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Do you have a desire and passion to help people work through life’s challenges as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor? If you’re looking to better understand how our Online Master of Arts in Counseling & Online Master of Arts in Human Services programs can help you in your journey to becoming a qualified Professional Counselor, then this live webcast with our distinguished faculty is designed for you. 


Adam Hanna:             Good afternoon everyone.  We’ll go ahead and get started.  I wanna start by thanking everyone for joining us today.  My name is Adam Hanna.  I will be the moderator for our Wake Forest University Master of Arts in Counseling and Master of Arts in Human Services general information session.  So again welcome.  I do wanna go over a few housekeeping items before we get started.

In order to minimize background noise, this presentation is in broadcast only mode.  So, you can hear us, but we cannot hear you.  I do also wanna point out the Q&A box, which is located to the left of your screen.  At any time during this session, please feel free to type in any questions and at the end of the webinar, we will answer as many as we can through the Q&A portion of the webcast.  If we are unable to answer your question today, one of the advisors from our office will follow up with you.  If you’ve got more specific questions that relate to your file, your situation, you can ask the question and we’ll get it over to the appropriate advisor or just follow up with your advisor accordingly and we’ll get those questions answered.  Finally, I do also wanna make note that this webcast is being recorded and will be emailed out once it’s available.

I wanna run through a quick agenda on what we’re gonna cover today.  We’re gonna learn a little bit more about Wake Forest University as a whole and we’re gonna cover the two programs that we offer online.  That’s the Master of Arts in Counseling program.  We’ll have an overview of what that looks like, how it differs from the Master of Arts in Counseling program and a quick overview of that.

We will also talk a little bit about our experienced faculty and do have some folks with us on the line as well who we’d like to introduce.  We’re also gonna talk about the online experience.  This is a traditional program that we’ve launched online and we wanna talk a little bit more about how we do that.  We will also cover the enrollment requirements that in order to apply what do you need, how do you go through that process.

We will also introduce you to our student support advisor.  She’ll introduce herself and some of the responsibilities she will have as she works with you as a student in the Master of Arts and Counseling or Master of Arts in Human Services program here at Wake Forest.  And finally, we will conclude the program with a Q&A session.  So again if you have those questions, please feel free to type them in the Q&A box at any time.

Next, I would like to introduce our panelists.  We have with us Pamela Karr, our program and admissions manager here in the counseling department at Wake Forest.  We are also joined by Dr. Seth Hayden, an assistant professor here in the counseling department here at Wake Forst.  And my name is Adam, once again.  I’m an enrollment coordinator here for the online program.  And we will also have our student advisor who you will see later through the webcast and her name is Megan Webber.

So I wanna get us started with a little bit more about Wake Forest and I will turn that over to our program and admissions manager, Pamela Karr.

Pamela Karr:              Hello folks, this is Pamela Karr.  I’m very pleased to be with you today to introduce you to the program and to Wake Forest University.  Wake Forest was founded in 1834 and has been in Winston-Salem since 1941.  Some of the things that we think carry over to the counseling program that are famous about Wake Forest, pro humanitate is the motto of the school.  Now what could be a better motto for counseling?  Professional folks who really wanna help others and that would be you potentially.  So, we carry that spirit of service into our program.  We practice it while you’re here with us and encourage you to reach out as you can while you’re a student and forever more afterwards.

We have two clinical skills courses, most programs just have one.  We have basic and advanced because to us, producing clinicians with very good skills, whatever track you’re in, or even if you’re in human services, you will use those listening and awareness skills so much.  Graduates and employers of graduates and our internship people really appreciate the high level of skills that our students have when they hit the site.

It is a student centered model.  We have basic programs outlined, but we’re always working with students who need to deviate a little bit from their course, due to family obligations and others.  We really respect what you are trying to do as a full-time professional.  And also, we have a strong commitment to excellence.  We wanted to make sure that this online program was every bit as good and has its most reputation as the on campus program that we’ve been doing since 1974.

Wake Forest University is always in the U.S. World Report has been for about 10 years, ranking us as 27, which is pretty good.  We have lots of good competition.  The program here is accredited by the Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs CACREP.  Whether or not you choose Wake Forest, it would be important for you to choose a program that is CACREP accredited.  It’s a much quicker way to licensure for you.

The school counseling program has it proper accreditation always.  And at this point, we are looking at about a 98% pass rate since we were first eligible to offer this exam as students since 1994.  So, very proud of that pass rate.

Seth Hayden:               Hey, everybody this is Dr. Hayden and great to be with you today and I appreciate your interest in our program.  And also interested in becoming a counselor.  Me and certainly there’s an element of nobility in the service that we provide.  And there’s also a significant need in the population in which we serve.  Some statistics to help inform that a little bit is that 20% of the population has been indicated in some manner potentially having a mental disorder, which is a pretty significant portion of our population.  In a worldwide sense, 450,000 people have unmet mental health needs.

________ it’s important in terms of becoming a counselor is that we’re serving the needs of the community.  And so you have these concerns here and then we come in as those to assist people with these elements and certainly I think you’ve probably seen a lot of things that have been going on in our society recently.  And counselors certainly have a seat at the table for those who are assisting and addressing these kinds of needs in our community which are pretty significant.

