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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2014-03-13

Counselor Education MA



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

The College of Education and Human Performance offers a Master of Arts in Counselor Education with programs in School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling. The School Counseling MA is designed for the student who has a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than education who plans to seek certification as a professional school counselor in pre-K through postsecondary school settings. The Mental Health Counseling MA program prepares students for licensure in mental health counseling and practice in community agencies, hospitals, colleges, universities, and private practice.

The curricula for these degrees comply with the standards for state and national accrediting groups and certification or licensure requirements. More importantly, the curriculum is designed to prepare students to be effective entry-level counselors in a variety of settings (school, agency, hospital, religious, business and industry, community mental health, college/university). The Counselor Education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The School Counseling track is approved by the Florida Department of Education for School Counselor Certification.

Criteria for awarding the degree require that candidates demonstrate the following program goals (program objectives are found on each course syllabi):

  1. Knowledge and understanding of the nature and needs of individuals and families at all developmental levels;

  2. ability to examine personal feelings, cognitions, beliefs and behaviors in relation to their professional development and to be receptive to new learning and experiences;

  3. knowledge and understanding of major counseling theories and their uses in school and community settings including cognitive, affective and behavioral approaches and counseling interventions explained by these theories;

  4. ability to explain and critique a research model including problem identification, objectives, hypotheses, method and design, implications and conclusions;

  5. understanding operational structure of schools or agencies to implement a counseling program;

  6. understand group development, dynamics and methods and the ability to design and conduct effective structured and unstructured groups;

  7. knowledge and understanding program development - rationale, needs assessment, objectives, implementation strategies and program evaluation procedures;

  8. understanding basic concepts and principles of assessment and evaluation and ability to select, administer and interpret interest, aptitude, personality and intelligence tests;

  9. understanding counseling and consultation process and development of appropriate counseling skills for work with clients from a variety of special populations;

  10. understanding current issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society and acceptance and respect for individuals of varying ethnic, cultural, religious and economic backgrounds;

  11. understanding aspects of professional functions (testing, role organizational structure, credentialing) and an understanding of the Ethical Standards of the American Counseling Association and the ability to solve ethical problems which arise in the practice of counseling;

  12. understanding career development and interrelationships among work, family and other life factors;

  13. in-depth knowledge in students' areas of particular interest; and ability to work with clients as demonstrated in closely supervised practica and internship settings.

Curriculum


Track Curriculum: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The CACREP accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling track in the Counselor Education MA program prepares students for Florida licensure in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. As such, students must be formally admitted to the program in order to take program area courses. The program requires a minimum of 63 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including 6 credit hours of core courses, 39 credit hours of specialization (including a 3 credit hour elective), 12 credit hours of professional clinical experiences, and 6 credit hours of electives in either the nonthesis or thesis option.

Required Courses—45 Credit Hours

Core—6 Credit Hours

  • EDF 6155 Lifespan Human Development and Learning (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 6481 Fundamentals of Graduate Research in Education (3 credit hours)

Specialization—39 Credit Hours

  • MHS 5005 Introduction to the Counseling Profession (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6020 Mental Health Care Systems (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6070 Diagnosis and Treatment in Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6220 Individual Psychoeducational Testing I (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6400 Theories of Counseling and Personality (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6401 Techniques of Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6420 Foundations of Multicultural Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6450 Addictions Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6470 Human Sexuality and Relationships (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6500 Group Procedures and Theories in Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6702 Ethical and Legal Issues (3 credit hours)
  • SDS 6347 Career Development (3 credit hours)
  • Elective approved by adviser (3 credit hours)

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours 

  • EGC 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

  • Two approved electives (6 credit hours)

Professional Clinical Experience—12 Credit Hours

The clinical experiences are comprised of two sections, Practicum and Internship.  Both are experiential in nature and are independent learning activities that take place in authentic settings in which students must apply, reflect on, and refine knowledge and skills acquired in the program to their work with actual clients.  The practicum is conducted on campus in the UCF Community Counseling and Research Center and the Internship is conducted at various clinical sites around central Florida.

