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Program Guidelines

Approved by the SPC faculty - March 3, 2008

The School of Professional Counseling (SPC) is founded on the Core Values of HONESTY, FAIRNESS, RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, and COMPASSION.

Everyone within SPC strives to reflect these values when interacting with one another including faculty, students, supervisors, and clients.

As part of SPC's commitment to the standards set by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), we promote both the personal and professional growth of our students as part of the counselor preparation process. Therefore, students may be expected to "stretch themselves" in various areas of their personal and professional development throughout the program. 

Interactions with Others

Overall, exercise the Golden Rule: treat others the way you wish to be treated. 

1. Adhere to the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics. In particular, maintain the privacy and confidentiality of others. 

2. Present yourself in a way of which you and others would be proud. As a student, you represent Lindsey Wilson College's School of Professional Counseling.

3. Be courteous and polite (e.g., please and thank you).

4. Refer to persons in authority as Dr., Mr., Mrs., or Ms. until you are told otherwise.

5. Be friendly and approachable.

6. Have a positive attitude.

7. Avoid offensive language (e.g., cursing).

8. Avoid interrupting someone who is talking. (Note: In a counseling session, interrupting may be appropriate.)

9. Say what you mean. Avoid sarcasm.

10. Be sensitive to those who are different from you. Avoid bias, prejudice or lack of fairness towards others.

11. Be safe. Avoid any behavior that puts yourself or others at risk or fails to protect the safety and well-being of yourself or others. 

Accepting Feedback from Others

1. Be open to feedback. Ask for it from others.

2. Know that the individual providing the feedback wants you to improve and grow.

3. Avoid reacting defensively or negatively.

4. Follow through with any suggestions given from an instructor or supervisor and helpful and appropriate ones of a peer.

5. Ask questions if you do not understand the feedback.

Classroom Behavior

1. Be prepared for class. Remember to bring all the items you will need.

2. Be on time for class. In fact, be a few minutes early so you are ready to go when class starts. 

3. Return from breaks and lunch on time. 

4. Stay the entire class time. 

5. Turn off your cell phone or pager unless you have the instructor's permission ahead of time and in this case, put the device on vibrate.

6. Do not attend class under the influence of any substances. For instance, because it affects your behavior, it is inappropriate to have an alcoholic beverage at lunch and then attend class afterwards.

7. Have good, clean hygiene and dress appropriately. Consider the impression you give to others. For example, you probably wish to avoid clothing that is extremely tight, is revealing/provocative, or has disparaging writing on it. When giving a presentation in class, dress professionally (see Professional Dress section below).

8. Pay attention while in class and avoid behavior that is disruptive or distracting to the instructor and other students such as talking to other students, passing notes, text-messaging, or any other rude conduct. This also includes doing homework, reading a newspaper, or browsing the internet unless specifically directed by the instructor.

9. Participate in individual and group class activities as well as class discussion. 

10. Ask permission before eating in class. 

11. Ask questions when confused or needing more information. Other students may also be confused. 

Missing Class Time

Please note: students should be aware that professors and/or courses may differ in some ways related to the expectations in this section; thus, students would do well to check with their instructor when expectations are in conflict with one another. 

1. Avoid being tardy to class. If you are late, contact the instructor ahead of time if you are going to be several minutes late and give the reason why. Enter the classroom quietly without being a distraction to others. Wait for break to ask for any materials that were handed out at the beginning of class. 

2. Avoid leaving early from class. If you do need to leave early, contact the instructor ahead of time. As above, you are also responsible for getting any materials that were handed out in class including new assignments, handouts, and class notes. You can obtain these from another student in the course and some items may be available on ANGEL or from the instructor. It is your responsibility to get these items and not the instructor's to get these items. 

