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Mercer to Offer Two Advanced Degrees in Counseling in Atlanta

May 26, 2010

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

Program Contact:
Mitzi Jenkins
(678) 547-6411

ATLANTA — Beginning in August, Mercer University’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies will welcome candidates into two post-master’s degree programs, including the College’s first Ph.D. program, on the University’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus. Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the College will offer the Educational Specialist in School Counseling degree, an advanced degree for school counselors, and the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, which is only the second such program in the state of Georgia and is intended to produce counseling professors, researchers and leaders. 

“Adding these two graduate degrees to the College’s existing portfolio of master’s programs in clinical mental health and school counseling is a significant step for the College,” said Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. “Responding to the high demand for advanced degrees in counseling further demonstrates our commitment to preparing talented, effective and service-oriented individuals for the counseling profession.”
Educational Specialist

The Educational Specialist in School Counseling degree is designed to provide professional development for school counselors and educators seeking an advanced degree and to prepare candidates to become leaders, researchers and advocates for systemic change in the field of school counseling. Upon completion of all degree requirements, candidates with a Georgia S-5 level School Counselor certification will be eligible to upgrade to the Georgia S-6 level certification.

The Ed.S. is a 36-credit hour program and can be completed in a minimum of four semesters, including summer. The semesters include coursework, an internship, a comprehensive exam and a capstone project. The program is designed to be completed in two years for school counselors who elect to continue to work while attending classes. Classes meet once each week for 16-week sessions in the fall and spring and in eight-week sessions in the summer. Some classes will also be offered in a hybrid classroom-online format.
Applicants must hold a master’s degree in school counseling, counseling with a school counseling add-on, a counseling-related field, or education with a teaching related emphasis from a regionally accredited college or university.

The program’s application deadline is July 1. Information and application packets are available through the Web page, Interested individuals may also contact Dr. Caroline M. Brackette, associate program coordinator of the Ed.S. program, at or (678) 547-6058.


The Ph.D. program is designed for licensed professional counselors or school counselors who want to become professors and researchers in the field of counseling. The curriculum allows students to develop their professional areas of interest and will launch graduates on a path to leadership roles in counseling, as well as research and teaching opportunities in colleges and universities. The Ph.D. will be the University’s fifth; the other Ph.D. programs include Pharmaceutical Sciences, Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, and Nursing Education.

The Ph.D. is highly sought after and fills a need in the state and across the country by providing highly trained counselors for the profession. The 84-semester-hour program will meet the advanced accreditation standards that will, beginning in 2013, require this specific degree for faculty in counseling programs across the country. The curriculum is also designed to help graduates develop advanced expertise in the application of theories and conceptual models to counselor education, supervision, practice and research; learn to conduct research that advances the field of counseling; evaluate the influences of ethical, social, political, demographic and economic issues on mental health care and counseling; and assume leadership roles in education, supervision, training, practice and research to improve mental health care and counseling.

The doctoral program is a professional extension of the Department of Counseling and Human Sciences core curriculum, which offers more specialized master’s and educational specialist degrees.  The master’s and educational specialist degrees are practitioner-oriented and prepare students for the majority of problems which they may encounter in the field. The Ph.D. will educate students to become researchers in the field of counseling, as well as professors and supervisors.

For more information on the program, contact Dr. David Lane, director of the Ph.D. program, at or (678) 547-6301, or visit the program’s Web page,

About The College of Continuing and Professional Studies
The College offers degree programs and lifelong learning opportunities for adults who seek leadership roles in their communities and beyond, professional transition and advancement, and lives that have meaning and purpose. The College offers undergraduate degree programs in organizational leadership, human resources administration and development, public safety, liberal studies (individualized), and human services, and graduate programs in counseling, school counseling, and public safety leadership. Its programs are offered on Mercer’s Macon and Atlanta campuses, at the University’s regional academic centers in Henry County, Douglas County and Eastman. Pending SACS approval, the College will begin offering programs this fall in Newnan.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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