The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) recently released its 2016 standards. Included in these standards is a requirement for school counseling master’s programs to have a minimum of 60 credit hours by the year 2020. This credit hour requirement is an increase from the previous 48-hour requirement and has caused considerable debate in the counselor education field. In this article, the authors assert that the credit hour increase will lead to positive or neutral effects for school counseling programs and benefit the field of school counseling as a whole. This claim is supported by historical examples, anticipated benefits to school counseling, and findings from a pilot study with school counseling programs that previously transitioned to 60 credit hours (N = 22).
A total of 370 counselor educators in CACREP-accredited programs were surveyed to determine their knowledge of master’s students’ problems of professional competence (PPC) and their perception of roadblocks that affect gatekeeping practices. Findings suggest that educators are aware of students’ PPC and that problematic students are impacting the overall learning environment, other students and counselor educators’ personal stress. Participants reported roadblocks related to struggling emotionally to balance being empathetic with their gatekeeping duties and fears they would appear culturally insensitive.