Now, I want to make sure that everyone who’s considering to wait for us in those that we want to have you come to us. In fact, we require two residencies that will last from Thursday night through Sunday morning. One of them happens at the end of your second semester, the other one happens at the end of your sixth semester. Days are already posted online so you could kind of see why, why? Well, we want to meet you. We feel like we need a face-to-face session to kind of engage in competency and readiness evaluations and to help you plan and evaluate your field experiences. It’s going to be kind of fun. We’re really looking forward to meeting people that we already only met on-campus — I mean online. So you’ll get to know instructors and the other students in your group. And the classes will be held on campus.
Now, the field experiences, a little bit more about those, that’s going to be completed at the side in your community where you are. It will be chosen with you and your faculty adviser in mind and our clinical supervisors. So we’ll help you figure out where you want to be based on your career goals. It happens on its own semester. There’s 350 hours at the very last semester when you will be devoting that much time to a field experience out in the field.
So career path. Well, judging on your goals, it can be a very wide variety of places where people are employed. Now, we are kind of this affected many people who are interested in this, they are already employed so they’ve already found their passion. What is really their area of service in human services but they want their Masters degree to advance. And if you don’t know what your passion is, you have many opportunities to help find it by the ways you can do certain assignments, et cetera.
Some of the settings are non-profits, group pomes and halfway houses, correctional and institution, mental retardation, community mental health settings, hospitals, family, child and youth services agencies and then the programs working with alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence and aging. Now they’re supposed to be a very good job outlook and I take that from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics because they’ve ranked the Human Services occupation as among the most rapidly growing in the country. So I tried to research current job activity opportunities with those with the Masters degree, but those are the important levels for you, folks. And the titles I found were things like Human Services Program Manager, Program Implementation Specialist, Counseling Services Administrator, Executive Director of Senior Services, Director of Community Outreach, Director of Development which means grant writing and donations.
I really like the comment that was recently made by one of our Master of Arts in Human Services applicants. She said, “Human Services attracts me because it’s a broader degree. It leaves me plenty of wiggle room to be able to figure out where I want to focus my career because there are so many options.” One of the most important things to us is helping you choose the right field experience. Carefully choosing is very important. Where you choose to do your field experience will open the doors and add credibility to your resume so we want to start you thinking very serious of it that fairly on.
So there is a certification that’s available to people who have completed the Master of Arts in Human Services and it’s called the Human Services Board of Certified Practitioners. The HSPBPD. Now, that has been developed as a certification program by the National Organization for Human Services and the Council for Standards in Human Service Education, both of which we consulted while we designed our degree. You can… We will seek — We will encourage you to seek a certification and when you want to have this certification, you need the following.
After you have completed your required coursework check, to pass an exam and we will make sure you know how to access that and where to take it. And then you have to verify one year of post-degree experience. For licensure and for certification, no one is ever qualified as soon as they finished their studies. They must have additional post-degree experience.
Moving on to the Master of Arts in Counseling Program, and by the way, this would be a good time to type if you have questions in if they arose during the discussion in the part of the Human Services Degree.
All right, program overview of this, there are two tracks in the Master of Arts in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. Online students take the same courses in the counseling program under the same professors as those in the — on-campus program. Out of the 20 courses, 114 are the same for both programs, clinical and school. So one of our goals is that we want to build skilled counselors first and specialist second. Once you start to get into your specialty fields, you can see the list of course in Clinical Mental Health that are different listed there and you can also see the setting in which many of our graduates work. Mental health agencies, private practice, sense of abuse, children services, coverage settings and career counseling to mention just a view.
The School Counseling Degree focuses on the skills you need to practice in a K to 12 educational setting. So one of the questions I get is what if I’m interested in college? Or your Clinical Mental Health, you’re not School Counseling because School Counseling is K to 12 only.
Here are the courses that you get to take there. I think one of the most fun course is counseling the children because you get these fingerprints and drawing stuff. So and those people will work in any kind of children services so hopefully that wasn’t’ up there. You’re going to see some learning outcomes again and those who liked this kind of thing and want to compare, same pattern, very much the same thing but again, we want to make sure all these are satisfied in our curriculum so they are more than just words.
And then here are the Clinical Mental Health ones. Learning outcomes are program-specific goals. There is that self-reflection again that’s very important here. So let’s see how this program works. A bit longer, 20 courses in length. It’s designed to complete in three years if you take courses all year round. 60 courses to graduate. Foundation in course, same as Master of Arts in Human Services and then we have some of the practice courses. You must again come to campus for the two residencies, Thursday night through Sunday morning so you’ll get to know your instructors and the students and the dates are already posted.
One of the exceptions to the way most courses work and I meant to mention this on the other degree too, you take two courses this semester and you take one course at a time, so you have seven and a half weeks in one course, total attention on that and then seven and a half weeks on the next course, total attention on that. The place that varies especially in the Masters of Arts in Counseling Program is that when you are doing your clinical experience and that 800 hours breaks that down to one semester, 200 hours on something called practicum, 300 hours of Internship I and 300 hours of Internship II. To finish in three years, it is designed that you will be taking coursework and doing clinical experience in your own community during that same time.
