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Impact Story

Columbia International University Counseling Initiative

About the Project 

This grant, awarded in January 2023, will establish a PhD program in counselor education and supervision to address the shortage of counseling faculty that has limited the number of master’s prepared clinical mental health counselors who can be educated and licensed in South Carolina. It is the second program of its kind in the state. 

For the first three years of the program, students must live in South Carolina. This will increase the impact of the Foundation’s grant on the state and its workforce. When students finish the program, they will go on to teach at accredited universities in counseling education.

Of adults in South Carolina, 37.6% report symptoms of anxiety and depression, but 23.3% were unable to get the needed counseling or therapy services.*

Projected Impact

The program is already having an impact on the number of clinical counselors in South Carolina:

  • 24 doctorate seats are available per year in the CES program
  • The CES program receives 300 applications each year
  • One CES graduate can teach and clinically supervise 144 master’s-level counseling students
  • CES graduates will teach 7 master’s programs in South Carolina

Students have been very positive regarding the course content and PhD experience so far with one student reporting, “I love completing assignments that apply my learning to real life situations.

Greta Clinton Director – University Communications and Foundations/CIU