Spring 2021 Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog 
    Jul 01, 2022  
Spring 2021 Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling

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The Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling (MACC) program can be completed in two years of continuous enrollment. Classes are designed as collaborative learning experiences where students and instructors are engaged in asynchronous dialog throughout the week. Students learn in community as they participate in a cohort experience that not only provides for a great learning environment, but also develops a network of friends who share common goals.

Students in the MACC program will decide, by the end of their first year, whether to pursue clinical hours to become either a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) or a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).  During the second year of the program, students enroll in supervised practicum as clinical counseling trainees.    Our practicum students are required to serve the community of San Diego by providing no/low-cost counseling at our on-site training clinic in Mission Valley before being placed in off-site practicum locations.

Upon graduation the student applies to the Board of Behavioral Sciences to become a registered intern and then continues to accrue the necessary hours of clinical experience in order to sit for the state licensing examination to become either an LPCC or an LMFT.

Program Learning Outcomes for Clinical Counseling

The core curriculum of the Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling program is to develop students with these key outcomes:

  1. Students will articulate a clear, accurate understanding of their professional identity as either an LMFT or LPCC, or both.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental domains in their selected area of specialization, in professional clinical counseling (i.e., foundations; counseling prevention, and intervention, diversity & advocacy; assessment; research & evaluation; and diagnosis) or marriage and family therapy (i.e., human development, family dynamics, systemic thinking, interactional theories, traditional and contemporary marriage and family theories, research and cultural context).
  3. Students will demonstrate ability to apply relevant research and evaluation models in practice of clinical counseling.
  4. Students will demonstrate skills and practices of clinical counseling in the delivery of mental health services (e.g., assessment, diagnosis, treatment, termination, documentation, & ethical practice).
  5. Students will deliver mental health services with multicultural competence and sensitivity.
  6. Students will demonstrate ability to integrate faith with clinical 
counseling practice in clinically appropriate, culturally sensitive, and ethical manner.

Admission Requirements

Point Loma Nazarene University assesses the Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling applicants on the basis of evidence submitted via application documentation. Applications will be processed upon receipt of all required materials. To be admitted into the Clinical Counseling program, an applicant must meet these requirements:

  1. Submit a completed Point Loma Nazarene University online application form.
  2. Have earned a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree from an accredited institution, with a cumulative undergraduate or graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.000 or higher on a 4.000 scale (*). All hours at the degree level from accredited institutions will be considered in calculating the cumulative GPA. Applicants must submit one official transcript from all colleges and universities attended for undergraduate and graduate work.

Note: Official Transcript: a transcript with a registrar’s seal from the institution granting credit sent directly to Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Dr., San Diego, CA 92106

If your University provides official electronic transcripts, please email to gradprocessing@pointloma.edu. 

  1. Submit a professional resume.
  2. Submit a 500-600 word (**) Statement of Purpose addressing the following topics:
    • A personal statement on why you wish to participate in the MACC program,
    • Your current philosophy of leadership,
    • Your relevant academic and professional experience, and
    • Your future career or life goals. 

(*) Contact a graduate enrollment counselor regarding the exceptions process if you don’t meet the minimum GPA requirement.

(**)The five-paragraph essay is to be formatted in APA style and should reflect your best writing. For help in writing the essay, see statementofpurpose.com. Your paper will be graded on a 5-point scale, and you must receive a minimum 3.5 to meet the benchmark.

Clinical Training

The MACC program includes the application of theory in direct clinical experience. While enrolled in supervised practicum courses, students have the opportunity to provide direct clinical service to clients in community agencies approved by the school. Before placement at an external agency, students will provide psychotherapy to one or more clients at the on-site training clinic, the Center for Enriching Relationships. Upon successful completion of this initial experience and approval by the training staff, students will secure a practicum site in the community and complete a 10-12 month traineeship. Although particular site requirements vary, all students will complete 700 total hours of supervised training (300 of which is face-to-face, direct service). Student suitability to provide mental health services will be evaluated by the training staff in an on-going manner, and any evidence of concerns (i.e. ethical violations, patterns of personal characteristics and/or behavior that poses risk to the welfare of the client) may lead to remediation or potential dismissal from the program.

