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Counselor Education and Supervision (Ph.D.)

(Ph.D. in Counselor Education)

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

The Counselor Education Doctoral Program is Designed to help skilled counselors become counselor educators, supervisors, researchers, and leaders in the counseling profession.

Alumni Faculty at 22
Colleges & Universities


 Years (Typical Time to Degree)


Small Cohorts of Doctoral Students


First Doctoral Degree Earned

Our Counselor Education Program

Counselor Educators and Supervisors are those skilled counselors who both do and teach. Counselor educators help to support the development of counseling students through direct instruction, as faculty in colleges and universities, and also through the supervision of the work done by students and new professionals. Those are central components of ensuring high quality clinical work, and protecting the clients who are served by counselors.

Why Study Counselor Education Here?

The counselor education program in Virginia Tech's School of Education helps excellent counselors shape the future of the counseling profession through teaching, supervision, advocacy, and research. Our program believes strongly in the researcher-practitioner model. Our students receive a strong foundation in research methods that help them to design and conduct research that can be translated into practice.

Studying Counselor Education at Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech Counselor Education Ph.D. program prepares students to function as counselor educators, clinical supervisors, or advanced clinicians, through coursework and practical training. The doctoral coursework extends areas of expertise in theory and practice, clinical supervision, leadership, and advocacy. Doctoral students complete a clinically oriented Advanced Practicum, a Doctoral Teaching Internship, a Doctoral Supervision Internship, and other doctoral internships as appropriate for the student’s goals. Doctoral students in the Virginia Tech program have access to the latest instructional technologies, work closely with the faculty, and often collaborate on research, publications, and conference presentations.

Students who complete the Ph.D. program typically seek employment as counselor educators, higher education administrators, college counselors, clinical mental health supervisors, or K-12 school counseling leaders. Our program graduates have been tremendously successful, and consistently and secure appointments to the faculty in colleges and universities across the country. Moreover, they are leaders in the field, serving in elected and appointed roles, and helping to shape counseling policy and practice.

Career and Professional Development

Counselor educators are also advocates who help to shape the counseling profession, and address issues of injustice and inequity in our schools and communities. And our students get ample experience working in the classroom side-by-side with the faculty, in providing supervision to counselors in training.

It is incredibly rewarding to be able to see the development of counseling students as they become professional counselors themselves. In order to be effective in this work, counselor educators must have excellent clinical skills, and be up to date on the latest developments in the field.  As a result, counselor educators are actively engaged in research to better understand what works in teaching, supervision, and clinical work. Research interests can be as varied as issues that may appear in a counseling session, and that research helps inform practice. Finally, because counselor educators are so involved in shaping the future of the profession through the preparation of counselors, they are also ideally situated to be advocates and leaders for the counseling profession.

Counselor educators are focused on developing effective, ethical counselors, who are engaged in helping individuals and communities solve the problems they are facing.

Blacksburg Campus

This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

Our Faculty 

Research Interests:

  • Counselor cognitive development
  • Evidence-based practices in counselor education and supervision
  • Supervisor development
  • Counseling assessment

Laura Welfare

Laura Welfare, Associate Professor of Counselor Education

Research Interests

  • Clinical preparation as preparation for doctoral programs in Counselor Education
  • School counselor professional development
  • Role definition
  • Ethics and self-efficacy
  • International school counseling

Nancy Bodenhorn

Nancy Bodenhorn, Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Clinical supervision
  • Counselor development
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Counselor wellness and impairment issues

Gerard Lawson

Gerard Lawson, Associate Professor

Research Interests:

  • Adult Development and Aging
  • Counseling Older Adults
  • Access to Mental Health Services in Later Life
  • Suicide Prevention Across the Life Span
  • Application of Resilience and Wellness Models

Matthew Fullen

Matthew Fullen, Assistant Professor

Research Interests:

  • School counseling
  • School counseling in rural communities
  • School counselor professional identity

Tameka Grimes

Tameka Grimes
Dr. Tameka Grimes, Assistant Professor

Research Interests:

  • Addiction Counseling
  • Trauma Counseling
  • Counselor Wellness
  • Counselor Education Pedagogy

Jenna Fitzgerald

Jenna Fitzgerald
Dr. Jenna Fitzgerald, Visiting Assistant Professor

Counselor Education Research Highlights

Welfare, L.E., Wagstaff, J., & Haynes, J. R. (2017). Counselor education and Title IX: Current perceptions and questions. Counselor Education and Supervision, 56(3), 193 – 207.

Farmer, L. B., Sackett, C. R., Lile, J., Bodenhorn, N., Hartig, N., Graham, J., & Ghoston, M. (2017). An exploration of the perceived impact of post-master’s experience on doctoral study in counselor education and supervision. The Professional Counselor, 7(1) 15-32.

Lawson, G., Trepal, H., Lee, R., & Dress, V. (2017). Advocating for Educational Standards in Counselor Licensure Laws. Counselor Education and Supervision, 56(3), 162-176.

Fullen, M.C., & Granello, D.H. (2018).  "Holistic Wellness in Older Adulthood: Group Differences Based on Age and Mental Health." Journal of Holistic Nursing.

We strongly encourage applications to be submitted by November 1, for full funding consideration. We admit students once per year, to enroll in the Fall semester. Applications must be received by:
Domestic Application
April 1
International Application
April 1


Wanda McAlexander
Program Support Technician
1750 Kraft Drive, Rm 2100
Blacksburg, VA 24061

School of Education
Public Safety Building
Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061