Revamped Counselor Education and Training Program Benefits Idaho Students and Schools

Friday, June 18 2010

Written by Donna Emert 

MOSCOW, Idaho – Recent adjustments to the University of Idaho school counselor education and training has resulted in a win/win situation for university students and K-12 schools.

The program recently has been cut from 61 to 34 credits, allowing school counseling students to complete the academic side of the program in one year instead of two. That reduction reflects a new focus on school counseling students taking only those courses relevant to that role.

University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene Counseling Professor Steve Duvall is at the forefront of the recent master's degree program changes.

“If students want to pursue other counseling programs and licensure goals, they still can qualify to take the necessary professional exams by taking additional credits,” Duvall explained. “So taking those exams remain an option, but those students focused on becoming school counselors can finish up faster. It’s a time and cost savings for those students because they take a lot fewer credits.”

In the past, school counseling students have been required to take courses in, for example, family counseling. “That's training school counselors don’t use,” said Duvall. “So we’ve taken it out of the curriculum.”

The new program also now requires that counseling students intern in K-12 schools for half a year. After completing their academic credits, they are required to accrue 600 hours of experience in a school setting under the guidance of a certified, practicing school counselor.

School counseling students have had many practicum opportunities in the past, but the program at the University of Idaho did not have a course specifically entitled school counseling internship, Duvall said. “The State Board asked for a school counseling school internship, so this new model more closely aligns with that state requirement,” he said. “We are folding many of those former practicum experiences into the new internship.”

The new internship requirement will not only more directly meet State Board of Education guidelines, but also will provide Idaho schools with highly qualified counseling support staff. In addition, compared to the older system, the internships will more fully immerse students into the schools so that they more quickly develop an understanding of the issues facing Idaho students and Idaho schools. The first group of counseling students is beginning the new program this summer.

The 34-credit school psychology degree and 69-credit school psychology educational specialist degree programs at the University of Idaho prepare compassionate and competent professionals who facilitate the educational, personal-emotional, social-relational, leisure-recreational, and vocational needs of a diverse clientele. The degree also offers an option in rehabilitation counseling, which trains counselors to assist individuals who have disabilities in order to help them maximize their potential and their independence. To learn more about the program, contact Duvall at (208) 292-2517 or
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit