WFU Department of Counseling to Add Online Programs
The world has so many people who suffer from mental illness or who are stumbling with life struggles like divorce, job loss, depression, anxiety, or the many other complications of existence. Counselors have a unique skill and knowledge set to support those troubled individuals. We know our graduates are some of the finest counselors in the world. So every admissions season when we are impressed with the number of highly qualified applicants to our programs, we are also sad. Space, personnel and other barriers have prevented us from accepting more than 15 students into the counseling program each year.
We are pleased to announce that we now have a viable expansion option.
In the fall of 2012 the counseling programs in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling will be offered both on campus and online. We want to make the WFU Counseling Programs accessible to working professionals who desire to complete a master’s degree in counseling but cannot leave work for two years to complete the program on campus. More specifics about curriculum, admissions, faculty and other matters are outlined in the following sections. You can also refer to the section on “Frequently Asked Questions” for more information.
The existing campus programs require a minimum of 60 semester hours and are designed for full-time students who complete curricular requirements in two years. The online program also requires a minimum of 60 semester hours but is designed for part-time students who will complete curricular requirement in three years. The courses and clinical requirements will be the same for students in the online programs as for those in the campus programs.
Admission requirements to the campus and online program will be the same. Students will be assessed according to undergraduate GPA, scores on GRE, strength of recommendations, performance on written exercises and indications of potential for success from personal interviews.
Existing and new professors in the Department of Counseling will teach courses in both campus and online programs. The faculty, with the support of the Wake Forest University administration, will preserve the high academic standards of the campus program in the new online program.
Online students will be required to complete two residency experiences. These face-to-face sessions with online students will allow faculty to engage in competency and readiness evaluations as well as to plan and evaluate practicum and internship arrangements. Students will also complete the experiential group requirements of CACREP at this time. A third residency can be required on an as-needed basis pending student performance evaluations.
Students in the online program will take two courses each semester – fall, spring and summer – and can complete degree requirements in nine semesters or three years. Each course will last for eight weeks.
We are excited about this new development and are working diligently with many experts to translate the practices we have honed on campus to a different venue. Perhaps the most important lesson we have learned over the years is the incredibly positive effects our graduates have as they leave us and take a variety of jobs. Their employers always rate them as well trained, highly knowledgeable and extremely competent employees. It is clear the need for counselors continues to grow, thus the nation and indeed the world needs counselors like the ones who graduate from the Wake Forest University Counseling Department.
We hope our new venture into online education allows us to prepare outstanding counselors to help fill the mental health needs where they exist.