Masters of Arts in Counseling

College of Professional Studies

Location: Lincoln
Degree Type: 

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is designed to develop highly competent mental health counselors who are skilled in the delivery of direct service, knowledgeable about current empirical and theoretical developments, and capable of critically evaluating clinical research. The program follows a competency-based, practitioner model and is designed for adult learners who are seeking state licensure in mental health counseling.

The practitioner model places primary emphasis on the preparation of students for productive careers as professionals in clinical counseling settings. Coursework and supervised practical experiences provide the opportunity to learn and develop skills in the assessment of problem behavior and in interventions with children, adults, couples, families and groups. Incorporated into this approach is exposure to ethical, professional, and inter-professional issues.

Faculty in the Master of Arts in Counseling program are practicing professionals in the field of mental health counseling. This expertise provides a rich, hands-on environment for learning and developing skills with the faculty as facilitators and coaches. Teaching and learning are shared experiences between instructors and students.


Doane University's Master of Counseling program plans to seek specialized program accreditation through The Counil for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).  Obtaining this accreditation is not guaranteed and, if granted, may not occur in a timeframe in which to be applicable to your degree.  Applicants should consider this information prior to application and enrollment.


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The Doane Difference

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Build Your Personal Identity

An essential ingredient to a successful career as a mental health counselor starts with personal growth. Every student that goes through our program will build a core counseling foundation through personal identity, personal intelligence, self-discovery, and introspection. At Doane, we believe that understanding how to help people starts with understanding yourself.

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Build Your Professional Identity

Each student is different. Some enter the program knowing exactly what area of interest within mental health counseling they want to explore. Others want to explore their options. Whatever the area of focus, Doane helps you build an identity around your interests. At Doane, we help future counselors build a professional identity.

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Learn By Doing

Not everything can be learned in a classroom. Especially when training to become a counselor. Often a hands-on approach to learning provides a deeper understanding of the material - an understanding that’s tied to real experience. At Doane, you learn how to succeed in helping others by actually helping others.

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Student-Driven Field Experience

While some schools only allow their students to practice at campus clinics, Doane gets you out in the field. Our program’s practicum and internship experience are built around real-world expectations and real-life scenarios. At Doane, we set you up with a student-driven, real-world practicum and internship experience.

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Practitioner-Focused Coursework

Relevancy. Is what you’re studying, what you’re learning about, and what you’re doing for your coursework relevant to your actual work? Our instructors are actual counselors that understand what’s relevant to you and your profession. At Doane, what you learn in the classroom and through field experience can be applied directly to your work.


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Beyond Prepared When You Graduate

At the end of Doane’s MAC program, you’re prepared for credentialing as a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (LMHP) with the option to pursue credentialing as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Throughout the entire program, you decide what type of mental health counselor you’re seeking to become. Not Doane. At Doane, our graduates are beyond prepared to enter the field of counseling.


Program Information

Mental Health Counselors
2018 Median Pay: $47,790 per year
Job Outlook: 23% from 2016-2026
Mental Health Counselors work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. They help individuals deal with issues associated with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem and aging.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
2018 Median Pay: $47,790 per year
Job Outlook: 15% from 2016-2026
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug or other problems, such as gambling or eating disorders. They may counsel individuals, families, or groups and/or engage in prevention programs.

Source: O*NetOnline

View detailed course information


*Doane credits completed at the 500 level may not be used to fulfill degree requirements.


Practica are supervised opportunities for students to gain experience as counselors-in-training in a variety of settings with clients who exhibit a spectrum of psychopathological appraisal and treatment problems. Doane counseling students vary widely in their previous clinical experience, as well as in their professional interests and career objectives. Recognizing these differences, the program seeks to develop a practicum experience for each student that not only complements the student's previous experience, but also addresses particular clinical strengths and weaknesses.


The program requires that all students complete six credits of an internship consisting of 800 clock hours following successful completion of their practicum training and attainment of Level 3. Students must complete 320 hours of direct-contact service with clients during their internship and must have one hour per week of supervision throughout their internship by an on-site supervisor. In addition, each student must meet in a small internship group with a faculty member for 1 1/2 hours per week. A formal evaluation is made of the student's performance by the faculty member facilitating the supervisory group in consultation with the on-site supervisor. Grades are assigned on a pass/fail basis.

Progress Toward the Degree

Performance as a professional counselor includes more than simply learning clinical skills. The counseling profession requires sound judgment, good interpersonal skills, and emotional well-being.

Upon completion of the program of study, students will demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of and the ability to apply the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics to clinical practice
  2. Knowledge of multicultural and pluralistic differences in society and an understanding of the role of counselors as advocates in the community
  3. Knowledge of human development and behavior and the ability to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally appropriate strategies for counseling intervention and prevention
  4. Knowledge of the principles and theories of career counseling and skill in helping clients explore career-focused decisions
  5. The ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships with clients
  6. Knowledge of group formation and dynamics and the ability to utilize ethical and culturally relevant strategies in designing groups
  7. Knowledge of the principles and utilization of appraisal techniques, including gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about individuals
  8. Knowledge of the importance of research in advancing the counseling profession including the ability to read and critique research
  9. Self-awareness and the development of a professional identity as a mental health counselor, including the roles and modalities in which counseling is utilized.
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Courtney East

Assistant Professor /Mac Program Director
Master of Counseling
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Kyle Wockenfuss

Assistant Professor & CACREP Liason
Master of Counseling
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Jean Kilnoski

Assistant Professor of Practice/Clinical Placement Director
Master of Counseling
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Arden Szepe

Assistant Professor
Master of Counseling
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I would not be where I am today without Doane in Grand Island. It opened doors. The experience was phenomenal. I’d do it again.

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Accounting | Vice President/BSA Officer, First National Bank of Gillette

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