Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations

Interim Assistant Dean: William Hill
Office: 361 Education Building; 313-577-1805

The Division of Theoretical and Behavioral Foundations includes degree programs in educational evaluation and research, counseling, educational psychology, school and community psychology, counseling psychology, and rehabilitation counseling and community inclusion. The Division is designed to facilitate a realization of the following aims:

  1. to integrate the educational experiences and course offerings;
  2. to perform a service function in meeting the needs of those enrolled in other divisions within the College;
  3. to provide degree and specialist programs for those who are majoring in a particular field of the division;
  4. to provide students with an opportunity to study those aspects of educational thought and practice that are interdisciplinary as well as foundational;
  5. to formulate programs looking toward the development of new combinations of specialties, as in
    1. counseling-psychology,
    2. pupil personnel managers in school systems,
    3. utilization of theoretical and behavioral foundations in teacher education,
    4. underlying philosophical premises of educational programs and practices; and
  6. to design interdisciplinary, cross disciplinary, and multidisciplinary experiences for and with students.

Counselor Education

The counselor education unit offers graduate counseling programs for those professionals committed to being effective counselors in elementary and secondary schools, colleges, universities, and private and public agencies. The unit offers degree programs appropriate for counseling work in K-12 school settings, community agencies, substance abuse treatment centers, sports and exercise facilities, corporate structures, medical institutions, nursing homes, rehabilitation agencies/centers and independent practice.

All applicants will be evaluated with respect to their potential for being effective counseling professionals. Admission decisions are based on a review of the application and a personal interview with the appropriate admission committee. Acceptance is dependent upon the applicant’s professional potential, academic and professional background, and professional career goals.

The counselor education unit offers a Master of Arts program with a major in clinical mental health and school counseling. Additional training may be completed in art therapy, and rehabilitation counseling. A rehabilitation counseling major in the Master of Arts program includes training in disability management, disability leadership, career development, job placement supported employment, adjustment counseling and vocational evaluation.

All programs include a practicum and internship clinical experience and a terminal masters seminar and project.

Counseling Accreditation: The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA), has conferred accreditation to the M.A. in Counseling with concentrations in Clinical Mental health and School Counseling, and the Ed.D and Ph.D programs in counselor education and supervision. In addition, the Council on Rehabilitation Education accredits the Rehabilitation Counseling major (CORE).

The Education Specialist Certificate program is intended for guidance professionals who want to improve their competence in counseling. Since this is a professional certificate program, persons considering applying should confirm that they have the prerequisite education and experience prior to making formal application. This certificate is not an entry level program, but builds on master’s level preparation in counseling.

The Doctor of Philosophy is generally required for those intending to teach, conduct research, or provide counseling services in universities and colleges. In addition, those desiring counseling positions in governmental or community agencies, and the like, may be required to take advanced training in counseling theory and practice, consultation, scholarly research, and supervision of counselors.

The Doctor of Education program consists of advanced courses designed for those persons who wish to become directors of guidance or pupil personnel programs and coordinators or consultants in guidance and counseling programs in K-12 and intermediate school districts. The Ed.D. provides opportunities to improve skills and competencies as school counselors in counseling, program development, career development, consultation research, and supervision of counselors.

Time Limitation: Requirements for the Master of Arts or Master of Education degree must be completed within six years after completion of the first course applicable toward the degree. All degree requirements for the doctoral program must be completed within seven years from the time of official admission.

Writing Style: The counselor education unit has adopted the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association as the style guide for preparation of all papers submitted in fulfillment of program requirements.

Class and Internship Scheduling: All counseling program courses are offered only in the evening hours (4:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.), permitting working students the opportunity to pursue their educational endeavors. Additionally, the counseling program will arrange with community settings (i.e., agencies, schools, institutions) whereby working students may complete the clinical portions of their programs as well as fulfill employment obligations elsewhere.