  • MHS 6803 Practicum in Counselor Education (3 credit hours)*
  • MHS 6803 Practicum in Counselor Education (3 credit hours)*
  • MHS 6830 Counseling Internship (3 credit hours)**
  • MHS 6830 Counseling Internship (3 credit hours)**

* Prerequisites for MHS 6803 Practicum in Counselor Education are the following: MHS 5005, MHS 6070, MHS 6400, MHS 6401, MHS 6500, and MHS 6702. A minimum of 27 credit hours are required prior to beginning the Practicum.

** The prerequisite for MHS 6830 Counseling Internship is a "B" or better in all sections of MHS 6803 as well as MHS 6420.

Additional Program Requirements

  • Achieve at least a GPA of 3.0 in counseling specialization courses.
  • Achieve a “B” or better in MHS 5005, MHS 6401, MHS 6803, and MHS 6830.
  • Complete a total of 800 hours of clinical experiences, 200 of which will be in the UCF Community Counseling and Research Center and 600 of which are field-based experiences in the community.
  • Complete a portfolio and receive approval by Counselor Education faculty.
  • Complete a professional exit examination.
  • Given the experiential, competency, and performance-based nature of the courses taken by Counselor Education students, students are limited to taking a maximum of three (3) courses per semester.  However, if students believe that they can verify a need to take more than three courses, they should consult with their academic adviser for additional guidelines.  Students who have not received prior approval and who register for more than three courses per semester will be administratively dropped from any courses over the maximum allowed. 

Track Curriculum: School Counseling

The CACREP accredited School Counseling track in the Counselor Education MA program prepares students for certification as a professional school counselor. As such, students must be formally admitted to the program in order to take any program area courses.  The program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including 6 credit hours of core courses, 30 credit hours of specialization, 9 credit hours of DOE required certification courses, 9 credit hours of professional clinical experiences, and 6 credit hours of electives in either the nonthesis or thesis option.

Required Courses—45 Credit Hours

Core—6 Credit Hours

  • EDF 6155 Lifespan Human Development and Learning (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 6481 Fundamentals of Graduate Research in Education (3 credit hours)

Specialization—30 Credit Hours

  • MHS 5005 Introduction to the Counseling Profession (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6220 Individual Psychoeducational Testing I (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6400 Theories of Counseling and Personality (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6401 Techniques of Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6420 Foundations of Multicultural Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • MHS 6500 Group Procedures and Theories in Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • SPS 6815 Legal and Ethical Issues in Professional School Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • SDS 6347 Career Development (3 credit hours)
  • SDS 6411 Counseling with Children and Adolescents (3 credit hours)
  • SDS 6620 Coordination of Comprehensive Professional School Counseling Programs (3 credit hours)

DOE Certification—9 Credit Hours

  • TSL 5085 Teaching Language to Minority Students in K-12 Classrooms (3 credit hours)
  • RED 5147 Developmental Reading (3 credit hours)
  • EDG 6415 Principles of Instruction and Classroom Management (3 credit hours)

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours 

  • EGC 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

  • Two approved electives (6 credit hours)

Professional Clinical Experience—9 Credit Hours

The clinical experiences are comprised of two sections, Practicum and Internship. Both are experiential in nature and are independent learning activities that take place in authentic settings in which students must apply, reflect on, and refine knowledge and skills acquired in the program to their work with actual clients and students. The practicum is conducted on campus in the UCF Community Counseling and Research Center and the internship is conducted at various schools around central Florida.

  • MHS 6803 Practicum in Counselor Education (3 credit hours)*
  • SDS 6947 Internship in Professional School Counseling (3 credit hours)**
  • SDS 6947 Internship in Professional School Counseling (3 credit hours)**

* Prerequisites for MHS 6803 Practicum in Counselor Education are the following: MHS 5005, MHS 6400, MHS 6401, MHS 6500, and SPS 6815. MHS 6420 and SDS 6411 are also pre or co-requisites for MHS 6803. A minimum of 27 credit hours are required prior to beginning the practicum.

** The prerequisites for SDS 6947 Internship in Professional School Counseling include SPS 6815, a "B" or better in MHS 6803, and completion of MHS 6420.

