WBU to offer Master of Arts in counseling

PLAINVIEW – The Division of Social Sciences at Wayland Baptist University announced plans to offer a Master of Arts in counseling, beginning in the fall. The new degree is designed to lead to Licensed Professional Counselor status and/or certification as a school counselor. The degree will also cater to working adults.

Dr. Estelle Owens, chairperson for the division, said adding the degree was a logical step in order to meet the needs of psychology students.

“We have been hearing for years from our students that they wanted a master’s in counseling psychology, and that they wanted to get it here rather than having to go off somewhere else and start over,” Owens said.

The new degree plan follows Wayland’s external campus calendar, which offers four 11-week terms per year. Two classes will be offered per term, allowing a student to complete the 48-hour course in two years. Half of the classes will be offered online, while the other half will be face-to-face classes offered initially on weekends. Night courses may be offered in the future. The classes will meet on four weekends during each term. Furthermore, Wayland is pursuing cost-effective housing for students commuting for weekend classes which will be held on Friday evenings and Saturdays.

“We know there are area students driving great distances from us in order to do graduate work in counseling. Wayland’s program will allow these and future students to complete a Master’s degree closer to home,” Owens said.

Wayland is also offering students a tuition break through an equalization program. Students enrolling in the program will complete a scholarship application which will make them eligible for a significantly discounted tuition rate.

Wayland has been offering graduate level courses in psychology for years due to degree specializations in education and management. This new program will take the place of the MED in counseling guidance, but not the psychology specialization in the management degree. The Division of Social Sciences has worked closely with the Division of Education to ensure that all course requirements for school counselor certification are met through the program.

While the degree plan is designed to lead to LPC status, there is significant work that must be done after completing the course work. Although Wayland will grant the master’s degree, students must complete other requirements, such as supervised counseling hours, in order to be eligible to sit for an LPC exam.

There will also be additional requirements for students seeking a license as a school counselor, such as being a certified teacher and teaching for a minimum of two years.

To apply for the program, contact Wayland’s graduate programs office at (806) 291-3420.