The Master of Arts in Counseling program at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) is the recipient of the 2016 Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) Outstanding Master’s Counselor Education Award. The organization is a division of the American Counseling Association.
The award will be formally presented on Friday, Oct. 7, during the SACES annual conference in New Orleans. The southern region includes 14 states from Maryland to Texas.
Haase says she thinks several aspects of the program helped EMU to stand out.
“We made a strong case regarding faculty involvement in mentoring, community service, our own clinical practice, training and presenting, and in furthering our students’ interest in the profession above and beyond the standards,” Haase says. “We also demonstrated that we have exceptional students who are making a difference in the community and receiving recognition for their clinical work and scholarship.”
In addition, she pointed to innovative, ongoing professional development that “demonstrates an intentional commitment to meaningful and cutting-edge training” as a factor.
The SACES Awards Committee says that the award “recognizes programs that demonstrate outstanding pre-service and in-service training in areas such as: professional identity, ethics, assessment, group work, counseling relationships and process, career development, counseling supervision, practicum and internship, evaluation and training methods, human growth and development and counseling socially and culturally diverse populations.”
MA in Counseling student Ryan Nolley says he believes the award is well deserved.
“Our program makes a concerted effort to teach from many different perspectives, interweaving humor and delight, while also furthering students’ ways of knowing and experiencing,” Nolley says. “I think of this award as an affirmation of walking the road less traveled. It’s an affirmation of a place where humility and excellence can co-exist.”
EMU Provost Fred Kniss also lauded the recognition. “This is yet another indicator of the strength of our counseling program and the excellence of our faculty,” Kniss said. “It’s great to get this external validation for something we already believed about the quality of our program.”
It is the second major award for the program in a year’s time. Last November, program co-founder and professor David Glanzer received the William H. Van Hoose Career Service Award from the Virginia Counselors Association. Glanzer retired at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year.
Other team members who were part of the SACES honor include professor Annmarie Early, assistant professor Nate Koser and administrative assistant Amanda Williams, as well as Kristy Koser, who served as the department’s professional development coordinator until June.