Additional Program Requirements

  • Achieve at least a GPA of 3.0 in counseling specialization courses.
  • Achieve a “B” or better in MHS 5005, MHS 6401, MHS 6803 and SDS 6947.
  • Complete a total of 700 hours of clinical experiences, 100 of which will be in the UCF Community Counseling and Research Center and 600 of which are field-based experiences in a school setting.
  • Complete a portfolio and receive approval by Counselor Education faculty.
  • Complete a professional exit examination.
  • Given the experiential, competency, and performance-based nature of the courses taken by Counselor Education students, students are limited to taking a maximum of three (3) courses per semester.  However, if students believe that they can verify a need to take more than three courses, they should consult with their advisor for additional guidance.  Students who have no received prior approval and who register for more than three courses per semester will be administratively dropped from any courses over the maximum allowed.

Timeline for Completion

Progress through the Program

Your progress through the program is developed to meet individual needs. Progress through the program will be less stressful if you remember the following guidelines:

  • Become familiar with University policies/procedures for graduate students.

  • Know your advisor. Personally meet with your advisor early in your coursework.

  • Know the academic year, special dates, holidays, etc., both for the University and for the program.

  • Because this program is competency and performance-based, coursework frequently invites students to deal with personal and professional issues, both situational and developmental in nature. Some courses will allow students the opportunity of taking psychological assessment instruments in order to learn how to interpret them. Others will contain small group activities that may foster self-disclosure. These tests and experiences are considered to be an integral part of the counseling students total growth process. Therefore, students will be required to take part in these experiences as training components of the program. If there are concerns regarding these experiences, seek the counsel of your advisor. If personal and professional issues arise during such in-class experiences that students feel a need to explore more fully, it will be recommended that they seek counseling at the University Counseling and Testing Center.

  • As professionals who adhere to the ethical standards of the profession, faculty are committed to an on-going screening process designed to assist students whose issues interfere significantly with their progress in the program.

  • When faculty members identify students with developmental or remedial issues, they will be referred to the appropriate campus resource coordinated through the Students Academic Resource Services (SARS).

Examination Requirements

Masters Final Comprehensive Examination Process

The comprehensive examination process includes completion of the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE), by the last semester and typically after completion of the content courses, and a presentation of their portfolio during their final internship. The cutoff score may change due to the changing means of the test. Contact the program office for the current cutoff score. The internship instructor in consultation with their advisor assigns a “pass” or “fail” grade.

Program Evaluation

The UCF Counselor Education program faculty seeks to continually evaluate the program in order to provide quality training to students and to protect the interests of clients. To determine factors that are related to counselor effectiveness, counselor education practices and supervision of counseling, students in the counselor education program will be given various questionnaires and instruments assessing a variety of variables including, but not limited to, self-efficacy, wellness, relationship dimensions, and counseling skills/knowledge. These instruments will be administered at various times throughout the students' program. While the primary reason for data collection is an ethical obligation to show effectiveness in teaching and learning and to monitor the outcomes of counselor trainee’s impact on individuals seen in the clinic to insure that the training program advantages community members who seek services from the CCC, the data base will be available to faculty and students for research purposes. Hard copy data is stored under lock and key by college staff and electronic data is stored on a secure server with restricted access controlled by the Clinical Research Associate and Program Coordinator. While data is maintain by these individual in a confidential manner data is released for authorized research with data in a form that does not allow for individual identification.

Thesis Requirements

University Thesis Requirements

A thesis is optional for this program; the following information is intended for those choosing to complete a thesis.

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for thesis formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by thesis students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final thesis document by final submission deadline

Students must format their thesis according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Thesis Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the thesis process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu.

