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Gain the skills you need to become an effective leader in a variety of settings. In the Leadership and Program Evaluation specialization, you’ll explore the qualities inherent in effective leaders and learn strategies for leading diverse organizations through transformative change. Coursework examines the skill sets required to assess research as well as the history, theory, and approaches behind program evaluation. This specialization can prepare you to serve organizations directly as a program leader, researcher, educator, counselor, supervisor, consultant, volunteer, or board member.
For students who are licensed professional counselors with a master’s degree in counseling or who have graduated from a CACREP-accredited master’s program:*
The majority of our students take over 2 years to complete their doctoral study or dissertation.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
Choose one of the following three courses to complete the Foundation Research Sequence requirement:
*Learn more about completion requirements for students who are not licensed professional counselors with a master’s degree in counseling or who have not graduated from a CACREP-accredited master’s program.
†Due to the practicum requirements of this program, applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or a US territory at time of admission and currently reside in the United States or a US territory at time of admission to be eligible for this program. United States military personnel stationed abroad should contact an enrollment advisor to determine eligibility.
Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students work toward building a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Students engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of professional writing, critical-thinking skills, and the promotion of professional and academic excellence as they relate to counselor educators and supervisors.
Students in this doctoral-level course work toward preparing their professional identity as counselor educators and supervisors. They explore the professional orientation and characteristics of counselors, counselor educators, and supervisors as well as related ethical and legal issues encountered in daily work situations. Students engage in discussions and assignments designed to provide practical application of competencies and responsibilities of counselor educators and supervisors. Students also examine the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics and other relevant standards of practice as well as multicultural issues related to counselor preparation training. Through this course, students have the opportunity to gain professional awareness and create a professional development plan that can be implemented throughout their degree program. (Prerequisites: COUN 8001.)
There are many counseling theories available for professional use in practice. It is the responsibility of the counselor, however, to understand these theories, know which to use in specific settings and situation, and decide which are best suited to his/her own style or methods. In this course, students explore and evaluate major traditional and contemporary theories of the counseling profession, including psychoanalytic, person-centered, rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), multicultural, feminist, and solution-focused. Students apply these and other theories to diverse populations and settings. They also consider how they might advise students and supervisees who use these theories, and they analyze related challenges in teaching and supervising. In doing so, students consider the impact of their own psychosocial, racial, and ethnic identities. Finally, students develop a personal integrative theoretical orientation. (Prerequisites: COUN 8110.)
In this course, students work toward increasing their knowledge and skills related to the roles of consultant and program evaluator in community agencies, mental health settings, P–12 schools, and university settings. Through a variety of practical discussions and assignments, students explore leadership theory and skills; systems theory; consultation models and processes; program evaluation models and methods; ethical, legal, and professional issues; and availability of funding sources. Students synthesize knowledge and apply skills to case studies and real-life examples. They also apply the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards to an evaluation of the components of a counselor education program. (Prerequisites: COUN 8115.)
In this course, students prepare to become competent teachers of counselor education through the examination of various adult learning theories and methods to work effectively with different learning styles, cultural dynamics, and diversity. They learn how to help students acquire and apply knowledge and skills, and they examine methods to evaluate learning outcomes. Students also have the opportunity to reflect on past learning experiences to examine the qualities of effective teachers and teaching practices, and they consider how they can apply these practices to their own teaching endeavors. Incorporating concepts and skills learned throughout the course, students videotape themselves teaching a presentation to demonstrate their progress in becoming an effective teacher of counselor education. (Prerequisites: COUN 8120.)
Counselor educators have a responsibility to foster social change, provide leadership, and service the counseling professional. Students have the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of this responsibility as well as the prospect of enhancing their professional development plans by identifying specific goals for professional involvement and service, including advocacy for their own community, clients, students, or profession. Students examine the processes of advocacy and social change. They use contemporary research to analyze the current trends and issues of the profession. Students also identify how community, national, and international issues affect the counseling profession.
Clinical supervision of counselors and counselors in training requires in-depth knowledge of major conceptual approaches, methods, and techniques; evaluation; and ethical and legal issues related to supervisory interactions and responsibilities. Students in this course are provided with the opportunity to develop their professional identity and learn the skills of a clinical supervisor. Throughout this course, students engage in experiential applications, discussions, and self-reflective assignments that focus on the strategies for working with supervisees representing diverse backgrounds and developmental and learning styles. After a critical analysis of the purpose of supervision, theoretical frameworks, and models of supervision, students develop and apply their own theory of supervision in a practice setting in which they each oversee a group of practicum students.
