James Madison University

Program Description and Outcomes

The Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision is a new program that was approved by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) and implemented in 2011 with a cohort of five degree-seeking students. The 48-credit-hour curriculum focuses on counselor education, supervision strategies, leadership skills, counseling services, and research methods. Eligible applicants are practicing counselors who have completed an advanced degree (M.A., M.S. or Ed.S.) from an entry-level counseling program and 60 credit hours of graduate counseling coursework necessary for licensure as a professional counselor with preference given to graduates of CACREP accredited programs. Its emphasis on crisis counseling and emergency services is also a unique feature of the program. 

The program builds upon an experienced, award-winning faculty. JMU Counseling Programs have a proud history involving over 40 years of training successful counselors. In recognition of its history of innovation and numerous achievements, the Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision named JMU the Outstanding Program at the Master’s Level in 2005.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, 6 students were enrolled in the Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision Program at James Madison University.  Since the implementation of the program in the spring of 2011, two doctorates have been awarded. During the past two years, we admitted two students each fall semester. Our full-time students are expected to complete the program in three years and our part-time students plan to complete the program in five years.  During the first three years of the program, our combined completion rate for full-time and part-time students in the Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision Program has been 80%.  Both of our alumni report that they are licensed and working either full-time or part-time in counselor education and counseling practice


  • The Counseling Programs of James Madison University are pleased to offer the 19th annual Summer Institute in Counseling. This year's workshop offerings emphasize the theme of creative responses to client concerns, with a focus on creativity and self-care. Registration will open in mid-April, with more information about workshop descriptions and registration information available then. Details
  • Dr. Debbie Sturm is New DirectoróBeginning this fall, Dr. Sturm is the Director of Counseling Programs. She will continue as Coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.
  • Dr. Michele Kielty and Dr. Renee Staton to Coordinate School CounselingóDrs. Kielty and Staton are now sharing the duties of coordinating the School Counseling Program.
  • Dr. Lennie Echterling Continues as Doctoral Program CoordinatoróDr. Echterling remains the Coordinator of the Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision Program.