Master of Arts in Counseling
College of Professional Studies
The Master of Arts in Counseling program is designed to develop highly competent mental health counselors who are skilled in the delivery of direct service, knowledgeable about current empirical and theoretical developments, and capable of critically evaluating clinical research. The program follows a competency-based, practitioner model and is designed for adult learners who are seeking state licensure in mental health counseling. The practitioner model places primary emphasis on the preparation of students for productive careers as professionals in clinical counseling settings. Coursework and supervised practical experiences provide the opportunity to learn and develop skills in the assessment of problem behavior and in interventions with children, adults, couples, families and groups. Incorporated into this approach is exposure to ethical, professional, and inter-professional issues. Faculty in the Master of Arts in Counseling program are practicing professionals in the field of mental health counseling. This expertise provides a rich, hands-on environment for learning and developing skills with the faculty as facilitators and coaches. Teaching and learning are shared experiences between instructors and students.
Doane University's Master of Counseling program plans to seek specialized program accreditation through The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Obtaining this accreditation is not guaranteed and, if granted, may not occur in a timeframe in which to be applicable to your degree. Applicants should consider this information prior to application and enrollment.
Program Specialty Area
The Doane MAC program is designed to train students in the specialty area of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. It is expected that students will also learn competencies in this specialty area. It is anticipated that the student will develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes appropriate for counseling practice.
Methods of Instruction
The Doane MAC program offers classes designed to fit students needs. Courses are typically offered in 9-week terms to provide flexibility and to help make an already full schedule more manageable and attainable. On campus evening courses meet once per week for each course.
As educational requirements vary by state, students interested in these programs should consult the General Licensure and Certification Disclosure page prior to enrollment. Please be aware that states often have state-specific additional licensure and/ or certification requirements. Students considering relocating should contact their program representative in order to determine if the program meets the new state requirements.
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The Doane Difference
Build Your Personal Identity
An essential ingredient to a successful career as a mental health counselor starts with personal growth. Every student that goes through our program will build a core counseling foundation through personal identity, personal intelligence, self-discovery, and introspection. At Doane, we believe that understanding how to help people starts with understanding yourself.
Build Your Professional Identity
Each student is different. Some enter the program knowing exactly what area of interest within mental health counseling they want to explore. Others want to explore their options. Whatever the area of focus, Doane helps you build an identity around your interests. At Doane, we help future counselors build a professional identity.
Learn By Doing
Not everything can be learned in a classroom. Especially when training to become a counselor. Often a hands-on approach to learning provides a deeper understanding of the material - an understanding that’s tied to real experience. At Doane, you learn how to succeed in helping others by actually helping others.
Student-Driven Field Experience
While some schools only allow their students to practice at campus clinics, Doane gets you out in the field. Our program’s practicum and internship experience are built around real-world expectations and real-life scenarios. At Doane, we set you up with a student-driven, real-world practicum and internship experience.
Relevancy. Is what you’re studying, what you’re learning about, and what you’re doing for your coursework relevant to your actual work? Our instructors are actual counselors that understand what’s relevant to you and your profession. At Doane, what you learn in the classroom and through field experience can be applied directly to your work.
Beyond Prepared When You Graduate
At the end of Doane’s MAC program, you’re prepared for credentialing as a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP) with the option to pursue credentialing as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Throughout the entire program, you decide what type of mental health counselor you’re seeking to become. Not Doane. At Doane, our graduates are beyond prepared to enter the field of counseling.
Mental Health Counselors
2018 Median Pay: $47,790 per year
Job Outlook: 23% from 2016-2026
Mental Health Counselors work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. They help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem and aging.
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
2018 Median Pay: $47,790 per year
Job Outlook: 15% from 2016-2026
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug or other problems, such as gambling or eating disorders. They may counsel individuals, families, or groups and/or engage in prevention programs.
Progress Toward the Degree
Doane University has an opportunity for a limited number of students to receive free tuition and fees to complete the course work for the Provisional Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification (PLADC). The funding is offered through the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) and includes a $750 stipend to purchase a laptop or pay for textbooks. The goal of BHECN’s student-training program is to increase the number of behavioral health professionals in Nebraska, especially in rural and underserved areas. There is a great need for addiction counselors in Nebraska, so career growth is strong.
This opportunity is available to bachelor’s level students and non-degree seeking students. Students apply for funding through BHECN. Undergraduate students complete 8 courses and 300 hours of clinical experience in order to apply for the PLADC. Graduate students in the Master of Arts in Counseling program are eligible to receive for funding for three graduate-level courses that meet the PLADC requirements.
A new degree program, Substance Use Counseling, includes all of the course work for the PLADC. Students who are interested in learning more about the Substance Use Counseling degree, or funding the opportunity through BHECN should contact their advisor to discuss the best course of action.
Upon completion of the program of study, students will demonstrate:
- Knowledge of and the ability to apply the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics to clinical practice
- Knowledge of multicultural and pluralistic differences in society and an understanding of the role of counselors as advocates in the community
- Knowledge of human development and behavior and the ability to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally appropriate strategies for counseling intervention and prevention
- Knowledge of the principles and theories of career counseling and skill in helping clients explore career-focused decisions
- The ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships with clients
- Knowledge of group formation and dynamics and the ability to utilize ethical and culturally relevant strategies in designing groups
- Knowledge of the principles and utilization of appraisal techniques, including gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about individuals
- Knowledge of the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession including the ability to read and critique research
- Self-awareness and the development of a professional identity as a mental health counselor, including the roles and modalities in which counseling is utilized.
I would not be where I am today without Doane in Grand Island. It opened doors. The experience was phenomenal. I’d do it again.
Danna Burchess '14
Accounting | Vice President/BSA Officer, First National Bank of Gillette