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Department of Counseling and Special Populations developed at Lamar University

Lamar University officials have announced the formation of a new department in the College of Education and Human Development. The Department of Counseling and Special Populations offers bachelor’s and graduate programs that lead to master of education degrees in professional school counseling, counseling and development, and special education.

Dean Hollis Lowery-Moore started developing this innovative department in the spring of 2010. By the spring 2011 semester it was established and first offered to Lamar students.

“It was the dean’s vision,” said Pamela Monk, interim department chair for the new department. “Approximately 500 students are currently enrolled and that number is expected to increase next semester.”

Educational leadership has grown so much throughout the years the faculty felt developing a new department was necessary. The Department of Educational Leadership, of which counseling and special populations was initially a part, had become so populated that splitting the counseling curriculum off into its own department would allow students a more concentrated curriculum in that area. The department is staffed with an exceptional list of Lamar professors, two of who were hired especially for this unit.

“The staff members here are not afraid of challenges and are very student focused,” said Monk. “Because they are so creative and talented, they have developed courses that are rich in best practices content and utilize activities that apply to real world experiences that are sure to benefit the students greatly.”

Along with the master of education degrees that are offered through this program, students can also receive a bachelor of science, bachelor of arts, or professional certifications as well. The new department offers certifications for educational diagnostician, professional school counselor, as well as generic special education. All are offered with the option for an endorsement in gifted education. It is the goal of these programs to provide the academic climate and practical experience necessary to produce teachers and other specialists of superior competence in their chosen areas of specialization.

In addition to the traditional on-campus classes available, a 36-hour master’s degree in professional school counseling degree is offered online. The course can be completed in 18 months and open registration began on April 11. Response to this new department has been robust with more than 350 students registering on the first day. A similar number of students are already expected to apply for the fall 2011 semester.

“It is rare to have the opportunity to develop a new department at Lamar University,” said Monk. “The dean feels we have the faculty, students and programs to be successful.”

For more information about the Department of Counseling and Special Populations contact Pamela Monk at (409) 880-8978 or pemonk@lamar.edu.