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History of PSU's Department of Counselor Education

The 1960s

During the 1960s, universities benefited from the availability of National Defense Education Act (NDEA), 1958, grant monies for the initiation of training programs to place counselors in our schools. PSU received some of these grant monies, which also provided stipends for graduate students, and Counselor Education in the School of Education was initiated. In 1968, the university provided formal approval for the curricular offerings and the “program”, entirely focused on the preparation of school counselors, became an ongoing part of the School of Education’s curriculum. At first, the program was focused on providing the TSPC-required course work for certification of school counselors. It was not until the late 1980s that students’ transcripts indicated anything other than the MA or MS in Education. At that time, it became possible to receive a transcript designated as an “MA or MS Education: Counseling” (or “Curriculum and Instruction”, “EPFA”, etc.). The Master's course work was limited to 45 credits, no differentiation was made between Practicum and Internship, and there were no provisions for videotaping and little on-site supervision.

The 1970s

As a result of the Community Mental Health Centers Act (1963), federal funds were made available throughout the nation for the creation of community mental health centers and by the mid-1970s more and more positions were available for Master’s prepared counselors with a community/mental health specialization. Few universities had programs designed for the Master’s level practitioner, although there were doctoral programs for counselors/therapists who wanted to work in a non-school setting. The American Counseling Association began to assume leadership in the conceptualization of what a Master’s curriculum should “deliver” to graduate students through the efforts of one of its newly formed (1976) divisions, the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMCHA) and an affiliate group, now known as the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). By the late 1970s, PSU’s Counselor Education faculty began to offer courses to counselor candidates interested in community/mental health counseling and began to increase degree requirements to work towards eventual accreditation by CACREP. In 1977, Dr. Carol Burden was hired and, in 1978, Dr. David Capuzzi was added to the Counselor Education faculty to assist Dr. Neal Phelps, program coordinator and Dr. Charles Bursch. Dr. Phelps died in early 1979 and Dr. Phyllis Lee, who worked in a different component of the university, was asked to return to the School of Education and assist with the Counselor Education program. (Dr. Lee moved to OSU in the mid-1980s; Dr. Bursch retired in the mid-1980s and died in 1999).

The 1980s

In the early 1980s, the Counselor Education faculty developed an in-house clinic to provide graduate students with better opportunities to develop their counseling skills, under close supervision, in the context of work with clients referred by schools and clinics in the metropolitan area. The space for such a clinic was part of the fifth floor design at the time the School of Education was built; initially, however, the space was not equipped with video equipment and part of the development task was to ask for the funding needed to make the clinic operative. Such a facility would also be necessary for eventual CACREP accreditation.

The prototype for our current Master’s program was created at the time that the 1988 federal funding, for the purpose of creating a rehabilitation counseling specialization, became available. At that time, Dr. Hanoch Livneh and Dr. David Capuzzi worked together to collect the data needed to apply for funding and, when the grant was funded, Dr. Livneh was brought onto the faculty to direct the grant. (There have been two three- year and two five-year funding cycles). At first, Dr. Livneh’s salary was entirely funded by the federal grant. One of the terms of the funding was that the university would eventually provide funding for Dr. Livneh and, over time, this did occur. This grant provided impetus for a much-needed training program in the Pacific Northwest. (At the beginning of the 1999/2000 academic year, Dr. Lisa Wilson was added, via rehabilitation grant monies, on a half-time basis, to teach in the rehabilitation counseling specialty).

Because Dr. Livneh was required, by national training and funding requirements, to eventually apply for program accreditation from the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), the curriculum was designed utilizing core courses already offered via Counselor Education followed by specialty courses then focused solely on rehabilitation counseling. This provided impetus for both the school and community programs to develop more discrete specialty offerings as a follow-up to core courses that all students completed and to expand the degree program to 72-credit format so that it would be possible to achieve CACREP accreditation. Dr. Carol Burden and Dr. Art Terry worked to develop the school counseling specialization; the community specialization also began to be refined.

The 1990s

In the early 1990s the Counselor Education faculty was authorized to conduct a search, and Dr. Liz Wosley-George was hired to develop the community specialization. Soon thereafter, the Counselor Education faculty successfully applied for and received CACREP accreditation for both the school and community-focused Master’s and CORE accreditation for the rehabilitation-focused Master’s. In 1994, because of the unexpected death of Dr. Art Terry, Dr. Russ Miars was hired, on a fixed-term basis, to offer some of the course work previously taught by Dr. Art Terry. Dr. Miars brought needed expertise to our program in areas such as testing and career and life style planning as well as human development across the life span. In 1997 Russ Miars was moved to a tenure track position. At the same time, Glenn Maynard, LPC, a half-time clinic director was hired to better manage the increasing volume of clients and scheduled counseling sessions in the fifth floor clinic. Since Dr. Miars’ previous employment was focused on university counseling center work, the program needed a replacement for the school counseling emphasis lost when Dr. Terry died. This led to the authorization of a Counselor Education/Teacher Education position, and Dr. Rolla Lewis was hired in 1995. Dr. Lewis joined the Counselor Education faculty on a full-time basis in 1998/99, following the retirement of Dr. Carol Burden, and this precipitated the need to recruit for a counselor educator who could fill the half-time Counselor Education/curriculum and instruction position. In the spring of 1999, Dr. Susan Halverson-Westerberg was hired for the 1999/2000 academic year for this joint appointment; her background is in school counseling and Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling.

