Doctoral counseling program gets rave reviews

JMU News

HARRISONBURG, Va. — A new approach to earning a doctorate at James Madison University is opening doors for adult students who already have busy lives. The Counseling & Supervision program’s low-residency model seeks to provide a high-quality education while increasing access to individuals who face barriers to pursing a traditional doctoral education.

Stephanie Crockett, director of the counseling and supervision program, said one of the main values of the program is academic rigor and quality professional experiences while also helping students to complete the program in a timely and efficient manner.

The program stresses the value of faculty-student mentorship, article style dissertations, and professional internships to enhance the academic experience.

“I really think the range of experiences gives them a flexible skill set,” said Debbie Sturm, another professor in the program. “They become flexible in a diverse way of teaching and connecting.” Sturm added that even though students are remote they are able to form strong connections with each other and the faculty.

Earning a doctorate degree involves long hard hours of schoolwork, which often requires students to quit their jobs and move to be close to their school. The low-residency model, started in 2021, allows students to work full-time and be full-time students. The coursework is offered online, synchronously and asynchronously. There are four in-person residencies each academic year held on JMU’s campus.

“I work full time and I go to school full time,” said Ashley Hough, a student in the doctoral program. “But the program is very manageable. You really learn how to make the assignments work for you.”

Given the flexible delivery, the program attracts students from around the country. Crockett added, “Students who already have established lives and careers don’t have to move to Harrisonburg to pursue their doctorate.”


Contact: Eric Gorton, 

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Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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