Portfolio

Introduction and Rationale

The portfolio was developed so that students will develop connections between courses and integrate knowledge. When completed, the portfolio becomes a resource for students to review their learning and identify areas of strength and weakness. It serves as a way of determining if state and national standards have been covered in the student’s preparation. In their professional life, students can utilize the portfolio to build confidence and credibility and to shape the direction of their careers. In addition, the portfolio encourages students to develop depth in areas of interest and specialty. It helps them connect their learning to career opportunities since the portfolio requires the development of a professional resume and asks them to focus on specific populations and diagnostic groups. In addition, it provides a medium for faculty to encourage extracurricular learning. By requiring extracurricular activities as part of the portfolio, it is expected that students will become more involved with those in the field and strengthen their professional identities. For the graduate faculty, the portfolio will provide an assessment tool. From it, we will begin to see if the curriculum is meeting the goals of the program. It allows us to take a look at a student’s development from the beginning of a student's preparation to their completion and recognize growth. Second, the portfolio helps us gain a better understanding of the student's outside activities in volunteer work or other external learning experiences and therefore provides a stronger basis for faculty recommendations.

Format and Contents of the Portfolio

The portfolio is not just a collection; it is an organized, structured argument stating the student has developed competencies in several categories during the program. The portfolio can be presented in notebook form using plastic sheet covers or any other methods including a computer presentation. Every portfolio should have an introductory section which contains a curriculum vita (or resume), a detailed table of contents and a one page Introduction and Values Statement.

The Statement should summarize the student’s philosophy of counseling and values (belief and guiding principles). In addition should provide an overview of the portfolio. The binder should be no more than 3 inches thick and contents should be placed in sections by competencies. Do not use plastic sheet protectors. Each area of competency should be tabled and labeled. For each competency, the two-page Portfolio Reflection Form is required. It identifies the products in each section and asks the student to look back in that particular area and discuss his/her progress and growth during their time in the program and plans for the future. The following is a list of items that a student may wish to utilize in making the case that he or she has achieved proficiency in that area:

  1. Audio or videotaped counseling sessions, presentations, interviews or programs.
  2. Research Papers produced
  3. Letters of reference
  4. Field Experiences summarized and verified.
  5. Conferences and Workshops attended and verified.
  6. Written transcripts of interviews
  7. Computer printouts, e-mails, spreadsheets and web pages.
  8. Audio or videotaped
  9. Other work Products
  10. Students are to include rubrics used to grade assignments when these are available.

Presenting and Evaluating the Portfolio

The student begins constructing the portfolio in the Introduction to the Counseling Profession class, MHS5005. The faculty will review the portfolio on two occasions. The advisor reviews the portfolio when the student applies for Practicum I. When the student files the practicum application, the advisor must certify that the portfolio has been reviewed. Finally in the internship class, the student will present the portfolio and the internship instructor and the student’s advisor will evaluate it. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule the presentation and invite the academic advisor. These two faculty members make a joint recommendation to the program faculty in the Counselor Education Program as to whether the portfolio should be accepted or rejected based on the rubric. If the portfolio is rejected, the faculty as a whole will design a remediation plan for the student. When the plan is complete, the faculty again votes on the acceptability of the portfolio.

Listed below are the seven competencies needed to pass the oral defense of the portfolio. Beneath each competency is a listing of suggestions for items that might serve as evidence. For each area, the student is to submit the required elements and one other element of his or her choosing. Required items are marked with an asterisk (*).

Areas of Competency/Proficiency

1. Professional Identity and Ethics (CACREP II K.1.) (FEAP 6, 11)

Contents include:

  • Evidence of involvement in a professional organization,
  • conferences attended, papers, presentations,
  • *responses to cases on ethical and legal issues.
  • A professional disclosure form that discloses experience, degrees as a client handout,
  • *professional identification position paper or similar material.
  • A professional resume
  • Evidence of continuous improvement, continuing education
  • A personal development plan for continuing education
  • A paper on the role of the counselor
  • Interviews with counselors and administrators about the counseling profession

2. Social and Cultural Diversity and Human Development Across the Life Span (CACREP II K. 2, 3) (FEAP 5, 7)

Contents include:

  • *Evidence of clinical experiences with culturally and developmentally different clients in practicum and internship
  • One or more papers on cultural diversity
  • Development of a guidance unit on understand and interacting with human differences
  • Foreign travel and other cross-cultural experiences
  • Interviews with persons from special populations,
  • journal entries, personal reaction papers,
  • assessment/treatment plans for specific cases with cultural videotapes of real or role-played sessions with clients from an ethnic group different from the student’s own background.
  • Papers dealing with differences in religion, race, culture and gender, sexuality
  • Evidence of ability to utilize theories of human development to assess and help clients