In 1994 the Counselor Education faculty was approached by a member of the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists and asked to develop a course sequence, and possible specialization, for the preparation of Marital, Couple, and Family therapists since no state-supported university provides such training and most licensees were from out of state. A planning committee, comprised of Dr. David Capuzzi and Dr. Cheryl Livneh, Dr. Sandy Anderson (Social Work), Dr. Shirley Hanson (OHSU School of Nursing), Dr. Stan Cohen (Oregon Board), Patrick Feeney (PSU Extended Studies) and one or two community representatives, planned a curriculum for a Marital, Couple, and Family course sequence. Dr. David Capuzzi and Dr. Cheryl Livneh presented the proposal to the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists and received conditional approval to offer the program in a way that would insure the licensure of PSU graduates. Subsequently, the Counselor Education faculty received university approval for a course sequence in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling so that students could add the course work on to their 72-credit hour programs to achieve licensure in that area. The program began solely through the support of Extended Studies and the efforts of adjunct professors, hired by Extended Studies, to offer the majority of the specialty courses. During the 1999-2000 academic year, Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling was approved as the fourth specialty.

The 2000s

During the 1998/1999 academic year, the program conducted a self-study for CACREP and hosted a CACREP team on campus during the spring of 2000 to reapply for accreditation for another 7-year cycle. Considerable faculty time was devoted to preparing for the site visit; this expenditure of effort was successful and resulted in CACREP accreditation for Community Counseling and School Counseling through 2007. Again in 2007 the program hosted a CACREP team as well as a CORE team and was awarded the maximum accreditation of 8 years for the Community Counseling, School Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling programs.

In recent years faculty changes have continued. In 2003 Dr. Patrick “Rick” Johnson joined the faculty. In 2006 Rick became the Program Director. During his time as Program Director Dr. Johnson and the faculty have addressed student needs and restructured the program to a more appropriate three year format. In 2005 Dr. Lisa Aasheim joined the faculty as the Clinic Coordinator. She began teaching courses in the Addictions and Marriage and Family programs in 2006. In the summer of 2006 Dr. Aasheim became the interim School Counseling Coordinator; in the fall of 2007 she became a tenure track assistant professor and began her second year as the School Counseling Coordinator.

In 2008 Dr. Tina Anctil joined the faculty in a one-year fixed term position. Starting fall 2009 she was hired as an assistant professor in the department. In 2012, Dr. Anctil received tenure, was promoted to Associate Professor, and became the program coordinator of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program. In 2012, Dr. Lisa Aasheim received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor.

Starting in the fall of 2008 the program returned to a 3-year-minimum format. The changes involved eliminating the two year option and increasing credit requirements. In terms of eliminating the two year option, the program is primarily an evening/weekend program during the fall, winter, and spring terms, with some courses required during the day in the summer. It was very difficult for students to complete all of the required courses in two years and during the day in the summer. In addition, students attempting to complete the program in two years were finding it increasingly difficult to secure internship placements beginning in winter term, which was necessary to complete the program in two years. The proposed changes provide students with a realistic pacing of the course work, reduced requirements in the summer, and internships that begin fall term rather than winter term. These changes are based on the faculty’s beliefs about the academic integrity of the program as well as student feedback.

In the fall of 2008 the Counselor Education Program separated from the Special Education Program and became its own department with Dr. Rick Johnson as the Department Chair.

Following the national trends for Marital, Couple, and Family programs, in the 2008- 2009 academic year, the Counselor Education Department introduced a 90 credit program of study option for all students enrolled at that time. Starting in the fall of 2009 the Marital, Couple, and Family Program became 90 credits, which is a CACREP requirement for this specialization.

In the spring of 2009, a self-study was submitted to CACREP for the Martial, Couple and Family Counseling Program, which lead to successful accreditation. Currently, the School Counseling, Community Counseling, and Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling programs are fully accredited by CACREP, and the Rehabilitation Counseling program is fully accredited by CORE until 2016.

The 2009 CACREP standards eliminated Community Counseling as an option and replaced it with Clinical Mental Health Counseling. To match this change, starting in fall 2010 the Community Counseling Program was retitled Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which also increased the program requirements to 90 credits.

Our programs are approved by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists and TSPC for licensure purposes, and our graduates have no difficulty in obtaining their credentials once their post-degree requirements for supervised practice are completed.

The 2010s

In 2013, Dr. Hanoch Liveneh retired. Our faculty was joined by Dr. Joel Lane, teaching primarily in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

In 2015, Dr. Russ Miars retired and our faculty was joined by Dr. Kimberly Jayne, who is teaching in the School Counseling program. Dr. Rick Johnson completed a  9-year term as Department Chair, returning to his role as a faculty member in the department. Dr. Tina Anctil began as Department Chair in the Fall of 2015.

In 2016, our faculty was joined by Dr. Deanna Cor and Dr. Rana Yaghmaian. Dr. Cor has a specialty in Clinical Mental Health and is teaching for the department. Dr. Yaghmaian has a specialty in Rehabilitation Psychology/Rehabilitation Counseling and is the program coordinator of the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program. She teaches rehabilitation courses as well as common courses in the counseling curriculum.