There’s the significant things that people encounter and then there are just life’s challenges, the day to day elements that people encounter, whether it be work, relationships.  So, it’s not always the significant elements that are apparent, but really just getting through life and various demands and concerns that arise.  Counselors are a great resource to assist with those as well, and really helping other people in those kinds of concerns.

I think there’s a real sense of meaning in terms of what we do as a counselor.  So for me, one of the things that I really get a charge out of is when I’ve been working with a client and we arrive at a new place than where we were before in working together.  And so, I think that it gives me a real shot of enthusiasm, a real sense of purpose in what I do.  It’s something that is really important.

Something related to our online program.  So one of the reasons why we started the online program is that as you see here in the stats, there are the needs that are out there in the world today far outstrip our capacity to fill them in terms of mental health providers.  And so, while we had our on campus program, one of national reputation and one of great pride, there was a thought of how do we provide this opportunity to qualified individuals to address this need.  So, expanding our ability to be able to train competent professionals in the mental health field were one of the motivating factors for us creating this online program.

And I think we feel pretty good about what has happened so far that we have brought in people who have potential to be very successful and we feel good about those that are being in our program and engaging their communities and helping in a very meaningful way.

Pamela Karr:              And we get some wonderful feedback from the internship sites who have had an online professional students who may not have had a good reputation online necessarily, but they would like another Wake Forest student and when we read the names when people walk across the stage, the high percentage of those who have already accepted the job just makes us smile and beam.

Seth Hayden:               And also doctoral potential.  Had some students that are starting to focus on that as well.  So, we feel good about the helping professionals in which we are producing.

Pamela Karr:              Yeah, let’s talk a little bit about the Master of Arts in Counseling program and what it looks like.  First of all, there are two tracks in the Master of Arts program: the clinical mental health track and the school counseling track.  And when you are accepted to the program, you’re accepted to the program.  You have some indication of which track you want to go into.  But it is not fixed as in some programs.  As you learn more, if you decide your needs are in another direction, we’ll work with you in changing.  So, this is strictly the Master of Arts in Counseling program.

Most of the courses are the same.  Out of 20 courses, 14 are the same for both programs.  And then there are three specialty courses which you can read.  One thing that sometimes people ask me is if I want to work in higher education on the university level, which track am I in?  School counseling pertains to K-12 only, so you’re in the clinical mental health field if you are working in a university setting.

Seth Hayden:               The thing I’d like to add to that is that is somewhat unique that you have the opportunity to come in and then decide later if you would like to do that.  Some programs will have you decide as you get started that you’re either in clinical mental as an incoming student or school counseling.  So, we’ve been very intentional in creating that opportunity for students to engage in the curriculum and make that decision from an informed place, as opposed to making you make that decision right out of the gate.  And so I just wanted to offer that as a thought as well.  That’s somewhat of a unique aspect of our program.

Pamela Karr:              I agree.  Okay now, this online program is designed to take three years to complete.  Three years of going year round.  You go in the fall, spring, summer or summer, spring, fall, depending on when you’ve started, all year round.  We’ve also decided that in general you’ll just be taking two courses at a time.  And in general, you’ll be having one course at a time, so that you will have one course for seven weeks and then another course for seven weeks.  It goes really fast, there’s a lot of material to cover, but this way, you can concentrate on one thing at a time.

Those 600 hours or 60 credits to graduate, also include 800 hours of clinical experience as required by CACREP and done in your own community.  As an advanced student, that is what you will be doing.  You will have plenty of help finding that clinical placement, but you know where people have been before and support you as you choose what population, by then, you feel you’d like to work with where you could get some experience and be able to have direct contract as required.  So, those are actually courses, clinical courses practicum and two internships.  And internships have some flexibility about how many hours you do for each one and we get quite busy about this time of year helping people decide what is the best way for me to complete those hours.  So, there’s some flexibility there.

One thing I wanna make sure you understand is that there are two residencies that you must come to as a student.  We really do not believe that we can graduate counselors without meeting folks face to face.  And so everybody comes here, Thursday night through Saturday after you complete the first two semesters you come.  And then after you complete the next year you come.  Right before you’re heading out on clinicals so that we can do some skills assessment and be sure you’re ready to carry the good name forward on into your clinical site.

And it is actually a joyful experience.  Students who leave here have comments like, wow, now it really feels real.  Wow, now I really feel like I’m in the right place, I am a Wake Forest student.  I feel very connected to the people that you’ve already connected to online.  But it just takes it one step up to actually be here on campus with us and with the people that you are in class with.

It comes Thursday night to Sunday at noon and the times are announced about the time you start six months in advance.  And so that’s just something that you need to know.  Alaska or wherever, yes you do need to come.  So, I think that’s pretty much the outline of the counseling program.

Now the clinical mental health graduates generally seek licensure as LPCs or some similar designation in your state.  You will begin with your first course starting to check the requirements of your state.  We meet the requirements of most all states, but there are a few states who have things that they require in advance.  For instance, Florida has to have a human sexuality course.  We’ll make sure you know these and your options for either taking it while you’re with us or taking it after while you’re here.

