The history of George Fox University reflects the settlement of the lush wine-growing region in Oregon's Chehalem Valley. Founded in 1885 as the Pacific Academy, then reconstituted in Sept. 9, 1891 as Pacific College, then renamed George Fox University in 1949, the school honored a historically significant Quaker leader. Accredited in 1962, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities endorsed the University's degree programs. Unchanged in some ways since inception, the small scale and intimate style of class instruction remains to this day, with a current 13:1 student to faculty ratio. The University reaches for fundamental educational excellence while blending Christian themes into ethical and responsible scholarship.
The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health is a professional degree that establishes graduates as mental health counselors. Approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (CACREP) and the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, public and private organizations accept the program's graduates in the vital role of restoring mental health and wellness.
Offered at the Salem and Portland campuses, the 60 credit hour course of study prepares the student to sit for the national licensure exams for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The program is available in 2, 3 or 4-year options for full or part time study. The curriculum satisfies Oregon and similar state education requirements for licensure.
The M.A. Marriage and Family Counseling degree prepares students to sit for required licenses and the national licensure exam to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and the national licensure exam to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The dual approach recognizes the separate disciplines of individual and marriage counseling.
The mission of marriage counseling is an intricate one, often called upon in formal proceedings, such as legal or family relations proceedings. The training offered by George Fox University fully addresses the need for comprehensive training and preparation. The programs involve 68 semester hours and include 20 hours of personal intensive counseling and therapy, and 700 hours of total supervised clinical work. Current requirements call for 270 hours of marriage counseling clinical experience.
The University designed its M.A. School Counseling program for educators who desire graduate study and preparation for the school counseling profession. The requirements differ for those who do not have previous teacher certification; it requires additional core teaching curriculum elements. The program meets the requirements of the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) granted accreditation. Involving the role of teacher, educator and counselor, these demanding positions also must relate to parents and guardians, and to the general public. Often called upon to prevent or resolve difficult situations, communications skills, sensitivity, and awareness are vital parts of this important school function. The curriculum provided coursework in the social and educational aspects of school environments, and a hard focus on problem solving skills. School counselors must have a facility with management information systems and data. The role involves advocacy for students, groups, and broad social aspects of student life. The school counselor must be able to assess impacts of systems and procedures on student welfare and recommend improvements in educational environments.