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Master of Arts in Counseling | Graduate Degree Program

Master of Arts in Counseling

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About OU's Master of Arts in Counseling

By nature, those called to service as a counselor must have a strong desire to help others. They should be able to inspire respect, trust, and confidence in their patients, while providing the opportunities others need to heal, overcome addictions and work through trouble spots in their lives.

Ottawa University’s Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) hybrid degree program includes 39 hours of online core classes along with nine hours of field placement experience that will prepare students to take the state licensure test. Graduates of the MAC program are well-qualified professionals who have advanced their intellectual and academic development and have developed a greater understanding and knowledge of concepts, ideas, and information in the profession through research, examination, inquiry, and application.

The hybrid MAC degree at OU meets the educational requirements in Arizona for licensure as an associate counselor, and in Wisconsin for licensure as a professional counselor in training. Arizona students have the option of completing concentrated areas of study. The post-master’s Certificates of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) is a program reserved for master’s level professionals who have received a master’s degree in counseling or a related field.

Four MAC Concentrations

Graduate students pursuing the Master of Arts in Counseling degree have the opportunity to gain deeper knowledge in a specialty area by completing 12-15 hours in one of four concentrations. You can tailor your MAC degree with one of the following counseling specialties:

Christian Counseling
Expressive Arts Therapy
Gerocounseling
Treatment of Trauma Abuse & Deprivation

To streamline the program, the MAC is divided into a recommended yearly schedule with the field-placement component consisting of nine semester credit hours, completed in eight terms, for a total of 900 client contact hours. During the field component portion of this program, students will work in a community behavioral health agency for approximately 15 hours per week to gain hands-on experience.

Career Outlook for the MAC

Upon earning the MAC degree and obtaining state licensure, job prospects will include work as either a substance abuse, behavioral disorder or mental health counselor with a projected to growth rate of 25 percent through 2029. Demand for counselors is also expected to increase as states seek treatment and counseling services for drug offenders rather than jail time.

The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors was $46,240 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,520, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,080.

The MAC in Perspective

"Perhaps the greatest benefit to attaining a masters in counseling is that you are choosing a career path in which you help people live better lives. The rewards are fundamental to why one chooses to be a counselor. You will be helping people cope on a daily basis and will often see the results firsthand. In addition to impacting the lives of others and working in a field that you love, you will have the opportunity to explore new challenges and learn new things about yourself." - American Counseling Association

For curriculum and course descriptions please download a program overview.

Take the right step toward helping others make impactful changes in their lives with a Master of Arts in Counseling.
For more information about earning your MAC degree at Ottawa University, contact us today.

Master of Arts in Counseling Required Courses

Graduate Counseling Seminar in Clinical Foundations | 
Provides an overview addressing necessary foundations in the content areas of abnormal psychology,
developmental psychology, and theories of personality. Introduction to APA style and format.

Counseling Theories | 
Examination of theories of personality development and therapeutic processes. Consideration of techniques for counseling applications and professional consultation.

Social/Cultural Concerns in Counseling | 
Study of social, cultural and gender differences and issues related to counseling clients with various backgrounds, beliefs and concerns. Includes multicultural counseling techniques.

Counseling and the Helping Professions |
Examines counseling process, instruction and practice in communication skills in counseling, history, development and practice of counseling as a profession, and how and where counseling is provided.

Human Growth and Development | 
Examination of psychological, social, intellectual, and physical influences on the development of personality and behavior patterns in children, adolescents and adults.

Group Counseling and Dynamics | 
Theories of group counseling. Includes techniques of observation, assessment and leadership in therapeutic groups.

Methods and Models of Research | 
Examination of models of research and application of scientific methods to investigate, analyze, and develop solutions relative to current issues in the field.

Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling |
Study of ethical, legal and professional concerns in the practice of counseling.

Psychological Testing | 
Examines use of standardized tests to study individuals, including test development, selection, administration and interpretation. Includes educational and mental health applications.

Life Planning and Career Development | 
Focus on theory, research, techniques and tools used in life planning, transitions and career development.

Theory/Techniques in Marriage and Family Counseling |
Examination of traditional and contemporary theories of family systems and approaches to marriage and family counseling.

Advanced Psychodiagnostic and Treatment Planning | 
As a preparation for Clinical Internship, students will expand their knowledge of the multi-axial system, DSM-IV/DSM-IV-TR diagnostic categories, differential diagnosis, and treatment planning. Emphasis will also be placed on the clinical interview and other initial assessment techniques, as well as skills critical to selecting and evaluating treatment options.

Intro to Substance Addictions and Related Disorders | 
Introduction to patterns, causes, assessment and treatment of substance abuse and other addictive disorders. Student begins preparation of required portfolio.

Practicum | 
300 hours and two semesters.

Internship | 
600 hours and three semesters.

Full Degree Catalog
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