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Counseling Programs at UWA


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Program Mission

The University of West Alabama’s mission statement for the Counseling Program is unique in that it strives to provide a brighter future for individuals, families, and communities. By training emerging counselors to:

  • Celebrate creativity, knowledge, & diversity.
  • Teach students to view counseling as both an art and a science by providing them with the practical tools and knowledge to help facilitate change.
  • Provide students with cultural experiences to help them grow into culturally competent practitioners.
  • Advocate for client well-being through innovation and collaboration.
  • Involving the clients in learning the resources by student involvement in providing resources in students to foster lifelong learning.
  • Provide clinical skills needed to provide a wide variety of counseling services while maintaining the highest ethical and professional standards.
  • Train students in knowledge and application skills that support multiple counseling service needs in a framework of national, state, and local ethical and professional standards.
  • Encourage students to lead productive, responsible, and enriched lives.

Program Objectives

CACREP Professional Identity Standard

UWA Program Objective

Professional Orientation and Identity

PLO 1 - Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice
Students will be able to articulate the elements related to professional identity including; the history and philosophy of the counseling profession, the value of professional organizations, the need for legal and ethical practice, and advocating for the profession and clients that are served.

Social and Cultural Diversity

PLO 2 – Social and Cultural Diversity
Students will have knowledge and awareness of social and cultural diversity issues in counseling and be able to implement culturally sensitive counseling interventions.

Human Growth and Development

PLO 3 - Human Growth and Development
Students will have knowledge of human growth and development, and will be able to apply personality and learning theories to facilitate change and growth in individuals and family systems at all developmental levels and in multicultural contexts.

Career Development

PLO 4 – Career Development
Students will have knowledge of career development theories and methods and be able to apply career counseling skills to facilitate client exploration and problem solving.

Helping Relationships

PLO 5 - Helping Relationships
Students will have knowledge of helping processes and will have the interviewing and counseling skills to facilitate client engagement in counseling.

Group Work

PLO 6 – Group Work
Students will have a theoretical and experiential understanding of group purposes, development, dynamics, theories, and methods in a multicultural society, and will be able to apply these skills to facilitate group processes.


PLO 7 – Assessment
Students will have knowledge of individual and group approaches for assessment and evaluation in a multicultural society and will be able to apply these skills to facilitate the helping process.

Research and Program Evaluation

PLO 8 – Research and Program Evaluation
Students will have knowledge of research and program evaluation and will be able to apply basic quantitative and qualitative research skills.

Accreditation SACS seal

 The University of West Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 

Training Model

In the UWA online model, students attend all classes online using both synchronous and asynchronous formats. Students also attend a residential training experience at the UWA campus during the program. The residency provides an opportunity to meet professors and classmates face-to-face, and to work on clinical skills development.

  • Class Times: Synchronous classes take place in the late afternoons or evenings using Central Time Zone.  Class days and times are listed in the course catalog for those classes requiring a live meeting.  Synchronous classes include: CO 509, CO 546, CO 548, CO 558, CO 579, CO 589. 
  • Residential Training Experience: This format enables students to take all classes online and complete practicum and master's-level internship locally, in their home community. Students attend a residential training experience at the UWA campus location. The residency is an opportunity to meet professors and classmates face-to-face. It includes intensive study and competency based skill training and culminates in a clinical interviewing assessment that is a prerequisite for clinical fieldwork.



Students can begin the program throughout the year. Each start term, an orientation is held for incoming students. This orientation is required so that students can learn the foundations of the program before classes begin


Zoom Virtual Classrooms Support Online Learning Experiences

  • UWA utilizes the Zoom videoconference platform for weekly live virtual remote classes for many online courses.
  • Classes include real-time lecture, discussion and clinical skills training enabled by videoconference technology.
  • Online classes give students the opportunity to interact with a diverse student body and learn clinical skills through real-time interaction with instructors.


Field Placements in the Home Region Help Establish Students in Their Communities

  • UWA assists students in finding suitable practicum/internship placements in their communities.
  • Students receive ongoing support throughout the practicum/internship experience.
  • Supervision takes place at the student’s field placement site and from UWA faculty online.