Updated School of Education graduate program approved

October 11, 2017
Doudna Hall

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – University of Wisconsin-Platteville students in the School of Education’s MSE-Human Services graduate program now will benefit from a more comprehensive preparation program and a more streamlined process to obtain their Professional Counselor-In Training licensure, thanks to the program being recently revised and then formally approved by the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services in Madison.

The program’s approval from the DSPS means the state has evaluated the program for rigor and content and approves of the program for graduate students pursuing the field of licensed counseling. Students in the program often apply to the DSPS after graduation for their Substance Abuse Counselor license or Professional Counselor-In-Training license. 

The recently updated and expanded 60-credit program will provide thorough preparation for students pursuing careers in professional counseling, ensuring that students will be well-prepared to practice as professionals shortly after graduation.

Program graduate Donald Reynolds, who provides community mental health treatment at Jefferson County Human Services in Jefferson, Wisconsin, was excited about the pre-approval for the 60-credit program because of its benefits for students.

“Students who are going through the program will be confident, knowledgeable and effective as counselors in the field upon graduation and the application process for the license will be easier for graduates,” said Reynolds.

Ann Krebs Byrne, coordinator of the MSE-Human Services program, said that the program will give students assurance that when they complete the 60-credit program, their DSPS license application will be approved.

“Having our program listed on the DSPS website as an approved preparatory program for the Professional Counselor-in-Training license will bring more students into our program and give our students assurance that when they graduate, the DSPS will recognize the excellent academic preparation they’ve had,” said Krebs Byrne. “Our graduates will quickly be able to start their work providing high-quality mental health counseling to those who need it in Wisconsin. I hope that this will also be a source of pride for our alumni.”

She noted that as a nation, there is growing awareness of the importance of having mental health services available to all.

“At UW-Platteville, we are proud of the diversity in our MSE-Human Services student population,” said Krebs Byrne. “Sixty-four percent of the students presently in our Human Services program identify as students of color, and we continue to welcome a diverse student population to our program. As the students graduate, the citizens of Wisconsin will see diversity within the counseling profession. We are excited to be a part of the excellent preparation our students receive as future counselors in Wisconsin’s mental health community and we’re proud to support the diversification of the counseling profession in our state.”

Krebs Byrne said that approving the program also will save Wisconsin taxpayers money because there will be less need for the DSPS professionals to spend extra time reading long applications and examining all the courses required for licensure. When they see that the applicant is a UW-Platteville graduate with the required 60 credits, they can approve the application and send it on.  

Fifty UW-Platteville students are currently pursuing the MSE-Human Services degree. Structured to meet the needs of adults of all ages and life stages including busy working professionals who might be juggling work, school and family life, the program is available on weekends in five Wisconsin cities: Milwaukee, Racine, Madison, Janesville and Platteville, with some courses also being offered weeknights via webcam. 

Instructor expertise was key in preparations of the program pre-approval application, as a significant portion of preparing the application for program pre-approval was to review all syllabi and to compare the content of courses to what is in the state requirements for the new 60-credit program. Instructors updated their syllabi, considered the appropriateness of textbooks for each new or revised course, and served as excellent resources. Some instructors served as additional readers for application documents to make sure they were correct.

The program updates were made possible through the collaborative effort of many individuals, including program instructors; Rita Udelhoven, LPC; advisor of the MSE-Human Services program; Krebs Byrne; Dr. Dominic Barraclough, interim director of the School of Education at UW-Platteville; Dr. Daniel Leitch, assistant director of the School of Education at UW-Platteville; members of the UW-Platteville Graduate Council; Dee Dunbar, program assistant in the School of Graduate Studies at UW-Platteville; Judy Belken, academic department associate in the School of Education at UW-Platteville; and Victoria Gevelinger, project assistant in the School of Education’s Office of Special Programs at UW-Platteville.

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, University Relations Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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