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School of Counseling

Richmont Faculty Publish Article on Attachment and Spiritual Formation

Richmont Graduate University faculty members Daniel Sartor, Ph.D.; Cara Cochran, Ph.D.; Amanda Blackburn, Psy.D.; Mary Plisco, Psy.D.; and Jama White, Psy.D. published an article titled “The Role of Attachment in Spiritual Formation at Richmont Graduate University.” The article is featured in the latest edition of The Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, a publication of the Institute of Spiritual Formation at Biola University.

The article describes the model of how Richmont provides spiritual formation training in its counseling programs. “This model of spiritual formation has a dual foundation which includes the centrality of love to the Christian life and the importance of attachment to the development of persons. The training is intentionally designed to invite students to pursue a more secure attachment to God, healthier relationships with others, and a more grace-based self-awareness.”

You can access the article via the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care website: Link to Article

To learn more about Richmont’s CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and how faith is integrated into the program, connect with our Admissions Team or attend an upcoming Preview Day.

Richmont Receives 10-Year Reaccreditation

Richmont Graduate University has received 10-year institutional reaccreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools(SACSCOC). The vote to reaffirm Richmont was held at the SACSCOC annual meeting this past week in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Accreditation by SACSCOC signifies that the institution (1) has a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and (3) maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.1

Regional accreditation by SACSCOC is considered the gold standard for higher education institutions and signifies academic and administrative excellence. The Richmont faculty and staff have worked diligently to achieve this important milestone and are committed to a process of continual assessment and improvement. More information on accreditation can be found on the SACSCOC website: www.sacscoc.org

 

1 – College Delegate Assembly. “The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement.” Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 2018, www.sacscoc.org.

Milestones 2018

This year’s annual review, newly titled “Milestones” features a letter from President Dr. Timothy Quinnan, a faculty spotlight with Dr. Sonja Sutherland, academic program updates, and new scholarship programs. Click below to read more about the exciting growth and important accomplishments from the 2017-2018 school year at Richmont Graduate University.

Link to Online Version of Milestones

 

Dr. Kristy Holloway Receives Recognition at SACES Conference

Congratulations to Dr. Kristy Holloway, Richmont Adjunct Faculty, for being selected as an Emerging Leader at the 2018 Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) Conference.  The SACES Annual Conference was held November 11th – 13th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The SACES Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program is designed to help students and new faculty members discover how leadership can enhance their own professional development, enhance the diversity of SACES, and engage talented and dedicated counseling professionals to serve as future SACES and/or ACES leaders. The Emerging Leaders program involves a two-year mentoring leadership program. Emerging Leaders are selected based upon:
• a demonstrated commitment to the profession of counselor education and supervision,
• a demonstrated commitment to leadership,
• a willingness to expanding their leadership potential,
• a record of participation in state, regional, and/or national organizations (ACES, ACA, etc.)and conferences, and
• their potential to diversify the SACES leadership pipeline.

(information on Emerging Leaders program from www.saces.org)

Richmont Achieves Gold Standard in Counseling Education

Richmont Graduate University, a leader in training counselors, has again proven its excellence by extending its accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offered by Richmont is now accredited through 2024. CACREP is the highest form of accreditation to counseling programs, denoting excellence in academic and clinical performance.

I am immensely proud of our faculty and staff. Clearly, it was a sustained, collective effort which led to this success. When you couple this news with a very positive accreditation site visit by SACSOC earlier this spring, it strongly suggests Richmont will continue to grow and thrive well into the future.”

– Dr. Timothy Quinnan, President of Richmont Graduate University

CACREP is specialized within the world of accreditation to assess graduate programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, signaling that the program’s content and quality have been evaluated to meet strict standards set by the profession. Choosing a CACREP-accredited program assures students they will gain the knowledge and experience necessary for licensure and clinical success in most states. Degrees granted by universities with CACREP accreditation lead to a smoother path toward licensure for new therapists all over the country.

