The CACREP accredited doctoral program in Counselor Education is designed to evaluate the theory and practice of counseling through quantitative and qualitative research and to prepare educators and leaders in the field of counseling. Students take doctoral seminars in selected counseling research topics, courses in statistics and research, a counseling practicum, a counselor education internship, and electives approved by their advisors. The goal of the doctoral program is to encourage students to extend their abilities in creative didactic and experiential activities, while developing critical thinking skills and a focused research agenda. Each faculty member is committed to an active mentoring process that promotes professional identity and personal achievement.
New students are admitted into the Counselor Education Program each fall. The doctoral program in Counselor Education seeks students with relevant experience in diverse settings who demonstrate a potential for success in both the research and applied aspects of doctoral study in counselor education.
In addition to meeting national accreditation standards, the PhD program at William & Mary offers unique opportunities for specialized experiences. Through the New Horizons Family Counseling Center, students can receive advanced clinical training in couples, family and sexuality counseling, learn and conduct supervision, and serve in administrative leadership roles. The New Leaf Clinic affords students the opportunity to provide brief counseling interventions (6-10 sessions) to William & Mary students with issues related to use of alcohol or other drugs and to supervise masters students in this setting. The program further offers singular opportunities for studying, developing and applying community-based models for treating children and adolescents and their families.
Topics for doctoral seminars include:
- Advanced study in contemporary counseling theories and integrated theoretical approaches;
- Cognitive and constructivist developmental theory and application;
- Transpersonal psychology;
- Contemporary research in counselor education;
- Advanced study of group work and theory and integrative teaching frameworks for group counseling;
- Current issues in the role and identity of the counselor educator;
- Critical issues in counselor supervision and the development and assessment of non-academic professional performance review standards.
The program of study includes courses in quantitative and qualitative research, a counseling practicum, and a counselor education internship. Each student also will select a 12 credit hour cognate to broaden his or her knowledge base and provide additional areas of specialization and expertise. Topics for cognates have included addictions counseling, family counseling, family-school collaboration, and college student development, among others. Ph.D. students must enroll in full-time coursework (minimum of nine hours of academic course hours) for two consecutive semesters during the regular academic year (fall-spring), excluding the required internships and doctoral dissertation credits. This requirement facilitates the students' active participation in professional socialization experiences, such as conference proposal preparation, seminars and symposia, research and curricular projects, and writing for publication.
Observations from our graduates indicate that the program is held in high regard:
- The College of William & Mary is a highly ranked and historic university that emphasizes excellence and remains an intentionally small student body;
- Nationally and internationally recognized faculty who are active in professional service to the field and also collaboratively engaged with students;
- Opportunities for supervised internships and residencies in advanced clinical practice for achieving licensure;
- Intensive preparation and diverse clinical roles in supervision;
- Opportunities and support for developing teaching skills through teaching internships and formal teaching roles;
- Strong financial support through graduate assistantships and grant opportunities;
- An emerging focus on international study opportunities and globalization in the field;
- Financial support to attend and present at national conferences;
- Opportunities for applying research skills in both new and on-going research projects.
Doctoral Program Full-time Sequence
A 12 hour cognate is required. The cognate is negotiated and approved by the advisor and those courses are integrated throughout the program until completed, typically in the first two years of the program. The sequence below does not include cognate courses.
The 100 clock hour Doctoral Practicum is taken at any time in the program as approved by the advisor, but is recommended to begin in the second year. The 600 clock hour Doctoral Internship includes formal supervised experiences in a singular focus or a combination of teaching, supervision and counseling. The Doctoral Internship follows the completion of the Doctoral Practicum, and may be integrated into the program as approved by the advisor.