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CES Doctoral Program March 2014
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Doctoral Program in Counselor Education to Begin in Fall

Posted on Monday, March 24, 2014 [11:50 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson College will offer a doctoral program in counselor education and supervision this fall. The 72-hour, weekend PhD program will prepare leaders in the field of professional counseling.

"It's a program that's been about 10 years in the making," said LWC Associate Professor of Counseling Jennifer Williamson. "We've worked with consultants from some of the best programs in the country to create a program that will give students an opportunity to change the face of mental health in Kentucky."


The doctoral program was created to accommodate working adults by offering courses one weekend per month on the LWC A.P. White Campus in Columbia. In the interim period, students will stay connected to classmates and professors through online learning communities. The program will take about four years to complete.


"This program emphasizes a unique combination of scholarship, real-world application and technology," said LWC Associate Professor of Counseling Jeff Parsons. "This program will challenge and prepare students for employment as counselors, supervisors, educators, researchers and leaders in the counseling profession."


Williamson said the liberal arts college created its first doctoral program in response to a growing need in Kentucky to have more doctoral-level mental-health professionals.


"For the last few years, officials at mental-health agencies have asked us when we were going to start a doctoral program because there is such a need for doctoral-level professionals in this state," she said. "This a huge need in the mental-health community."


LWC's counselor education and supervision program will have five areas of focus: teaching; advanced counseling; research and scholarship; leadership and advocacy; and consultation.


"This program will prepare students to be leaders in the community," Williamson said. "One of the most exciting things about the program is that students will be prepared to lead mental health in Kentucky."


LWC Associate Professor of Counseling Daniel Williamson said the new doctoral program will give students multiple opportunities to engage in research, and he hopes many of them will focus on mental-health issues faced in Appalachia.


"There is a large contingent of resources looking for underprivileged and underrepresented communities, and this is our way of contributing to that community," he said.


Jennifer Williamson said the program will apply for accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, the accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. LWC's master's program, which was started in 1993, is CACREP-accredited. It has been cited as a model small-college graduate program.


CACREP policies allow new doctoral programs to apply for accreditation within two years of graduating their first students. Williamson said the CES program will begin the accreditation application process in 2016, and it hopes to become the first doctoral program in counselor education and supervision in Kentucky with CACREP accreditation.


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