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Program Overview

The Master of Arts Counseling degree consists of a minimum of sixty (60) semester hours of course work designed to prepare professionals to counsel in a variety of settings. Two foci areas are currently available to students:  addictions counseling and school counseling. Courses promote the acquisition of the knowledge and skill development in the eight core areas listed in the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The school program is CACREP accredited. A limited number of students are admitted each year and placement is competitive.

The student’s culminating experiences include a written comprehensive exam, videotaped evidence of skill, and theory integration supported by a comprehensive portfolio. Students have considerable latitude in selecting internship sites to maximize their experience in line with specific career goals with at least 700 hours of internship experience.

Completion of the school emphasis meets Idaho school counseling certification requirements.  Initial licensure for Professional Counselors in Idaho requires a master’s degree of 60 semester hours with 1000 hours of supervised experience and passing the National Counselor Examination (NCE). The Boise State University program prepares students to begin this licensure process.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote human development through training graduate level professional counselors who are qualified to practice in educational, private, and public settings and counselor educators who advance the profession through leadership, teaching, scholarship, advocacy, and service. 


Addictions Focus Program Overview

The Addictions focus is designed to prepare professionals in substance abuse education and prevention or intervention settings. The degree program offers coursework that may meet the didactic experiences required to become a nationally credentialed Master Addictions Counselor (MAC) and an Advanced Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ACACD).


School Counseling Focus Program Overview

The School Counseling focus is designed to prepare professionals in education and related careers to become professional counselors at the elementary, middle and secondary school levels.  For Idaho Certification as a School Counselor, graduates must complete 700 clock hours of field experience (600 need to be in a K-12 setting).


Master’s Program Format

Students are admitted in the fall as a group cohort. Full-time graduate faculty teach, work with students on research projects, and supervise practicum and internship experiences. Adjunct faculty with specific expertise provide delivery of additional special topics, courses, and site supervision. The Student Handbook can provide more information on the cohort system, required classes, and class sequence.


Class Scheduling

A minimum of six credit hours of coursework is offered each fall and spring semester in evenings or weekends to accommodate students who are employed. Summer sessions involve a commitment of six to seven credits and are offered during the weekdays, evenings, or weekends.


Experiential Component

The practicum and internship sequence is central to the preparation of counselors and is integral to this degree. During the second year, students participate in practica under close supervision to provide a range of counseling services. The third year includes a 700 clock-hour internship.


Operating Philosophy

The purpose of the counseling program is to recruit and graduate students who possess  the desire and the skills to meet the challenges of the evolving roles of the counseling profession.  As a highly ethical professional team, we are competent, respectful, and responsive counselor educators who maintain an adaptive environment that is educationally challenging and supportive of our students and colleagues.  We believe in consensus in a nurturing and collaborative Department that promotes academic rigor, professionalism, and quality student outcomes.

The required core of theory and professional issue classes blend with practicum/internship to integrate the academic and practical aspects of counselor training.  Required learner outcomes are based on the 2009 eight core areas and specialty area student learning outcomes of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The counselor preparation faculty views effective counselors in any setting as skilled helpers who have a realistic sense of personal identity and professional ethics with an obvious commitment to refining their knowledge, attitudes, and skills for the benefit of clients and the profession of counseling.  This view of professional counselor education is congruent with Boise State University’s mission statement to prepare students not only for employment and career advancement, but also for participation in society as active, informed citizens.