The Master of Education degree in School Counseling is a 54 semester hour program that is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The program is focused on developing effective practical skills for working as a Professional School Counselor in the K-12 school environment. Upon completion, graduates are eligible to be certified as an Elementary School Counselor or Secondary School Counselor or can choose to be certified in both areas. Students will choose which area(s) of certification that they would like to complete in the fieldwork portion of the program. Graduates from the program find work in western Pennsylvania and in many states as Professional School Counselors.
The curriculum is structured upon the American School Counselor Association Model for a Comprehensive School Counseling Program. In this model, students learn how provide evidence-based experiences that focus on the prevention of problems as well as responsive services aimed at assisting students with issues that impact their ability to learn, interact positively with others and develop meaningful career paths. Central to a student’s training in our program is learning to become effective individual and group counselors. Students also learn to become school leaders, classroom instructors, advocates for students and collaborators with school and other professionals in addressing the needs of the developing student.
Students will complete a comprehensive counselor preparation program that includes core coursework in the theory and techniques of individual, group and family counseling that are focused on providing services to a diverse student population in a developmentally appropriate approach. Students learn to use psychological and other means of measurements to identify student needs and develop skills is research and program evaluation used to determine best practice techniques for program development and delivery.
A major strength of the program is the experiential nature of learning that is woven throughout the coursework. Our Counselor Training Facility provides students the opportunity to learn individual and group counseling through practice with others under the supervision of faculty. Specialty courses in school counseling prepare students to begin working immediately in the fieldwork component of the program in the student’s second year. In the fieldwork experiences, students complete a school-based practicum in which they provide individual and group counseling to students throughout one semester. The practicum is followed by a 600 hour internship in which the student provides counseling, educational, consultation and leadership services in the school.