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Department of Counseling

Web: Department of Counseling
School of Education, Business, and Human Services

Dr. Kendra Smith, Chair
Fowler Hall, Room 107A

Gallaudet University's Department of Counseling, founded in 1971, prepares highly qualified M.A.-level counselors eligible for licensure as professional counselors in most states. The training provided in this department uniquely prepares graduates to work with individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, with or without additional disabilities, by developing a core set of competencies in all students with specializations in school and mental health counseling. Since 1971, the department has graduated and placed more than 700 outstanding counselors now working in a wide range of counseling settings throughout the United States.

The programs of study are broadly designed to include formal classes and extensive supervised practicum and internship experiences leading to the master of arts degree. The curriculum includes courses from the departments of Counseling; ASL and Deaf Studies; Educational Foundations and Research; and Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences. Elective courses are also available through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. All counseling programs are open to deaf, hard of hearing, hearing, physically disabled, and physically able people who are eligible for admission to the Graduate School. Provisions are made to facilitate participation of deaf and hard of hearing students in all phases of the programs, via the use of sign language and notetakers.

In addition to the teaching faculty, a large number of outstanding professionals from the Washington, D.C., area lecture and participate in the training programs. Practicum sites are available on and off campus. They include mainstream, day, and residential schools for deaf students as well as public and private agencies serving deaf people. Internship sites are located around the country and include residential schools and postsecondary programs, community-based counseling centers, and mental health agencies.

Federal grant funds, stipends, and tuition assistance have been made available for students in the mental health counseling program through the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and for school counseling and guidance majors (including summers and online only) through the U.S. Department of Education.

Successful communication with deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing clients who utilize sign language as their preferred mode of communication requires professional counselors to achieve a minimum ASL proficiency level. Therefore, all Department of Counseling students are expected to demonstrate a required level of proficiency in American Sign Language on the GU-ASLPI (Gallaudet University American Sign Language Proficiency Interview) before being allowed to begin fieldwork.

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