Stephen F. Austin State University

Professional Counseling

SFASU Counselor Education Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Professional Counseling Program is to provide quality master's level training in order to develop highly qualified counselors who demonstrate a strong professional identity, engage in ethical and competent practice, and are effective in serving a diverse population.


The Professional Counseling Program has a long history of successfully training counselors to serve in a variety of settings across the state and the nation. The program consists of a core training in professional counseling in which students can choose to specialize in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, or Rehabilitation Counseling. Our program meets the highest national standards for the training of professional counselors as evidenced by our accreditations through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling Related Programs (CACREP). Accreditation assures the quality of the academic preparation program and the associated curriculum has been reviewed against professionally approved standards. Graduation from a CACREP accredited program opens doors to some employment opportunities that would not otherwise be available. CACREP accredited programs must engage in a systematic self-review and continuous improvement process, as well as engage in a periodic peer review process.

Program Learning Outcomes

• Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice (CACREP 2.F.1)

Students articulate the elements related to professional identity including; the history and philosophy of the counseling profession, the value of professional organizations, the need for legal and ethical practice, and advocating for the profession and clients that are served.

• Social and Cultural Diversity (CACREP 2.F.2)

Students demonstrate multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary for competency in working with a diverse population.

• Human Growth and Development (CACREP 2.F.3)

Students differentiate the development across the lifespan and the impact on normal and abnormal functioning.

• Career Development (CACREP 2.F.4)

Students analyze career development theory in the development of individualized and developmentally appropriate career development activities and interventions.

• Counseling and Helping Relationships (CACREP 2.F.5)

Students apply the skills necessary to engage in an effective and therapeutic helping relationship.

• Group Counseling and Group Work (CACREP 2.F.6)

Students demonstrate competency in preparing and facilitation of group counseling.

• Assessment and Treatment Planning (CACREP 2.F.7)

Students identify effective assessment strategies in order to facilitate treatment planning.

• Research and Program Evaluation (CACREP 2.F.8)

Students evaluate research methods to inform evidence-based practice.

Accreditation Data for Public Review

CACREP 2020 Vital Statistics Report

CACREP 2019 Vital Statistics Report

CACREP 2018 Vital Statistics Report

CACREP 2017 Vital Statistics Report

Accountability Reports

Accountability Report 2020-2021

Accountability Report 2019-2020

Accountability Report 2018-2019

Accountability Report 2017-2018

Core Curriculum

Courses in the core curriculum taken by all students include: Orientation to Counseling, Theories of Counseling, Skills and Techniques in Counseling, Research, Assessment in Counseling, Lifespan Development, Diagnosis and Psychopathology, Group Counseling, Career Counseling, Multicultural Counseling, Family Counseling, Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Ethics, Practicum, and Internship.

The program consists of 60-credit hours. All students complete a 100-hour Practicum by seeing clients in the SFASU Counseling Clinic. Upon successful completion of Practicum, students complete a 600-hour internship in a community, school, or rehabilitation setting.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling
The graduate program in clinical mental health is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be a professional counselor in clinical mental health settings. Students take core classes in counseling and meet the criteria to apply for the license to become a Licensed Professional Counselor through the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. The credential of LPC allows graduates to work in hospitals, state agencies, private practices, clinics, and non-profit organizations.

In the State of Texas, Clinical Mental Health Counselors practice under the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. The work of an LPC can be very diverse and ranges from working with well-functioning individuals who would like to improve the quality of some aspect of life to working with individuals who deal with chronic mental illness. The LPC practice includes, but is not limited to, the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, including addictions, psychoeducational techniques aimed at the prevention of disorders, consultation with individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations, and research into effective treatment modalities.

In order to obtain the Texas LPC credential, you must hold a master's degree in counseling or a closely related field, pass the National Counselor Examination, pass the Texas Jurisprudence Exam, and complete a 3000-hour post-graduate internship under the supervision of an LPC Supervisor. The post-graduate internship is most often completed as a paid employment position.

LPC's are the largest provider of mental health services in the State of Texas. They are employed in community mental health centers, agencies, hospitals, and organizations, as well as private practice. They are covered by managed care organizations, health plans, and employee assistance programs.

