Department of Counseling and Human Services

Contact Us
Melanie Harper, Ph.D., Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Counselor Education and Supervision Programs Director

Francis Farrell, Administrative Assistant


Through excellence in education, the Department of Counseling and Human Services prepares graduates to work as professional counselors who are able to integrate Marianist values related to promoting justice, peace, and human dignity as they serve in an increasingly pluralistic, changing, and global society.

Department Mission

Through excellence in education, the mission of the Department of Counseling and Human Services is to prepare clinicians, educators, and researchers with the knowledge and skills needed to integrate Marianist values related to promoting justice, peace, and human dignity as they serve in an increasingly pluralistic, changing, and global society.

Faculty Scholarship Standards

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 degree in Counselor Education and Supervision (CES) is  designed as advanced “practitioner/researcher” degree. Because of the nature of the respective field, the doctorate is not exclusively an “academic” degree. Our accrediting body, CACREP, 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 certifies that the individual has a thorough and expert knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of CES. Thus the emphasis on the scholarship of discovery and application.

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.


St. Mary’s University is proud to be a test site for the National Board for Certified Counselors because our Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Counseling Education and Supervision programs are CACREP accredited. We offer the exam twice a year. For more information, click here.

2016 CACREP Vital Statistics Survey

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