Doctoral Studies

Specializations - Counseling Psychology

Thank you for your interest in our Counseling Psychology training in the College of Education and Human Services at Cleveland State University. We have designed this Website to help you gain an accurate and comprehensive view of our program. Our central mission is to educate counseling psychologists who are competent to work effectively with diverse urban populations – competent in assessment, intervention, research, and supervision tasks. Our program is designed to immerse students in the issues facing urban populations as well as to help students develop the competencies they need to function as professional psychologists. Counseling psychology became a designated specialization in the Urban Education Ph.D. program in 2006 and earned its APA accreditation in 2010, its graduates have been eligible for psychology licensing in Ohio since 1992. In the years between 1992 and 2006, it was identified as a counseling training sequence.

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Counseling Psychology at CSU follows the scientist-practitioner model of training and it has these major goals:

  1. Training counseling psychologists who have the requisite knowledge base and therapeutic skills for entry into the practice of professional psychology.
  2. Training counseling psychologists who have the necessary knowledge and skills for competent practice and research within a multicultural diverse urban society.
  3. Training counseling psychologists who will contribute to and/or apply the scientific knowledge base of psychology using skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Cleveland State has been chosen as the host institution for the Student Affiliates of Seventeen (SAS) for 2013-2016! And, we are delighted to announce that our students were nationally recognized by being selected over other APA accredited programs and will have a major role in the Society for Counseling Psychology for the next three years. Congratulations to this amazing group of students! Students entering the program during these years will also have a chance to be involved with SAS activities on the national level.
April 15th, 2014 The program is delighted to announce that the cohort beginning in Fall, 2014 will be comprised of 4 students who present with graduate degrees with across the nation and internationally and impressive clinical, research, and academic training!
July, 2014 - The doctoral program has been re-accredited by the American Psychological Association for 7 years.


Outcome Year in which Degrees were Conferred
Total number of students with doctoral degree conferred on transcript 2 0 0 0 6 2 4 14
Mean number of years to complete the program 6 0 0 0 5.8 5 6.7 6.5
Median number of years to complete the program 6 0 0 0 6 5 7 6
Time to Degree Ranges N % N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students in less than 5 years 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students in 5 years 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 17 2 100 1 25 4 29
Students in 6 years 2 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 83 0 0 0 0 7 50
Students in 7 years 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 50 2 14
Students in more than 7 years 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 25 1 7

The program can be completed in 5 years of full-time graduate study and requires a Masters degree in counseling, clinical psychology, or closely related field as a pre-requisite to admission. Most current students are taking between 6 years and 7 years to completion, including pre-doctoral internship. If a student elects to complete a 2 year half-time pre-doctoral internship the program, it will take a minimum of 6 years to complete. Transfer students are not admitted into the program. Any applicant with questions about pre-requisites may contact Dr .Donna Schultheiss at d.schultheiss or by phone at 216 687-5063.
If a prospective student is missing a few of the pre-requisites from the masters degree, but otherwise qualifies for the program, that student may complete the missing pre-requisite courses early in their doctoral program, thus not extending the time required to complete the degree. Some newly admitted students elect to complete the pre-requisites in the summer before starting doctoral studies. Students who are deficient in several pre-requisites are likely to extend their programs if they do not begin to enroll in the pre-requisites at the beginning of doctoral studies.

Variable Year of First Enrollment
N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students for whom this is the year of first enrollment (i.e. new students) 7 - 4 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 2 - 7 -
Students whose doctoral degrees were conferred on their transcripts 3 43 4 100 1 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students still enrolled in program 3 43 0 0 4 67 4 80 3 75 2 100 6 86
Students no longer enrolled for any reason other than conferral of doctoral degree 1 14 0 0 1 17 1 20 1 25 0 0 1 14

Program Costs
Description 2014 -2015 1st year Cohort cost
Tuition for full - time Students (in -State) $20,724.60/year
Tuition for full - time Students (out -State) $28,017.60/year
Tuition per credit hour for part - time students (if applicable) N/A
University/institution fees or costs $75/year
Additional estimated fees or costs to students(eg., books, travel etc.) $1500/year

