Master of Arts in Counseling
Lakeland College's master of arts in counseling (M.A.C.) degree is a 48-semester-hour professional graduate training program. The M.A.C. program is dedicated to preparing students for one of three professional counseling areas: community counseling, higher education counseling or school counseling. The M.A.C. program is designed with the working professional in mind and offers opportunities for intellectual, moral and spiritual growth. Non-degree-seeking status is available.
Courses are available in 14-week semesters — in the classroom, BlendEd® and/or online. Instructors are practicing professionals — many holding terminal degrees - who blend experiential learning with in-class instruction. Practicums and internships afford ample time for observation and client contact. The M.A.C. program with a community counseling emphasis meets the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services requirements for a Wisconsin Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The M.A.C. program with a school counseling emphasis is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and is approved for licensure and certification as a Wisconsin school counselor.
Lakeland also offers a non-degree seeking category for those wishing to strengthen an existing major, develop a new area of interest, or complete professional requirements.
The The Master of Arts in Counseling (M.A.C.) degree is currently offered at all of Lakeland College Centers, and through Lakeland College Online™. Most courses are also offered BlendEd®.
Name: Jacquelyn Hunt
Hometown: Madison, Wis.
Title: Licensed clinical substance abuse counselor
Business: FOSTER Program
Caring mental health professional and 2015 Lakeland College Master of Arts in Counseling graduate Jacquelyn Hunt has accomplished much already, but she can't wait to do even more.
In early 2015, Madison-based BRAVA Magazine featured her as one of the area's "30 Women to Watch — Champions of Change." And the Dane County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) honored her as an "Unsung Heroine" during a ceremony in March.
"It's very real and very humbling, and the publicity and accolades are much appreciated," she says. "But there is so much work to be done."
Armed with her resolve and empowered by her Lakeland degree, Hunt has launched a program called "Families Overcoming Struggles to Encourage Restoration," or FOSTER. Her goal is to help families in crisis recover from adversity through strong professional support and mentoring.
"Somebody has to be willing to roll up their sleeves and walk alongside the people who are hurting and broken," she says. "For those who connect with me, I am willing to go on the journey to recovery with them."
Deborah Bilzing, director of Lakeland's counseling program, says she can't wait to see the positive impact Hunt has on society.
"Jackie, like all of our graduate students, is going to make the world a better a place," Bilzing says. "Jackie's excitement about always wanting to be in service to others is a testament to her and what this field is all about."
About her new Lakeland degree, Hunt says: "Lakeland College has prepared me very, very well. It was a great fit for me."
Jon Kuecken, director of Lakeland's Madison Center, says Hunt has a special aura about her.
"You can tell she is highly motivated, not just to earn a degree, but to make our world a better place," Kuecken says. "She's a great example of someone who is improving the community through what she is doing professionally. Her openness and frankness are so refreshing."
Hunt earned a bachelor's degree from Upper Iowa University, then went after her master's at Lakeland's Madison Center. It wasn't easy. She was working 10-hour days as a licensed substance abuse counselor at Journey Mental Health Center, then returning home to whip up meals before going to night classes year-round for 2½ years. By this time, she had seven children — two of them adopted.
"Reflecting on scripture, a race is not given to the swift or the strong, but to those who endure to the end," she says. "There were nights I thought I would go stark raving mad. Only by the grace and mercy of God did I make it through.
"I had a goal. I knew that to be a role model for my children, to show them that you can overcome, they needed to see me doing this. We did it together. We worked hard. I never could have done this without their support. I am thankful to have kids who believed in me."
Hunt lauds the Lakeland College instructors for their flexibility and patience. During the first class break each night, about 6:30, she would call and check in, "to make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing." During the second break, about 8, she'd call again to make sure everyone was resting quietly.
"My instructors knew I was checking on my babies," she says. "I kept my phone on silent during class, but if my home number showed up, I quietly excused myself. Lakeland was so good about that."
Hunt is proud of her children — four daughters and three sons who range in age from 13 to 35 — and her seven grandchildren.
"All of my children graduated from high school and went on to college," she says. "Singlehandedly, I raised winners. I am so proud of them."
And Kuecken is proud of Hunt, whose smile and energy have left a lasting impact on Lakeland's Madison Center.
"She makes everyone who works here proud," he says. "She inspires others, she is so genuine and energetic — someone you want to be around. You just know she's a good person with a good heart. We consider it a privilege that she chose Lakeland College as the place to pursue her Master's degree. She is one of those people in this world who stand out."
Adds Bilzing: "One of the many things that make Jackie so special is that she's always open to the perspectives of other people. She'll tell you her story, but then she'll want to hear your story. Her compassion for people is incredible, and will only continue to grow.
"I tell all of our students: this is a field in which you will change people's lives in ways you cannot even imagine. And Jackie certainly will."
Lakeland offers post-masters counseling certification
Lakeland College now offers post-master's certificates in counseling for any individual who holds a master's degree in counseling from a regionally accredited college or university.
This professional development program is designed for individuals who wish to add to and diversify their counseling skills for different audiences, whether in school counseling, community counseling or higher education counseling.
Individuals who complete the post-graduate certificate in school counseling are eligible to apply for licensure through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction while individuals complete the post-graduate certificate in community counseling are eligible to apply for licensure through the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
These certificate programs generally require individuals to complete an additional 12 credit hours (four classes) which includes coursework, practicums and internships. Further coursework may be required in some instances. This non-degree program is offered through Lakeland's seven centers.
