Master of Science in Counseling Student Resources

This Handbook includes vital program information for students enrolled in the M.S. in Counseling Program.

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UMO Counseling Program Student Professional Dispositions:

The UMO Counseling Program strives to make positive contributions to the counseling profession by admitting, educating, developing, retaining, and graduating students who are a good professional and dispositional fit for becoming capable, effective, and ethical counselors. Faculty are ethically bound to serve as gatekeepers of the counseling profession, as academics alone do not determine success and ethical behavior in the field. Aside from the academic standards and policies the university requires of graduate students, being a counselor-in-training also requires students to be regularly evaluated throughout the course of the program on additional factors that reflect ethical goodness of fit for the profession.

Formal and informal feedback from professors and site supervisors will regularly examine, review, and evaluate students’ non-academic dispositional factors, attitudes, skills, judgments, and related characteristics to discern appropriateness for the field and the counseling profession. These assessments are made throughout the student journey from the application process, throughout coursework, and into the professional experience in practicum and internship.

Dispositional issues and concerns may reveal themselves throughout any point of the graduate program. As such, faculty discuss student progress on a regular basis – both formally and informally, and the student’s faculty mentor serves as the point of contact for instances where dispositional issues need to be addressed. In cases where faculty determine there is a student concern of a dispositional nature, a plan of action is determined to address remediation, and is then followed by a re-evaluation process.

Students are made aware of the concept of dispositions during the interview process, orientation meetings, and during a review of the student handbook with faculty mentors.  Students sign and submit an acknowledgement that they have read and understand these dispositions. Professional dispositions are also addressed in readings, assignments, and class discussions during first semester courses.


Dispositions are the values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward others, and, if sincerely held, dispositions lead to actions and patterns of professional conduct. The University of Mount Olive’s Counseling Program dispositions adhere to the University’s mission statement and are derived from the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics. Although these dispositions are not all inclusive, they do represent values and qualities that are warranted by counseling students. Students who fail to adhere to or demonstrate such dispositions may be subject to disciplinary actions.


  1. Professional Identity & Ethics – Adheres to regulatory state boards and nationally recognized ethical guidelines (e.g., ACA, AMHCA, NBCC, etc.). Practices only within their scope and competencies utilizing best practices and empirically supported treatments. Stay currents with the counseling profession through seeking continuing education, and by supporting counseling associations.
  2. Professional Behavior – Behaves in a professional manner towards instructors, staff, supervisors, peers, and clients (including appropriate dress & attitudes). Demonstrates the ability to collaborate in a respectful manner.
  3. Professional and Personal Boundaries – Maintains appropriate boundaries with instructors, staff, supervisors, peers, and clients.
  4. Self-Awareness – Demonstrates awareness of personal moral, ethical, and value systems and is acutely aware of personal limitations in all counseling interactions providing counseling services with objectivity, justice, fidelity, veracity, and benevolence.
  5. Multicultural Competencies – Demonstrates awareness, appreciation, and respect for cultural differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, spirituality, sexual and gender orientation, disability, SES, etc.)
  6. Emotional Stability & Self-Control – Demonstrates emotional stability (i.e., congruence between mood & affect) and self-control (i.e., impulse control) in relationships with instructors, staff, supervisors, peers, and clients.
  7. Motivation to Learn & Grow/Initiative – Demonstrates engagement in learning and development of his or her counseling competencies.
  8. Openness to Giving & Receiving Feedback – Accepts feedback from- and provides feedback to peers in an amiable and respectful manner. Responses non-defensively and alters behavior in accordance with feedback from instructors and supervisors.
  9. Flexibility & Adaptability – Demonstrates ability to flex to changing circumstances, unexpected events, and new situations.
  10. Congruence & Genuineness – Demonstrates ability to be present and “true to oneself.”
  11. Knowledge & Adherence to Policies – Demonstrates and understanding of and appreciation for all counseling program and site policies and procedures. Seeks out clarification from faculty and supervisors when uncertainty arises.
  12. Record Keeping, Task Completion – Completes all weekly record keeping and tasks correctly and promptly (e.g., case notes, treatment plan, and reports).


Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum & Internship Application Due Dates:

Students planning to enroll in Practicum must attend a Professional Experience Orientation meeting and secure a site placement during the semester prior to enrolling in professional experience courses.  The Clinical Coordinator will reach out to all students ready to enroll in practicum with dates/time of this Orientation meeting.  All site placements must be secured by:

April 20th for Fall enrollment

November 20th for Spring enrollment

March 20th for Summer enrollment

If you are enrolled in practicum/internship courses and have not secured an approved site placement by the due dates stated above, you will be dropped from the course and will have to plan to take the practicum/internship at a later.

Student Practicum & Internship Handbook