So those are the plans ahead the semesters. Figure out how am I going to do this if I’m a full-time worker? Some people, when they look at this reality do go to the Master of Arts in Human Services because it’s a match for their career goals and it’s a match for the realities of their day-to-day life knowing that they can do the 350 hours for that taking course at the same time. We are dedicated to helping you figure out creative ways in which you can make thin work. That’s why we start working on curriculums that first time we see you two semesters from now.
Okay, so the Master of Arts in Counseling leads to licensure. Clinical Mental Health graduates typically take licensure as Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselors, whether the designation maybe in your state. We will have you and we already advise you right now to check the licensure requirements of the state or states in which you plan to practice because every now and then, our on-campus students run into a course that is not in the curriculum and you can spot it ahead of time and we’ll help you strategized on how you have to get that. As it take to have accredited program, the program studied generally meets the licensure requirements of other states, but again, let’s check it out and there are some websites that you can access. I would say go to the American Counseling Association, you can find State Licensure information there.
School Counseling graduates can also seek licensures are Licensed Professional Counselors. They don’t have to because most school sites are exempt from licensure. The vast majority of students graduating as School Counselors in this program take the National Certified Exam and apply for licensure and get started figuring that maybe someday down the road, they would like to leave the school setting and start their own practice working with families. So keeping your options over as open is I think is good. School Counseling Licensure is a separate enamel. It’s set up by the public… Department of Public Instruction at every state but most of the time, there is risk of paucity but again, I would really advise that you go to the School Counseling Licensure for your state and see if there’s additional hoops you have to jump through and we will make sure you know what those hoops are shortly after you joined us.
So the career path are fairly clear depending on which program you take. Mental Health counselors work in variety of sites and some of those sites include Mental Health Centers, hospitals, Residential Treatment Centers, sense of abuse centers, private practices counselors and they’re going to be working with all kinds of the group — when we say clients, that could be individuals, it could be groups, it could be adults, it could be children, adolescents, couples or families. And they work in teams, which is important to us, and they provide crisis intervention when necessary.
Professional School Counselors work in K to 12 school settings as school counselors. And they provide individual and group counseling services to students. They also do classroom guidance, lessons in the classrooms and work with groups that are dealing with social behaviors, take up front role and bullying programs, et cetera in the schools. Consult with parents and staff. We seemed that our School Counseling graduates whether they like it or not often end up in leadership positions in the schools they’re in so we’re proud about that. Advocacy and then they provide crisis intervention services when appropriate, mostly, they design those for the school to use. As in the Master of Arts in Human Services Program, the selection of your practicum and internship is a critical piece in building your resume because they know you have the degree but they want to see that you have experiences that match your career goals.
So, let’s help you choose. You can have more than one. You can be in several different areas because you have three different opportunities. But we can help you deliberately choose your site in order to help you attain your career goals.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Pamela. Now, Jacqueline and Pamela will summarize the Human Services in Counseling Program.
Jacqueline Lorap: All right, well to recap from everything, basically what Pamela was going over, both programs are offered part-time and they’re only offered part-time online. There is no full-time option at this time. And these programs, they are – they’re designed for the working professionals as well as those with families. So we do, you know, we do required that you dedicate between 15 and 20 hours a week on the program. And the main difference… to recap the main difference between the two programs is that the Masters of Counseling leads the licensure about the Masters of Human Services leads to accreditation as a test BCP. The Masters of Human Services is for those students that want to be in the counseling field but don’t necessarily want to be counselors. The degree concentrates more on management. The MA… The Masters of Counseling is also a shorter program compared to the MAC. And as enrollment advisors, we will help you determine what path works for you. And at the end of this webinar, we also build a — send you out a one-page summary of the differences and now, also build to help you determine what path is right for you as well. And now over to Pamela.
Pamela Karr: All righty, so a little bit more on choosing your specialty track. So, we offer three specialty tracks within two degree programs, Counseling and Human Services. So you were going to be admitted to a specific degree program, either Counseling or Human Services.
Occasionally, a student admitted to one degree program may desire or be recommended by their faculty to change to the other degree program. Such decisions are made very carefully under the direction of your faculty adviser and your other faculty members. So, yes, you’re not stuck. It is possible and people’s career goals change. You may be in Human Services and we say, “You’re skills are so strong, you want to think about counseling?” Or, you know, “Your challenges are great and you’re so good in management, you want to think about human services?” Decision will be yours but there is a little wiggle room. In the Counseling Degree program, you must select the track either Clinical or School. Both Counseling tracks are taken up, approved and accredited for campus and on-campus delivery mandate. And just want to make sure, you know, it’s not possible for a student to graduate with degrees in both Human Services in Counseling or with degrees in both Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling. You have to choose.
