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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU's counseling psychology program earns reaccreditation

The counseling psychology doctoral program of New Mexico State University's Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology has been reaccredited for seven years by the American Psychological Association, proving that students who enter the program will receive high-quality multicultural training.

accreditation, it is more difficult to prove students received quality training, and it may be more difficult for students to obtain a license to practice counseling, said Eve Adams, assistant professor and training director of the counseling psychology program.

The APA requires programs to have clearly specified philosophies of education and training, adequate resources and facilities, an emphasis on cultural diversity, excellent student-faculty relations, self-assessment and quality enhancement programs. Programs also must show the APA how they represent themselves to the public through written materials such as brochures, handbooks and other public documents.

NMSU's counseling psychology program fulfills these requirements and also offers a supervision practicum that is not available at many other institutions, Adams said. In the supervision practicum, doctoral students are trained to provide counseling supervision to master's level therapists who see clients in the department's training center.

The program has held a multicultural research symposium since 1996, where students can present their research and have the opportunity to hear presentations by nationally known counseling psychologists. In 2004, the program received a Suinn Minority Achievement Award from the APA for high enrollment of minority students. Adams said 50 percent of students now enrolled in the program are of ethnic minority status.

In 2005, the program was a finalist for an APA Award for Innovative Practices in Graduate Education. NMSU's counseling psychology program places doctoral students in community primary care sites to counsel minority patients. For students who are bilingual, they receive supervision in Spanish.

In addition to a core curriculum of counseling psychology courses, students are required to take five research and statistics courses, a history of psychology course and courses that examine the biological, social and cognitive theories surrounding human behavior.

"With these courses, students come away with a true understanding of how to help someone better understand their life and make changes to improve their functioning," Adams said.

NMSU's program is the only counseling psychology program in New Mexico, and one of only 69 programs in the country. The program was first accredited in 1995 and reaccredited in 1998. In the last seven years, 33 students have graduated from the program after successfully completing 120 credits of practicum training and a full-time internship. Graduates of the program go on to become faculty members or psychologists in private practice, at university counseling centers or at community health agencies.

Natisha Hales
May 12, 2006