Overview of the Counselor Education Program
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Program Outcomes and Annual Report
Meet Our Faculty!
Dr. Cheryl Bowers
Director, Counselor Education Program
Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
Ph.D., Professional and Scientific Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Bowers has experience in both school and clinical mental health settings. During her tenure in the Counselor Education program at UMES, she has launched the careers of more than 100 counselors. Her interests include the development of empathy in beginning counselors, identity development in young African American women, body positivity, student perceptions of school counselors, and social justice in counseling.
Dr. Gretchen Foust
Coordinator, School Counseling Specialization and School-Based Clinical Experiences
Associate Professor of Counselor Education
Ed.D., Counselor Education, Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Foust has thirteen years of experience as a school counselor at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels, including career and technology education, in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She achieved National Board Certification in School Counseling through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Dr. Foust has served two terms on the Executive Board of the Maryland School Counselor Association as Postsecondary Vice President, and has represented Maryland at the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Leadership Development Institute. She has presented workshops at the American School Counselor Association conference, and earned ASCA designation as a School Counseling Leadership Specialist. She also has experience in college student development and college career counseling. Her interests include school counselor education and supervision, play and creativity in counseling children and adolescents, career development, bio-behavioral health, prevention, mental health promotion, and diversity, equity and inclusion practices.
Dr. Mala Hosmane
Visiting Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, Walden University
Dr. Mala Hosmane is a practicing Maryland Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and beginning approved clinical supervisor for chemical dependency. She has more than 15 years of clinical experience, including the treatment of adults with substance use disorders, and adolescents, children, and adults with mental health issues. She is currently involved with the Maryland Counseling Association for professional service. Her research interests include spirituality and religiosity especially in relation to recovery from substance abuse through 12 step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Dr. Kimberly Poole-Sykes
Chair, Department of Education
Coordinator of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization and Clinical Experiences
Professor of Counselor Education
Rh.D., Rehabilitation Counseling, Southern Illinois University
Dr. Poole-Sykes is a practicing Maryland Licensed Professional Counselor and clinical supervisor. She has more than twenty years of clinical experience, including the treatment of adolescents and adults with substance use disorders, adolescents with disabilities, and youthful offenders in correctional facilities. Dr. Poole-Sykes serves as the Principal Investigator of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) grant at UMES. Her research interests include racial literacy, psychosocial implications and career development of persons with disabilities, and substance abuse prevention.
Our Mission and Program Objectives
The mission of the Counselor Education Program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is to prepare professional counselors in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling specializations with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to develop professional counseling relationships that empower diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. We achieve this by empowering candidates to “Engage, Learn, Grow, and Advocate” throughout their program in order to become professional, reflective, innovative, effective professional counselors who value diversity and advocate for social justice. An emphasis on social justice is an integral part of what we value, teach and model. By recognizing the assumptions of the world, its people, and norms, our program curriculum engages our students to develop a knowledge of diversity issues, self-awareness of their own identity, and biases, resulting in equitable delivery of services.
Our Program Objectives and Outcome Goals
1. Prepare candidates with a strong professional identity
Outcome 1a. Candidates will develop a strong professional counselor identity as evidenced by assumption of a variety of appropriate roles and functions of professional counselors, as defined by professional counseling organizations.
Outcome 1b. Candidates will be involved in national and/or state or local professional counseling organizations such as the American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counselors Association, American School Counseling Association, Maryland Counseling Association, Maryland School Counseling Association, etc. Involvement is evidenced by memberships, conference/training/webinar attendance, presentations, publications, leadership roles, and/or committees.
Outcome 1c. Candidates will apply professional ethical codes and laws to case studies and clinical practice.
2. Prepare candidates who reflect on their practice for continuous professional and personal development
Outcome 2a. Candidates will reflect on their individual and small group counseling and other interventions and use reflections to improve their practice.
3. Provide instruction in innovative, evidence-based practice
Outcome 3a. Candidates will identify theoretical and evidence-based rationales for their interventions.
Outcome 3b. Candidates seek out opportunities for continuous learning inside and outside the classroom.
4. Prepare candidates who value diversity and advocate for social justice for clients/students.
Outcome 4a. Candidates will use social justice strategies to advocate for all clients/students and address institutional and societal barriers to access to services and equitable outcomes for clients/students.
Outcome 4b. Candidates will reflect on their own biases in order to ensure non-discriminatory and inclusive, affirming practice.
5. Prepare candidates who are effective at empowering diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.
Outcome 5a. Candidates will demonstrate content knowledge in professional counseling orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, counseling and helping relationships, group counseling and group work, assessment and testing, and research and program evaluation.
Outcome 5b. Candidates will demonstrate growth in mastery of individual and group counseling skills and skills specific to their specialty area.
Outcome 5c. Candidates will display professional dispositions identified by the UMES Education Department and the Counselor Education Program during classroom and clinical experiences.
Admissions and Application Information
Ready to join us? APPLY HERE!
