J. Matthew Melton, Dean
Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences
Jeff Sargent, Chairperson
Department of Business
Dewayne Thompson, Chairperson
Department of Communication & the Arts
Michael J. Laney, Chairperson
Department of English & Modern Foreign Languages
Jean Eledge, Chairperson
Department of History & Political Science
Randy Wood, Chairperson
Department of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
Paul DeLaLuz, Chairperson
Excellent faculty members and outstanding academic programs characterize the College of Arts and Sciences which encompasses the most diverse spectrum of academic departments of all the university’s colleges. The College of Arts & Sciences houses six departments: Behavioral and Social Sciences, Business, Communication & the Arts, History & Political Science, English & Modern Foreign Languages and Natural Sciences & Mathematics. Most of the general education core taken by every student who attends Lee is taught in this college. More than 80 of the university’s faculty and over 1000 of the student body work and study in the 30-plus degree programs offered. Arts & Sciences cooperates closely with the Helen DeVos College of Education in helping to deliver a dozen teacher-education programs. The college also includes the graduate program in counseling, in which a Master of Science degree may be earned in mental health or school counseling. The general education, graduate and major program courses are taught by highly qualified faculty members committed to student learning and to imparting a liberal arts education from a strong Christian worldview.
The Interdisciplinary Studies major allows the student to develop an individualized plan of study. The intent of this program is to allow the student to experience a more comprehensive approach in academic pursuits than is provided in the traditional single major and to synthesize material from a variety of disciplines.
This program of study may prepare students for liberal arts graduate programs, and although it is not intended as prevocational, it will prepare students for entry level positions in professional areas requiring broad knowledge and skills in writing and critical thinking.
Students interested in this major must consult with a designated advisor to design a major program of study that meets the requirements listed below. Students are not limited to the areas indicated in the pre-approved list; however, if one of these areas is chosen, the student must select courses as indicated below. The completed program proposal will be submitted to the Deans’ Council for approval.
J. Matthew Melton, Dean
Graduate Studies in Counseling
J. Trevor Milliron, Graduate Program Director
Mission and Philosophy
The counseling faculty at Lee University affirms its commitment to counseling as an effective, viable means of assisting individuals and families through normal development, in the prevention of problems and in coping effectively with personal, social and spiritual problems.
We believe that God exists, that He is the source of all truth and that He calls us into relationship with Himself and others. The theological paradigm which portrays human nature as created by God, sinfully altered by the fall and redeemed in Jesus Christ provides the foundation upon which an understanding of human nature is rightfully based. These truths serve to inform counseling theory and practice. Therefore, the major purpose of graduate studies in counseling is to train students from a Christian perspective. Counseling programs at Lee University are designed to prepare highly knowledgeable and skilled professional practitioners who have developed Christian character, personal integrity and a healthy personality.
The practice of counseling is based on theory and research information, an understanding of ethical practices and a set of professional and interpersonal skills. Exposure to conceptual frameworks, research findings and informed practice is the basic curriculum model employed. It is recognized that an interaction of these components is essential.
The counselor, regardless of his/her theoretical stance, functions as a change agent. Effective and positive change is brought about by assisting clients to examine and modify their behavior for more effective living and by assisting clients to cope with, adjust to or otherwise negotiate the environments affecting their psychosocial well-being. For optimal change to occur, the counselor must also be sensitive to the spiritual needs of the individual. We believe that the Grace of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are the ultimate experiences through which individuals can achieve wholeness and maturity.
The counseling faculty, while representing diverse views, is in agreement that individual beliefs and theoretical patterns must be fostered in graduate counseling students. Faculty members represent an array of models and information which they make available to students to help them clarify their own philosophical, theoretical and practical positions. Special emphasis is given to the enhancement of self-awareness and personal value clarification regarding such issues as the nature of humankind and the meaning of life. Students are continually assisted in the process of maturation in the image of Christ. The opportunity to consider and refine a personal perspective on life is encouraged as an evolving aspect of individual development.
An interdisciplinary approach is espoused in the education of counselors. Truth as revealed in the Bible serves as the foundation for all knowledge. All the social sciences are considered important to the understanding of the complexity of human behavior. Informed eclecticism is encouraged and the student is assisted in formulating a personal theoretical model which considers sound scientific research and theological insights.
