School Department News
Psychology and Counseling
The William Carey University Tradition Campus counseling program has received a National Board for Certified Counselors & Affiliates (NBCC) grant to assist in initial Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation.
The grant, awarded to the program’s clinical mental health and school counseling tracks, was one of 15 given from an applicant pool of 59 institutions nationally.
“We were honored to receive this funding that will pay for each of our remaining phases of accreditation and will include funding for planned site visits sometime in the spring of 2015,” said Dr. Carol Jones, director of psychology and graduate counseling at the Tradition Campus.
The grant application was evaluated on criteria including the general understanding of the CACREP process; the feasibility of the program’s timeline, goals and challenges; and the potential of the program to graduate counselors who will serve underserved populations in need.
Hattiesburg, Miss., March 5, 2014 - The William Carey University Quality of Life (QOL) Project is a program that pairs students with adults with intellectual developmental disabilities to engage in activities designed to enrich their lives. Recently, the group made a trip to Memphis to visit the National Civil Rights Museum and tour Graceland. The program is funded through The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation’s Ann Morris Memorial Fund, which was set up by John Morris to honor the life of John’s late daughter, Ann, who was mentally disabled.
Dr. Paul Cotten, professor of music therapy and psychology, created the QOL Project in 2009, and each trimester his psychology students take their client, out to eat, to the movies, to Carey Dinner Theatre and other various community events. Once a year, the group takes an out-of-town trip, such as to the aquarium in New Orleans, La. The Memphis trip was QOL’s first overnight outing.
“The experience continues to be a wonderful opportunity for the clients, as well as for the Carey students,” Dr. Cotten said. “They are able to apply what has been learned in class by getting to know their client through varied experiences while improving the quality of life for the client.”
The trip was made possible thanks to a recent grant from The Greater Pine Belt Foundation.
“Without the financial support we receive, such opportunities would not be possible,” Dr. Cotten said. “We are good stewards of the funds given to us, and do our best to maximize opportunities for our clients and students. One of the best parts about the program is that it not only provides new experiences and opportunities for the clients, but for many of the students, as well.”
Hattiesburg, Miss., October 25, 2013 - The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation’s Ann Morris Memorial Fund recently awarded $7,000 to the William Carey University Quality of Life Project, which pairs students with adults with intellectual developmental disabilities in activities designed to enrich their lives. The project has been in operation since August 2009. The foundation also awarded $6,901 to a program called “Harnessing Adults Full Potential through Music Therapy.” This program will provide music therapy services to adults with intellectual disabilities at day rehabilitation center to increase acquisition o skill building and activities for daily living.
“This project provides both WCU students and clients opportunities to learn from each other while enjoying educational and recreational outings,” said Dr. Paul Cotten, professor of psychology and director of the Quality of Life program. “Not only do the students become better prepared to work with individuals with disabilities, but they also become aware of the special nature of their clients. An interdependent relationship is developed thanks to the opportunities provided by the funding.
“The music therapy program is truly blessed as the funds will be used to engage WCU music therapy graduates and train future music therapists while bringing new programmatic services to PineBelt Mental Health Resources,” said Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy.
The Ann Morris Memorial Fund was set up to assist area organizations who work to enrich the quality of life of intellectually challenged adults.
“Our Grant Selection Committee is made up of individual reviewers who ensure that all funding is given to organizations who meet the criteria of the donor,” said Theresa Erickson, executive director of the Pinebelt Community Foundation.
The PineBelt Community Foundation exists to strengthen communities by connecting charitably minded people to causes that matter most to them. As a driving charitable force in our region, their mission is to build better communities through philanthropy.
Hattiesburg, Miss., September 19, 2013 - Dr. Paul Cotten, professor of music and psychology at William Carey University, along with WCU music therapy graduates Kathryn Boyer of Slidell, La., and Carol Winstead of Jackson, presented at the 14th Annual Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Psychiatric Disorders held by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health August 14-15 at the Mississippi State University Riley Center in Meridian.
Boyer and Winstead, both of whom are board certified music therapists who work at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield, discussed the use of music therapy for persons with dementia. Dr. Cotten, who began his career working in the field of mental retardation specializing in music therapy, along with Dr. Neil Marsh, family discipleship pastor oat Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, focused on faith and dementia. Before coming to WCU, Dr. Cotten served as director of Ellisville State School, director of the division of mental retardation for the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, and director of Boswell Regional Center. He also established the Quality of Life Project in 2009 which benefits senior adults with special needs. In addition to being a pastor, Dr. Marsh is also a licensed psychologist.
The Mississippi Department of Mental Health develops and maintains a statewide system of prevention, service, and support options for adults and children with mental illness or emotional disturbance, alcohol/drug problems, and/or intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. The mental health service has three major components: state-operated programs and community service programs, regional community mental health centers, and other nonprofit/profit service agencies/organizations.