Mission Statement and Program Objectives
School Counselor Certification Program
The UAF Counseling Program is committed to providing future counselors with transformative educational experiences grounded in active adult learning theory. We are invested in deconstructing colonialism to engage students from diverse backgrounds to claim space in the educational setting and the counseling profession. The faculty strives to develop culturally attuned counselors serving diverse populations across Alaska, nationally, and internationally.
We subscribe to the scientist-practitioner-advocate model, teaching student responsiveness to the changing requirements of a dynamic, pluralistic society with new and emerging evidenced-based practices that accommodate culturally diverse worldviews. A key aim is to facilitate bi-directional learning opportunities to enhance student self-awareness, insight, empathy, compassion, curiosity, understanding, and commitment. We provide high quality counselor preparation grounded in current research, program evaluation, and improvement.
The program is consistent with the guidelines which have been set by the national accrediting body, the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP), along with the university standards set by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which recently changed its name to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). In addition to the Counseling Department mission statement, the faculty has formalized seven objectives that specify how we intend to fulfill our mission.
We provide a rigorous intellectual climate and a supportive atmosphere for personal and professional development to a diverse student body in order to prepare professionals who acquire knowledge and skills to practice effectively and ethically through:
- Understanding the necessity of practicing ethically and using a multicultural evidence-based framework for serving diverse clients and students especially pertaining to Alaska’s rural and Indigenous populations.
- Developing an awareness of the need for life-long learning and the value of continuing to seek opportunities for professional and personal growth.
3. Infusing current research into courses and field practice by
- Faculty utilizing and contributing to the research to enhance student competency
- Students demonstrating the ability to locate, analyze, and synthesize research to inform their practice.
4. Contributing to the Alaskan context by
- Delivering distance education opportunities for rural students
- Partnering with state licensing board and local military installations
- Fostering community partnerships with agencies and schools throughout the state of Alaska
- Serving on community boards, coalitions, and alliances
- Presenting at local, state, regional, national and international conferences
- Responding to community needs and crisis situations.
5. Engaging current and former students in research-related and professional activities through
- Organizing and facilitating Defense Week to showcase student projects and theses
- Co-presenting at professional conferences and co-publishing in peer reviewed journals
- Engaging students in service learning projects
- Encouraging students to become actively involved in professional organizations such as American Counseling Association (ACA), American School Counselor Association (ASCA), NOHS (National Organization for Human Services) and Chi Sigma Iota (CSI).
6. Utilizing on-going program evaluation by
- Soliciting feedback from field supervisors regarding student performance
- Assessing practicum site training experiences through on-going conversations with students and their field supervisors
- Surveying former students, their supervisors and employers regarding employability and professional readiness.
7. Facilitating student learning opportunities to enhance insight, self-reflection, and personal awareness of impact on others by
- Functioning as a community of learners in a cohort environment with collegial relationships among faculty and students.
- Promoting personal growth by providing experiences that encourage self-examination and openness to the perspectives of others.
- Emphasizing culturally attuned practice by demonstrating inclusive communication when describing clients/students, using people/person first language, and avoiding labeling clients/students.