The counseling faculty is also dedicated to establishing a professional identity appropriate for students in each degree program. Specifically, we seek to encourage identification with the profession of counseling through active membership in organizations and divisions including the American Counseling Association, American School Counselor Association, National Board for Certified Counselors, American Mental Health Counselors Association, Tennessee Counseling Association and the Tennessee School Counselor Association.
Lee University identifies its public service region as being generally coterminous with the geographic scope of the denomination. While most students come from the United States, the student body typically consists of representatives from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Because of this geographic span, programs serve a racially, ethnically and culturally diverse student body. The institution has adopted the policy that no person in whatever relation with Lee University shall be subject to discrimination because of race, color, national origin, age, gender or disability.
Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling
The Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling prepares professionals to work in a wide variety of community agencies such as mental health centers, probation and parole departments, substance abuse centers, residential treatment centers, church related counseling centers and private practice. The Master of Science degree is also a preparatory degree for doctoral study in Counseling. Additionally, this degree is the first stage toward licensure as a professional counselor.
Master of Science in School Counseling
At the heart of the Master of Science program in School Counseling is the recognition of the inseparability of the school and the community and the role that counselors have in being advocates for all children and adolescents within these contexts. The program is designed to prepare highly knowledgeable and skilled professional practitioners who have developed Christian character, personal integrity and a healthy personality. The program will lead students to develop skills in guiding and counseling children and adolescents, in facilitating team-building efforts, collaboration and coordination between teachers, parents, support personnel and community resources and in developing and implementing school guidance and counseling programs. Therefore, the purpose of the Master of Science program in School Counseling (PreK-12) is two-fold: (1) to provide a route to initial school counselor licensure and (2) to educate school counselors to become advocates and systems specialists who are capable of assessing, developing, implementing and sustaining programs for youth PreK- 12 from diverse backgrounds.
Students who successfully complete the degree program and meet all standardized test requirements and other conditions set by the state are eligible for school counselor licensure in grades PreK-12 (Praxis II - School Counselor Exam) and for certification by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Licensed Professional Counselor Exam.
The Master of Science program in School Counseling would benefit students with undergraduate degrees in psychology, sociology, human development or teacher education that are seeking to become a licensed school counselor in the PreK-12 school setting. Students entering the program may often be mature students embarking on a career change or those who begin immediately upon completion of the undergraduate degree. Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree. The program offered by the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences includes integrated academic and field-based experiences that provide the knowledge base and develop the skills, abilities and understanding needed for success as a school counselor in an elementary or secondary school environment. The curriculum is designed to equip graduates to assume roles as professional counselors who will emerge as leaders in the field of school counseling.
Counseling programs at Lee University are based upon the following goals, which reflect both programmatic and individual needs:
- To provide a curriculum which contains an appropriate balance between both didactic and experiential learning.
- To provide a curriculum which reflects faculty expertise and competencies, students’ needs for credentialing and the community’s needs for well trained counselors.
- To provide students with the opportunity to test out their newly acquired skills in a structured, supervised environment prior to applying these skills in the work world.
- To provide a comprehensive program which is open to change and revision based upon the changing needs of students, faculty, the institution and society.
- To provide a comprehensive program that enables students to gain knowledge and experience that will enhance their identity as a professional counselor.
- To prepare the student for ongoing graduate study in a doctoral program.
- To provide a program that teaches the theory and practice of counseling in conjunction with application of biblical principles and values.
- To provide a learning environment which is sensitive to the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
Application materials for the Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling and Master of Science Degree in School Counseling may be obtained from the office of the Program Director.
Applications will not be acted upon until all required documents have been received (including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and entrance exam scores). In order to allow time for the university and the program admissions committee to process the applications, it is advisable to have applications completed by the following dates:
April 1 for Fall matriculation
November 1 for Spring matriculation
Applicants who are granted regular admission must meet minimum requirements. Among those elements of the total evaluation process are the following:
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
- An undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4 point scale
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4 point scale for any graduate work completed
- No specific undergraduate major is essential for admission. Applicants are encouraged to have undergraduate credit in subjects that embrace human development, sociology, psychology and statistics. Applicants without adequate preparation may be accepted upon the condition that they register for additional courses deemed necessary by the admissions committee.
