This fall, the William & Mary School of Education will join its first college students in a new online grasp’s degree program specializing in army and veterans counseling.

The application, the simplest one in every of its type in Virginia, will educate counselors to work with veterans and their households on troubles along with post-traumatic strain disorder, stressful brain injury, the emotional effects of physical harm, long-time period circle of relatives separation and the transition from military to civilian life.

“We’re excited to have an opportunity to teach ready and compassionate counselors with a special awareness on army and veteran problems,” says Rip McAdams, professor and chair of the faculty psychology and counselor education branch. “Veterans and their families have unique desires, and it’s enjoyable to look at the one’s desires diagnosed and supported here at the School of Education and across the commonwealth.”

In early 2017, the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs requested William & Mary to create a suggestion for a military counseling software designed specially to meet the needs of veterans and their families in Virginia. The inspiration was common, and the General Assembly covered $287,500 in start-up funding for this system within the biennial finances adopted in 2018.

W&M School of Education launches military counseling software 1

The new application is an optional specialization of the faculty’s existing CACREP-accredited Online M.Ed. Counseling allows college students to gain a grasp’s degree and paintings toward licensure as a professional counselor. Students can preserve operating and entire the diploma in as low as 3 years through this component-time software.

The army and veteran specialization would require developing 3 new courses: Military Life, Culture and Challenges; Assessment and Treatment of Trauma-associated Disorders; and Military to Veteran Transition. In addition, 3 present guides could be changed to include units on navy issues.

“All counselors can gain from know-how and training in navy troubles, so that they experience confidence and organized to help military-affiliated clients,” said McAdams. “So this has been a extraordinary danger to combine content associated with military issues into the coursework for all of our online applications.”

For McAdams, the task is a for my part as well as a professionally fulfilling one. He served in U.S. Naval Special Operations from 1969-1975 before pursuing a professional and educational career in counseling. “When I came out of the military, there have been only a few resources to help us cope with the personal challenges we encountered and make that transition again to civilian lifestyles. As a country, we’ve made numerous progress when you consider that then. However, there’s still more we may be doing to be aware of the desires of veterans.”

The school is presently acting a countrywide look for a new faculty member to fill the military and veterans application coordinator position. In addition to growing direction content material and coaching in the new software, the coordinator can even oversee medical placement and internships for college students inside the software. These area studies will consist of a supervised practicum accompanied through three hundred-hour internships running without delay with military and veteran clients.

The online application will release in Fall 2019 with 15 college students in its first cohort. Students are admitted to the Online M.Ed. 3 times in step with year, and as soon as completely enrolled, the program will serve 135 students and graduate 45 army and veteran counselors each year.

“With the net software, our enrollment inside the counseling department will increase through extra than 2 hundred%,” says Leslie Grant, senior companion dean for instructional packages. “But we’re extraordinarily careful to maintain both the best of our counseling program, that’s nationally recognized as one of the excellent, in addition to the non-public attention and guidance that our college students acquire from faculty. We’re confident that we’re increasing our service and attain thru online packages whilst preserving the very best first-class of experience for our students.”

In fall 2020, the faculty anticipated starting an on-campus software specializing in army and veterans counseling properly. Once that program is to be had, on-campus counseling students will select from 3 specializations within the medical intellectual fitness counseling diploma — addictions counseling; couples, marriage and circle of relatives counseling; and navy and veterans counseling — in addition to attention in school counseling. Currently, William & Mary is the only university in the country to provide concentrations in addictions and army counseling.

“We’re constantly evolving our packages and partnerships to make sure that we’re growing to satisfy our task of remodeling the lives of college students, faculties, and groups,” says Spencer Niles, dean of the School of Education. “Military veterans and their families deliver a lot and sacrifice a lot — we’re venerated to play this position in assisting their wishes by using preparing counselors who can assist them stay peaceful and efficient lives.”