What is a Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision?

| Staff Writers

A doctorate in counselor education and supervision degree program is designed for educational counselors and leaders. This degree program teaches educators how to train college students to become counselors. It also helps participants gain advanced clinical and supervision skills within the practice of professional counseling. These programs usually take two to three years to complete. An accredited master’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work or related field will be required.

Program Overview

Doctorate in counselor education and supervision programs may be designed for working professionals who are currently licensed counselors, or they may be designed for recent graduates who are eligible to apply for licensure in their states. Some programs are open to anyone who has the professional background and motivation required to achieve a high level of competency in the field of counseling. These programs usually have a prescribed progression of coursework that becomes quite difficult. Most programs require an internship and dissertation project to be completed. A common theme of most programs is the integration of counseling skills and strategies with scientific foundations and psychological theories. Online programs will most likely require a few one-week sessions of on-campus residencies or instructional workshops. All legitimate programs will be recognized by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP). We have compiled a list of all online CACREP accredited programs here: The Complete List of CACREP Accredited Online Doctoral Programs, Ranked by Affordability 2016

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Learning Outcomes

Graduates of these programs should become confident and competent counseling professionals. They will know how to appropriately respond to legal, ethical and interpersonal issues in education settings. Graduates will know how to appropriately address diversity and cultural issues for various clients. They will know how to apply advanced practice skills to solve complex and difficult personal, social and academic programs. Graduates are trained to create and maintain a professional pedagogical identity that is reflective of current teaching and counselor practices. Graduates learn how to develop contextually accurate plans and responses to sensitive or intense supervisory situations using evidence based models. Graduates of these programs will be fully prepared to develop effective leadership skills, promote client-based advocacy, critique effective research practices and recommend strategies appropriate to individual situations.

Sample Curriculum

These doctorate degree programs will introduce students to leadership, program evaluation and professional consultation concepts and practices. Students will increase their knowledge of how educational consultations work in schools, colleges, community agencies and mental health settings. Most classes use a variety of practical discussions and assignments to explore leadership theories, consultation models, evaluation models, school processes, program methods and professional issues. Students are able to synthesize knowledge through analyzing case studies and real-life examples. Classwork on advanced counseling theories helps students to know how and when to use them in specific settings and situations. Students are encouraged to develop integrated problem solving models that are best suited to their professional style, method and identity. Students are introduced to a wide range of theories that include traditional schools of thought, such as Freud’s psychoanalysis and Rogers’ humanism, as well as contemporary theories, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT).

Graduates of doctorate in counselor education and supervision programs will become competent teachers who understand cultural dynamics, adult learning theories, effective work methods, different learning styles and proven teaching methods.

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