So school counseling graduates can also seek licensure as an LPC.  They have had all the course work they need to be a licensed professional counselors.  Most of our school counseling graduates go ahead and obtain that license so that in case they wanna mix some private practice into their school work, they can.  But, they also have to have a specialized licensure as a school counselor with the department of public instruction in their states.  The clinical mental health graduates are not qualified to seek licensure with the department of public instructions, only school counselors.

Again, I said I before, be sure you get into a CACREP accredited counseling program.  It breaks my heart when I talk to somebody who’s finished half of their coursework and just discovered that their program is not CACREP accredited and that that’s important.  So, we will work with you on understanding licensure ‘cause it changes all the time.

Now the career paths of the Master of Arts in Counselor are so many and so varied.  We have people working in every kind of a setting you can imagine, providing individual and group counseling services in these settings.  Mental health counselors are almost in any institution you can think of within your city, working with every issue that could concern some of your clients.  So, we have things like community agencies, universities.  They work with adults, children, adolescents, couples and families, substance abuse, hospitals.  It just goes on and on, the variety of settings that clinical mental health.  And when you’re doing your clinical courses, you’re also building your resume for future employment in these areas.

Professional school counselors work exclusively in K-12 school settings as school counselors and they work with students, but they also work with teachers and administrators and parents.  The whole system in which a school counselor would find themselves working in on the school level.  And so the only disadvantage there is that typically you have to be careful when you’re planning your internships because most schools don’t run in the summer.  Some do.

So I think we’ll come back there if you have any specific questions about the counseling program, but I think we’ll let Dr. Hayden talk to you a little bit about the other program, the Master of Arts in Human Services.

Seth Hayden:               Thank you, yes.  So, we also have the Master of Arts in Human Services which has a strong foundation in counseling.  Focuses on creating skills, communicators and leaders.  But has less of a focus on a counseling engagement and more in terms of service within various agencies that provide important services to the community, but not necessarily individual and group counseling.  So, very important role, absolutely.   I mean as you can see here some of the things that people do with that kind of a focus in terms of human services.  But again, less of the counseling focus.

So the courses study in the Master of Arts in Human Services starts with ten counseling courses including basic and advanced skills.  So, you are going to get training in terms of what it is to engage with someone from a helping perspective.  And you’ll also be looking at group procedures, career counseling, lifespan.  And so, again with this thought of working in an agency that focuses on providing human services, it’s still important to have these skills.  And so we still think it’s important that people have the opportunity to obtain those.

There’s also an addition of a program administration skills element to what we do because a lot of people in human services work in non-profit human service organizations.  And so we think it’s important to have skills around strategic planning, grant writing, budgeting, contract negotiation.  Again, more of that kind of a focus as opposed to the very specific counseling focus.

And so there’s a lot of different things that human services provides, but it does have a connection to counseling that is somewhat unique.  And so graduates of our program tend to be strong candidates for managerial, supervisory and administrative positions.  And I think the grounding in counseling is an asset to them as they go forward because when you think about managerial, supervisory and administrative position, ultimately, it’s working with people.  And how do we coordinate our effort to address some kind of need.  And having that counseling background, I think, is a strong foundation for someone to work effectively in these roles.  And so that’s a little bit of the structure of the human service program.

In terms of specific curriculum, 13 courses in length.  So, 39 credits to graduate.  You have foundation courses, you have four of those which are 12 credit hours.  And then you have specific human service courses.  So you have three of those which are at nine credit hours.  You do still have to come to campus for the residencies just as you did in the counseling program.  So, two times during your work in the human services program, you will come to campus for those two residencies.  The program length is about seven semester or two years, plus one additional semester.  And you will be taking courses year round.

With the residencies, I think both for the counseling program and the human services program, it really is interesting to see the enthusiasm, to see the connections that occur amongst the students.  We do have the cohort model in our online environment and the residencies are a great way for people to connect with their fellow students, as well as faculty members as well.  And so I always look forward to the residencies, and interacting with the students in the program.  And so while it seems like it might be a logistical challenge to make that happens, I have yet to have a student come away from that who hasn’t reported that as a very rewarding experience.  And so I think that human services, although has a little bit of a different focus, it’s important to have those components as well because of those kind of connections that emerge.

And so yeah, so that’s a little bit of the curriculum.  And then in terms of what happens with students who – the path in terms of their career, a lot of students are already employed in human services fields.  And so they’ll already be working in those kind of environments.  If they’re wanting to have this as an additional skills development, an additional piece to their development that they think is really important.

You can find work in a lot of diverse settings.  So, if you think of human services as an umbrella term, there is a petty large umbrella.  There are a lot of different agencies, non-profits, governmental agencies, a lot of different kinds of agencies that focus on human services.  And so there’s a lot of different areas in which one can work.

But it really is focused on the students, so what’s your area of interest, what’s your passion, what’s expertise.  And so while we have a specific curriculum, we try to be adaptive of the degree possible in terms of the interest of the students.  And so, assignments you engage in, activities you engage in can be aligned with your interest and your passion.

And so the field experience element of that, which is carefully chosen can really add immensely to your resume.  So that allows you to take the information that you’ve accumulated, the knowledge that you’ve acquired and apply it in a very specific field experience.  And so we work with you on that, we have people who support you in trying to find that kind of an experience and it tends to be very impactful in terms of one’s development.

So, in terms of certification related to the Master of Arts in Human Services, so a board certified practitioner tends to be the certification that’s associated with a human services professional.  But you complete the required coursework for that.  There is an examination and there’s one year of post graduate experience.  So, when you complete those elements, then you’ll be eligible for the certification as a human services professional.  And our program is designed to satisfy the educational requirements for that certification and also prepare you for the examination.  And then, again, that other element that won’t be as much of our focus but we feel that students tend to be able to obtain the experience is that one year post graduate experience to be a board certified human services practitioner.

Pamela Karr:              And so which degree you choose depends on your own career goals.  If you wish to serve people primarily by providing one-on-one and group therapeutic service, you would be interested in the Master of Arts in Counseling degree.  If you wish to serve people in more of an administrative focus, then you would choose the Master of Arts in Human Services degree.

Seth Hayden:               And we certainly are willing to consult with students who aren’t sure and so there are times where students start in one track and decide that they wanna pivot to another.  We don’t have a lot of students that do that, but that does occur and so certainly we’re here to support students who have some uncertainty around that to the degree possible, assist in that transition.  But again, that’s the opportunity for us to consult with you on that if you have some uncertainty both before as well as kind of the initial stages of your program.

Pamela Karr:              That’s the student focused approach.

Seth Hayden:               Yes, exactly.  I think that is at the core of the identity of our institution as well as our program.  In terms of the faculty, the people who will be working with you, I think we have some pretty impressive folks to work with our students.  Really thought leaders in the field of counseling.  Dr. Sam Gladding.  If there was a Mt. Rushmore of counseling professionals, Dr. Gladding would be on that.  When I was in my master’s program, a lot of my textbooks were written by him and it certainly is an honor it be able to work with him.  So, he is a prominent figure in the field of counseling and you can see his accomplishments here.  Certainly, he has done a lot of incredible things and the president of American Counseling Association has worked actively with state boards.  Has published a lot of work, both in terms of journal articles, but also again foundational textbooks in the field of counseling.

Our chair, Dr. Donna Henderson, is – she’s right up there as well and the field of school counseling has really been a prominent voice in working with children in that kind of environment and also has held very important positions within the field of counseling.  And so you would have the exposure to these people who, again, I think have really historically and continued to shape our profession.

Apart from Dr. Gladding and Dr. Henderson, we have several people as well that again also are contributing voices in a very prominent way in our field.  So, Dr. Debbie Newsome has written a great deal on various aspects of counseling and so she focuses a lot on the clinical courses.  Has won teaching awards here at Wake Forest for her ability to able to effectively instruct our students.  And so again someone of an incredible reputation in that regard.  Dr. Villalba is very known in the school of counseling realm as well as in cultural competence.  And so he serves in our program as well.

Dr. Clarke, within the substance abuse field, has been a very prominent voice as well as in the caregivers domain.  And actually has gotten some recent grants associated with that in terms of how we best support caregivers who work with those who have engaged with Alzheimer’s.  And so he has a connection actually with the hospital, Wake Baptist and is doing some work in that regard.

Dr. Ivers has done a lot with multicultural competence.  Is also bilingual.  So, we have someone who focuses on that aspect of how do we provide services to a population of maybe English as a second language and has had several impressive publications in that regard.

Pamela Karr:              There’s that guy on the bottom right.  Seth Hayden.  What is his areas of interest?

Seth Hayden:               Yeah, somehow he’s still involved in this program.  We’re still trying to get him outta here, but thank you, I appreciate it.  Yeah, so my area of interest, as I primarily focus on the connection between career and mental health, as well as working with military service members, veterans and family members.  And so I have clinical experience with those things.  I also have scholarly elements of my work in that regard.

And we have had a fair amount of students who come from that background which I think makes sense when you consider a career path of someone in the military.  And so people who would come from that background would likely have others with that background within our program, which I think is nice because there’s that sense of identification and support that can come with that.

I think another person that’s really important to point out, and all these people on here, I encourage you to go to our faculty webpage to get a sense of the background of the folks here because I think that tells the whole story and I can send a whole hour just talking about our faculty.  But for the sake of time, just go to our faculty webpage on our counseling program website.  But Dr. Emerson who’s our clinical program manager is a person who is designed to support you in your obtaining of clinical placements for your training, which I think is unique for our online program.

Other online programs which I’m sure are great in their own regard often will have people kind of do that on their own and just provide the administrative support once those kinds of placements are secured.  Dr. Emerson is active with every students in securing a clinical placement in their training as they’re a part of our program and actually has supportive staff that helps her do that as well.

So in terms of trying to figure that out, we don’t just cast you out to sea and make you figure that out.  We have someone who is designated to do that and is active in that role, which I think is a unique aspect of our program as well.

