PSU Offers New Graduate Programs to International Students

December 21st, 2007 by Adam


PLYMOUTH, N.H.-Expanding its global presence, Plymouth State University’s College of Graduate Studies is offering master’s degree programs in School Counseling and School Psychology for international students. The new programs fills a critical need world-wide for school counselors and school psychologists who are skilled in transforming individuals and institutions.

“Plymouth State does a lot of international work, especially with international schools, and school psychology and counseling were notably absent in regard to advanced studies, so this is a prudent and professional decision for us,” said Gary Goodnough, counselor education program coordinator.

The School Counseling program is designed to be a three-year course of studies, including on-campus classes during the summer at PSU. The School Psychology program is designed to be completed in four years, to allow for a 1,200-hour internship. Both cohorts will include a distance learning element, as well.

“It’s a cutting edge program,” said Goodnough. “There needs to be training for people in these specializations and they’re not that common – we haven’t seen a whole lot out there, especially with this mixed model.”

“People have been making inquiries from overseas, we receive e-mails asking if we have a program they can attend, but they can’t be here all the time, so we’ve created a program that’s relatively user friendly; by having them come to campus during the summer we can really get to know them,” said Dr. Leo Sandy, school psychology program coordinator.

Designed for educators who are interested in transitioning from classroom to school counselor or school psychologist, or expanding their knowledge base and range of experience, each cohort will consist of 10-15 students who will progress through their chosen program at the same time. The cohort model encourages collaboration, builds community, and establishes a low faculty to staff ratio. The individual attention and guidance that students will receive from their leading faculty members, as well as program advisors is unparalleled.

“A lot of the ranks of school psychologists and counselors come from the ranks of teachers,” added Goodnough. “So this is a way for them to continue their education, this is a way for them to advance their careers”

Plymouth State University’s graduate faculty are nationally recognized experts in a wide range of areas including school counseling program design, counseling children, group counseling in schools, school psychology and other issues facing children and schools. They are leaders who are actively involved with national, regional, and state organizations, and they frequently publish professional articles and book chapters.

Sandy believes the on-campus residency during summer months combined with the distance learning element will be both effective and convenient.

“We decided to have students come to campus and take courses where we could observe and teach them interpersonal and counseling skills. Those skills are a critical part of being a school psychologist or counselor. In the online portion we concentrate on the subject content areas, so it’s a mix that makes sense in a professional and interpersonal way,” Sandy said.

“You might have students in Shanghai, one in Vienna, one in Bahrain, you don’t want them to feel isolated, the cohort model is away of keeping them together,” added Goodnough. “They’ll stay here on campus for three consecutive summers and build relationships.”

For admission into the fall 2008 cohort, all applications and supporting materials must be received by March 1, 2008. For information about the School Counseling and School Psychology international cohort programs, contact Dr. Gary Goodnough at, visit or call (800) FOR-GRAD.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 orBruce Lyndes