MA in Counseling (533)

The 60-hour Counseling Program at Northwestern University prepares graduates for professional practice in the field of counseling in two program concentration areas: School Counseling (533B) and Clinical Mental Health Counseling (533A). The program is housed within the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development and is part of the Department of Educational Leadership and Technology. The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the College is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Counseling Program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Students may enroll full-time or part-time. This program is not 100% online. Approximately half of the program courses are online; the other half are offered face-to-face on the Natchitoches campus. The 533 program code replaces the previous 48-hour 528 School Counseling program, which has been discontinued.

Graduates of both concentrations meet the current academic requirements for state of Louisiana licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), as well as most other states, and requirements for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential. Graduates of the School Counseling concentration meet current requirements for Louisiana certification in school counseling and the National Certified School Counselor (NCSC) credential. All students are required to pass a comprehensive examination near the end of their program and complete either a thesis or project-in-lieu of thesis. No particular undergraduate degree or teaching certificate is required for admission to the program.

To be admitted to the Counseling program, prospective students must first attain regular or conditional admission to the Graduate School at Northwestern State University. In addition to the application materials for Graduate Studies, applicants must submit a completed application portfolio to the Counseling Program Admissions Committee, which includes the following:

  1. A letter requesting consideration for program admission to a Counseling Program concentration (School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling), including the applicant’s reasons for selecting that particular program concentration.
  2. A current resume including full name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address, academic experiences, prior related work experiences, degrees held, honors, awards, special interests, and other appropriate information.
  3. Three (3) reference forms from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities and potential for success as a professional counselor.
  4. An autobiographical narrative showing evidence of life experiences and personal maturity indicating appropriateness for the counseling field.

Upon evaluation of program application portfolios, qualified applicants will be invited to participate in a mandatory admissions interview.

School Counselors (533B)
Professional School Counselors play a vital role in helping K-12 students succeed and learn. Our program’s primary mission is to help its graduates learn and demonstrate professional best practices. The curriculum aligns to the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) Model, which sets standards for program graduates and for basic standards of practice.

Read about our service learning project for middle school suicide prevention.

Clinical Mental Health Counselors (533A)
Graduates of this concentration are prepared to meet community counseling needs, such as colleges, community health agencies, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. Mental health counselor with a master’s degree is one of Louisiana’s fastest growing occupations. Read more about our new concentration.

For more information, Contact Dr. Gerra Perkins, Counseling Program coordinator, at perkinsg@nsula.edu or 318.357.6915.