To be considered for regular admission, an application includes:
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
- Three Letters of recommendation
Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria based on applications, transcripts, essays, letters of reference, and interviews:
- relevance of career goals
- aptitude for graduate-level study
- potential success in forming effective counseling relationships
- respect for cultural differences
Application Deadline for Fall Admission: May 1st
Application Deadline for Spring Admission: Nov. 1st
Application Deadline for Summer Admission: April 1st
Provisional status may be granted to exceptional applicants who do not meet all of the requirements for admission. For such applicants, the following areas will be evaluated:
- potential for academic success
- ability to enter in counseling relationships as a helper,
- readiness to take advantage of the learning opportunities in the program,
- prior life experiences, coursework, and relevant professional history.
Applicants who possess an overall GPA of 2.75 may be admitted to Provisional Status. Provisional Status students must maintain a 3.30 average in the first nine approved credit hours of graduate level courses in the Counselor Education program. A student who is considered to have potential for success, but lacks adequate course preparation for Counselor Education, may be asked to complete additional courses to enhance their background in related fields.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Our program has several resources for assisting students with the cost of graduate study, including scholarships and graduate assistantships.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Scholarship:
The Counselor Education Scholars Program – This scholarship is for students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization
School Counseling Scholarships:
The Hazel Graduate Endowment Scholarship – This scholarship is for students in the School Counseling specialization and is offered each fall and spring semester. Click here for an application with more information on eligibility requirements.
The Carmen Lily Endowment Fund – This scholarship is for students in the School Counseling specialization.
For more information about these scholarships, contact Dr. Michael Nugent at email@example.com.
The Counselor Education Program has one graduate assistantship position in the Education Department.
For more information, contact Dr. Kimberly Poole-Sykes, Chair of the Education Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counseling Certification, Licensure, and Career Information
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Professional Counselor Licensure
Students graduate with the necessary academic coursework to be eligible to sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and pursue additional supervised professional experience leading to licensure as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Maryland. This license allows the counselor the flexibility to work independently, bill insurance companies and operate a private practice.
After completion of the program and passing the NCE, graduates can become a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC). The LGPC is a temporary license that serves as a stepping stone to the LCPC. A Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor is approved by the Board to practice graduate professional counseling for a limited period of time under the supervision of an approved supervisor while fulfilling the supervised clinical experience required for the LCPC license. See the LGPC Application for more details. Once the 3 years (minimum 3000 clinical hours) are complete, the LGPC can apply for the LCPC. Note: Of the 3 years, 2 years shall be post-graduate clinical supervision hours. One year may be acquired before the awarding of the master’s degree (practicum and internship).
The National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) provides the national standard in the mental health counseling profession. The Maryland Licensing Board uses the NCE as its credentialing exam. The title LCPC – Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor – is a highly regarded indicator of professionalism. LCPC professionals must hold at least a master’s degree in counseling or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution, and must sit for the NCE and the Maryland State Law Test.
For information about licensure requirements for Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and other state licensure and certification requirements, please visit the following webpage: https://health.maryland.gov/bopc/Pages/profcounselor.aspx
Careers and Employment in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Graduates of our program are employed in a variety of settings, including outpatient mental health facilities, inpatient and residential care facilities, wraparound services, community agencies, and college and university counseling centers.
Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling. The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors was $47,660 in May 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook provides occupational information, employment outlook, and wages for Substance Abuse, Behavioral and Mental Health Counselors.
School Counseling Certification
The School Counseling specialization is a Maryland Approved Program. Students who meet all of the requirements of this specialization and graduation from the UMES Counselor Education program also automatically meet the requirements for certification as a school counselor in the state of Maryland.
The Maryland State Department of Education specifies the routes by which school counselors can qualify to practice school counseling in the state of Maryland. Graduates of the School Counseling specialization qualify for Maryland certification under Option II – Maryland Approved Program.
Reciprocity is available in some states for students who wish to receive additional certification in another state, while some states may have additional requirements (such as a Praxis exam, specific number of internship hours at specific school levels, specific coursework, years of experience, etc.). Students who wish to be certified in additional states should contact that state’s Department of Education and consult their website to be aware of any additional requirements for eligibility to practice school counseling in that state. The American School Counselor Association maintains a database of state-by-state requirements for certification as a school counselor and links to each state’s Department of Education Certification Office, but it is the student’s responsibility to verify the requirements directly with each state of interest, as requirements may change at any time.
Careers and Employment in School Counseling
Graduates of our program are primarily employed in public Pre-K – 12 schools. Some graduates are employed in private Pre-K – 12 schools or colleges and universities. Most public school positions are 10 month positions, and some have opportunities for summer employment.
Employment of school and career counselors and advisors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increasing student enrollment at all education levels is expected to lead to employment growth of these workers. The median annual wage for school and career counselors was $58,120 in May 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook also provides national occupational information, employment outlook and wages for School and Career Counselors.
For more specific information on salaries for school counselors, the most accurate information you can obtain is to visit the websites of school districts of interest. Salary schedules are public information on school district websites. School counselors are paid on a teacher’s salary beginning at the master’s degree level. The schedule for increased wages with increasing years of experience is available on the salary schedule charts. You can also view the minimum and maximum salaries for Maryland school districts in 2020-2021 at a glance.