Female Speaker: Okay. Thank you, Jacqueline and Pamela. We want to remind everyone, if you have questions, please type them into the chat box located on the Control Panel. We also want to make you aware of the upcoming dates for this summer term. The application deadline is March 1st, 2013 and the summer… and summer classes start May 12, 2013. Now, let’s take some questions. We had a lot of great questions that came in and our first question was if you have a Masters in Human Services from another university, can some of those classes transfer? Jacky, would you like to take that?
Jacqueline Lorap: Sure. We do take up to six credits for transfer. And those will be determined once you start registering for classes. There’s a couple different things that we need to look at within those classes. They have to match up pretty nicely with the classes here at Wake Forest and we’ll be able to determine that during registration after looking over your transcripts.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Jacky. Our next question says, “Can you obtain a license for Counseling after completing this program or would you have to take the Counseling path?” I’m assuming they’re referring to maybe the Human Services. So Jacky, you can elaborate more on that.
Jacqueline: Yeah. The Masters of Counseling Program leads to licensure while the Masters of Human Services Program does not. So, if you’re looking to obtain a license, we would advise you to go down the Masters of Counseling path and that either be the School Counseling path or the Clinical Mental Health path determines which way you want to go. And from there, you build to seek for the licensing exam in your state.
Female Speaker: Okay. Thank you again, Jacky. We have another question and I want to thank you guys for all these great questions. We’ll we… I’m assuming that should be you, discuss the differences between the classroom and online masters program as far as the workload requirement. And it says, “I’m sure there are maybe more writing requirements and assignments for the online program but I want to determine what is going to be the best for me as a fulltime worker?” Pamela, would you like to answer that?
Pamela Karr: That is a hard one. It is true that some of the assignments looked different in the online because they can’t be the kind of thing were you’re required to sit and listen to a professor and engage to discussions with people. But as certainly, the format is very interactive and it certainly more than taking test, it’s definitely not watching a tape of a professor talking.
I think part of what determines it is can you leave your job, come to an instance there and want a fulltime basis to be able to finish the program with us. If you cannot and because we only can take 15 a year to do that, we are excited about the opportunity to offer this degree to people who want to take it on a part-time basis. That’s what they desire to do and to be able to do it around their work schedule.
I’ve been excited about some of the activities. A lot of the chats, I’m really amazed how quickly students connect with each other in the online environment. And one of the things we’ve found is that sometimes people participate more in online because in the classroom, the professor ask the question, two people raised their hands, that’s all the time you’ve got. But on the online, everybody participates in something that’s richer. So I don’t know if that helps but I think we have another webinar that talks about online learning and how that’s different so if they email someone and say, I need to be on that one. That will be more specific. This one didn’t really cover that.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Pamela. And yes, we do have another webinar so stay tuned on our website. We will post those webinars on our website and we will promote each web webinar via email blast. Now, let’s go to our next question. Does the practicum flash experience hours of the degree satisfy the supervised clinical hours required by states like North Carolina for licensure? Pamela, would you like to take that one?
Pamela Karr: Sure. That, in most states now, they require, after you finish your program of study, additional supervised experience hours. And they will not count the hours anymore that you accrued during your masters program. It’s not just this program, it’s every program. It’s usually typically about two years, 2,000 hours to three years, 3,000 hours but you have to have the course basis first. And you have to pass the Nationally Certified Counselor Exam.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Pamela. Our next question is for Jacqueline. Are GREs required to attend?
Pamela Karr: Yes, we do require that all of our applicants take the GREs. And that does include, you know, if you do have any previous Masters Degrees as well as any graduate work, we still do require that all applicants take the GRE and that is part of the applications process.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Jacqueline.
Pamela Karr: One of the reasons we do that is that one of the reasons that Kay Crypt accredited on online programs so quickly, I think if you compare their websites, you’re going to find if there are only a very few schools with a long term history accredited. Is that we said the applicants for online and on-campus have to satisfy the same qualifications and the GRE is only one of many things we look at to try to be very selective and set people out for success in this program.
Female Speaker: Thank you Pamela and Jacqueline. Our final question is for Jacqueline. It says, “Can you complete the field experience at your own workplace?”
Jacqueline: Yeah. With the field experience and also the internship and practicums, you get to choose where you want to do those. So those can be done right in your hometown. Now, the one thing — we do look at everybody on a case by case, one thing that we will look at your own workplace if that’s the only place that you’re able to do that. But we do prefer that you do that separate of where you are working because sometimes it’s hard to going to kind of take off different hats. So, we would love for you to possibly do it at a different place but we can… it’s… everything is done by case by case, so we will able to talk to you more about that and be able to determine what’s going to be of great tip for you.
Female Speaker: Thank you, Jacqueline. We did just get a couple additional questions and we’ll address these. Are jobs available more in a Human Services field or the Counseling field? Pamela, would you like to address that?
Pamela Karr: Boy, that’s a — it could be on somewhat kind of job you want.