The master of arts in Counseling and Guidance is designed for aspiring school counselors who are passionate about working with students and families – in both public and private school systems – to help children achieve their personal and academic goals.
Through a comprehensive curriculum of core and elective courses, you will learn the foundations of school counseling, counseling theory and process, group dynamics, cross-cultural counseling, and program development and evaluation. You’ll apply hands-on learning during practicum and internship placements at schools in or near your community. Our program uses the American School Counseling Association National Model.
In addition, our expert faculty will prepare you to:
- Apply counseling techniques specific to school-age children and their families through assessment, intervention, case conceptualization, and advocacy
- Develop meaningful relationships with pre-K-12 children, teachers, and parents, adjusting your work to each student’s growth and academic needs
- Consider socio-historical contexts and issues of power and privilege, including gender, race and ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation, when assessing students
- Support every student’s academic, career, personal, and social development using a data-driven school counseling practice
Upon graduation, you will be ready for a rewarding career as a school counselor in an elementary, middle, or high school or as a professional working in community-based settings with children and adolescents.
As a master’s student in this program, you will pursue a concentration in either school counseling or bilingual school counseling.
If you choose bilingual school counseling, you’ll learn to recognize and apply appropriate resolutions to common issues experienced by students for whom English is a second language. You’ll take special population courses focused on bilingual and multicultural theory and practice as well as courses focused on characteristics of exceptional children who are culturally and linguistically diverse.
The counseling lab provides experiential learning opportunities that allow you to practice communication skills and the counseling process.
Based on the Interpersonal Process Recall training program, the lab uses training DVDs and audiovisual recordings of counseling sessions to help you develop self-awareness, personal and professional insight, and basic counseling skills.
Field learning is integral to school counselor training. It allows you to apply the theories and skills learned in the classroom in real-world settings. You will observe, develop your clinical skills, and practice the common tasks of a professional counselor.
The practicum occurs in your first year of the program, and it will be your first hands-on experience in school counseling. You are required to complete 100 hours of practicum training before your internship.
After your complete the practicum, you will begin your internship and develop a professional identity by training with a certified professional counselor at schools in or near your community. You are required to complete 600 hours at your internship location.
As part of the online school counseling program, you are required to travel to New York City to participate in one on-campus immersion experience. The immersion is part of the Group Dynamics: Theory and Practice course, which you will take in your summer term. During the three-to-four-day immersion, you will receive in-person training while bonding with your fellow classmates and professors.