Chair's Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Counseling and Human Services (CHS)!

Mark Rehfuss
Chair, Counseling and Human Services Department

As Chair of the department, it is my pleasure to extend a warm welcome to you on behalf of our dedicated faculty, staff, and students. Whether you are a prospective student, a current member of our department, or simply seeking information about our programs, we are delighted to have you here.

At the Department of Counseling and Human Services, we are committed to preparing compassionate professionals who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Our comprehensive programs blend theoretical foundations with practical experience, ensuring that our graduates are ready to tackle the complex challenges of today's society.

Our distinguished faculty members are experts in their respective fields and are deeply committed to providing a transformative educational experience. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom, incorporating the latest research and best practices in counseling and human services into their teaching.

As a student in our department, you will have access to a supportive and engaging learning environment. Through hands-on experiences, internships, and clinical placements, you will have the opportunity to apply your skills in real-world settings under the guidance of experienced professionals. We take pride in fostering a culture of collaboration, respect, and inclusivity, where every voice is valued and celebrated.

For professionals seeking to advance their careers or explore new areas of specialization, we offer a range of certificates, continuing education, and professional development opportunities. Our department is dedicated to lifelong learning and providing resources to enhance the knowledge and skills of practicing professionals in the field.

We also value our partnerships with the community, local organizations, and agencies. These collaborations provide valuable opportunities for our students to engage in community-based projects, research initiatives, and service-learning activities. Together, we strive to make a meaningful difference and address the unique needs of diverse populations.

I encourage you to explore our website to learn more about our programs, faculty, research initiatives, and community engagement. Whether you are interested in pursuing a degree, seeking professional development, or collaborating with us, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Thank you for visiting the Department of Counseling and Human Services website. We look forward to the possibility of welcoming you to our vibrant and compassionate community.

Warm regards,

Mark Rehfuss Chair, Department of Counseling and Human Services

Counseling MSEd Program Mission:

The mission of our master's degree (M.S. Ed.) Counseling Graduate Program is to equip our students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes which will enable them to function ethically and well in the demanding and ever-changing world of the professional counselor. The program faculty's values have been shaped through program accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). We provide high quality counselor preparation programs grounded in self- evaluation and improvement. We intend to remain responsive to the changing requirements of a dynamic, pluralistic society, to new and emerging client needs, and to the counseling profession, both regionally and nationally. The Counseling Graduate Program serves diverse, qualified students from the Hampton Roads region, from across the United States, and from countries worldwide. A key aim of the program faculty is not only to prepare these diverse students with research-based knowledge and generic competencies, but also to help them develop those attitudes of understanding, curiosity, reflectiveness, commitment, perseverance, and compassion, which will serve them well in professional practice.

Counseling MSEd Program Goal:

Counselors must have a critical body of knowledge and set of skills to help clients and students function effectively in their lives. To achieve this goal, the program offers a curriculum which includes the following core components: professional orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, testing and assessment, and research and program evaluation. In addition, course work specific to the various concentrations areas is required. Finally, a variety of field placement activities (e.g., practicum, internship) are required to ensure that students are capable of applying the skills and knowledge they have learned. The Counseling Graduate Program is also designed to make sure that the counseling student possesses the personal characteristics necessary to be an effective helper. This is accomplished through a multifaceted admissions process, the use of experiential learning approaches, and through the application of an ongoing screening of students' academic, behavioral/personal characteristics. The program is consistent with the guidelines which have been set by the national accrediting body, the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP). Goal: To prepare students to become professional counselors.

EdS Program Mission:

The mission of the Ed.S. program in Counseling is to prepare counseling professionals from a variety of backgrounds for advanced training in an area of specialization beyond their entry-level training. Building off of the foundation in counseling provided by a previous master's degree, the program faculty promote excellence in continued learning and growth as a counseling professional in a dynamic, supportive, and inclusive environment. The purpose of the Ed.S. program is to foster a deeper appreciation for all professional counseling roles, and train counselors for leadership, supervision, and specialized practice.

EDS/Advanced school counseling program

The Old Dominion University Counseling and Human Services department is excited to offer an Educational Specialist degree (EdS) in Advanced School Counseling. This program is designed for school counselors who wish to further their career, enhance their leadership skills, and strengthen their counseling expertise. Learners in this program must already hold a master's degree in school counseling. The courses are mostly offered online and can also be applied to the ODU PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program.

Department of Counseling & Human Services