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Professional Dispositions

The commitments, characteristics, values, beliefs, interpersonal functioning, and behaviors that influence the counselor's professional growth and interactions with clients and colleagues characterize professional dispositions (see 2016 CACREP Standards). Based upon current counseling ethical guidelines (2014 ACA Code of Ethics), current counseling accreditation criteria (2016 CACREP Standards), and current counseling published literature, the School of Counseling requires all students to consistently demonstrate each of the following professional dispositions (see the Counseling Student Program Guide for additional information).


  1. Engagement: Student punctually attends scheduled meetings, actively contributes in required academic settings, and promotes other students’ learning.
  2. Accountability: Student accepts personal contributions to academic, skills, and comportment deficiencies and acts responsibly to enhance professional effectiveness.


  1. Relationships: Student interacts with others in a professional manner and effectively navigates interpersonal differences.
  2. Sensitivity: Student attends to the feelings, experiences, and perceptions of others and consistently honors their autonomy.
  3. Impartiality: Student displays contextual and cultural competency by valuing the fundamental rights, dignity, and worth of all people—including respect for age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, marital/partnership status, language preference, socioeconomic status, veteran status, immigration status, or any basis proscribed by law or as defined by potential clients’ experience.


  1. Discipline: Student exhibits ability to control personal stress, self-disclosure, and excessive emotional reactions that interfere with professional functioning.
  2. Awareness: Student manifests alertness of how personal beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors affect others and uses sound judgment to properly assess situations.
  3. Growth: Student exhibits willingness to engage in self-examination, challenge assumptions, and integrate feedback to reach an acceptable level of competency.


  1. Communication: Student displays respectful tone and uses open, honest, and accurate statements in dealing with others.
  2. Congruence: Student demonstrate ability to acquire and integrate ethical codes, accreditation standards, and institutional policy into one’s repertoire of professional behavior in all settings.