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Counselor Education


Counselor Education Office 
1160 McDermott Dr., Suite 102
West Chester, PA 19380–4022
Call: (610) 436-2559
Fax: (610) 425-7432


Associate Professor: Kathryn P. Alessandria, Ph.D.

B.S., M.A., Ed.S., James Madison University; Ph.D., University of Virginia

Dr. Alessandria teaches Group Dynamics, Helping Skills, Professional Orientation to Counseling, and Field Experience courses. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health, National Certified Counselor, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. Dr. Alessandria has experience in student affairs as a college counselor, academic advisor and resident advisor. Her research interests include: ethnic identity development and generation of immigration, with a special interest in Italian-Americans; multicultural counseling; college student development; issues and trends in college counseling; supervision and skill development of master’s level students; and new faculty development.

Assistant Professor: Karen L. Dickinson, Ph.D.

B.A., Rutgers; M.Ed., West Chester University; Ph.D., University of Delaware

Dr. Dickinson is a certified school counselor with over 20 years of experience as a counselor and elementary and special education teacher. She teaches all the school counseling courses, as well as Practicum, Group Dynamics and Fundamentals of the Helping Relationship. Her research has centered around bullying and students with disabilities.

Assistant Professor: Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D

B.A., University of Delaware; M.Ed., University of Delaware; Ed.D, University of Delaware

Dr. Hodes has spent over 25 years as a practitioner and administrator in Student Affairs. She teaches the Student Affairs courses, as well as Practicum and Fundamentals of the Helping Relationship.  Her research interests include understanding professional identity development of student affairs practitioners, LGBTQ and A identity development and strengths-based leadership and practice.

Associate Professor: Vickie Ann McCoy, Ph.D.

B.A., Monmouth College; M.S.Ed., M.A., Monmouth University; Ph.D., The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Vickie Ann McCoy received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi where she worked in the Center for Disability Studies. Prior to these experiences, she spent many years as the Coordinator for Counseling and Testing Services for Students with Disabilities at Monmouth University. Dr. McCoy's presentation and research interests are in Positive Psychology, Disability Studies & Service Provision, LGBTQ Issues, and other Multicultural Issues. She regularly teaches Educational Psychology (with a Human Exceptionality focus), Career Development, Human Development, Orientation to Counseling, and Fundamentals of the Helping Relationship.

Assistant Professor: Cheryl W. Neale-McFall, Ph.D.

B.A., James Madison University; M.S., University of Georgia; M.S.Ed, Old Dominion University; Ph.D., Old Dominion University

Dr. Cheryl Neale-McFall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counselor Education at West Chester University and is a nationally board certified counselor. Dr. Neale-McFall has over 20 presentations at International, National, State, and local counseling conferences. Her research interests include counselor education mentoring and supervision relationships, self-care and wellness, and counselor identity formation. She has published five peer-reviewed journal articles since her time at West Chester University and she and a colleague were recently awarded an external grant through the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Neale-McFall teaches professional orientation and ethics, group dynamics, social/cultural diversity, and theory development, as well as field experience courses to both student affairs and elementary and secondary school counselors.

Assistant Professor: Eric W. Owens, PhD

BA, University of Pittsburgh; MA, Indiana University of PA; PhD, Duquesne University

Dr. Eric Owens is a Nationally Certified Counselor, an Approved Clinical Supervisor, and is certified as a Secondary School Counselor by the PA Department of Education. He has presented both regionally and nationally on issues related to trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and solution-focused approaches to trauma treatment. His most recent scholarly activity has focused on training future counselors to approach their work from a positivist, solution-focused approach. He has also written book chapters on campus and workplace violence and multiculturalism in career counseling. He has worked as a counselor in collegiate and secondary school settings, most recently as the Director of Counseling Services at a high school in Pittsburgh, PA.

Professor: Richard D. Parsons, Ph.D.

B.A., Villanova University; M.A., Ph.D., Temple University

Dr. Richard D. Parsons teaches courses including Consultation, Helping Skills, Practicum and post-master's licensing courses. Professor Parsons has authored or co-authored over 70 professional articles and book chapters, along with 23 books. His most recent books include the clinical training texts: Counseling Strategies that Work (Allyn & Bacon); The School Counselor as Consultant (Brooks/Cole) and The Ethics of Professional Practice (Allyn & Bacon). He has co-authored three texts in educational psychology including, the most recent Diversity Matters (Wadsworth Press). Dr. Parsons is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist. In addition to his professional membership Dr. Parsons has been named a member of American Men and Women of Science and American Catholic Who's Who and received the Pennsylvania Counseling Association's Counselor of the Year award.

Associate Professor: Matthew J. Snyder, Ph.D.

B.S., Pennsylvania State University; M.A., Arcadia University; Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Dr. Snyder is a licensed professional counselor. He teaches courses in Student Affairs, Helping Relationship, Group Counseling, and Theories and Techniques of Counseling. His research interests include working with resistant clients, counseling issues in higher education and college retention.

Professor: Naijian Zhang, Ph.D.

B.A., Xi'an International Studies University (China), M.A., Bowling Green University, Ph.D., Ball State University

Dr. Zhang teaches courses including Introduction to Student Affairs, Social and Cultural Diversity Issues in Counseling, Essentials of the Helping Relationship, Fundamentals of the Helping Relationship, Counseling Theory and Techniques, Practicum, Internship, and Stress Management. His research interests include cross-cultural counseling, race and gender difference, acculturation, personality, college student development, and racial identity. His most recent publications include articles about discussion of race and ethnicity in counseling, in The Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development; counseling psychology in China, in Applied Psychology: An International Review; cross-cultural gender role egalitarian attitudes, in Sex Roles: A Journal of Research; workaholism, health, and self-acceptance in Journal of Counseling and Development; and multicultural responsive and multicultural reactive counselors, in The Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. Dr. Zhang is a licensed psychologist. He was recently recognized by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) for the outstanding service.

Associate Professor: Lynn S. Zubernis, Ph.D.

B.A., Rosemont College; M.A., Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College

Dr. Zubernis is a licensed clinical psychologist and school psychologist, who teaches courses in Human Development, Group Dynamics, Fundamentals of the Helping Relationship, and Organization/Administration of Schools, as well as supervising Practicum and Internship students. She has published and presented research in the areas of counseling gay, lesbian and bisexual college students, cognitive behavioral work with children from divorced families, and preschoolers' theory of mind, and has substantial experience working in public and private schools and college counseling centers as a clinician prior to her entrance into college teaching. She is currently working on a book exploring relationships and the building of community in the age of the internet.