Department of Counseling

North Carolina A & T State University is home to one of the most established programs in the field of professional counseling in the state of North Carolina. The Department of Counseling is designed to prepare motivated students to work in counseling or counseling related roles in a variety of employment settings. Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. 

Our diverse student body consists of recent college graduates, mid-life career changers, and late career individuals seeking professional growth. This eclectic student body enhances the educational experience and also provides an excellent foundation for multicultural learning. In addition, the Counseling faculty are experienced, established members of the counseling community and are active in many educational, professional, and community leadership roles.

Our master's programs are in-person and students have the ability to matriculate at their own rate to enable students the flexibility to maintain employment while seeking their graduate degree. The doctoral program is also in-person but operates on a cohort model and full-time enrollment is required. Coursework is offered mornings and afternoons. The program only admits students to begin in Fall semester each year.

About the Department

The mission of the Department of Counseling is to prepare future counselors and counselor educators to use clinical skills, research, and instruction to serve ethnically and culturally diverse students, clients, and the community in a globally changing society. 

The vision of the Department of Counseling is to be the premier institution in the preparation of multicultural and social justice counselors and counselor educators.

The counseling program at North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T) began as a collaboration between the Department of Psychology and the Counseling Center at NC A&T circa 1960. In 1970, Dr. Myrtle B. Sampson and Dr. Bill Lawrence revised the curriculum creating the footprint for the Community/Agency and School Counseling specialty areas as they exist today.

Under the leadership of Dr. Wyatt Kirk in April 2001, the M.S. in Community Agency (now Clinical Mental Health) counseling degree, along with the M.S. in Counselor Education (now School Counseling) degree, became the first counseling degree programs at a Historically Black College/ University in the United States to be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In 2006, the Department of Human Development and Services developed a M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling (now Clinical Rehabilitation) specialty area which had a focus on the Rehabilitation of Behavioral Addictions among Racial and Ethnic Minorities. This program of study later obtained accreditation by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). In 2013, the PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling and Rehabilitation Counselor Education (now Counselor Education and Supervision) was successfully launched. 

The department continued to experience record growth and transformation as the Department of Human Development and Services became the Department of Counseling in the Summer of 2016. In July 2017, all department specialty area degree programs were accredited by CACREP. This marked the first doctoral program at a Historically Black College / University to be accredited by CACREP. These accomplishments are a testament to the high standards of the counseling program and its commitment to excellence. Currently, the department houses degree programs in the following areas: Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, School Counseling, and Counselor Education and Supervision. 

Since its inception, the counseling program has experienced a lineage of dynamic leaders, including Dr. Charles Williams, Dr. David Lundburg, Dr. Miriam Wagner, Dr. Patricia Bethea Whitfield, Dr. Tyra Turner-Whittaker, and Dr. Shirlene Coopwood. In 2022, Dr. Caroline Booth began her second term as chair of the Department of Counseling. 

Our legacy continues to flourish through our department faculty, students, and our alumni.

As a Department of Counseling, we value:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Student Focused Mission
  • Integrity
  • Competence
  • Leadership
  • Scholarship
  • Quality Programming
  • Commitment
  • Collegiality

The Counseling program is an evening program designed with the working student in mind. Most classes are held at 6 p.m. and meet once a week on campus. There are also online and afternoon courses available for some content areas. The program provides students with a flexible matriculation schedule where coursework is completed in sequence but at each individual’s pace. Many students choose to complete their studies in 2 ½ or 3 years and summer classes are optional.

The counseling program offers three Master's of Science tracks: Mental Health Counseling - Clinical, Mental Health Counseling - Rehabilitation and School Counseling. Each counseling track has a unique curriculum complete with multiple field experiences designed to best prepare students for work with their intended population. The department also offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision and several post-baccalaureate certificates for advanced study which are available to currently enrolled counseling students.

Most importantly, all counseling programs are fully accredited and aligned by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related programs  (CACREP) , the premier accrediting body for counseling. The clinical and rehabilitation master's specialty areas are closely aligned with the Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor requirements for the state of North Carolina. The School Counseling program is also accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and is aligned with the competencies set forth by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

Prospective students are encouraged to visit all areas of the website for more detailed information on admissions and matriculation.

To fulfill the Mission of the Department of Counseling, the following Program Objectives have been identified. Of note, counseling faculty annually review Program Objectives, and Program Objectives are measured and reported to important stakeholders, including alumni, students, employers, field entities, administrators, and faculty.
  1. to present theoretical and practical experiences which prepare graduates to function effectively as counselors
  2. encourage the spirit of inquiry and the production and utilization of research among both faculty and students
  3. foster the development of counselors who use appropriate, culturally sensitive, intervention strategies and skills in working with clients. 
  4. foster the development of an awareness and understanding of problems and professional issues as well as the legal and ethical concerns in the counseling profession.
  5. foster the development of the characteristics, personal qualities, and levels of integrity necessary to meet professional standards.
  6. provide opportunities for planned periodic self-evaluation and the development of greater self-understanding as well as the qualities of openness, tolerance, and acceptance of self and others.
  7. develop and provide a multicultural environment that fosters skills necessary for professional counseling in a diverse society.

Upon completion, many graduates seek professional certification and state licensure as professional counselors. Recent graduates are currently working in clinical mental health agencies, public and private schools, clinical rehabilitation agencies, addiction treatment facilities, university counseling and advising centers, disability and veteran’s departments, and private practices. Other students choose to continue their studies with doctoral work in areas of counseling or educational leadership.

For more information please contact:

The Counseling Department
325 Proctor Hall (336) 334-7916.