February 25, 2018  

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Counseling Psychology Students Excel Annually on National Counselor Exam

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Dr. Emily Yowell, program coordinator for Southern Miss' counseling psychology master's program

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Psychology continues to boast a 100 percent passing rate for its graduate counseling psychology students who take the National Counselor Exam (NCE). Graduates of the program last year and in recent years not only passed the exam, but exceeded the national passing rate average.

Passing the NCE allows those seeking certification in counseling to gain this credential, one of the qualifying factors to be licensed as a professional counselor in every state in the U.S. 

“The passing rate and our performance above the national average over the years speaks well for the Department of Psychology and the training our students receive in the program,” said Dr. Emily Yowell, program coordinator and assistant professor of psychology.

Graduates of the program go on to be counselors for community mental health centers, alcohol and drug treatment facilities, colleges and universities, independent therapy practices, state agencies and other entities that can benefit from the expertise of a therapist.

“Counseling is a helping profession and this degree prepares graduates to help others in a meaningful way,” Yowell said. “Those applying to our program are usually interested in working with clients in groups or one-on-one in the mental health field.”

The program is also good preparation for those wishing to continue their education with a doctorate, as it emphasizes research participation, Yowell said. 

Christy Dyess of Hattiesburg completed the program in August 2011 and passed the NCE last spring, and now works as a chemical dependency clinician at Clearview Recovery Center in Moselle, Miss. She said the academic expectations and guidance she experienced in the program prepared her for the NCE and set the foundation for her to gain national recognition as a counselor.

“The training I received gave me a solid preparation for the counseling profession,” Dyess said. “While much is learned from field experience, the program offered me the foundational knowledge, practicum experiences and personal growth necessary to enter the professional practice with confidence, as well as excitement to continue learning.”

For more information about the Southern Miss Department of Psychology’s master’s program in counseling psychology, online visit http://www.usm.edu/counseling-psychology