So in terms of the faculty experience online, just to give you what it might be like to be in a course and how it is in terms of what faculty and how do we engage, we do the best we can to replicate an on campus experience in a virtual environment.  And so the course content tends to be pretty varied, but there will certainly be some elements that require you to read, but we also integrate a lot of multimedia dimensions to our instruction.  There will be videos, they’ll be potentially podcasts in that regard.  They’ll be synchronous engagement.  So, in terms of a faculty member, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with them via WebEx in a very specific design engagement where you have that in person via WebEx engagement of the faculty.

And so we have a lot of different ways in which we present material which I think is important to keep in mind.  There’s PowerPoints, but there’s also videos and they tend to be very informative, but also very interactive.  So, whatever assignments that we have, you complete via online, they still tend to have an interactive element, not only with faculty members, but also with your fellow students.  And so they’ll be assignments that are designed for you to connect in that regard.  So, we think we do a fairly good job of trying to not just go with one way to do it.

And so for an example I teach – just starting the research course right now.  And so I’ll have interaction with students via my office hour, but then also in discussion forums that I’ll interact with you in that regard.  Then also be available to students who have very specific questions.  But we have a tiered and structured format here.  So, it’s not just an opportunity to interact with me, but there’s also a section instructor that will provide support so we can keep the course sections pretty small, and then you’ll have a lot of support in that regard.

Pamela Karr:              The online learning starts with a 2-3 week course that you’re required to take called the Student Orientation course.  I’m one of the people who helps facilitate that.  You get to use all the tools and learn the hard way and find out what your connectivity issues are.  Get all that ironed out.  I’m always astounded how quickly students connect with each other line via discussion boards.  Oh I live here too, let’s get together.  That sounds exactly like my situation moving all over the country following my spouse or whatever.  There’s just a lot of – I’m just amazed and have been since the beginning how quickly people can connect on these student orientation courses.  I think it’s well done, it’s been well developed.  And it changes every time we get an evaluation.  We refresh these courses all the time to try to update them and make them better.

Seth Hayden:               Absolutely.  We take that very seriously in terms of being adaptive to what it is that we provide.  And so we listen to student feedback.  We do our best to be of support and there’s meaningful interactions with faculty members.  So, all the people that I talked about before, you will have access to them, which I think is really important.

You know I certainly think that the day and age that we live in, it’s important that we address those needs that I talked about a while ago in terms of the mental health needs and the population in which we serve.  The advantages of some of the online learning is that it’s flexible.  So, while on campus courses and on campuses programs are great, it tends to be you’re going to do this at this point.  But if you are operating an online environment, it’s more shape to the life in which you live.  It gives you that flexibility.  So, while there is specific elements of the course, you can complete them when needed.

There is detailed instruction.  So, we really get into the specifics of a particular course and the subject matter associated with that.  And so you receive a lot of support in that regard and very detailed instruction.

I think our library here is second to none and I’ve been to other institutions.  And the access to those resources are the same for online students as they are for on campus students.  One thing that’s really interesting is that if you need a book from our library, they will ship it to you at no charge to you, which is really pretty interesting and I think just speaks to the commitment of not only our program, but to our university at large to our online students.

Certainty, there is timely feedback provided.  So, we tend to be very responsive in terms of students who contact us, as well as the feedback that’s provided in terms of assignments that are submitted, discussion posts that are provided.  We tend to respond in a very timely manner.  And you’ll get some specifics if you do decide to be a part of our program about what that will look like.

So certainly I think the students who are in our online environment life dictates that this might be a better option for them and I think these reasons do speak to how it could be a better option.  But then also that we have a strong commitment to our online learners to providing the resources necessary for them to be successful.

Pamela Karr:              A lot of times we’ll develop something for the online course and like it so much we bring it back here.  So the two situations and the two learnings are very similar.  It’s just that some people can’t pick up everything and move here and live with us full-time.  So, this may be the option for you if that’s you.

Seth Hayden:               I agree.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you Pamela and Dr. Hayden.  I do wanna talk about some of the requirements for admissions.  Again, my name is Adam, I’m one of the enrollment coordinators here and I work with a great team of advisors as you can see on your screen.  But again, I wanna run through some of the requirements, but do know that you’re not alone through the admissions process.  Our advisors are here to encourage you, to support you, help answer any questions you might have to make sure that it’s a smooth process because as Pam and Dr. Hayden noted, many of our students are busy.  So, we wanna make sure that this is a smooth process as we onboard you, as we get you through the admissions process.

But the items we require first and foremost, we do require that you have completed a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.  We are looking at students who have a GPA of at least a 2.5 or higher.  If you have questions on that, please follow up with your enrollment advisor.  The other thing we require as part of a review is a GRE score.  If you’re unfamiliar with the GRE exam, your advisor can talk to you a little bit more about what that is, why we require it and also how to prepare.  I know one of the most intimidating things is moving forward with an application and of course tacking that standardized exam.  But there are reasons we use it and we wanna consider students holistically.

So, again that’s just one piece.  But, we do require a combined score of at least a 300 and a writing score of at least a three.  Now, if you do fall below a 300 on your combined score, please follow up with your enrollment advisor.

The other items we require a three letters of recommendation from an academic or a professional source, and those are all completed online.  So, once you’ve identified who those folks are, you can enter their contact information directly into your application, which makes it a little bit easier to get those items submitted because you’re not waiting to get items mailed in.  But as long as you correspond with those recommenders, let them know they’ll receive an email, it is relatively easy to get them in.  But again, if you have any issues, your enrollment advisor can check in on your application and also follow up with your recommender if they have any issues or concerns.

We also wanna learn a little bit more about you through a personal statement, roughly 500-1,000 words and we wanna hear why are you interested?  What are your goals for pursing this program?  Let us know why this is a great fit for you.  And it will look different for every student as we know you’re gonna pursue this path for varied reasons, but if you’re having any concerns or having trouble getting started, which we know is often the case, follow up with your enrollment advisor.  Have a quick conversation about why this is something you wanna pursue and you can get started on that personal statement after that conversation.

In addition to the personal statement, we wanna see you, so we wanna go through a webcam interview and we actually will do this at any point through the admissions process, but we do highly recommend getting that completed early as we know that’s gonna take some time out of your schedule, but that’s something you’ll coordinate with your enrollment advisor to find a time that works best.  And we will record the interview.  So, those are gonna be added right to your application.

And to wrap up the application, the final item is an application fee of $75 and that will conclude the application.  And once you have that submitted, your enrollment advisor will submit your application for review.  But if you do have an questions on this, again our job is to make sure you are well informed, making sure that all items are submitted by the appropriate deadline and answer any questions you have as you move through the process.

Pamela Karr:              Adam, I have a question for you, this is Pamela.  Are there any exemptions to the GRE rule?

Adam Hanna:             Great question, thank you for the question Pamela.  So, we do offer potential GRE waivers for those who have completed a graduate degree prior to joining us.  So, what we would need in order to review that are unofficial transcripts of both your undergraduate and your graduate degree.  And you can coordinate that with your enrollment advisor so that we can get those submitted and reviewed.  Again, not guaranteed, but it is a potential and if it is granted, you would not need to submit GRE scores and that could be done early.  So you don’t need to get everything done before knowing we want you to get started on the application process.  And as you work through that, you could get those transcripts submitted for review.

Pamela Karr:              I wanna shout out to this enrollment team.  I don’t know of any other school that offers that much help to students who are just thinking about applying.  You guys do a great job.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you Pamela.  We try to help our students in any way possible and we know you’re busy.  So, what we also do is with most initial contact, we will send you our online calendars as well.  So we wanna make sure that we’re available when you are.  So, if you’re having trouble getting in touch with your enrollment advisor, leave them a voicemail, send them a quick note so that you can coordinate a time that will work best.

All right, we will turn it over, as I previously mentioned, you will have great support through the program not only through faculty, additional staff who are involved in helping students, but your student advisor.  And so I wanna turn it over to our student support specialist Megan Webber.

Megan Webber:           Hello everyone, thanks for joining.  Just wanted to say a real quick hello.  I’m your student support specialist so I’ll communicate with you on a regular basis to help address any questions or concerns that you do have.  You can really bring anything my way and if I can’t answer a question, I will direct you to the right point of contact within the program.  But, this is a great program, run by great people.  So, I look forward to hopefully working with you in the future.

Adam Hanna:             Thanks Megan.  Another thing I wanna point out about Megan’s role as we transition, of course there’s an onboarding process.  So, we won’t just throw you out there in the dark.  We will set you up with a welcome call to get you introduced and Megan will talk with you a little bit more specifically as you onboard about how she’s gonna support you.  So, thanks for joining us today Megan.  I do wanna move on next to some important dates as we look at the upcoming term, which is the Spring 2018 term, beginning January 15.  The application deadline is approaching in the next few weeks on November 1.  Still plenty of time to get your application complete.  Again, we wanna work with you to get these items submitted by that deadline.  And so if you have any concerns, questions, definitely reach out.  We wanna break it down into manageable pieces, even with a busy schedule and with a busy family.  But again, we’re looking at Spring right now starting in January and our deadline is in a few weeks here on November 1.

Now I’d like to move onto our questions, so we are going to take a few minutes, take a look at the questions that have come in as we do have several.  But if you do have any additional questions at this time, please go ahead and utilize the Q&A box located to the left of your screen.

Okay, we’re gonna go ahead and get started with some questions.  But again, please feel free to continue to enter those in and we’ll address those as they come in.  So, we’re gonna get started with question no. 1.  What is the difference between a licensed professional counselor and a marriage and family therapist?

Seth Hayden:               This is Dr. Hayden.  Great question.  The licensed professional counselors tend to be more of a generalist in their practice.  They will, at times, work with couples and families.  So, it’s not as if they’re unable to do that.  They receive the training to do that.  But an LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist, would really have the expertise in that domain and is trained specifically to work with familial dynamics, marital concerns, relational concerns.  And so while they do receive a general education, they really focus specifically on that aspect of their work.  And then licensed professional counselors, while they have that in terms of their training, tend to be more generalist in their practice.

Pamela Karr:              Also, it’s my understanding that in order to get licensure as a marriage and family therapist, they would probably be about three additional courses that are not in our curriculum.  You may find them in a counseling program that has a marriage and family track.  We also have a lot of graduates who pursue those additional coursework and the additional internship post-graduation from Wake Forest.  Several of our people, one of them is Dr. Bob Nations, are certified marriage and family therapists and can guide students into what they would need to do if that was their desire.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you Pamela and Dr. Hayden.  We’re gonna move onto our second question.  Could you talk a little bit more about the role that Wake Forest plays in assisting students with finding a field placement site?

Seth Hayden:               As I was talking about earlier, Dr. Emerson is our clinical program manager.  What will happen is that as that aspect of students curriculum comes up.  So, you’re starting to think about practicum which is a mini-internship and then an internship.  Dr. Emerson provides a great deal of information of things you should be aware of as you’re looking at particular sites.  And then as students identify sites, Dr. Emerson and her staff actually are the first ones to engage with the sites.  Gonna talk with them a little bit about that we have an interest here and so on.  And so, we don’t make the students do cold calls to sites to try and figure out if they have the things necessary for them to do a site.

And then after that, Dr. Emerson continues to support students in their search for sites until one is secured.  And we as faculty also help with that.  So, there may be times where it would be beneficial for faculty to be involved in that.  And so we provide a great deal of support for students to secure those clinical placements, and we don’t just make them do that on their own and we just kind of come in with the paperwork at the end.  And we are active in that process both in providing information initially, giving students what they might wanna think about as they’re starting to look at sites and then interacting with sites to ensure that that’s gonna be an appropriate site for them.  And then, again, just kind of monitoring that as we go forward.  And we do a great deal of that.

Pamela Karr:              It also starts when people come to residency one.  We had a long information session for people in residency one ‘cause we know that’s one of their primary concerns.  Before people would get here, they’re given a questionnaire and directions to not necessarily contact.  In fact, don’t contact sites yet.  But do some research on what in your community you might be interested in.  What population do you wanna serve and where can you do that?  Find out information, go on the site, try to find out if there’s licensed people working there just to start to gather information early, early on, even way before you get there.  Residency two is devoted a lot to making sure all those plans are tightened up for folks.

Seth Hayden:               And so there’s usually about a year difference between Res 1 and Res 2.  So, as you can tell, we start to have that discussion very early in students time in our program, so that when it does become time for that to occur that it tends to be, we hope, fairly seamless and not necessarily an abrupt process for them.

Pamela Karr:              If you’re scheduled to do your first clinical in the summer, for instance.  Then, the beginning of the semester before then they start working with you individually in a serious manner to get things.  And maybe even before that, because sometimes the timing of when people apply for sites like that is known by our group.  So, they may even be two semesters in advance.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you both, we’ll move onto our next question.  Is it possible to take more than one class at a time in order to expedite the program?

Pamela Karr:              I have people ask me that all the time and – well not all the time.  It’s designed to complete it as a “part-time student” in three years.  Doubling up is very difficult for a lot of reasons.  One of ‘em is we’ve designed ‘em in a sequence so that you need one before you can have another.  Also, Wake Forest has strict rules about the difference between part-time and full-time people.  The part-time people can only take up to eight credits.  If they take more than that, they actually have to apply to be a full-time students.  And full-time student tuition is about triple what the part-time rate is.  So, I know all those rules and work with someone.  You want a full-time program, as much as we’d love to have you with us, this may not be your right choice.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you, we’ll move onto the next question.  In regard to the semesters and courses, are there breaks in between the seven week courses or is everything back to back?

Pamela Karr:              It’s pretty back to back.  The course in the middle of the semester to make sure that we have all the time that we can in a 14-week semester and course one ends on a Sunday and course two starts on a Monday.  There are breaks in between semesters, however, especially at the Christmas break is a good catch your breath.  There is a weeklong spring break.  There is a weeklong Thanksgiving break.  There are a few breaks, but I do have to say graduates are always saying I’m so looking forward to sleeping now.  I shouldn’t have said that, never mind.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you.  And so another question on the residencies themselves.  Are they held on campus in Winston-Salem?  And I think we have addressed that today, but it is held on the main campus and you’ll get more information from Megan, along with Pamela and some of our other staff in the department.  We wanna make sure you’re well prepared and as Pamela said earlier, you’ll get information about six months in advance, but the residencies will be held here on campus in Winston-Salem.

Seth Hayden:               And a lot of the students really enjoy coming to campus and they get a very warm welcome.  Wake Forest is a very welcoming place, so they get to interact with faculty.  But also administrators at the university.  The bookstore tends to do a lot of business that weekend because students get to come to campus and –

Pamela Karr:              So does the t-shirt shop.

Seth Hayden:               That’s right, exactly.  Because there’s a lot of sense of pride, I think, because students have been engaged in the program, but now they get to interact with the physical environment.  And so while it might logistically be challenging for those two touch points, again it tends to be, at least anecdotally a highlight of what’s students report in their time in our program is that opportunity to come interact with faculty, to see the campus.  I think there’s a lot of benefit to that.  So, it’s not always easy to make that work, but I think there is some benefits.

