Student Development and Academic Performance

Obtaining a master’s degree in School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling includes examination of personal beliefs, values, experiences and personal wellness. Throughout the program, you'll review these factors alongside academic performance factors as part of personal disposition, and you will revisit them as you create the roadmap for your professional development.

Online Skills for Success

The counseling programs are offered in a traditional and online format. To be successful in an online program, candidates should understand the skills, tools and dedication for self-directed learning.

The following checklist provides some areas to consider for being a successful online learner:

  • I have access to a computer/Internet/technology
  • I am not intimidated by using technology for learning
  • I am comfortable using basic computer software programs (e.g., Word, Excel)
  • I am a good time manager, can meet deadlines and keep track of assignments
  • I am an independent learner
  • I am self-disciplined
  • I can express my ideas, comments, questions and emotions in writing
  • I am generally flexible and can adjust to changing schedules
  • I have some time available to go to campus when required (i.e. residency course)
  • I am a self-starter
  • I easily understand what I read
  • I am goal-directed and often achieve my goals
  • I am realistic and confident about my academic ability
  • I am persistent and obstacles do not stop me
  • I believe in taking responsibility for my own learning
  • I am open to trying something new
  • I am open to working in an unstructured setting
  • I enjoy working in teams and take initiative in collaboration
  • I am comfortable exploring online databases and can differentiate a credible source
Student Professional Development and Disposition

Allowing for your feedback, faculty continually evaluate your professional development based on the following dispositional guidelines:

  1. Responsibilities: is present, punctual and prepared for classes and field experiences; completes assignments in a timely manner; dependable; cooperative; knows and follows guidelines in course syllabi, university and department handbooks; exhibits dress and grooming appropriate for the setting; self-directed; engages in self-care behaviors; accepts responsibility.

  2. Communication: uses appropriate language; demonstrates ability to speak and write with clarity; uses standard English in writing and speaking; practices active listening.

  3. Interpersonal skills: shows courtesy and respect for students, teachers, staff, peers, parents and members of the community; works collaboratively with others; avoids disparaging or critical remarks; establishes positive rapport and appropriate relationships; shows sensitivity to others; committed to diversity, and is non-judgmental, open-minded, supportive and encouraging.

  4. Professional characteristics: is positive, enthusiastic, optimistic, patient, fair, empathetic, inquisitive and resourceful; respects individual differences; shows initiative and creativity; committed to holistic development of students/clients; dedicated to mental health, including, prevention, guidance and wellness; demonstrates persistence in helping all clients/students achieve success; exhibits personal and professional awareness and caring attitude toward all clients/students; and is multiculturally competent.

  5. Self-management: is mature, exhibits self-control, reacts appropriately under stress; is flexible, adapts to change; able to accept and express different points of view in a professional manner; maintains healthy emotional self-regulation; uses good judgment; accepts responsibility for own actions.

  6. Ethics and law: demonstrates truthfulness and honesty; maintains ethical and legal behaviors; maintains confidentiality; respects intellectual property of others by giving credit and avoiding plagiarism/cheating; adheres to ethics/policies/laws pertaining to the university, department, fieldwork site, state, federal government and profession.

  7. Self-reflection: engages in problem solving and self-evaluation; continually seeks to improve self-awareness; reflects on decisions made concerning clients/students; accepts constructive criticism in a positive manner; uses feedback to make improvements; strives for personal and professional growth.

If at any point in the counseling program you do not perform to standard with respect to the Four Domains of Disposition or other university/college/department requirements, remediation and/or dismissal from the program will occur through the student development and academic performance committee.

Student Development and Academic Performance Committee

The Lamar University policy for graduate performance includes academic success at a 3.0 or above GPA. If at any time your GPA falls below a 3.0, or shows a disposition referral by faculty, you will be placed on probationary status. If your GPA, and/or disposition, is below standard for more than one semester, you will be placed on suspension and must re-apply to the program.

The SDAPC is committed to creating a climate that facilitates the department’s objective to prepare you to become highly skilled, culturally competent, ethical professionals. This commitment is reflected by ongoing review of candidates and coursework important to student success. In addition, the committee reviews cases that were referred by faculty members who have concerns about student progression in the program.

Broadly, the SDAPC guide the process to:

  • review student GPA for compliance to 3.0 minimum standards;
  • make reports related to students failing to meet minimum skill requirements;
  • address any issue related to failure to be successful in meeting program standards;
  • notify referred students of their status in the program who fall below posted GPA; requirements or receives an "F", "D", or "I" grade;
  • develop appropriate behavior plans for remediation;
  • and address professional behavior or dispositional concerns.

For more questions about grade changes, academic expectations, the Disability Resource Center and Student Policy Handbook, see Academic Policies

Faculty of the College of Education and Development adhere to Texas Educator Code of Ethics and the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics as a guide for professional development. Specifically, the ethical code puts forth in Section F.9.b that faculty assist students in securing remedial assistance when needed; seek professional consultation and document decisions to dismiss or refer students for assistance; and ensure that students have recourse in a timely manner to address decisions to require them to seek assistance or to dismiss them and provide students with due process according to the institutional policies and procedures. You should also familiarize yourself with all aspects of the ACA Code of Ethics for your own understanding the profession.