Lakeland College

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.

MAC at Lakeland College

Courses are available in 12-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.

Available Locations

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®.

Snapshot of Success

Joey OBrienName: Joey O’Brien

Hometown: Cary, Ill.

Title: Counselor

Business: Sheboygan North High School (Sheboygan, Wis.)

First-year Sheboygan North High School counselor Joey O’Brien glanced proudly at the Lakeland College pennant hanging prominently on his office wall.

“I’m probably the biggest Lakeland supporter in the world,” he said with a big smile. “I owe Lakeland so much. I really do.”

Joey, just 26, is a talented newcomer to the Sheboygan Area School District. Intelligent and engaging, he brings impressive academic credentials and plenty of energy to his important position at North.

“I’m excited to take everything I’ve learned at Lakeland and give back to others by helping our students here at North,” he said.

In 2010, Joey earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Lakeland, then followed up quickly with a Master of Arts in counseling degree in 2013. He worked for one year at Chilton Middle School, a job he enjoyed, before accepting the position at North High, where he had previously interned.

“I love Sheboygan and am so happy to be here,” he said. “And I like how close it is to Lakeland College. This is home now.”

Joey came to Lakeland from Cary, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. He admits now that he was an average student in high school, and cared mostly about playing football. That’s what brought him to Lakeland, and academics were a distant afterthought.

“I was the cliché of a jock,” he said. “I guess as a football player, I kind of thought I shouldn’t be smart. I got by in high school just by the seat of my pants.”

But priorities shifted suddenly during his very first football practice at Lakeland, when he suffered a torn ACL in his knee. His freshman season was over before it had begun.

“If not for the great people at Lakeland, I’d have probably packed up, gone home and been done with it,” Joey recalled. “But from Day 1, everybody was so good to me. Professors, staff members, everyone really made me feel like a Muskie.”

Suddenly unable to play football for the first time in years, Joey turned his passion toward learning. He earned a 3.5 grade point average his first semester and never looked back.

“I learned how to become a student, really for the first time,” he said. “The smaller class sizes, the professors taking time to really ask me if I was understanding everything; that made me feel comfortable raising my hand in class. At a big school, I would have failed.”

Joey got an on-campus job in the financial aid office working for Sue Bialk, and he said Sue and Director of Financial Aid Patty Taylor were tremendously positive influences on him.

“You can get an education anywhere, but it’s that connection to people that makes Lakeland so special,” he said.

Joey met his wife, Megan, in class at Lakeland, and he eventually got to play football, too. He started more than 20 games as a safety, racked up nearly 100 tackles his last two seasons and earned second-team all-conference honors as a senior. His leadership shone through, as he won the “Fighting Muskie” award after each of his last two seasons. Lakeland defensive coordinator Colin Bruton said that coveted award goes annually to the Lakeland football player who best exemplifies leadership, talent and passion.

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Joey worked as a graduate assistant defensive backs coach and track and field coach for the Muskies. These days, he serves as an assistant football coach at North. He still loves football, and always will, but he’s no longer that naïve “jock” who enrolled at Lakeland more than seven years ago.

“Lakeland definitely helped me reach my potential,” he said. “You might say I was raised in Chicago, but I definitely grew up at Lakeland.”


Non-degree Seeking

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Non-degree-seeking students are not allowed to register for more than 12 credits in the M.A.C. program.
  3. Typically, federal financial aid is not available.
  4. 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.
  5. Practicums, internships and independent study courses are not available to non-degree-seeking students.
  6. 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.

Emphases & Curriculum

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


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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    FAX: 920-565-1062
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