The skills and techniques used by a Licensed Professional Counselor include:

Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
The graduate program in professional rehabilitation counseling is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be a professional counselor in rehabilitation setting. Students take core courses in counseling and specialty courses in rehabilitation counseling. Students complete internships at rehabilitation counseling sites and meet the education requirements to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), a national credential from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Students also meet the education requirements to become a licensed professional counselor in Texas.

Rehabilitation Counseling emphasizes empowerment of individuals with disabilities to maximize employability, attain economic self-sufficiency, independence, inclusion, and integration into society. The philosophical foundation of rehabilitation counseling includes the belief in advocacy and the rights of people with disabilities. A rehabilitation counselor is a special type of professional counselor who helps evaluate and coordinate needed services to assist people with disabilities in coping with limitations caused by such factors as cognitive and learning difficulties, environmental and societal discrimination and barriers, psychological conflict/distress, or loss of physical/functional ability (Council on Rehabilitation Education, 2014).

The skills and techniques used by a Rehabilitation Counselor include:

School Counseling Webpage
The graduate program in professional school counseling is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to be a professional counselor in a school setting. Students take core courses in counseling and specialty courses in school counseling. Students complete internships at school counseling sites and meet the education requirements to become certified school counselor in Texas. They also meet the education requirements to become a licensed professional counselor in Texas.

Professional School Counselors (PSC) are certified educators, mental health professionals, and educational leaders who serve in the public schools. In Texas, a PSC must be a certified teacher with a minimum of two years of classroom teaching as the teacher of record and hold a master's degree. PSC's are uniquely qualified to address all students' academic, career, and personal/social development by designing, implementing, evaluating and enhancing a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student success. PSC's are employed in elementary, middle/junior high and high schools; as well as in district supervisory positions. A PSC plays an integral role in maximizing student success through leadership, advocacy and collaboration. PSC's promote equity and social justice to ensure equal access for all students to a rigorous educational experience. Supporting a safe learning environment for all students and encouraging respect and dignity for all is a key element of the work of PSC.

The skills and techniques used by a Professional School Counselor include:

Applying to the Professional Counseling Program

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the Professional Counseling Program are required to have a minimum 2.8 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. If a student does not meet the GPA requirement, but has a significant professional work history, provisional admission to the program may be considered. The GRE is no longer required for the application or admission process.

Application Deadlines

All application materials (for the Graduate School and the Program) must be received by the Counselor Education Admissions Committee prior to following deadlines:

Fall admission - March 15
Spring admission - October 1

Applications that are not complete by the above stated deadlines may not be considered for enrollment until the following semester.

Incomplete applications are denied after 90 days and require the applicant to reapply.

Application Procedures

The application process involves three steps:

Before your application to the Counselor Education Program can be considered, we require the following:

To the Graduate School
  1. Application to the Graduate School - Apply online
  2. A $50 application fee paid online
  3. Copies of transcripts for all colleges and universities attended

If you have questions about the application process please contact the graduate school at

To the Professional Counseling Program Admissions Committee
  1. Do not submit application materials in any type of folder or portfolio.
  2. Autobiographical letter of application - Your responses to the following questions should total 2-4 pages typed and double-spaced.
    • Why did you choose counseling as a possible career and what life experiences have led you to your decision to enter the counseling profession?
    • What are your professional goals upon obtaining your master's degree in counseling?
  3. Three letters of recommendation along with the Professional Counseling Program Recommendation Form. One letter should be from a professional in the field of counseling, if possible. Letters will not be accepted from pastors, family members, or social acquaintances. Recommendation Form
  4. Current resume
  5. Personal Data Form

Program application materials should be emailed to:

Potential Students

Financial Aid

Students interested in applying for financial aid will need to complete the FAFSA and apply through the Financial Aid Services. There are no counseling specific scholarships available through the program. A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available through the Graduate School. The estimated cost of full time (9 hours) attendance is approximately $3000 a semester, plus the cost of fees, books, and materials.

Method of Delivery for Classes

The faculty of the Professional Counseling Program recognize the increasing demands on the time of many of the students. In consideration of that, approximately 40 percent of graduate classes are offered in an online format. However, we strongly believe face to face interaction and supervision is necessary in order to train highly qualified counseling professionals. Counseling classes meet one night a week for 2.5 hours. Classes begin at 4:30 or 7:15.

Graduate Curriculum

Exact sequencing of classes will be determined based upon full or part time attendance. The following is an example of a full-time student who enters in the fall semester. Sample Course Sequence

A full description of courses can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.