Richmont Graduate University is a private, Christian institution committed to preparing graduates to function at the highest levels of professional clinical counseling or vocational ministry. The University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers graduate-level Master’s degree programs from its School of Counseling and School of Ministry. The University operates two physical campuses in Atlanta and Chattanooga, and a virtual campus online. Richmont is renowned for its distinguished faculty as well as its unparalleled field training, which guarantees all students on-site internships. Through Richmont’s ten University-operated counseling centers near its campuses, over 25,000 clients are served annually.

Richmont is the oldest faith-integrated counseling program in the eastern United States, and its graduates consistently score above the average for other CACREP accredited programs. Established in 1933, Richmont enjoys a rich heritage and has over 1,400 distinguished alumni making a profound and positive difference in the lives of others. Richmont alumni serve their communities through careers at mental health clinics, non-profits, private practices, and churches, and more.

New RGU Commons at the Atlanta Campus

Dr. Quinnan builds the RGU Commons at the Atlanta Campus for students, faculty, and staff.

The RGU Commons is an outdoor seating area that was made possible through a gift from the President and the Student Annual Fund. The RGU Commons is located on the west side of the Atlanta Campus and is ready and open for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy.  It features a permanent weatherproof outdoor table and seating. The new RGU Commons is in response to student requests for outdoor seating areas.

There is plenty of room for expansion of the RGU Commons. If you would like to donate to help expand the RGU Commons, you can do so by going to richmont.edu/give and making a tax-deductible donation.

Alumni Profile: Liz Norris

Richmont Alumni are making a positive impact in our local communities and throughout the world. The average Richmont graduate will impact some 10,000 lives during the course of their career. At Richmont we take the responsibility of that impact to heart as we prepare students and support alumni in their careers.

Meet Liz Norris, she is a Richmont alum, Licensed Professional Counselor (as of June 2018 – congratulations!) and also works as an Admissions Counselor at Richmont. Liz has the unique perspective of guiding counselors who are starting their careers, managing her own clinical practice, and serving as part of the Richmont Trauma Team. Listen to her thoughts on why she chose Richmont and the impact the University is making throughout the world.

Thank you, Liz, for the impact you are making on the world.

We would love to hear updates from Richmont alumni and from people impacted by our alumni. Contact us with your stories and updates:

Scottie Blackburn, Director of Communications, sblackburn@richmont.edu

Martha Busby, Director of Alumni and Career Services, mbusby@richmont.edu

Latest Edition of Connecting Magazine Available Online

Connecting Spring 2018

Connecting Magazine is a publication for Richmont alumni and constituents. The latest issue features an interview with President Timothy Quinnan, campus updates, information on the new Richmont app, alumni profiles, and a recap of the 2017 Alumni Reunion. Enjoy the latest edition by clicking below. In an effort to be good stewards of our resources, Richmont will be printing less hard copies and will be making publications available online through our website and monthly newsletters. Connecting will also be available under the Alumni section of the Richmont website.

 

Choosing the Right School

Maybe choosing a graduate school is a no-brainer for you. Maybe the ordeal of choosing your undergraduate school taught you what to look for. Perhaps you know exactly what you want, or you at least have an idea or two. Or maybe you don’t. And that’s okay because there are a lot of factors that go into choosing not just the right school, but the school that is best for you and your specific needs.

But before you dive into research, the best first step is to perform a personal inventory: take time to think about who you are and why you have decided to pursue a graduate degree. You might not reach definitive answers, but evaluating your personal reasons for graduate school will better help you navigate decision making. Here are four key elements to get you started thinking through graduate school options.

Faith and Integration

How much do you want your faith to coalesce with your learning experience? There are varying models of how Christians approach counseling: some view psychology apart from a biblical critique, and some strongly critique modern psychological insights. And still, other schools have “integrated” programs of Christian theology and psychology, such as Richmont Graduate University. Dr. Dan Sartor, Richmont’s Vice President of Integration, says,  “. . . while many other institutions teach from a Christian worldview, very few actually incorporate integrative studies in Christian theology and spiritual formation,” which is precisely Richmont’s nuanced model. More than teach from a Christian perspective, Richmont integrates theology with science in the classroom. When choosing a school, reflect on its approach to counseling in relation to your understanding of faith and learning.                        