An in-depth study of a range of survey methods administered via in-person interview, self-report, phone interview, and Internet administration is introduced in this course. Topics will include survey design, administration, analysis, and addressing sources of bias. The course will also review theoretical and empirical research on question and questionnaire effects. The course prepares students in the practice of writing questions and designing questionnaires, both in general and in light of existing research. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8100 and RSCH 8200.)
Small- and large-scale disasters of all types continue to abound. Communities need trained individuals who are prepared to respond to such incidents and who can help plan for future disasters as well as train others to plan and respond. In this course, students learn the fundamentals of crisis management and crisis leadership. They develop an understanding of the theories and models related to crises, disasters, and other events caused by trauma. Students also learn about ethical, legal, and diversity considerations in crisis and trauma response. Through analyses of topical literature, applications, and discussions, students gain a practical understanding of the models for training and supporting other counselors in the areas of crisis response applicable to community, national, and international crises. Employing concepts learned in the course, students develop a crisis management plan for their own community.
The focus of this course is on the preparation for the dissertation phase of training. In this course, students identify a dissertation topic and potential dissertation committee members; begin to conduct a literature review; develop a problem statement and research questions; and evaluate research designs, methods, and types of analyses to use for their dissertation. Students also complete their initial premise in this course and an annotated outline of their prospectus. The prospectus is a brief paper, typically 15–20 pages in length, which helps students organize, delineate, and make decisions regarding their doctoral study and appropriate research methodology. It is strongly recommended that students take this course after they have successfully completed all research courses in their program of study.
Successful organizations in a rapidly changing and complex world require leaders who embrace change and are able to engage others in change. In this course, students use traditional literature, current articles, and interactive media to explore the qualities, characteristics, and skills of effective leaders as well as the theories, models, and relationships between leadership and organizational change. They assess the ethical issues and standards as well as the opportunities and challenges related to leading diverse organizations through change. Students also examine how current leaders employ leadership and organizational change to contribute to social change, and they consider how to use these lessons to make further positive changes within an organization or their own community.
The skills required to assess research and work effectively with stakeholders are among the many proficiencies required of professionals who evaluate and develop programs. In this course, students examine these skill sets as well as the history, theory, and major approaches underlying program evaluation. Students learn how to select appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative models and techniques to perform evaluations, demonstrate program effectiveness, and disseminate results. Additionally, students explore the procedures and techniques involved in offering their evaluation services to a specific group or organization. They also examine strategies to gain stakeholder interest in developing appropriate standards, research progress, and evaluation outcomes. Students acquire practical experience evaluating a program of interest through which they outline organizational structure, identify stakeholders, employ evaluation models, explain steps in planning, and predict possible challenges or stakeholder fears, for which they recommend solutions.
Students in this course focus on experiential learning, which is an essential component of applied professional training. Students complete a supervised practicum experience at an approved site for a minimum of 100 hours, allowing them to develop their counseling skills and professional knowledge while under supervision. Students communicate with the class and the practicum faculty members at least twice a week during the quarter to discuss cases and present videos of student-client sessions. Through these exchanges, students demonstrate what they’ve learned and acquire feedback and additional knowledge in regard to clinical practice. This course requires students to engage in a face-to-face residency. (Prerequisites: Residency II.)
The internship is a supervised training experience that prepares students to successfully function in the role of a professional counselor. Internship experiences emphasize the integration of theory and research through applied practice in a variety of settings and situations. This course serves as part 1 of a two-part supervised internship experience in a selected educational setting (clinical practice, research, or teaching). Students complete a total of 300 hours in their internship through which they engage in most of the activities of a regularly employed professional in the setting.
This is second part of the supervised experience in a selected educational setting (clinical practice, research, or teaching). The 300-hour internship includes supervised experiences in most of the activities of a regularly employed professional in the setting.
Doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their program of study into a research study through which they explore a specific area of interest in this course. Students complete the dissertation with the guidance of a chair and committee members through a learning platform classroom in which weekly participation is required. Students work with their dissertation chair to write the prospectus, complete an approved proposal (the first three chapters of the dissertation), complete an application for Institutional Review Board approval, collect and analyze data, and complete the dissertation. During the final quarter, students prepare the dissertation for final review by the university and conclude with an oral defense of their dissertation. Once students register for COUN 8560, they are registered each term until successful completion of the dissertation for a minimum of 5 terms.
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