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Program Features

Our Ph.D. program offers a number of unique and valuable experiences designed to broaden students' knowledge base and render them highly attractive to prospective employers upon graduation. Below, you will find information regarding the many opportunities available to you as a doctoral student in our department.

The Counseling Technology Experience

One of the objectives of the doctoral program is that graduates will possess unique skills for use of internet technology. Such skills might involve: course development and delivery, counseling services delivery, clinical supervision applications, and other counselor education applications. Students will be encouraged to participate in departmental seminars and advanced study in the Department of Instructional Design and Evaluation to achieve these competencies. Each student will complete a contract with his/her advisor stipulating how the student will meet the technology requirement.

The Advanced Practicum

Doctoral students must commit a minimum of 150 clock hours to a practicum site. Of the 100 hours, sixty must be direct service with clients. Students must contract for one hour per week of individual supervision on site. Additionally, students will receive weekly group supervision on campus. Students may waive the advanced practicum if they have more than two years of post-master's counseling experience and can demonstrate clinical skills beyond those expected of entry-level counselors.

The Classroom Teaching Experience

The department places high priority upon doctoral student preparation for professorial careers. Toward this end, students will be expected to develop instructional skills in the delivery of curriculum and instruction to master's level counseling students. Doctoral students will be expected to participate in Syracuse University's Future Professoriate Project. This program, which has become one of the premier models for TA training in the United States (Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/29/89), features an intensive ten-day summer orientation for 250-300 new TAs and a variety of year-round services for more than 750 TAs holding graduate appointments. The project has two goals: (1) to prepare graduate students for their teaching responsibilities as future members of the professoriate, and (2) to effect a change in faculty culture by fostering recognition of the importance of teaching as a dimension of graduate education. Completion of this program leads to the award of the Certificate in University Teaching.

The Doctoral Research Experience

All doctoral students will complete a minimum of 15 credit hours of research course work (to include their master's level research courses), during which the student will be expected to acquire receptive literacy in both quantitative and qualitative research design and a depth of knowledge in one or the other. The department offers a research seminar each semester and doctoral students are encouraged to attend. Students may register for the seminar once (3 credits) during their program of study. First-year doctoral students will be encouraged to participate in the research of advanced doctoral students.

Research Apprenticeship Experience

Because many master's programs no longer require a thesis, the School of Education has initiated a Research Apprenticeship to assist students in developing their research agenda. Often, the Research Apprenticeship serves as a pilot study to the student's dissertation. The research apprenticeship is usually supervised by a sole faculty member who is either the student's advisor or another member of the faculty. It is the student's responsibility, in consultation with the advisor, to arrange the apprenticeship experience. Some students complete the research apprenticeship within the context of a required course (in which case the course instructor sponsors the apprenticeship). Other students contract with their sponsor for an independent study course carrying 3 to 6 credits. Still others conduct the apprenticeship without any formal course hours attached to it.

The Assessment Experience

All doctoral students are required to advance their knowledge of assessment methods in treatment planning and counseling. This is accomplished in part through the required curriculum. Students have additional options for completing the remainder of this requirement. Therefore, students will develop an individualized plan, approved by their advisor, outlining how they will complete the assessment requirement. This plan must be reflected in the student's program of study.

Doctoral Qualifying Examination

Students typically take the doctoral qualifying examination before or during the semester following the last semester of course work. Students are advanced to candidacy status upon successful completion of the qualifying examination. While the doctoral dissertation is ordinarily completed in one to two years, University regulations state that it should be defended within five calendar years of advancement to candidacy (completion of the qualifying examination). Candidates are expected to maintain continuous registration until the dissertation is successfully defended.