Training Opportunities 

Most if not all graduate schools will require practicum experience or internships upon graduating. At Richmont, however, students are guaranteed internship experience from the very beginning of their educational experience. Richmont’s clinical training sequence was designed for students to build their set of specialized counseling skills, culminating with an internship in their final year. Beyond simply offering internships, determine how strong the school’s connections are to the surrounding community. Does the school, like Richmont, have strong relationships and positive reputations with local hospitals and counseling centers? Is the school likely to help you secure an internship placement if it is not guaranteed? Lastly, what is the school’s view on the relationship between biblical knowledge and scientific data, and how does it affect its training model?                             

Faculty

Because graduate school is a smaller, more concentrated and specialized experience than undergrad, it is important to evaluate the school’s faculty. How many professors are there to students? How experienced are they in their fields, and do they still practice? Depending on the availability of the faculty, the amount of time you spend with them will vary. In graduate school, it is important to find a faculty that has the time and passion and experience to properly mentor you in your field. One-on-one time with professors is priceless. Do your research into the school’s faculty and try to find professors who not only specialize in your preferred study but who also will know and care for you individually. 

Accreditation

A school’s most recent accreditation is like a dental hygiene report card: it gives you a good idea of the institution’s current health. Accreditations are either institutional or specialized. Specialized accreditation, such as CACREP, reviews a professional preparation program within institutions, which is important for graduate schools. It gives you insights into a program’s fulfillment of its “institutional settings, mission and objectives, content, practicum experiences, student selection and advising, faculty qualifications and workload, program governance, instructional support, and self-evaluation,” according to CACREP’s website. A specialized accreditation score goes beyond spotlighted and flashy factors like school rankings, ratings, and brands—they prove the financial and professional stability of a specific program. Richmont currently holds a CACREP specialized accreditation, which is the highest form of accreditation given to counseling degree-specific programs in the U.S.

After you have done the research, the most important next step is to talk to people on the ground. Once you have narrowed down a few schools, ask the admissions office for the contact information of a few current students or alumni. Talk to the students about their experience, ask them questions and learn from their stories. And remember you do not have to be alone in choosing a school—ask for advice and prayer from trusted friends and family.

ACA of Georgia Ethics Event at Richmont

June 22nd the American Counseling Association of Georgia will host an event at Richmont’s Atlanta campus titled: “Raising the Bar: Critical Concepts in the ACA Code of Ethics.”

Knowing the ACA Code of Ethics inside and out is more important than ever. Recent events in Tennessee have shown that we must all be prepared to define, protect, and defend it at a moment’s notice. Moving forward as one strong, unified community is by far the best way to preserve the integrity of the counseling profession. We must speak with one clear voice.

Event Details:

June 22, 2018
9:00 am – 2:30 pm
Richmont Graduate University, Atlanta Campus

Discussion points will include:
  • Securing a strong foundation of general knowledge around content areas in the ACA Code of Ethics
  • Understanding critical ethical updates in such areas as professional values; social media; the imposition of counselor personal values; defining the moment ethical responsibilities begin; and fee splitting
  • Protecting against malpractice lawsuits by keeping up with new ethical imperatives
Presenter:

David Kaplan, Ph.D.David M. Kaplan, Ph.D., NCC
ACA Cheif Professional Officer

Regarding this event, Richmont Faculty and ACA of Georgia Executive Board Member, Keith Myers, Ph.D. commented:

“We are honored to have David Kaplan join us at Richmont Graduate University as we go for a deep dive into the ethical issues that are specific to our profession. Being ethical is about doing what is best for our clients and communities, and I’m glad that he will be here to facilitate that discussion.”

Richmont is honored to host this event and proud to support the great work of the ACA of Georgia.  Concerning the ACA of Georgia Dr. Myers added:

“Being a member of the ACA of Georgia Executive Board and this work of revitalizing the state branch has been a great privilege of mine during the past couple of years. We look forward to offering education and networking events in the coming months and years to all counselors of various disciplines within our profession. Those events will be free to those who reside and practice in our great state and are already an ACA member.”

Registration:

Registration is free for ACA of Georgia members.  Click here to register.  5 ethics CE hours available.