New masters degree in counseling approved at BU

For immediate release: Jan. 12, 2007

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will offer a new Master of Education degree in guidance counseling and student affairs beginning in the fall semester of 2007. The new graduate program was approved by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors on Thursday, Jan. 11.

James Matta, BU dean of graduate studies and research, said that demand for such a program in the region has been high. "Of 287 responses to a student survey on campus, 200 individuals said they would be interested in the program. We've been getting three to four additional inquiries about the degree every week since it was approved by our Council of Trustees last year."

Matta emphasized that admission to the program, offered by the department of educational studies and secondary education, will be very competitive. Minimum requirements include having earned a 3.0 grade point average in an appropriate undergraduate degree and earning a score of at least 950 on the GRE combined math and verbal test.

Enrollment is expected to be 25 students this fall with an additional 50 students enrolling for fall 2008, Matta said. The eventual enrollment will be 50 students per year in the two-year program.

"The Board of Governors had no questions about this program before approval," said Provost James Mackin, "which is a testament to the strength of the proposal and the perceived need for the degree in the region." Mackin also praised Matta and Robert Gates, chair of the department of educational studies and secondary education, for their leadership in designing the program.

The new master's degree will include three areas of specialization: elementary education counseling, secondary education counseling, and student affairs administration. The program, which has been designed to meet the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, will take two years of full-time study, including one summer, to complete.

The degree will require the completion of a common core of 33 credits, plus an additional 21 credits specific to an area of specialization. Two distinct experiences totaling 600 hours in supervised practice also will be provided.

At its January meeting, the Board of Governors approved just two other degree programs at its meeting, a Master of Science in health services administration at Indiana University, and a Master of Science in Nursing at Kutztown University.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.