COUNSELOR TRAINING CENTER
Geri Barber, MS, NCC, LPC, CRC
Counselor Training Center Director
441 McGurrin Hall
The Counselor Training Center provides facilities for clinical instruction of students in graduate counseling and undergraduate human services programs. This vital resource establishes an emphasis on experiential learning, which allows University of Scranton students the meaningful opportunity to steadily grow in a place where theory and practice intersect.
Counseling and Human Service students use the Counselor Training Center to gain experiential learning, where they can record sessions with clients and receive supervision to develop professionally. The Counselor Training Center is used for approximately 30 classes each academic year. The Counselor Training Center is routinely used for the following graduate level classes: COUN 501: Counseling and Interviewing Skills, COUN 503: Group Process and Practice, COUN 590, 591, 592, and 593: Practicum courses in Community, Rehabilitation, and School Counseling; and undergraduate classes including CHS 241: Case Management and Interviewing, and CHS 341: Group Dynamics. Along with this, the Counselor Training Center facilitates a variety of other learning experiences for both the graduate and undergraduate programs.
The Counselor Training Center is located on the fourth floor of McGurrin Hall and the facility includes: two group counseling rooms, six individual counseling rooms, two individual supervision rooms, a group supervision room, a workroom that serves as an office area for graduate students enrolled in counseling practicum, and a state-of-the-art audio/visual system for videotaping and direct observation of counseling and supervision sessions. The Department of Counseling and Human Services has recently renovated and updated the David W. Hall Counseling Training Center in the summer of 2012. The majority of the renovations to the Counseling Training Center occurred in the Practicum Workroom, a crucial area utilized by graduate counseling students. The Practicum Workroom is an area where practicum students keep confidential information about their clientele, write case reports, and review their taped counseling sessions to facilitate professional growth.
Graduate students enrolled in the Community, Rehabilitation, or School Counseling programs who are completing their practicum experiences are given the opportunity to work with different client populations drawn from within the University and in some cases from the Scranton community. Each practicum counseling student spends a minimum of 40 hours in direct service with clients and the majority of this time is in the Counselor Training Center. Practicum has been described as a profound educational experience with an emphasis on the development of a professional identity and on skill enhancement and refinement. This is an important time for graduate students, who experience what “being men and women for others” truly means. Practicum is where the transformative power of a helping/counseling relationship is realized. The Counselor Training Center is a unique resource which allows all students the opportunity to strive for professional growth and development.
Through a collaborative effort with university architects and the Information Technology department, space has been reallocated to increase efficiency of the Counseling Training Center. Before the renovations, there were 2 computers and 1 phone line in the Practicum Workroom, which is utilized by 20 to 30 graduate students per semester. By changing the location of the video control room and the computer lab, the counseling department now has a larger conference room, a new individual counseling room, as well as the creation of a video analysis room in the Practicum Workroom. The extra space in the Practicum Workroom allows for increased access to tape review, further secures the privacy of clientele, in addition to facilitating opportunities for increased supervision. After the renovations, the Practicum Workroom now has 2 phone lines and 6 computers, which enables practicum students to record counseling sessions solely onto DVDs.
These changes situate the Counseling Training Center to eventually be able to use a lecture/video capture system instead of DVD recorders. In the future, students will record their counseling sessions to a secure, encrypted flash drive, which will be able to be plugged directly into a computer. Ultimately, students will be able to record directly onto a secure server and bypass any complications that coincide with working with DVDs and flash drives.
These improvements to the Counseling Training Center are a necessity to keep up with technological advancement and provide students the knowledge and skills to be leaders in the 21st century of the counseling field. Experiential learning is a critical part of counselor education and the enhancements to the Counseling Training Center assist in bringing to life the mission of the counseling program by training counselors and human service professionals who are self-reflective practitioners, competent care-givers, and community leaders.
In the Fall of 2004, The University of Scranton, the J.A. Panuska, S.J. College of Professional Studies and the Department of Counseling and Human Service dedicated the Counselor Training Program in honor of the late Dr. David W. Hall. In his living and in his dying, Dr. Hall inspired us to reach for excellence. It is the department’s mission and intent to continue this tradition in and through the David W. Hall Counselor Training Program.