The program strives to provide graduate assistantships or tuition grants for all first and second year students who request funding. After that period of time, students may be eligible for additional assistantships if positions exist in our program. In the 2013-2014 academic year, all students beyond the second year who requested assistance received some funding. Assistantships are given for one year and students must reapply on an annual basis. The Co-Directors of Training organize student applications for assistantships, and make placement decisions in coordination with the Directors of the various student service areas. Students who are awarded a graduate assistantship must be enrolled as full-time doctoral students with at least 7-9 semester hours of credit each semester.
A variety of 10 hour tuition grants (tuition remission for 7 - 9 semester hours per semester) and 20 hour graduate assistantships (tuition remission for 8 semester hours plus stipend for each semester) have been made available to students including research, teaching and professional service (i.e., University Counseling Center, University Disability Services, and University Tutoring Center). For 2013-2014 the minimum stipend for 10 hour assistantships is $5,900.00 per academic year. A 20 hour assistanship has a minimun stipend of $11,800.00 per academic year. The specific times that students work are negotiated with the supervising faculty member so as not to conflict with any courses students may be taking. Typically, graduate research assistants are involved in research activities such as library searches, literature reviews, data collection, data entry and analysis, manuscript preparation, report writing, often resulting in opportunities to collaborate on presentations and publications. In addition, assistants may be asked to help with classes faculty are teaching by grading exams, keeping records, helping with library research for classes, and other tasks.


Internship Placement - Table 1

Outcome Year applied for Internship
N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students who obtained APA/CPA-accredited internships 0 0 0 0 1 100 3 50 4 50 2 29 5 83
Students who obtained APPIC member internships that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained other membership organization internships (e.g. CAPIC) that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained  internships conforming to CDSPP guidelines that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Students who obtained other internships that were not APA/CPA-accredited (if applicable) 1 100 0 0 0 0 1 17 2 25 2 29 1 17
Students who obtained any internship 1 100 0 0 1 100 4 67 6 75 4 57 6 100
Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application process 1 - 0 - 1 - 6 - 8 - 7 - 6 -

Internship Placement — Table 2

Outcome Year applied for Internship
N % N % N % N % N % N % N %
Students who sought or applied for internships including those who withdrew from the application process 1 - 0 - 1 - 6 - 8 - 7 - 6 -
Students who obtained paid internships 0 0 0 0 1 100 4 67 4 50 4 57 6 100
Students who obtained half-time internships (if applicable) 1 100 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 25 0 0 0 0

Outcome 2004-2014
The total number of program graduates (doctoral degrees conferred on transcript) between 2 and 10 years ago 8
The number of these graduates (between 2 and 10 years ago) who became licensed psychologists in the past 10 years 6
Licensure percentage 75%


Application Requirements:

Successful completion of a Masters degree in counseling, clinical psychology or closely related field.
Research experience
Experience in an applied setting
Strong academic records: minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.85 and 3.5 graduate GPA
Competitive GRE scores (see mean scores below)
Good communication skills
Strong letters of recommendation (including at least one from a graduate faculty member)


  • Graduate application
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  • Official GRE scores (Scores must be within the past 5 years. Only the general tests are required; the Psychology Subject Area Test is not required).
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from a faculty member from the applicants prior graduate program.
    Personal statement
    The statement should not exceed 3 pages single spaced and should include:
    The factors attracted you to counseling psychology and to Cleveland State’s program in particular the experiences you have had in applied settings (e.g., hotline experience, residential treatment, case management, clinical counseling, field placements)
    Description of your research experience (e.g. assisting with a faculty member’s research, presentations, publications a, Masters thesis)
    Description of your goals for doctoral study and for your career
    Description of your interests in research and practice, particularly as they relate to diverse urban populations
Admissions Decisions Influenced by:
Evidence of the applicant’s commitment and interest in urban multicultural issues
Match between the student’s interest and faculty expertise
Space limitations (6-8 students as a maximum in each cohort)
Application Deadline: January 15th (if that date falls on a weekend, the following Monday)
Applicant data:

Admitted Students 2010 – 2012 Mean GRE Scores

Verbal 482
Quantitative 446
Mean Undergraduate GPA: 3.31
Mean Masters GPA: 3.81

Admitted Students, 2012-2013 Mean GRE Scores

Verbal 143 (New scoring system)
Quantitative 145 (New scoring system)
Mean Undergraduate GPA: 3.72
Mean Masters GPA: 3.73

Mean GRE scores and Grades of Admitted Students 2013-2014

Verbal 156
Quantitative 151
Mean Undergraduate GPA: 3.45
Mean Masters GPA: 3.87

Mean GRE scores and Grades of Admitted Students 2014-2015

Verbal 156
Quantitative 155
Analytical writing 4.0
Mean Undergraduate GPA: 3.46
Mean Masters GPA: 3.89