- A minimum of two classes in biblical education is required. It is recommended that one course be in the area of Christian Thought and the other in the area of Christian Ethics. Applicants not meeting this requirement may be admitted, but would have to complete any deficiencies as a part of their program. These courses would be in addition to the 60 hours required for the mental health counseling program.
- Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) OR the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) must be provided. Scores must be no more than five years old. The GRE Advanced tests and Subject tests are not required. For regular admission, scores should be in the 50th percentile or higher.
Each applicant must submit the following:
- Completed application form
- $25 application fee (non-refundable)
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
- Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
NOTE: Individuals who have completed a graduate degree at an accredited college or university are not required to submit test scores.
- Three recommendation forms, two of which must be from former professors familiar with your work (recommendation forms are included in the application packet).
- Autobiographical information (guidelines are included in the application packet).
- Personal interview for those who are finalists in the application process (phone interviews may be conducted in cases where face-to-face interviews are impossible).
A minimum of 60 semester hours is required to complete the Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling. A minimum of 48 semester hours is required to complete the Master of Science degree in School Counseling.
A maximum of nine semester hours of credit may be transferred into the program. Approval for the substitution of required course work is made on an individual basis in consultation with the student’s advisor and the Program Director. The courses must have been completed before beginning studies at Lee University.
Students desiring to take courses without full admission status in our program may choose one of the following options. With any category of non-degree status, students will be required to complete a non-degree status application and submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. If at any time nondegree students wish to pursue one of the Master of Science programs, full admission status will be required including a separate application and all other full admission status requirements. Completion of course work under non-degree status does not guarantee that students will be granted full admission status.
A maximum of nine semester hours may be taken at the applicant’s risk as an unclassified student. Enrollment will be limited to specific entry-level courses. Courses must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies in Counseling. Professionals who hold a master’s degree in counseling or a closely related field but do not satisfy state requirements for licensure may take a maximum of six courses through one of the Counseling programs. Professionals who hold a master’s degree in counseling or a closely related field AND hold state licensure as a counseling professional may take any course offered by the Counseling Program.
Admission with Deficiencies
Students may be admitted into the program with deficiencies if they lack appropriate course work in their undergraduate programs. Deficiencies should be completed during the first year of study. Credits taken to make up deficiencies do not count toward the 60 hour credit requirement.
Full-time vs. Part-time
Although it would be the faculty’s preference, students need not always take a full-time course load. They should know, however, that whereas program requirements are substantial, the time Lee University allows for completing a master’s degree is limited (six years).
Once students are admitted they are expected to maintain continuous enrollment (a minimum of three hours during both the fall and spring semester), and make satisfactory progress toward their degree. If a student has not maintained continuous enrollment, he or she must go through the REENTRY process and contact the Program Director at least ten weeks prior to the semester in which he or she wishes to re-enter. The admissions committee can:
- Grant re-entry without conditions.
- Grant re-entry conditionally (e.g. require additional course work or adherence to time lines for completion of degree requirements), or
- Deny re-entry.
Generally, if the student is making satisfactory progress toward a degree, re-entry will be approved without conditions. However, evidence of delayed progress without reasonable grounds (e.g. multiple requests for re-entry, several semesters not registered) may result in option (2) or (3) above. Students who anticipate discontinuities in registration should inform their advisor in writing.
The program endorses and abides by ethical standards of service delivery and research established by the American Counseling Association, Lee University and the State of Tennessee. In accordance with these ethical standards, master level students are not permitted to engage in the independent practice of counseling. Information on professional ethics is distributed to and reviewed with each incoming class on an annual basis and reiterated in counseling courses and seminars.
The Counseling Graduate Committee
The Counseling Graduate Committee’s responsibility is to give administrative oversight to the graduate program. The committee considers and recommends curricular changes to the Graduate Council, approves all program policies, assesses effectiveness of the graduate program, serves as the Admissions Committee, reviews candidacy, and approves applicants for graduation. The Counseling Graduate Committee consists of J. Trevor Milliron, Ph.D., Graduate Committee Chair; Matthew Melton, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Susan Carter, Ph.D.; Robert W. Fisher, Ph.D.; Doyle R. Goff, Ph.D.; Jeff Sargent, Ph.D.; and H. Edward Stone, Ph.D.