Doctoral Track in Counselor Education and Supervision Now Available

Beginning this fall, Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Education will offer a new doctoral degree track in Counselor Education and Supervision.

The new track, part of the University’s existing Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.), is designed to provide quality professional training for those seeking employment in higher education as counselor educators and/or advanced clinical practice, clinical supervision, or related administrative positions in clinical mental health and school settings.

The current master's degree programs in school counseling and clinical mental health counseling are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and according to Dr. Carol A. Sommer, program director, the new doctorate has been designed to meet the most recent CACREP accreditation standards for doctoral study.

A 2013 study commissioned by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services indicated that “pent-up demand” due to Medicaid expansion and other assistance issues “may exacerbate workforce shortages” in many areas, including mental health. It noted that more than 80 percent of Kentucky counties have a workforce supply gap for mental health professionals. Highly qualified educators and supervisors are needed to provide training and supervision to help meet the rapidly growing need for professional counselors, especially in rural areas.

Students in the new doctoral track at EKU will be able to specialize in either School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Sommer cited several strengths of the new program:

·         highly qualified faculty with extensive experience in both clinical practice and scholarship.

·         an emphasis on personal attention and mentoring.

·         niches that will allow students to tailor the program to meet their specific career goals.

·        a focus on working with rural populations.

·       convenient bi-semester class scheduling, with approximately half the classes to eventually be offered online.

“I’m really excited about what’s happening,” Sommer said. “We’ve set our standards very high, and our goal is to be the leader of the pack.”

Sommer noted that students pursuing a master’s degree in counseling at EKU “always exceed the national average on licensure exams, and we intend to further that same dedication to excellence at the doctoral level. Our students will be among the best of the best.”

For more information about the EKU doctoral degree program in Counselor Education and Supervision, contact Dr. Carol Sommer at carol.sommer@eku.eduor visit

Published on June 10, 2014

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