  • Year 1:Full time course enrollment for each semester and summer session
  • Year 2:Full time course enrollment for each semester, practicum, and at least one summer session course
  • Year 3:Practicum, half time courses, and comprehensive examinations
  • Year 4:Dissertation research and optional 3rd year of practicum
  • Year 5: Predoctoral internship*
*Students who elect to do a 2-year half time internship will complete the program in at least 6 years

Students begin a 4-semester sequence of enrollment in practicum at the beginning of their second year of enrollment in the program. The first practicum focuses on psychotherapy and the second on assessment. All practicum placements are community based. All practica must be supervised by licensed psychologists. The following represent the community sites in Northeast Ohio in which counseling psychology students have been placed in the last 3 years
Oberlin College Counseling Center
Cleveland State University Counseling Center
Guidestone, Cleveland Ohio
University of Akron Counseling Center
Baldwin Wallace College, Health and Counseling Services
Cleveland Clinic, Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program
Neurology and Neuroscience Associates, Inc.
Portage Path Behavioral Health, Akron
Connections, Beachwood
Bellefaire JCB, Shaker heights

The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and by the American Psychological Association. Contact information for the The Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association is as follows:
American Psychological Association
Office of Program Accreditation and Consultation
750 First Street NEv
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242v
Phone: (202) 336-5979 Fax: (202) 336-5978
Email: apaaccred@apa.orgv
For 2013-2014 there are 5 core counseling psychology faculty members along with numerous other faculty who teach research, general psychology courses, Urban Education and Urban Studies courses, and counselor education faculty.. All faculty are available to assist students with their development as competent professionals. Faculty profiles are available at

Justin C. Perry, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Donna E. Schultheiss, Ph.D. Professor and Co-Director of Training
Graham Stead, Professor, Director Urban Education Ph.D. Program
Julia C. Phillips, Ph.D. Associate Professor

Spotlight on Graduates:
Dr. Shondale DeLoach, Ph.D

Dr. DeLoach completed his doctoral degree in counseling psychology in August, 2012 immediately after completing his APA accredited pre-doctoral internship at the Counseling Center at Michigan State University.
He has accepted a position as a staff psychologist at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Prior to his entry into the doctoral program Dr. DeLoach earned a Masters degree in clinical psychology at Cleveland State and a Bachelors in psychology and religious studies so he qualifies as a triple Viking, earning all of his degrees at CSU.
His doctoral dissertation, completed under the direction of Dr. Donna Schultheiss, was entitled, “Same Race Regulatory Resource Depletion: Obstacles of Black High Achievers”.
He tested the hypothesis that there is a temporary depletion of mental resources after high achieving Black students interact with Black low achieving students, causing temporary executive function depletion. His doctoral practica were completed at the Case Western University Counseling Center and the Cleveland State University Counseling Center. He also spent several years prior to doctoral study working as a psychology technician at the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland. We are proud to count Shondale as one of our graduates.
The attached photo shows Shondale with his poster presentation at APA in San Diego in 2010.

Tira Stebbins, Ph.D.

Dr. Tira Stebbins finished her doctoral degree in counseling psychology in August, 2012 after completing an APA accredited internship at Heartland Behavioral Healthcare, part of the Ohio Psychology Internship consortium and successfully defending her dissertation, entitled, “Effects of an Equine Assisted Activities Program on Youth with Emotional Disturbance: A Pilot Study”.
Dr. Justin Perry served as her dissertation director. She is currently a psychologist at Bellefaire JCB.
Tira completed the program in 5 years after earning her Master’s degree in clinical psychology at East Carolina University and working as a therapist at Bellfaire JCB, in Cleveland.
Tira deserves accolades not only for finishing her degree in a timely fashion (despite giving birth to her first child in the middle of the program), but also for conducting the first empirical study of equine assisted therapy with children with special needs as her dissertation.

University Counseling and Testing Center;
Center for International Services and Programs; http://
Information Services and Technology;
Health and Wellness Services;
Library Services;
Graduate Grant Writing Center;
Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs;
U-Pass Program (allows students to ride free of charge on all Greater Cleveland RTA buses and rapid trains during a semester).
Statistics/Computer Laboratory for doctoral students in CEHS;
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs;