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Founded in 1905 as the Nebraska State Normal School at Kearney, the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) is the Kearney campus of the University of Nebraska system. U.S. News & World Report ranked UNK as the ninth best public regional university in the Midwest. Additionally, UNK has an eCampus that offers online graduate and undergraduate degrees as well as a blended-learning (face-to-face and online) Driver Education endorsement program. The Guide to Online Schools’ 2013 Online College Rankings listed the eCampus number eight among all national online universities.
University of Nebraska at Kearney Accreditation Details
The University of Nebraska at Kearney is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (NCA). In addition, the psychology and counseling programs are nationally accredited by the IRCEPT and ISPA as well as the NCATE, CACREP, NASP and NCA.
University of Nebraska at Kearney Application Requirements
Undergraduates must submit a completed application form and pay the $45 nonrefundable application fee. Applicants are also required to complete either the SAT or ACT test and arrange for the score to be sent directly to UNK. The school also requires an official high school transcript to be sent directly to them prior to determining admission. Graduate students seeking a master’s degree in counseling are required to complete the online application and pay the $45 nonrefundable application fee. Applicants must also submit official transcripts from all previously attended academic institutions, a vita with requested information, responses to three diversity vignettes and an essay that discusses the applicant’s motivation for becoming a school psychologist or counselor. In addition, three electronic references are required.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduates pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology In-state graduate students will pay $191.75 per credit hour and $1,572 in fees per year. Out-of-state graduate costs range from $191.75 per credit hour for students residing in KS and CO to $288 per credit hour for students residing in WI, OH, ND, MO, MN, MI, IN and IL to $417.75 per credit hour for all other students. Undergraduate students may be eligible for scholarships, parent loans, student loans, grants and federal work-study programs to help offset the cost of tuition. In order for graduate students to be eligible for financial aid, they must gain acceptance into a program and enroll in at least four credit hours. UNK encourages graduate applicants to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the types of aid available for graduates include scholarships, loans and grants.
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Psychology and Counseling Degrees Available
The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers an undergraduate degree in psychology as well as a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, a master’s degree in school counseling and a master’s degree in school psychology. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree may choose from either a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology option or a Bachelor of Science in Psychology option. The 120-credit-hour B.A. in Psychology consists of core psychology courses such as experimental psychology and behavioral statistics. Students are also required to choose from courses such as memory and cognition, sensation and perception, learning and conditioning, physiological psychology and biopsychology. In order to graduate, students must also complete required laboratory courses and seven credit hours of electives.
The Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree from UNK is also a 120- or 122-credit-hour program, depending on the electives chosen by the student. Students must complete at least 12 hours in psychology core requirements, six hours in psychology requirements and fill out their degree with courses in adult development and aging, adolescent psychology, experimental child psychology, cross-cultural psychology and industrial psychology. Seven credit hours of electives are also required for the B.S. in Psychology degree.
The Master of Science in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program also meets the academic requirements for students to be eligible to sit for the Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP) licensing exam regulated by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The program is designed to prepare clinically skilled and knowledgeable counselors who are competent to advocate for and work with diverse clients in a range of settings. The program offers a strong emphasis in rural mental health and helps students develop a strong professional identity through competent and ethical practice as well as self-awareness. The 60-credit-hour degree includes three credit hours of electives as well as required courses in multicultural counseling, adult development, addictions counseling, child and adolescent development, research methods in psychology and education, marriage and family counseling, group counseling, theories of counseling and diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders.
UNK also offers a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling for elementary-level professionals as well as an M.S. in Education in School Counseling for secondary-level professionals. Both counselor education programs are designed to prepare students for work within elementary and secondary schools. Counselors may also be involved in preventative and crisis counseling, helping students deal with issues that range from alcohol and drug abuse to suicide and death. Graduates will have the ability to design and implement program evaluations, be able to understand how to coordinate the guidance curriculum within the school’s curriculum. Students also gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be able to advocate for students. The 43-credit-hour school counseling programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Nebraska State Department of Education.
The master’s degree in school psychology is accredited by the International School Psychology Association (ISPA) National Association of School Psychology (NASP). The education specialist degree meets the academic requirements regulated by the National Association of School Psychologists, allowing graduates to sit for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist exam. Students are required to participate in 300 hours of professional development activities as part of the agree in order to ensure exposure to a wide variety of knowledge, skills and contemporary issues beyond that was is covered in the classroom. This 72-credit-hour degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney includes an internship in school psychology, a practicum, a scholarly study and required courses in school psychology, multicultural counseling, techniques of counseling, infant/preschool assessment, professional issues, child and adolescent development and interventions, advanced educational psychology and research methods in psychology and education.