Pamela Karr:              I have worked with students who say those dates cannot work with me at all.  My sister’s getting married and I’m in the wedding.  And so in residency one, it’s sad when you can’t come with your own cohort, but it can be delayed if you have a really strong reason not to be able to make that particular weekend.  I’ll work with you, we’ll all work with you on that.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you, onto the next question.  Would you recommend this program of study for an older adult student?

Pamela Karr:              I would.  I was an older adult student when I started it.  So, as one who gets to sometimes do the student orientation course, I can really relate to the older learners.  It spans the gamut.  I think we have a bigger diversity of age in the online program than on the on campus program.  That’s not too much of a surprise.

Seth Hayden:               Yeah, no I agree.

Pamela Karr:              You would find people you could relate to sitting there with you in residency one.

Seth Hayden:               And I think our students are maybe a little more advanced in terms of age.  I think the nice thing about that is there’s a lot of life experience that comes with that that can really benefit their work as a healthy professional.  So, we see that as an asset.  And so it’s just something else to think about as we do pride that life experience that students – we apprise all of our students, but those to come in with that life experience, I think that really kind of informs their work as a helping professional as we work with you to shape that into a way that can be constructive.

Pamela Karr:              And they have a lot to offer to the cohorts in discussions groups, so we’re pleased with that.

Seth Hayden:               Absolutely.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you both.  We are right at 1:00, so I do wanna be cognizant of everyone’s time.  We do have several additional questions, so we will move forward with that, but if you are unable to continue with us, we will cover these questions and they will be recorded, so you can definitely take a look after.  But we will go over a few more as we do have several.  Is it possible to start with the Master of Arts in Human Services program and then decide in your final year of that program that you would like to move forward with the Master of Arts in Counseling program instead and make the transition?

Pamela Karr:              There would be a process of actually petitioning to the chair to change tracks.  One of the things that they would look at is the interview questions.  Were you asked the same interview questions that we would have asked, would you be coming into the counseling program?  So, there’s a decision model, but yes it has been done.  Someone will discover that yes, they do like the counseling model and they do wanna use the skills.  So, it does happen.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you.

Pamela Karr:              It’s even easier to change tracks, but it is possible to change degrees.

Adam Hanna:             And that’s where our great support staff comes in handy.  So, if you have those questions, just reach out so that you can make that change.  Our next question is about courses and when they’re offered.  So, as far as the online courses, are they offered at specific times?  If so, when?

Pamela Karr:              Do you mean times of the day or times of the semester I wonder?  Times of the day, it’s asynchronous so that I can – if my best 10-15 hours a week devoted to my course, which you should plan for until you find your faster, can be done any time you need it to be.  You may have some group assignments, small groups with other students and you’ll have to find a time to meet.  And they’ll be times that you all have to meet together when you’re in your internship.

Now not every course is offered every semester.  So, there’s not a lot of choice on student’s part on what course am I gonna take next.  We have a list of courses and in the order that can probably be shared with you from the admissions advisor so that we know everybody’s had the first four courses.  And then everybody has the same next six courses.  And then we move on to track specific courses and clinicals.

Seth Hayden:               The office hours with the instructors, they do tend to be at a specific time.  But apart from that, as Pamela was talking about, the flexibility piece, it’s designed to match your life.  So you devote whatever time works for you throughout the week to be able to complete the assignments and various course elements when needed.  But the interaction with the instructors in terms of the office hours are actually at a specific time.

Adam Hanna:             Thank you both.  We will cover one more question.  I know we do have several additional questions and I will get those to the enrollment advisors.  But if you know who your enrollment advisor is, please feel free to reach out and schedule an appointment and they’re happy to cover those more specific questions.  But we did have several questions about the GRE, how long is it valid and what if my scores will not be in in time?  So, I first I do wanna address how long scores are valid.  Scores are valid within the last five years.  If you’ve taken it outside of that, please follow up with your enrollment advisor to confirm, but the scores do need to be within the last five years in order to be valid.

The other item students were concerned about are GRE scores getting in.  If you do have a scheduled date for your GRE, follow up with your enrollment advisor.  There is a time delay from when you take the GRE from when the scores actually come in.  So, your enrollment advisor can work with you if you are unsure as to when those scores will come in and if you’re unsure as to whether you’ll meet those deadlines.  So, follow if you have it scheduled prior to that November 1 deadline and we’ll talk to you about how to go about getting those scores entered.

Thank you very one for your questions today.  Again, I know we had several additional questions there and we will follow up accordingly.  But I do wanna remind students, again we are currently working with applicants for the Spring 2018 term.  Our application deadline is November 1.  Again, if you have any questions, please follow up with our enrollment advisors.  You can see their contact information on the screen.  If you are unsure of who your enrollment advisor is, please feel free to reach out to me.  Again, my name is Adam.  I’m one of the enrollment coordinators.  I work closely with all of our advisors and you can see my contact information on the screen as well.  But again, thank you for joining us today.  If you have any questions, please reach out and we hope to work with you in the future.

Pamela Karr:              Go deacs.

Seth Hayden:               That’s right and I wish everyone well regardless of if you’re part of our program or not.  Certainly wish you all well as you’re considering next steps in your journey.  So, it’s great to have the opportunity to share information about our program and I wish you well in your future personal and professional goals.

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