3. Use of Technology and Assessment Skills (CACREP II K. 4, 7) (FEAP 1, 2)

Students will show evidence of ability to:

  • *Use word-processing, computerized therapeutic record keeping, e-mail and the use of the world wide web to search for treatment alternatives and support groups evidence of ability to administer and interpret tests for career development or assessment of personality or achievement
  • Evidence of ability to utilize computer assisted career development programs
  • Ability to use specialized assessment and interview techniques for clients with particular disorders.

4. Clinical, Consultation and Communication Skills (CACREP II. K. 5, 6, 7) (FEAP 2, 4, 8, 9,10) *(Note: if is required for school counselors) (one optional element required)

Students will provide the following evidence of effective counseling and consulting:

  • *Final transcript from techniques class
  • Feedback from supervisors in practicum and internship *
  • Peer feedback
  • Treatment plans from practicum or internship or guidance units
  • Video from practicum or classroom guidance unit showing ability to stimulate critical thinking skills in students or clients.
  • Evidence of ability to create a positive learning environment through videotape of classroom guidance or through live supervision or live evaluation.
  • Feedback from observations by faculty and onsite supervisors
  • Evidence of ability to stimulate problem solving
  • Evidence of ability to work with parents, teachers, and other counselors, physicians and treatment providers.
  • *Evidence of ability to work effectively with groups
  • Evidence of ability to help clients solve career related problems

5. Specialty (such as adolescence, marriage and family therapy, play therapy etc.) (CACREP II G & H) (FEAP 8) (all elements in this area required- no optional element needed)

Students will show both academic and practical experiences in working with the chosen Specialty as follows:

  • *Transcript of client interviews using special knowledge
  • *Paper, workshop on the specialty area or treatment plans from practicum or internship that demonstrate this competency.

6. Personal Growth and Wellness (FEAP 3)

Students must demonstrate that they have attempted to grow personally and engage in self examination and reflection:

  • This must include eight counseling sessions which may be individual, group, couple or family counseling with a licensed professional.
  • Students fulfill this requirement by presenting reaction papers based on the reflective practitioner model.
  • In-service training experiences,
  • evaluations of personal health and wellness.
  • *A personal wellness plan and
  • *A plan for continuous improvement and lifelong learning

Note: Each student must develop a wellness plan for their time in the program and as they begin their career. The plan will be developed as a requirement in MHS 5005 in consultation with the professor. The plan must be approved by the student’s advisor at least three times throughout the program.

7. Research and Program Evaluation (CACREP II K. 8) (FEAP 1)

  • *Student demonstrates ability to conduct program evaluations for specific services in a school, mental health or marriage and family setting and outcome measures for individual clients
  • *Student is able to write a literature review utilizing scholarly tools and APA style
  • Student collaborates with faculty in conducting research
  • Student is able to write a research proposal
  • Student is a participant in a research study
  • Student fills out Institutional Review Board paperwork
  • Student presents research at a conference
  • Student attends three conference presentations on research topics

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see their website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance.

UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu >Policies>General Graduate Policies.

Financial Support

Limited financial aid opportunities in the form of grants, loans, assistantships, and fellowships are available for graduate students. Students should apply for all assistance programs that interest them. More than one award is sometimes possible. Students are automatically considered for College of Education and Human Performance fellowships upon completion of their program application. Some named scholarships are available after matriculation. Check with your advisor or other faculty members in the Department of Child, Family, and Community Sciences for employment possibilities associated with grants or graduate assistantships.

For additional information about funding for graduate school, please visit the Funding for Graduate School section of the College of Graduate Studies student website at www.students.graduate.ucf.edu.

If you are interested in applying for loans or externally funded need-based awards, visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website at finaid.ucf.edu and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available January 1 each year.

Graduate Student Associations

CHI SIGMA IOTA

www.csi-net.org

Chi Sigma Iota is an academic honorary society specifically in the area of graduate programs in counselor education. The association is very active and provides opportunities for professional development for students and professionals in the Central Florida area.

Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

Professional Associations

Students and counseling professionals should belong to professional associations after they earn their degrees if they are to stay current in the field and keep abreast of new trends and issues. Active participation in professional associations is vital to professional success. At a minimum, each graduate student is expected to join at least one organization. Membership dues are usually less for students and members receive professional newsletters, journals and announcements of professional activities. All students are encouraged to join the American Counseling Association (ACA). Students may call 1-800-347-6647 (ACA) or go online to www.counseling.org to obtain an application form. Many other professional associations exist for students to join including the American Mental Health Counselors Association, the American School Counselor Association, the Association for Play Therapy, the National Career Development Association, and the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. Most national organizations have state divisions that students may join.

Professional Development

University Student Counseling Center

The University Counseling Center offers a professional staff of counselors and psychologists to assist students through educational, vocational, and career counseling; and personal, social, relationship, marriage and family counseling. The Center presents special programs throughout the year, including training in relaxation and coping skills, self-hypnosis training, stress reduction training and group psychotherapy. All Center services are free to UCF students.

Licensure and Certification

Depending on the degree program, graduate students in the Counselor Education Program will be qualified at the completion of the degree with all necessary course work to apply for either Florida Certification as School Counselors, and/or as Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselors, and/or Florida Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, if they have completed all Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy Graduate Certificate courses prior to graduation. The latter two have additional post-degree requirements.

Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists must be licensed in the State of Florida to practice their profession. Licensure not only entitles counselors to practice counseling, it also demonstrates that counselors are legally mental health professionals or marriage and family therapists. All students should be planning their programs so that they will be eligible to take the licensure exam in the future. Information on licensure may be obtained by contacting the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling at 850-488-0595 or www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/491/soc_lic_req.html. School counselors must be certified by the Florida Department of Education (www.fldoe.org) to serve in a school.

To apply for certification, an application can be picked up at the Office of Student Affairs.

Counseling Credentials Currently Available

In addition to licensure and school Counselor certification, many other credentials are available to counselors. All students should review the list that follows and write for information if there are credentials available that seem appropriate to their particular interests. At a minimum, all students should plan to become National Certified Counselors through the National Board of Certified Counselors after graduation.

If students investigate requirements and inform themselves of various credentials while they still are in graduate school, often they can select electives and sites for practica and internships that will meet credential requirements.

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
171 K. Street, NW #407
Washington, DC 20006
202-429-1825

American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists
Eleven Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20036
202-462-1171

The American Art Therapy Association, Inc.
1980 Isaac Newton Squire, South
Reston, Virginia 22090
703-437-6012

American Association for Music Therapy
Post Office Box 359
Springfield, New Jersey 08081
201-379-1100

American Dance Therapy Association
2000 Century Plaza
Columbia, Maryland 21044
301-997-4040

Certification Board for Addiction Professionals of Florida
1715 South Gadsden Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
850-222-6314
www.cbapg.org

National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc.
3-D Terrace Way
Greensboro, N.C. 27403
919-547-0607
www.nbcc.org

Instructor Training and Development

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. They offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
    This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

For more information: www.fctl.ucf.edu > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.  

Graduate Research Forum

The Graduate Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines. It is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact researchweek@ucf.edu.

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. The university award will be forwarded to a national-level competition sponsored by the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) when the thesis discipline corresponds to the annual submission request.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies website www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.

Other

Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Fellowship section at www.graduate.ucf.edu.

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: www.csgs.org > Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.ucf.edu/gradwriting.php.

Job Search

UCF Career Services and Experiential Learning Center

The UCF Career Resource Center (www.crc.ucf.edu) assists students in looking for professional positions as they near graduation. Students should tell all of their professors if they are looking for a position. Many job leads are passed informally to professors. If faculty members know students are searching, they will assist students in any way possible. The College of Education and Human Performance and the University hold a number of job fairs throughout the year. For information on these job fairs contact the UCF Career Resource Center.

Forms

  • College of Graduate Studies Forms
    A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student.Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).

Explanation:

The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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