Personal Therapy Requirement

Over the course of the program, MACC students are required to receive 20 hours of personal psychotherapy from a licensed clinician. Students may complete this requirement in an individual or group setting. Two hours of group therapy or one hour of individual therapy counts as one hour of credit toward the requirement. At least ten of the twenty hours must be individual or group therapy and up to ten hours can be marital or family therapy. This requirement must be completed prior to graduation.

Comprehensive Examination

As a final assessment of competency, each student must pass the Comprehensive Examination, a computerized mock license exam that reflects program coursework and obtained clinical knowledge. This examination is administered during PSY 6097 . Passing the Comprehensive Examination is required for graduation.

Graduation Requirements

In order to earn and receive a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling degree, a student must satisfy all of the following:

  1. Successful completion of all core requirements, an area of concentration, and the project or thesis,
  2. A completed application for degree candidacy conveyed to the Office of Records,
  3. Payment in full of all tuition, fees, and other financial obligations owed to the university, including a degree processing fee,
  4. All requirements completed within eight years from the time of initial enrollment,
  5. All courses must be completed with a grade of B- or better.  Grades of B- or lower may be repeated for grade improvement,
  6. Completion of the Personal Therapy Requirement,
  7. Pass the Comprehensive Examination, and
  8. A personal interview (in person or using video conferencing technology) with the student will take place at the end of the program to review the things that have been learned and how the student felt the program equipped him/her for servant leadership. The interviews are designed to ensure that the student has a clear understanding of the material covered in courses taken and to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

Note: Student reviews will be in person (face-to-face) or use video conferencing technology. To comply with U.S. Department of Education and accreditation requirements, students are required to show a government issued photo I.D.

Program Eligibility

Point Loma Nazarene University assesses the Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling applicants on the basis of evidence submitted via online application documentation. Applications will be processed upon receipt of all required materials. To be admitted into the Clinical Counseling program, an applicant must meet these requirements:

  • Submit online application for admissions (includes $50 non-refundable application fee)
    • Fee waived if applicant is one of the following: PLNU alum, current or former military and their dependents, PLNU employee
  • Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Send official transcripts by mail to: Point Loma Nazarene University, Office of Graduate Admissions, 3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego, CA 92106
    • Send official transcripts by email to: gradprocessing@pointloma.edu
  • Specifically state how you would like to use your master’s degree from PLNU to further your career in a 3-5 page essay. Make sure you clearly touch on the three points
    • Clarify what job setting you see yourself pursuing upon completing the MACC and specify how this degree program will help you in that setting.
    • Describe how you will appraise, utilize, and integrate specific Biblical or ethical principles and /or counseling theories into your future professional practice
    • State how your previous education and work experiences have uniquely prepared you for success in the MACC program.
  • Submit a resume/vita
  • Submit three professional references including name, title, phone, and email for each reference
  • Background check through LiveScan
  • Completion of the MMPI 2 personality assessment administered through the department
  • Interview with the Department of Graduate Psychology
  • Ensure undergraduate course prerequisites are met

Exceptions Policy: If you have below a 3.000 GPA in your baccalaureate degree you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for your particular program.

Program Prerequisites

Prior to beginning this program, the following course requirements must be completed:

  •    General Psychology
  •    Abnormal Psychology
  •    Human Development

An official transcript from a regionally accredited institution is the required documentation.

Transfer Options

Transfer credit is defined as graduate credit earned at another regionally accredited institution. Students may request transfer courses to be considered for application to a degree program. Any transfer courses to be considered for application to a degree program must be recommended by the school dean/department chair with final approval residing with the Vice Provost for Academic Administration. No more than one sixth of the program units may be transferred to the degree, and all coursework must have been completed within the last seven years at a regionally accredited institution and may not have been previously used for completion of a graduate degree program.

TOTAL: 63 Program units

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