3. Avoid being absent from class. If you are absent, contact the instructor ahead of time or as soon as possible and give the reason why. You are responsible for turning in before class any assignments that are due that day. Some instructors allow you to do this via ANGEL or email. As above, you are also responsible for getting any materials that were handed out in class including new assignments, handouts, and class notes. You can obtain these from another student in the course and some items may be available on ANGEL or from the instructor. It is your responsibility to get these items and not the instructor's to get these items. 

4. Accept any consequences for being tardy, leaving early, or being absent from class including possible grade reduction and/or make-up work.

Class Assignments


1. Complete all assignments in a timely and honest manner (i.e., do your own work). Accept any consequences for not doing so.

2. Assume an assignment is to be done by yourself and without the help of others unless you are told otherwise.

3. Ask questions when you are confused or do not understand the requirements of a particular assignment.

4. Avoid procrastinating. This only hurts you.

5. Print off assignments as early as possible to make time for printer problems. 

Professional Dress

Whenever you wish to make an especially positive impression, you should dress professionally. In addition to exercising good hygiene and dressing appropriately as stated above (in the Classroom Behavior section), professional dress involves no shorts, denim (jeans), flip flops, or skirts far above the knee. In some environments, sandals and today's popular Capri pants may not be appropriate. Men may need to wear a tucked-in dress shirt with belt and tie. Finally, avoid chewing gum in professional situations.

Suggestions for Special Circumstances

Self-Care 

Stress is a major concern for students as they struggle with a variety of academic, personal, financial, and social issues. Students face multiple pressures including full-time employment, marriage, children, aging parents, more challenging academics and degree requirements, extremely limited spare time, higher tuition, and loan repayments from previous degrees. These are all factors over which the student has little control. Since removing these stressors is usually not an option, the student needs to learn ways to cope with them while maintaining satisfactory progress in their academic program. If students do not successfully cope with stressors, negative consequences can occur physically, psychologically, socially, and academically through poor grades and/or attrition from their program. Suggested techniques for stress management and wellness include:

1. Utilizing a variety of stress management techniques such as: thought stopping, refuting irrational ideas, worry control, body awareness, nutrition and exercise, breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, autogenics, goal setting and time management, assertiveness training, visualization/imagery, and the relaxation response.

2. Spending time with supportive groups, such as family, friends or a significant other.

3. Allowing time for creative pursuits such as reading, journaling, enjoying music, etc.

4. Seeking regular preventative health care (physical, dental).

5. Scheduling some time to play!

6. Maintaining a healthy and sufficient sleep cycle.

7. Utilizing tools that promote personal resiliency, such as faith.

8. Seeking counseling if you begin to feel overwhelmed. 

Dealing with Conflict


1. When you have a conflict or issue with another person, talk to that person directly about it. 

2. Focus on viable solutions to the conflict.

3. Use "I" statements rather than "you" statements.

4. Avoid blaming, name calling, accusing, projecting and being overly angry.

5. Avoid gossiping about the individual. Gossiping can be defined as "idle talk or rumor, esp[ecially] about the personal or private affairs of others" (www.dictionary.com).

6. It may be helpful to have a third party observe the interaction between yourself and the other person. 

Giving Feedback to Others (This section adapted from class handout from Dr. Jan Holden.)

Some criteria for useful feedback:

1. It is descriptive rather than evaluative. This reduces the likelihood of the individual reacting defensively.

2. It is specific rather than general. This helps with understanding and clarity.

3. It takes into account the needs of both the receiver and the giver of feedback. 

4. It is directed toward behavior which the receiver can do something about.

5. It is best received if begun with an area(s) of strength followed, if appropriate, by area(s) of improvement or growth. Feedback that focuses perpetually on the negative fosters defensiveness, discouragement, and hostility rather than openness to the information.

6. It is checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is having the receiver try to rephrase the feedback he or she received. 

Also, but may not be feasible in all situations:

7. It is solicited, rather than imposed. Feedback is most useful, when the receiver asks for it.

8. It is well-timed. Feedback is often most useful at the earliest opportunity after the given behavior.

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