Faculty Scholarship Standards

The Department of Counseling and Human Services is unique within the University and across the United States. The Department offers both a M.A. and Ph.D. in two distinct accredited programs. There is a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision, which are both accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). There is also a Master’s and doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). St. Mary’s is one of the few programs in the United States to be dually accredited by both agencies. The Department of Counseling and Human Services is the only University department to offer doctoral degrees.

The Master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy are practitioner degrees. The requirements for these degrees represent the minimum degree requirements for credentialing as a licensed professional in these respective fields. Education at this level requires a careful balancing of theoretical and practical knowledge and an integration of the two. Faculty members spend a significant amount of time in the careful supervision of students as they begin to work with actual clients and provide professional mental health services. The faculty bears the burden of, and the responsibility for, the quality of services provided by the students of the Department. Because this is such a central element of our programs, the Department places significant value on the Scholarship of Teaching, especially as it relates to developing clinical skills, teaching techniques, cultural competence, student development models, and the process of supervision.

The doctoral degrees in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) and Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) are designed as advanced “practitioner/researcher” degrees. Because of the nature of these respective fields, the doctorate is not exclusively an “academic” degree. Our accrediting bodies, CACREP and COAMFTE, require faculty members to provide mental health care services beyond their academic teaching responsibilities. This requirement exists because it is impossible to disconnect counseling theory from counseling practice. Therefore, the Department understands that the conferring of a doctorate in counseling not only certifies that the individual has a thorough and expert knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of CES and/or MFT, but is also an advanced practitioner and researcher in the art of therapy. Thus the emphasis on the scholarship of discovery and application.

The faculty appreciates the diverse nature of the respective disciplines in our department. The fields of Counseling and Marriage and Family therapy cut across disciplines such as psychology, medicine, sociology, anthropology, nursing, child development, substance abuse and theology to name a few. Under the American Counseling Association, there are 19 chartered divisions recognizing areas of specialization of the counseling discipline alone.Thus, the scholarship of integration can be both inter- and intra-disciplinary. Recognizing the diverse possibilities for the scholarship of integration, each faculty member brings a unique perspective and contribution to varied areas of expertise, and will do collaborative scholarship both in, and out of this area of expertise.

The Department thus recognizes the importance of the four areas of scholarship. It is also important to the Department that a spirit of collaboration and the fostering of relationships, which is key to the therapeutic process and central to the Mission of the university, be reflected in every aspect of the educational process and the evaluation of academic performance for promotion and tenure. The Department therefore encourages multiple authorship of journal articles, professional presentations, sponsoring of student research, shared research with other institutions, and other collaborative enterprises. Supervision and committee membership of dissertations is considered to be an important and valid component of scholarly activity, as well as any publications that might result.

In addition to peer reviews, all types of scholarship must demonstrate that they are well expressed, visible, innovative, comprehensive, influential, and serve to promote the professionalism of the respective discipline. Peer-review can occur pre-dissemination, during the dissemination process, and post-dissemination. For non-written products, such as presentations, video materials, continuing education workshops, and distance learning, the applicant must demonstrate the measures by which peer review or evaluation has taken place. This could include participant evaluations (for workshops), comparative evaluations (median scores of regional conference evaluations), or invited presentations based on previously presented material (the selection process constitutes a peer review.

At the time a faculty member applies for promotion or tenure or undergoes senior faculty review, it is the individual faculty member’s responsibility to demonstrate the visibility of their scholarly activities in their respective area(s) of expertise. As a general rule, scholarly works that are published by the American Counseling Association or the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy or any of their subdivisions are preferred. Preference is also given to any works that are disseminated directly to the members or these organizations that are used for the purposes of academic and/or professional training. We also value scholarly works that are created for the consumers of mental health services.

Because the Department of Counseling and Human Services faculty members teach solely at the graduate level, as stated in the Faculty Handbook, faculty members must devote some portion of their time, on a regular basis, to the Scholarship of Teaching and to the Scholarship of Discovery or the Scholarship of Integration. Department faculty members are expected to produce, at minimum, one scholarly work for each year of academic employment. For example, a faculty member in the department who has been employed for seven years must have seven scholarly works as a minimum standard. A faculty member may have predominant scholarly products in a single area, while having fewer products in other areas.

The specific type, form, and intensity of scholarly activity may vary according to the seasons of a faculty member’s career and the needs and interests of the profession; consequently a faculty member may have years of lean scholarly productivity followed by years of plenty. A faculty member must demonstrate that he or she is engaged in scholarship at each evaluative review, such as pre-tenure evaluation by peers (first and third years of employment), promotion application (time at rank: Instructor-three years, Assistant Professor-five years, Associate Professor-seven years), tenure application (during fourth, fifth, or sixth years of employment), and Senior Faculty Review (every five years, beginning in the tenth year of employment).

Pro-rata faculty members are entitled to development opportunities and may apply for pro-rata promotion and tenure. The expectation of scholarly productivity and evaluative review is similar to that of full-time ranked faculty, except the timing and intensity of scholarly productivity is commensurate with the pro-rata status. A pro-rata faculty member is expected to produce, at minimum, one scholarly work for each two years of academic employment. A pro-rata faculty must demonstrate that he or she is engaged in scholarship at each evaluative review, such as Pre-Tenure Evaluation by peers (first, third, and sixth years of employment by pro-rata faculty), promotion application (minimum time in rank is: Instructor-6 years, Assistant Professor-10 years, Associate Professor- 14 years), tenure application (eighth, ninth, or tenth years of pro-rata employment), and Senior Faculty Review (every five years, beginning in the tenth year of employment).

Guidelines for Evaluating the Minimum Expected Scholarship Standards


The Scholarship of Discovery in the disciplines of Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy is demonstrated in a faculty member’s area of expertise. It is generally expected that each faculty invest in professional development activities that renders them an expert in some particular aspect of their respective discipline. As such, the Scholarship of Discovery is defined as:
A faculty member’s original contribution to the body of knowledge, which subsequently serves as an expansion of the field.

Generally, the Scholarship of Discovery includes those activities that add to the field/body of knowledge of clinical practice. Such activities are varied and may include some of the following examples:

  • The development and/or the expansion of theory
  • The creation of new techniques and approaches to treatment and teaching
  • Assessing outcomes related to the application of innovative theory and techniques
  • Descriptive field studies examining innovative clinical techniques, researching under-represented populations, and
  • Comparing the effectiveness of treatments or differences between populations.

In the disciplines of Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) the Scholarship of Discovery is highly variable and may include, but is not limited to quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The “practitioner/researcher” model of training does not discriminate between quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Each methodology has a rich and well-documented scholarly foundation. The methodology chosen is dependent on the nature of the research question(s) being asked.

The Scholarship of Discovery may be disseminated in a number of ways that include refereed journals, peer reviewed book chapters, books, published proceedings of scholarly conferences, and refereed presentations at local, state, national and international professional conferences. Customarily, preference is given to those means of disseminationthat are the most visible in the specific area(s) of specialization of the individual faculty member.


As the disciplines of Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy are “applied” fields, the scholarship of application is highly valued. Many of the activities classified as the Scholarship of Application are integral to the Scholarship of Discovery. The Scholarship of Application may be demonstrated by written works or other scholarly works, may be focused within the university or outside the university, can be cross-disciplinary, and can result in internal review or disclosure by publications, professional presentations, or external review. Scholarly works in this area must demonstrate that they are well-expressed, innovative, comprehensive, visible, peer reviewed, influential and promote the professionalism of the respective discipline. Examples of these professional activities of Counselor and MFT Educators are:

  • Examining the effectiveness of new and innovative therapeutic techniques and evaluating the effectiveness of such techniques
  • Applying theoretical scholarship to a specific aspect of the therapeutic process.
  • Examining how other disciplines are related to, and thus “applied” to counseling and marriage and family theoretical or philosphical perspectives.
  • Contributing to test banks, manuals, accreditation activities, dissertations, publication or presentations of outcome studies of mental health interventions, presentations at professional conferences, promotion and development of additional clinical services for the community, writing grants and proposals for research and/or training, development of new or improved methods of supervision of counseling interns, and application of knowledge from other fields to the improved health and well-being of clients and students through monographs, psychoeducational programs, clinical interventions, or advanced training.



Reflective of the University’s mission and the particular nature of the counseling field as noted above, teaching is a central and essential element of evaluation in the Department.All types of Scholarship and scholarly activities must demonstrate that they are well expressed, innovative, comprehensive, visible, peer-reviewed/refereed, influential, and serve to promote the professionalism of the respective discipline. Scholarly products must demonstrate how they fulfill these assessment standards.

Given the aforementioned expectations, the Scholarship of Teaching may be demonstrated in a variety of ways including:

  • Creation of new course offerings including special seminars, programs intended for the general public, provision of continuing education programs for professionals in the field, participation in activities of accreditation, service on accrediting boards.

Other activities may include program development, minor area development, research endeavors that result in new/innovative teaching techniques, the development of teaching models and/or models of student development. There is also and overlap in service activities that involve the Scholarship of Teaching such as active participation in organizations which enhance the teaching environments in counseling departments such as the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and the Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

The Scholarship of Teaching has two dimensions: a) the discovery and transmission of information about the learning process and; b) the development of materials for use in the classroom and other teaching contexts. The Scholarship of Teaching may be demonstrated by published written works or in a variety of other ways. Examples of these two dimensions in the professional activities of Counselor and MFT educators are:

a) Discovery and transmission of information about the learning process which include:

  • Provision of continuing education for professionals who supervise internship students.
  • Participation in accreditation activities.
  • Service on professional education and training bodies, such as Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (TACES) Commission on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP), Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), Supervision Standards Committee of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
  • Development of new teaching models or models of counselor/student development

b) Development of materials for use in the classroom and other recognized teaching and training programs:

  • Devising procedures for identifying and remediating at-risk counseling students.
  • Producing video vignettes of clinical situations.
  • Formulating clinical assessment, treatment, outcome, and liability management procedures.
  • Publishing and or producing case studies to be used in training environments such as the classroom and professional development training institutes locally, nationally and internationally.

It is expected that our faculty demonstrate excellence in teaching. Awards and nominations by students and/or professional peers such as the Distinguished Graduate Faculty, Piper Professor Nomination, professional association recognition and nomination for teaching excellence, professional conference recognition for outstanding workshop presentation are all valued and recognized indicators of excellence in teaching.


The fields of Counseling and Marriage and Family therapy have the potential to interact and overlap with every aspect of the human endeavor. More commonly and more frequently our disciplines are at their most creative edges when they are integrated with other disciplines such as sociology; psychology; religious studies; rehabilitation; education; ethnic, culture and gender studies; physiology; history; philosophy; law; public justice; medicine and the expressive and creative arts. Therefore the Scholarship of Integration is an equally creative and valued form of scholarship. Activities involving the Scholarship of Integration include:

  • Peer-reviewed articles published in journals outside of the specific fields of counseling and/or marriage and family therapy.
  • Presentations at conferences.
  • Invited scholarship in other fields.
  • Demonstrations of professional development by faculty in areas of specialization that are outside of the field but hold potential for making a significant contribution to the growth and development of the field (e.g. advanced work in the creative and creative arts to advance the use of music, body movement, poetry, and writing (for example) as therapeutic techniques.

In addition, peer-reviewed integrative creative activities such as those involving the expressive arts, and/or non-fiction creative writing that serve to facilitate the personal and professional growth of the members of our respective fields are considered the scholarship of integration. Other works that reflect a particular talent (also considered an area of expertise) of the faculty may be published in peer-reviewed professional journals, book chapter, books etc.