Licensure: Individuals in the counseling profession who practice in Michigan must seek professional licensure. Satisfactory completion of degree requirements in the counselor education master’s and doctoral programs allows the student to apply for the Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) credential in the State of Michigan. The Educational Specialist Certificate program does not meet Michigan eligibility requirements for the professional counselor licensure. Information on licensure may be obtained from the:

Michigan Department of Community Health
Board of Counseling
P.O. Box 30670
Lansing, Michigan 48909
telephone: 517-335-0918

Effective with the passing of PA 288 (July 10, 2000) an amendment in Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1976 (the Revised School Code), individuals who complete the school counseling specialization (with or without a teaching certificate) may be employed as school counselors and recommended for the new School Counselor License (SCL). All applicants for the School Counselor License (SCL) must have received a passing score on the State of Michigan, Department of Education’s Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Guidance Counselor Examination. MTTC examination scores must be furnished directly to Wayne State University by the MTTC testing agency, Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson. When registering for the MTTC, select "Wayne State University (31)" as a "College or University to Receive Scores."

Students whose examination scores were not released to Wayne State University should request an original score report from Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson. An original score report is required by the Michigan Department of Education for verification of test scores.

Counseling Accreditation: The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA), has conferred accreditation to the following programs in the counselor education program: M.A. with various specializations and the Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs in counselor education and supervision. In addition, the Rehabilitation Counseling and Community Inclusion major is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).

Educational Psychology

The Master's Degree programs in Educational Psychology are primarily concerned with the preparation of individuals working in settings such as schools, behavioral mental health care settings, business and other fields, who wish to develop skills and knowledge in the application of psychology. At the doctoral level, our program is focused on research and university teaching contexts. The Applied Behavior Analysis training emphasized working in clinical settings with people with Autism.

There is one Master of Education (M.Ed.) program in Educational Psychology, geared toward those who want to apply psychology/educational psychology to their current professions (e.g., teaching). Two majors are offered for the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree: School and Community Psychology and Counseling Psychology. The School and Community psychology program offers two years of course work, plus a one-year internship. Satisfactory completion of the School and Community Psychology program allows the student to be certified as a school psychologist by the State of Michigan. It also allows the student to apply for a Limited License to Practice as a Psychologist (L.L.P.) in the State of Michigan. The major in Counseling Psychology has an emphasis in individual and marriage and family therapy and offers two years of course work plus one or two semesters of a clinical internship. Satisfactory completion of the Counseling Psychology program allows the student to qualify for the Limited License to Practice as a Psychologist in the State of Michigan and, with additional coursework, a State of Michigan license as a Marriage and Family Therapist. The Ph.D. in Educational Psychology has a concentration in Learning and Instruction science and is focused on educational psychology theory and research. Additionally, an Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate is offered for those who already hold a master's degree, or it can be accomplished as part of the M.Ed. in Educational Psychology. Through this training, students become eligible to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam, which is part of earning the BCBA credential. All of these programs are described in more detail below.

The prospective student should recognize that a grade point average of 3.0 with no more than one earned grade of 'C' plus is required to continue in all of these programs and to graduate. The majors of School and Community Psychology and Counseling Psychology involve, in addition to course requirements, clinical experience in school and/or agency settings. Due to the clinical nature of the courses and the internship, both majors require students to have active liability coverage throughout the program. Retention in the program, graduation, and recommendation for certification/licensing approval depend upon demonstrated clinical skill as well as on the student's academic achievement. The staff will try to arrange for psychological practicums and internships in either a school system or a community mental health facility in keeping with program requirements. The Applied Behavior Analysis training also involves intensive training working with children in clinical settings and thus requires successful demonstration of both clinical and academic skills.

In addition to completing all procedures for admission to the Graduate School, each applicant must complete an admissions form obtained from the Program Area website: for the program of interest, and follow those instructions carefully. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the program area secretary to ensure they have received complete and updated application and program information.