Distance Learning - JMU Counseling & Supervision Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision

Low-Residency Learning

As you begin your PhD in Counseling & Supervision, we want to take time to introduce you to the structure and design of the program as well as the resources available to you as distance learners. Here you'll find a detailed overview of Low Residency learning as well as connections to the resources designed to support you whether you are connecting from off-campus or on-campus during our in-person weekends. This is an ever evolving list so please let us know if there is anything that could be useful to you.

Definition of Low Residency

Our PhD program is being offered through what is called a Low-Residency Model, meaning your learning experience will include both online and face-to-face components. The face-to-face part typically occurs in short bursts of intense daylong sessions that run for a weekend or a week. We call those Residency Weekends. Each of your classes will meet for one full day. The schedule will be available for you for each academic year. For the rest of the time, you live and learn at home online. You'll have both synchronous and asynchronous class meetings so you can continue to connect to faculty and to each other. These typically meet from 6:00-8:00 pm on either Monday or Tuesday evening. Clinical courses, such as practicum and your internships, involve both group and triadic supervision so the schedule may vary but will always remain attuned to the fact that you are in need to meeting times outside typically working hours.  We remain aware of students who are working full-time, students across time zones, and coordination with the larger class schedule for their term. 

The on-campus time in a low-residency program takes advantage of the compressed time you are on campus to create highly focused face-to-face sessions designed to build community, launch group projects and introduce complex topics in highly responsive, often discussion-based activities. Lectures and labs might be a part of the on-campus experience, but these traditional face-to-face elements are augmented by experiential activities with a focus on social learning. Because of this immersive approach during residency weekends, a large portion of a course’s experiential contact hours are highly concentrated when you are on campus, though the majority of still occurs online. If a typical course has 45 to 48 contact hours, a third of those might be accounted for during the residential period. In our case, we schedule two residency weekends each semester. This allows for 7 contact hours each weekend for each course offered (14 total per course) representing  roughly ⅓ of the course contact hours. Of the remaining class meetings, half are asynchronous and half are synchronous, meaning that our students get at least another ⅓ of their hours in synchronous connection to faculty and each other. 

All advising and mentoring is also conducted through synchronous means unless you and your mentor arrange something different. Advising sessions will be part of each residency weekend. 

As always, if there is anything that you would like added to this list of resources, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Enjoy this experience!

View a List of Resources for Online JMU Students

Ways to Access JMU Library Resources Remotely

JMU Offices

The Graduate School
Madison Hall, 4th floor


Disability Services

Counseling Center

Center for Faculty Innovation
Rose Library

Supervision assist information
Student Start Guide
Creating Training Reports