New counseling master’s program begins this fall

New counseling master's program begins this fall

A new master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is being launched this fall, partly in response to repeated requests from students, said Dr. Brenda Callahan, Assistant Professor of Psychological Science and the program’s coordinator.

“Students kept telling us they wanted to go on to a master’s program (in psychology) here at LaGrange,” she said. “They didn’t want to have to go somewhere else. The psychology faculty realized there is a need and an interest, so they started working on the new program.”

A psychology degree is not a pre-requisite for enrollment – students can have a degree in any field, Dr. Callahan said. The 60-hour program can be completed in two years if courses are taken full time, including summer semester. Some of the classes scheduled are Theories of Counseling, Career Counseling, Life Span Development and Crisis, Trauma and Grief Counseling.

There is a wide array of careers available in the field, she said.

“They can work as marriage and family counselors, in mental health or even specialized areas such as eating disorders and addictions. Some work with adolescents with all kinds of issues, and some work with children, although some specialty courses are required for dealing with children.”

Professional counselors must be licensed, and getting a degree from LaGrange will prepare students to become licensed professional counselors, Dr. Callahan said.

“They are required to have clinical experiences in a professional site while they are enrolled here, and will take the National Counseling Exam at the end of the program. They may apply to become Licensed Associate Professional Counselors as soon as they pass the NCE. They remain LAPCs while they are being supervised by a licensed professional. After three years of supervision, they may apply for full licensure.”

Dr. Callahan said the program is intentionally designed to be small.

“This allows for mentoring relationships to form between faculty and students, and there will be a higher level of mentoring and supervision that just isn’t possible at larger schools,” she said. “We are committed to offering a close and supportive learning environment for our students.”

An integral part of the program is a focus on advocacy and service. Students will be required to plan a service project and carry it out in their community.

“The very first course is Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling,” she said. “We will talk about advocacy and its meaning, and students will begin planning what they want to do and preparing for their project that will be carried out during the interim (Jan) term.”

A large part of that preparation will involve the simple act of listening.

“Advocacy is all about talking with community residents and finding out what they need, not what we think they need,” she said. “Our goal is to be able to say, ‘This is your problem. What is your solution and how can we help you achieve it?’ To be successful, people must feel ownership of their problems and the solutions.”

Provost David Garrison said the new master’s program will provide great opportunities for interested students.

“It also will provide well-educated and experienced mental health professionals to serve this community and others,” he said. “Our feasibility study made clear a definite need in Troup County for such a program, as well as strong interest among potential students.

“We’re eager to see just how transformative this graduate program will be.”


Four of your favorite campus contenders are set to go head to head in the 2nd #PantherPromise! The week of May 26 through June 1 you can join in the competition—and help our students. View this year’s Panther Promise-keeper videos and then vote for your favorite by making a gift to the LaGrange College Fund in honor of the champion of your choice.

Help fund student scholarships and create an opportunity to reconnect with the faculty or staff winner on campus. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to name this year’s titleholder.

In the video above, meet this year’s #PantherPromise contenders.

Their promises will be revealed Tuesday, May 26.

June birthdays

1 Caitlin Sutton
2 Felecia Moore
4 Fayedra Mumme
5 William Yin
9 James Blackwood
16 Justin Thurman
19 Susan Laforet
20 David Beard
Luke Foco
21 Fred Wagenaar
24 Christi Hu
27 Sean Hansen
28 Laine Scott



The LaGrange golf team capped a great 2014-15 season with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, played at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. Sophomore Logan Lanier tied for eighth in the individual standings. Senior Cory Howard was selected to the PING All-America first team, the third-straight year he has earned All-American status. The Panthers won four tournaments this spring, including the USA South Tournament title for the second straight season.

Kelsey Seals and Jalen Smith were chosen to participate in the Command Performance Broadway Intensive Workshop on June 7-21 at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. This is a two-week educational camp designed to develop Broadway-style vocal, dance and dramatic skills in a performance-based environment.

Kelsey Seals has been named a YouTube-round participant to advance to the on-site national semifinal round at the July 2015 National Student Auditions sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing in Greensboro, N.C. Kelsey is competing in the musical theatre category.

Former music student Lloyd Buchanan is now performing with Grammy-nominated band Alabama Shakes as a singer and keyboard player. Alabama Shakes just returned from a European tour and will be in the U.S. for several weeks. They perform in Atlanta on Aug. 21.

Summer orientation sessions are coming up in June. Session 1 is June 4-5, and Session 2 is June 11-12.

Susan Hancock
Susan Hancock,
Administrative Assistant in Alumni and Community Relations, was honored with a retirement reception May 11 in the Bailey Room. Hancock began work at the college in the fall of 1975 and served for more than 39 years. President Dan McAlexander called Hancock “a treasure trove of knowledge about this institution.”  Martha Pirkle, Director of Alumni and Community Relations, surprised her co-worker with the announcement that Hancock would receive an Honorary Alumni Award during Homecoming activities this fall.

This is the last weekly edition of @lagrange until fall semester, however monthly issues will continue. Have a great summer!