"Certification programs are time effective and cost effective, and allow individuals to build upon skills they already have," said Deborah Bilzing, director of Lakeland's counseling program. "Certification can open up career opportunities in other specialized areas of professional counseling."
Non-degree seeking Master of Arts in Counseling Program registration
In addition to the standard full-time and part-time classifications for students who have been accepted into the M.A.C. program, there is also a classification for non-degree-seeking students. Registrations for non-degree-seeking students are permitted for students who would like to strengthen an existing major, develop a new area of interest, or complete requirements for a new profession.
This status is reserved for those who, at the time of application for this status, are not pursuing nor have any intention of pursuing a M.A.C. degree at Lakeland College. Non-degree-seeking students who decide to pursue a M.A.C. degree at Lakeland must apply for admission prior to enrolling in more than six credits within the program. Students taking more than six credits with non-degree-seeking status will be denied the opportunity to enter the M.A.C. program at a later date. Students granted non-degree-seeking status are allowed to register for up to 12 credits. Successful enrollment of courses while enrolled as a non-degree-seeking student does not guarantee admission into the program.
Non-degree-seeking student status is available to candidates who possess a bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution. A minimum of a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate GPA is required. In order to be considered for non-degree-seeking status, candidates must complete a Graduate Admission Application and are subject to the following unique policies:
- All students taking between 3-12 credits of course work as a non-degree-seeking student must meet the admission requirements to the M.A.C. program, including the completion of nine credits of coursework in behavioral sciences or human services with grades of B- or better.
- Non-degree-seeking students are not allowed to register for more than 12 credits in the M.A.C. program.
- Typically, federal financial aid is not available.
- Applicants for non-degree-seeking status must complete the Evening Weekend and Online application. This application can be found online and must be approved by the M.A.C. program director.
- Practicums, internships and independent study courses are not available to non-degree-seeking students.
- Non-degree-seeking students must meet all identified course pre-requisites for the courses in which they enroll.
Please contact an admissions advisor at one of our seven centers for more information about becoming a non-degree-seeking student, including tuition costs.
School Counseling Emphasis
Professional school counselors are employed in elementary, middle/junior high, and high schools. Through their leadership, school counselors address all students’ academic, career and personal/social development needs by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program. School counselors provide services to students, parents, school staff and the community. Their major functions include providing direct services to students by delivering school counseling core curriculum (classroom sessions), individual student planning, and responsive services. School counselors also provide referrals for additional assistance, consultation, and collaboration working with parents, teacher other educators, and community organizations.
Community Counseling Emphasis
Students entering the community counseling track intend to focus their work in settings such as community mental health centers, inpatient facilities, vocational or employment counseling agencies, family service agencies, correctional institutions, private practice, or social service agencies. Their work can vary depending on the setting in which they work and the population they serve. Community counselors find themselves working with children, adolescents, adults or families many of whom have multiple issues ranging from mental health disorders and addiction to disability and employment needs.
Higher Education Emphasis
Students entering the higher education counseling track plan to seek employment in post-secondary settings such as community colleges, technical colleges, public and private colleges, and universities. The foundation of the emphasis in higher education counseling is built on the essential counseling knowledge and skills that promote the success of student affairs professionals. While there are numerous and diverse opportunities in the field of higher education counseling, past M.A.C. graduates have found positions in college and university counseling centers, residence life, admissions, financial aid, career services, academic advising, and special programs such as providing services for culturally diverse and international students on college and university campuses.
REQUIRED CORE COURSEWORK (48 semester hours)
- CN 710 Introduction to Counseling & Ethics
- CN 714 Multiculturalism & the Practice of Counseling
- CN 716 Lifespan Development & Counseling: An Integration
- CN 718 Psychopathology
- CN 724 Counseling Methods & Ethics
- CN 726 Counseling Theories
- CN 728 Psychometrics & Assessment
- CN 734 Research Methods & Program Evaluation
- CN 736 Counseling Children & Adolescents
- CN 738 Group Therapy
- CN 739 Career Counseling & Development
- CN 744 Crisis Intervention & Conflict Resolution
Complete one of the following areas of emphasis:
School Counseling Emphasis
(Prepares students for DPI certification as a PK-12 school counselor)
- CN 765 Seminar: Structure and Organization of School Counseling
- CN 766 Practicum (125 clock hours)
- CN 767 Internship I (300 clock hours)
- CN 768 Internship II (300 clock hours)
Community Counseling Emphasis
(Meets Wisconsin state credential requirements for a professional counselor license)
- CN 775 Seminar: Structure and Organization of Community Counseling
- CN 776 Practicum (125 clock hours)
- CN 777 Internship I (300 clock hours)
- CN 778 Internship II (300 clock hours)
Higher Education Counseling Emphasis
- CN 785 Seminar: Structure and Organization of Higher Education Counseling
- CN 786 Practicum (125 clock hours)
- CN 787 Internship I (300 clock hours)
- CN 788 Internship II (300 clock hours)
- CN 752 Psychopharmacology
EARN GRADUATE CREDITS AS A NON-DEGREE-SEEKING STUDENT
The M.A.C. program also offers a number of graduate courses that will help you meet your professional development or continued licensing goals. For more information on registering for a course or courses as a non-degree-seeking student, please contact an admission advisor at a Lakeland location near you.
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