Edit Page


About Counselor Education

What Is Counseling? 

The practice of professional counseling is the application of mental health, psychological or human development principles, through cognitive, affective, behavioral or systemic intervention strategies that address wellness, personal growth, or career development, as well as pathology. 

Mission Statement 

The Counselor Education Graduate Program at SUNY New Paltz trains highly skilled mental health and school counselors knowledgeable in both the practice and science of counseling. The program’s climate combines rigorous academic standards along with a collegial and supportive mentoring environment that conceptualizes students as emerging professionals. The program is committed to academic and personal development of counseling trainees within an atmosphere that values cultural and intellectual diversity. The program’s goal is to prepare mental health and school counselors who: 

  • Possess the knowledge and skills necessary to practice as highly competent counselors
  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a commitment to continually expanding their counseling knowledge and proficiency 
  • Understand and model the professional standards and ethics of their profession 
  • Attend to their own personal growth, as well as that of their clients, through utilizing supervision, valuing interpersonal feedback, and engaging in ongoing self-evaluation 
  • Show mastery of the research process and understand its central role in counseling practice and conducting program evaluation 
  • Are open-minded and respectful of multicultural and intellectual diversity 
  • Use their counseling knowledge to function as compassionate and caring practitioners, advocates, and leaders within their profession and within the communities they serve 

Program Philosophy

The comprehensive counseling programs combine theoretical and applied approaches to serving clients. Courses in all of the programs provide a balanced selection of academic and experiential education, with an emphasis on reflective practice of skills. The programs prepare professionals to help people develop their resources to resolve problems, to make decisions and to facilitate growth and development. 

Program Objectives 

  • To prepare counselors who are knowledgeable about the philosophy, history, and current and future trends in the counseling profession. 
  • To train counselors who can recognize, understand, and respond to social and cultural differences and change in society. 
  • To train counselors who have a foundation for understanding human behavior and development. 
  • To prepare counselors who are able to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally appropriate counseling interventions and programs. 
  • To prepare counselors who are knowledgeable and skilled in heling clients make life and career decisions. 
  • To train counselors who are knowledgeable and skilled in the helping/counseling process. 
  • To prepare counselors who are able to apply knowledge, theory, and skills to work effectively with clients in a variety of modalities (individual, group, family) and to use crisis intervention, brief counseling, and long term approaches. 
  • To train counselors who are knowledgeable and skilled in providing group counseling. 
  • To prepare counselors who are knowledgeable and skilled in gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data about individuals. 
  • To prepare counselors who are knowledgeable and skilled in the use of assessment techniques, including diagnosis, with individuals and groups. 
  • To prepare counselors who are knowledgeable about research and program evaluation. 
  • To prepare counselors who are able to read, critique, utilize and contribute to professional research literature and who are able to engage in program evaluation. 
  • To prepare counselors who meet additional curricular objectives for their specialization area in the areas of service, prevention, treatment, referral, and program management. 
  • Develop, through supervised practicum and internship experiences, and integration of the knowledge and skills needed to be successful as practicing counselors. 
  • Develop, through self-reflection and insight, an understanding of oneself and the use of self in the counseling process.  Develop a personal approach to counseling and client advocacy with a clear understanding of counselor functions. 

Questions, Comments, Suggestions? 

If you would like more information about counselor education at SUNY New Paltz please contact: 

Dr. Melanie HillDirector 
Office: Wooster Hall 351 
Phone: (845) 257-3475 
Email: hillm@newpaltz.edu