Human Development Counseling (M.Ed.)

Counseling begins and ends with the needs of human beings.

Program Overview

Gain experience working with diverse populations in diverse contexts. Learn to translate sound theoretical knowledge and research into effective counseling programs as a clinical mental health or school counselor.

You will acquire a strong theoretical grounding in human development, counseling paradigms, and change strategies. Courses are designed to foster close working relationships among you, our faculty, and community partners. This personalized approach results in more productive classroom time and a more valuable field experience. Train in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling or combine the two tracks.

Mission and Program Objectives

  • Mission Statement

    The Human Development Counseling (HDC) program recognizes the dynamic relationship among individuals, environments, and human systems. To meet the counseling needs of diverse populations, our students learn to integrate current research and evidence-based practice with sensitivity to social contexts and individual and systemic goals. HDC students employ counseling skills to maximize human potential and the development of individuals, groups, and organizations. They are uniquely qualified to appreciate the life-long nature of human development through the lens of advocacy and social justice.

  • Program Objectives

    The objectives listed below represent the major program objectives for all students in HDC. More specific objectives can be found in the syllabi for each course.

    1. To provide students with a thorough and comprehensive knowledge base in those areas of the social/behavioral sciences applicable to the helping profession. This includes a special emphasis on life-span human development.
    2. To aid students in the acquisition of counseling and helping skills such as individual counseling,supervision, testing, consulting, group work, interviewing, diagnosis, and assessment.
    3. To provide students with a knowledge of the organization and administration of human service agencies or schools as well as clarity regarding the personal/social, career, and academic role of the professional counselor in each of these settings.
    4. To educate students in research/assessment tools relevant to the delivery of helping services in a community agency, school, or corporate settings.
    5. To introduce students to the wide scope of diverse populations they will encounter in their work settings, examine their own biases, and provide students opportunities to work with diverse populations, building cultural competency in order to be able to work ethically with all people they may encounter in their work settings.

Careers in Human Development Counseling


The Human Development Counseling program offers three curriculum tracks:

With two distinct tracks as part of the graduate program in Human Development Counseling, there are two common career paths for our alumni:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling students often seek licensure and enter positions as Licensed Professional Counselors in for-profit or nonprofit agencies, private practice settings, or at private or charter schools as a mental health counselor on staff. Some go on to doctoral study in counseling or related fields.
  • School Counseling students often obtain licensure and work as school counselors in public or private K-12 settings. Some go on to doctoral study in counseling or related fields.
  • Dual Track Option students meet all requirements for both of these specializations. Some go on to doctoral study in counseling or related fields. 

2023 Program Outcomes Report
2022 Program Outcomes Report
2021 Program Outcomes Report
2020 Program Outcomes Report

Passing Rates on Credentialing Examinations


2023 40/40 (100%)
2022 31/31 (100%)
2021 23/23 (100%)
3-year Total 94/94 (100%)


Praxis (School Counseling)
2023 22/22 (100%)
2022 20/20 (100%)
2021 18/18 (100%)
3-year Total 60/60 (100%)

Degree Completion Rates


2023 37 35 1 1
2022 38 33 3 2
2021 24 22 1 1
3-year Total 99 90(91%) 5(5%) 4(4%)

School Counseling

School Counseling
2023 14 12 0 0
2022 26 21 2 3
2021 28 20 3 5
3-year Total 68 52(78%) 5(7%) 10(15%)

Dual Track

Dual Track
2023 6 6 0 0
2022 1 1 0 0
2021 0 0 0 0
3-year Total 7 7(100%) 0(0%) 0(0%)

Job Placement Rates

CMHC School Counseling
2023 35/35 (100%) 22/22 (100%)
2022 33/33 (100%) 21/21 (100%)
2018-2021 55/56 (98%) 38/38 (100%)
3-year Total 123/124 (99%) 81/81 (100%)

"My education prepared me to be a leader who embraces challenges."

Nico Dorn, M.Ed., Executive Director and Co-founder, Alpha Behavioral Health

Program Facts

Program Director: Bradley T. Erford
Program Coordinator: Tonya Brown
Admission Term: Fall
Credit Hours: 60, 66 for dual
CACREP accredited through March 31, 2030.

Application Dates

  • Application Deadline 1

    Jan 3, 2024

  • Application Deadline 2

    Feb 3, 2024 

  • Rolling Admissions

    After Feb 3, 2024*

    *Applications received after the Feb 3rd second deadline are reviewed on a rolling basis and accepted as space and funds allow.

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The program interweaves social justice and diversity topics into courses and co-curricular activities. Our training programs address core values of professional counseling, including developmental and cultural sensitivity, avoiding harm and imposing of values, and social justice advocacy at individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to address issues that inhibit growth and development.

Selected Faculty Research

Maury Nation

Maury Nation

Bob Innes Chair in Human and Organizational Development

Professor Nation's clinical research focuses on understanding and preventing violence and bullying among school-aged children. His specific interests are bully and victim typologies and the short- and long-term consequences of peer harassment. His community research is focused on understanding community and neighborhood qualities and characteristics that promote positive health and mental health outcomes.

Program Curriculum

Develop a strong theoretical grounding in human development and evidence-based practices within either program track: Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. Courses are in person on campus.

A 1-year internship experience provides opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling track requires a 60-credit-hour program of study. Included in this curriculum is a full-year internship placement in a mental health or social service agency setting under supervision.

School Counseling

The School Counseling track includes a 60-credit-hour curriculum with a full-year internship placement in a school setting. This curriculum includes 51 credit hours of required courses and an additional nine semester hours of elective courses.

Dual Track: CMHC and School Counseling

The Dual track requires a 66-credit-hour program of study. Included in this curriculum is a full-year internship placement in a both a school and mental health or social service agency setting under supervision.


Andy Finch
Andy Finch, Core Faculty, Human Development Counseling. Professor Finch's research interests include the role of schools as continuing care for substance-use disorders, counseling and human development, and the ecology of schools.


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