Community & Trauma Counseling

With a Specialized Practice Area in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Professional Counselors practice the prevention and .treatment of mental, emotional, behavioral disorders and associated stresses that interfere with mental health. The Master of Science in Community and Trauma Counseling Program provides graduates with the knowledge and skills for trauma-informed practice as community mental health counselors across a breadth of settings including agency and institutional settings, professional private practice, and other environments influenced by traumatic events and extreme stress.

The MS in CTC program of studies provides a comprehensive 60-credit curriculum in two different delivery methods: a traditional weekday format and an evening and weekend model. Both delivery methods require an identical, lock-step 20-course curriculum that is designed to be completed by full-time students in two years (five semesters including the summer session). Either delivery method is designed for working students and can be taken on a half-time basis.  Courses are delivered through a hybrid-learning format that combines on campus classes and online instruction. Graduates from either progression will have met the coursework and practice requirements for state licensure (in Pennsylvania and many other states) and national certification in professional counseling (LPC/NCC).

In addition to the classroom and online learning components of this program, students are required to engage in two clinical fieldwork experiences. In the first year, students will complete a practicum, where they will spend a minimum of 100 hours developing skills and knowledge within a mental health or school setting.  Students then progress into the advanced clinical experience, the internship, where they complete a minimum of 600 hours within their community or school placement.  Program faculty will facilitate student placements in practicum and internship.

The CTC program has changed how I live my life. It made me even more curious about the connection between the brain and the body; how they make us feel, think, and move. It showed me so many things that I may not have ever thought of or imagined myself doing.

Jie Bin Chen Class of 2022

Mission Statement/ Guiding Philosophies/ Objectives

Born out of growing empirical evidence that trauma is frequently at the root of psychologicaldistress and dysfunction, the Master of Science degree program in Community and TraumaCounseling (CTC) aims to develop competent trauma-informed professionals who have theknowledge and skills to work as practitioners, researchers, and policy makers. Consistent with the central mission of Jefferson, this program combines a comprehensive, innovative,multidisciplinary and flexible education with an emphasis on a broader societal context. Byintegrating aspecialized knowledge of trauma with a broad base of counseling scholarship andpractice, graduates will emerge as versatile professionals in the global community. This program seeks to enhance the professionalism and practice of the field of trauma counseling by encouraging research and excellence in evidence-based practice.

The following framework is provided in an effort to improve stakeholder understanding of the CTC program.

The framework identifies the program’s three priority areas or guiding philosophies(Community, Trauma, Counseling –the program’s 3Ps). The 3Ps will be evident through this document as they serve to organize how the program addresses the CACREP’s eight commoncore areas (in Section 2, Standard F) and the clinical mental health counseling specializationarea (in Section 5, Standard C), and they further guide program and student evaluation. Whileour program has always carried the “Community and Trauma Counseling” program name, theframework below reflects an improved conceptualization of our priority areas as well as updates and improvements to our program objectives.

The CTC program was intentionally named in order to underscore its three core priorities andguidingphilosophies (3Ps): (1) Community, (2) Trauma, and (3) Counseling.

The CTC program aims to:

  1. Prepare clinicians and scholars for ethically-grounded practice and inquiry that is...
  2. Informed by and responsive to the needs of diverse communities and prioritizescultural humility and social justice. (COMMUNITY)
  3. Infused with trauma + resilience theory, knowledge and skills. (TRAUMA)
  4. Upheld by the core values and principles of the counseling profession, with specialemphasis on self-reflection, growth, and wellness. (COUNSELING)

  1. Prepare and promote competent, trauma-informed professionals who meet the academicand practice standards necessary to achieve credentialing and membership withappropriate professional organizations.
  2. Prepare and promote versatile professionals equipped to practice effectively with diverseclients within a variety of community, agency, and institutional settings, private practice,and government.
  3. Prepare and promote professionals who demonstrate cultural humility and engagement as culturally competent professionals.
  4. Prepare and promote professionals who serveas advocates for their clients, for thecounseling profession, and for themselves as professionals continuously engaged inlife-long learning.
  5. Prepare and promote professionals who uphold the highest standards of ethicalpractice as according to the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics (2014).

The program objectives are highly representative of our philosophy of developing counselors who are well-equipped to serve in the community with a balance of foundational knowledge and clinical skill.

Schedule Offerings

The courses in the CTC program are offered in two different delivery methods: a traditional weekday format, and an evening and weekend model. Both delivery methods require an identical, lock-step 20-course curriculum that is designed to be completed by full-time students in two years (five consecutive semesters including the summer session of the first year in the program).

Weekday Format

Classes generally meet every week, on two different weekdays on the East Falls campus. The weekday program is comprised primarily of full-time students who enroll in 3- 4 courses per semester and need to take classes during the weekday and weekday afternoon time periods. Please review the course catalog for specific details on the schedule during any given semester.

Evening/Weekend Format

The evening/weekend format is available for students who chose to take courses primarily during the evenings and on weekends. These classes generally meet once a week during the evening and alternating weekends. Please review the course catalog for specific details on the schedule during any given semester.


Child Trauma & Play – Students may select the Child Trauma & Play Therapy concentration at point of application or anytime within their first year of the MS program. This concentration is an additional six credits of coursework.

Trauma, Addictions & Recovery – Students may select the Trauma, Addictions & Recovery concentration at point of application or anytime within their first year of the MS program. This concentration is an additional six credits of coursework.

Art Therapy – Students must select the Art Therapy concentration at point of application to the MS program. This concentration requires supplemental materials and prerequisites for admission beyond the standard CTC application, and requires a July start. This concentration is an additional nine credits of coursework.