Is your program accredited?
Alfred’s campus-based programs in both Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the American Counseling Association and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. CACREP Accreditation provides recognition that the content and quality of the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession.
How many students are accepted each year?
Typically, we can accept up to 15 to 18 beginning full-time students and 2 to 4 beginning part-time students. Students matriculate into the program beginning in the fall semester only.
What are the admissions requirements?
Students must submit the following materials to the Graduate Admissions Office:
- the completed application form and fee;
- three letters of recommendation;
- official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework;
- scores from the GRE general test if undergraduate cumulative GPA is less than a 3.0
- a brief personal statement of your program interest.
In addition, because of the high level of maturity, sensitivity, independence and flexibility necessary in the program, an on-campus interview is required. You'll be contacted for an interview once all application materials have been received.
Wait, so if I have a 3.0 or higher as an undergrad, I don’t have to take the GREs?
Correct. In general, students admitted to the program typically have GPA's of 3.0 or better. This is often the best predictor of success in graduate school. Therefore, Alfred’s graduate programs in Mental Health and School Counseling only require the GRE for applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of less than a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
If, however, your undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.0, and you have other strengths you wish for us to consider, we strongly encourage you to apply, as Alfred utilizes a holistic screening process for admissions. We very much view one’s interpersonal skills, work and volunteer experience, leadership abilities, and motivation towards the profession as significant to one’s success in graduate school and as a Professional Counselor.
For students taking the GRE, we do not require a minimum cutoff score. However, students should strive for at least the 50th percentile for verbal reasoning and a 3.5 for analytical writing.
How long does the program take?
Full time students can complete the program in two years, which entails taking two summer courses. Part-time students who are athletic graduate assistants can complete the program in three years by taking 18 credits per year in addition to the two summer courses of 3 credits each.
Most courses in the curriculum are taught using the traditional on-campus classroom approach. However, the summer counseling courses are taught using a hybrid online/classroomformat which provide the student the flexibility of spending their summer away from campus while adhering to the same requirements of an on-campus class. In addition, a student’s semester credit load is reduced, providing more time to devote to one’s internship and other coursework.
Do I have to select my program right away (school or mental health)?
Students applying to the program should select AU Campus MSEd Counseling as their degree program on the graduate application form. Students do not have to choose their counseling specialty (School Counseling or Mental Health Counseling) until the second semester, as this is when the specialization courses begin.
When are classes taught?
Each class is taught in a three hour block of time, one day per week. Most classes are held during the day; however, there may be a class or two which needs to be taught during an evening block.
Is financial assistance awarded to students who are admitted to the program?
There are three types of assistantships that graduate students may acquire: 1) General graduate assistantships; 2) Enhanced graduate assistantships; 3) Athletic graduate assistantships.
All full time graduate students in counseling are granted a general graduate assistantship, which requires the student to work 7.5 hours per week for a professor or university division. This assistantship reduces 50% of the tuition cost and provides the student with a stipend equal to 25% of the reduced tuition.
Full-time students may instead choose to apply for an enhanced graduate assistantship through the Division of Student Affairs, either as a Residence Hall Director, Weekend Supervisor, or Assistant Coordinator of Leadership Programming. An enhanced graduate assistantship covers 50% of tuition costs and provides the student with a stipend of $3,000 to $5,000 (depending on the exact assistantship), in exchange for working 20 hours per week. Some assistantships provide a furnished on-campus apartment and full meal plan when the University is in session. For more information, please contact the appropriate directors in Residence Life, The Center for Student Involvement, or the Judson Leadership Center.
Students interested in the part-time program may apply for an athletic graduate assistantship, which covers a maximum of 18 credits of tuition per academic year (54 credits, or 90% of one’s tuition) and a stipend in exchange for working 20 hours per week as an assistant coach, athletic trainer, or facilities manager. You may contact the Director of Athletics for more information.
How much practical experience is gained in the program?
