Mission Statement and Objectives

Vision Statement

(Reviewed May 2012)

The Wake Forest Department of Counseling aspires to be a dynamic and engaging academic community that…

  •  Attracts a diverse community of scholars and students from across the country and throughout the world
  • Employs the cohort model to integrate the knowledge, skills, and experiences of faculty and students
  • Builds on established research and theories, current inquiries, and exemplary practices
  • Creates service and research responses to meet current and future challenges to well-being and mental health
  • Fosters a climate of critical thinking, ethical deliberation, and responsive action
  • Honors the teacher-scholar ideal
  • Models excellence in community leadership, advocacy and practice
  • Collaborates with other academic entities


Mission Statement

(Revised May 2012)

The Wake Forest University Department of Counseling prepares exemplary counselors and human services professionals to serve humanity – pro humanitate.

We provide a rigorous intellectual climate and a supportive atmosphere for personal and professional development to a diverse student body in order to prepare professionals who…

  • Acquire knowledge and skills to practice effectively and ethically
  • Value professional diligence and life-long learning
  • Excel as community leaders, advocates and practitioners
  • Possess a deep awareness of themselves and of their impact on others
  • Commit to the compassionate service of humanity and foster the well-being of people at the local, state, national and international level

Overall Program Objectives

(Revised May 2012)

We provide a rigorous intellectual climate and a supportive atmosphere for personal and professional development to a diverse student body in order to prepare professionals who…

Acquire knowledge and skills to practice effectively and ethically:

  1. Educate students to be highly skilled and competent helping professionals first and counseling and human services specialists second.
  2. Ensure excellence in all curricular experiences by requiring students to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skill requirements applicable to the degree being sought and outlined by CACREP (Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) or by CSHSE (Council for Standards in Human Services Education)
  3. Transmit currency and diversity in the presentation of theoretical approaches so that students might begin to develop personal models of counseling and consultation.
  4. Provide knowledge and skills in information and technological literacy in order to prepare professionals who can effectively locate, evaluate, utilize and present information to improve services to clientele.
  5. Seek to encourage habits of mind that ask “why,” that evaluate evidence, that are open to new ideas, that attempt to understand and appreciate the perspectives of others, that accept complexity and grapple with it, that admit error, and that pursue truth.
  6. Instill an understanding of ethical and legal issues in counseling and human services including the use of information management procedures that ensure confidentiality and a commitment to practicing within those parameters.
  7. Prepare students to work effectively with diverse populations.

Value professional diligence and life-long learning:

  1. Understand the necessity of practicing ethically, staying current, and using an evidence-based conceptual framework for work with clients.
  2. Develop an awareness of the need for life-long learning and the value of continuing to seek opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Excel as community leaders, advocates and practitioners:

  1. Encourage students to become actively involved in professional organizations such as American Counseling Association (ACA), NOHS (National Organization for Human Services) and Chi Sigma Iota (CSI).
  2. Illustrate by faculty example the importance of leadership in professional organizations and settings and in crisis situations.

Possess a deep awareness of themselves and of their impact on others:

  1. Function as a community of learners in a cohort environment with collegial relationships between faculty and students.
  2. Enable students to develop their fullest potential through a transformation process that challenges the student intellectually, emotionally and professionally.
  3. Promote personal growth by providing experiences that encourage self-examination and openness to the perspectives of others.
  4. Emphasize the appreciation and celebration of the similarities and differences of others.

Commit to the compassionate service of humanity and foster the well-being of people at the local, state, national and international level:

  1. Produce counselors and human services professionals who believe in the potential and worth of all human individuals and who are committed to removing barriers that impede those potentials.
  2. Teach the importance of advocacy, social responsibility and the rejection of hatred and bigotry in any form.


Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Objectives

(Revised May 2012)

In addition to the common program objectives outlined previously, the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program has the following additional objectives:

  1.  Students will engage in a continuous process of monitoring their growth and development as counselors through reflection and self-evaluation and will utilize opportunities to obtain feedback from peers and supervisors.
  2.  Students will perform a wide range of therapeutic services among diverse client populations and in a variety of settings.
  3.  Students will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to assess, diagnose (when appropriate), form case conceptualizations, and develop treatment plans for diverse client populations.
  4.  Students will use evidence-based approaches that promote prevention, early intervention, wellness, and advocacy; taking into account the client, the environment, and the interaction between the two.
  5.  Students will develop skills for working with clients dealing with substance abuse, suicidal ideation, crisis, disaster, and other trauma-causing events.
  6.  Students will collaborate with teams of other mental health and medical professionals so as to provide the best possible care for their clients.
  7.  Students will use measurable outcomes to evaluate work with clients and to evaluate clinical mental health programs.
  8. Students will acquire knowledge and skills related to the operation of mental health services including public mental health policy, finances, regulatory processes, mental health service delivery systems, clinical mental health counseling services networks and advocacy.

School Counseling Program Objectives

(Reviewed May 2012)

  1. In addition to the common program objectives outlined previously, students in the school counseling track will be expected to successfully complete the following…
  2.  Students will engage in a continuous process of monitoring their growth and development as school counselors through reflection and self-evaluation and will utilize opportunities to obtain feedback from peers and supervisors.
  3.  Students will develop the knowledge and skills to design, deliver and evaluate school counseling programs that integrate and support the school’s overall mission.
  4.  Students will learn to work effectively with the system of people who affect the lives of children such as parents, teachers, administrators, community service providers, legislators and others. They will learn to assume appropriate leadership roles.
  5.  Students will acquire knowledge and skills required for the functions of a school counselor who advocates for children. Those include counseling, coordinating, collaborating, consulting, case management and design of a program that includes the guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services and system support.
  6.  Students will demonstrate the competency to collect, analyze, use and disseminate data and to make appropriate use of technology.
  7.  Students will understand and appreciate the present and future needs of a pluralistic society and roles of schools and school counseling in enhancing the well-being of children in the world.

Human Services Program Objectives

(Adopted May 2012)

In addition to the common program objectives outlined previously, the Master of Arts in Human Services Program has the following additional objectives:

  1. Students will engage in a continuous process of monitoring their growth and development as human services professionals through reflection and self-evaluation and will utilize opportunities to obtain feedback from peers and supervisors.
  2.  Students will develop the knowledge and skills to serve individuals, families, groups, and communities and/or to provide other functions required to support human services organizations.
  3.  Students will acquire knowledge and skills related to the operation of health services including program planning and evaluation; organizational management, supervision and development of staff; strategic planning; developing and monitoring budgets; grant and contract negotiation; legal and regulatory issues; and volunteer management.
  4.  Students will collaborate with teams of other human services, mental health and medical professionals so as to provide the best possible services for their clients.
  5.  Students will understand and appreciate the present and future needs of a pluralistic society and roles of human services organizations in advocating for and enhancing the well-being of individuals and groups.