After earning the approval of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), La Consolacion College Bacolod will be opening the Master of Arts in Guidance and Counseling by second semester of Academic Year 2015-2016.
The program is designed to equip guidance counselors with higher level competencies that will enable them to design programs, manage guidance and counseling services, and develop counseling skills anchored on updates and the evolving trends in psychology. It also emphasizes on skills in administering various types of psychological examinations appropriate in various settings and conditions.
“We take pride in the strength of our own guidance and counseling resources, particularly in terms of qualifications and experience. We have a good number of experts in the field. More so because we have just opened a BS Psychology program”, said Dr. Ma. Mercedes A. Joson, Dean of the Graduate Studies and Continuing Education. The program will be delivered by industry experts and professionals, psychologists, academicians and human resource managers. Joson added that students will be exposed to various types of researches and case studies. “The aim is for students to be able to publish their work in refereed journals, to contribute to the expanding body of knowledge in guidance and counseling”, she said.
Dr. Romela R. Aujero, a psychologist and LCC’s VP for Personnel and Ancillary Services is pleased by CHED’s affirmative response saying that having a post-graduate degree in the field is one of the requirements for professional license in guidance and counseling pursuant to the Guidance and Counseling Act of 2004 (RA 9258). She said that ideally schools are required to have one full-fledged guidance counselor for every 500 students but in most cases, this ratio is not met because only a few has the required qualifications. With the offering of the program, Aujero is hopeful that many will pursue the graduate study.
Although a graduate degree may not be necessary to qualify for the professional licensure examination for graduates of programs allied to the discipline like the Bachelor of Science in Psychology of LCC Bacolod, it is a requirement for graduates of other psychology programs whose curriculum do not meet the standards of CHED and the Professional Regulation Commission.
Aujero, who is also the president of the Asian Association of School HRMD Practitioners (AASHPI) in Negros said that the degree may not only be applicable for guidance counselors in academic institutions but even for personnel managers in various work sectors and environments. “There is a growing awareness of the importance of having a guidance and counseling support for people in the workplace,” she said. Work-related issues as stress, over-fatigue, bullying and personal and family issues directly impact employee performance. “Attending the graduate study will equip human resource managers with a comprehensive understanding of guidance and counseling and knowledge on how to develop an integrative counseling program incorporating core therapeutic approaches”, Aujero added.
Like other post-graduate degree offerings, a student may be able to complete the program in an average of two years but may also be finished within three semesters or 12 months if the maximum number of units allowable every semester were taken.
Sr. Jennifer Dela Cruz, OSA, VP for Finance and Administrative Services said that the program will be made more accessible through discounts in tuition fees. Those that are working in parochial schools will be given 20% discount in tuition fee while those from other schools of the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation (ASOLC) are entitled to 30% discount throughout their study.
Meanwhile, a crash course in psycho-trauma and crisis management is now on its second run. The two-month course that began on August 6, 2016 was met with an overwhelming response with 33 graduates mostly guidance counselors, psychologists, teachers, nurses, human resource managers and social workers. Now there are 28 students and the number of interested applicants is still increasing.
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