All students complete a supervised practicum and internship with the goal of gaining professional counseling experience while developing and refining one’s professional skills and practices. The practicum is a semester-long experience in which students work in a mental health facility or school district and acquire 100 total hours of professional practice, 40 of which are direct service with clients or students.
The practicum also includes a secondary experience in which students provide counseling to area children and families at Alfred University’s Child and Family Services Center under live monitoring and supervision of program faculty, a highlight of our program.
The internship experience occurs over the course of two semesters (in a student’s final year) in which students continue to work at a selected mental health facility or school. The internship experience requires students to accumulate at least 600 total hours, 240 of which are direct service with clients or students.
Does the internship have to be completed in New York State?
No. Since the university is in close proximity to the Pennsylvania border, it is not unusual for students to work in schools or agencies in northern Pennsylvania.
What is the employment outlook for counselors?
Counseling is in demand - The 2015 Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook states that there will be more counseling jobs than graduates from college counseling programs. Money magazine named Professional Counseling among the top 50 jobs in the United States.
The Department of Labor reports that School Counselors earned a median salary of $53,660 in 2015, while Mental Health Counselors brought home a median salary of $43,190. Further, school counseling jobs are projected to grow 8% over the next decade (as fast as average) while mental health counseling jobs are projected to grow 19% over the next decade (much faster than average).
What is the job placement rate of graduates from your Mental Health and School Counseling programs?
The percentage of students who, within six months of earning their degree, obtained employment in counseling or a related field is 96% (class of 2012 through the class of 2015). Most of our students obtain employment as school counselors or mental health counselors within three months of earning their degree. See where our alumni have been hired.
What if I want to work in a state other than New York?
The school counseling and mental health counseling programs are registered with the state of New York and therefore meet the rigorous standards set by New York. Faculty will work with students to make sure that they understand the certification and licensure requirements in New York and in other states upon graduation. Generally, since Alfred’s campus program is CACREP accredited, your degree makes applying for certification or licensure in other states much easier.
Am I eligible to be certified as a School Counselor in New York?
Our school counseling program is registered with New York State’s Education Department. Upon completion of the program, students receive their provisional certification as a K-12 School Counselor, making them eligible for employment as school counselors immediately. Since Alfred’s program is 60 credits, students will have also completed all of the educational requirements for permanent certification in New York, needing only the two years of post-degree experience to gain permanent certification.
Am I eligible to be licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in New York State?
Our mental health counseling program is registered with New York State as a Licensure Qualified Program. Students graduating from our program will have completed all of the educational requirements to obtain their limited permit as a Mental Health Counselor. Graduates will then need to accumulate 3,000 supervised post-graduate contact hours of experience (approximately 2 years) and pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination in order to be fully licensed as a mental health counselor (LMHC).
What is Alfred University's licensure/certification exam pass rate?
Alfred University’s campus-based programs in Mental Health and School Counseling have exceptional pass rates for the different licensure and certification exams. Since 2011, 98% of Alfred’s graduating students sitting for the National Counselor Exam (the licensing exam for a majority of states) have passed this exam, which is well above the national pass rate of 78%. In addition, since 2010, Alfred’s graduating campus-based students who take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (the licensing exam for New York and several other states), have a pass rate of 95%, well above the national pass rate of 68%.
Finally, 100% of Alfred’s campus-based counseling students have passed the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam, which is a requirement of the program and most CACREP programs, as a way to measure a program’s effectiveness in terms of curricular knowledge. The benefit to the student is that the CPCE is viewed as a good preparatory exam for the National Counselor Exam.
Housing in Alfred
Do graduates live on or off campus?
Most graduate students choose to live off campus, although some on-campus housing is available. Those who do live on campus often have graduate assistantships with the Residence Life Office.
How do I find available housing in the community?
The program's secretary maintains a list of landlords, potential housing, and other students who may be looking for roommates. Over the summer, this information is sent out to all counseling students. If you have any questions about housing, you may contact the secretary at 607.871.2212.