Guide to Online Master's in School Counseling Programs for 2020
School counselors have the unique opportunity to help students in all areas of their growth and development. Guiding students through personal, social, emotional and even future career development, school counselors are essential members of the education team. They work to ensure that each student fulfills his or her potential. To accomplish all of this, school counselors must possess a variety of skills, including patience, understanding of gender and cultural differences, ethical decision making skills, leadership skills and social justice.
Earning a masters in school counseling online can help you to develop these skills so that you can handle a diverse range of situations and provide the guidance students need. The best part is, you'll be gaining your degree without sacrificing the time and income neccesary to enroll in a traditional program. A successful school counselor works with the other members of a school system to improve the quality of education as a whole for all students.
Featured No GRE Required Online School Counseling Programs
Featured Online Masters in School Counseling Programs
Online masters in school counseling programs should be properly accredited, ensuring that coursework requirements are being met by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards. This, along with state school counseling certification or licensure, will allow you to become a school counselor at any grade level.
Online Master's in School Counseling Curriculum
The curriculum and number of credits required to complete an master’s in school counseling online program vary widely depending on your school and specialization. CACREP, The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs outlines key standards that counseling programs must adhere to in order to maintain their reputation and CACREP accredited status. These standards are based on the inclusion of foundations, contextual dimensions, and practices each being present in a programs curriculum. These are the guidelines for creating a comprehensive school counseling curriculum, one that features a variety of coursework and subject areas. A typical online master in school counseling degree includes courses in:
An introduction to school counseling and ethics
Research methods and data analysis
Bilingual School Counselor Online Programs
Some schools with masters in school counseling programs have begun to offer concentrations in bilingual counseling to help overcome language barriers in schools that might prevent students from getting the help they need. Curriculum typically focuses on how to aid bilingual student populations from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.
Top Online School Counseling Programs Admissions Requirements
Each online master's in school counseling program has its own set of prerequisites, so you should contact your accredited institution for detailed information regarding its policies. Depending on your school, you may be required to submit some or all of the following:
Application: Fill out an initial application, which you can find on the website of the accredited institution of your choice. Paper and online forms are both generally accepted.
Bachelor’s degree: You should have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution prior to applying to a master's in school counseling program.
Transcripts: Request transcripts in advance of the application deadline, and upload one official copy of each transcript from any postsecondary schools you have attended.
Personal statement: Write a personal statement, which is typically in the form of an essay. You may be required to submit multiple essays to fully express the intent and purpose of your application. Below are some common topics that should be mentioned in a statement.
Your main academic and personal interests
Experiences in school or work that have helped to prepare you for this course of study
Why you wish to study for the degree you’ve chosen
Why you wish to study at the university
Your plans for the future after you earn your degree
Resume/CV: Upload a copy of your most recent resume or curriculum vitae as part of your application.
Letters of recommendation: Submit your letters of recommendation. The number of letters required varies with each school. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline.
Test Scores: Mail in copies of your test scores. Many schools require GRE General Test scores or TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students; however, some programs do not require test scores at all.
It is also worth noting that some schools with masters in counseling programs have prerequisite requirements from applicants. This may include prerequisite coursework, such as classes in psychology, biology, and statistics.
Do you Need a Masters to be a School Counselor
In most cases, you are required to hold a masters degree to be a practicing school counselor. The BLS reports that not only are the majority of school counselors required to hold masters degrees, but an additional step is commonly required - the obtaining of state licensure in the field of counseling.
Do You Need a Master’s to Transition from Teacher to School Counselor?
In the same way that masters in counseling are typically required for aspiring school counselors, they are also usually required for those switching careers from teaching to school counseling. This could be helpful because it will help teachers transitioning to counselors grasp new concepts and learn a new skill set before diving into a new role.
Why Become a School Counselor Online?
There are a wide range of benefits associated with obtaining a graduate degree in school counseling online. One of the main reasons to gain your masters online is the flexibility it allows for in taking coursework. The online classroom allows professionals to gain a masters degree while maintaining a full or part-time job - a factor that is incredibly valuable in affording higher education.
Online School Counseling Program Accreditation
In searching through the many online school counseling programs, one of the most important factors to narrow your search should be program accreditation. The accrediting body, The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has rigorous standards that programs must uphold to maintain accreditation. CACREP ensures that school counseling programs have up-to-date coursework and are properly setting up aspiring counselors for their careers in the field.
Why attend an accredited online school counseling program?
There are many reasons one should consider an accredited school counseling program over programs that have not yet obtained accreditation. A few of the benefits of CACREP accredited programs are listed below:
It is the most surefire way to know that the program you are attending has been carefully reviewed for competency and accuracy in coursework.
It makes the licensure application process more efficient when it comes time to apply.
The median pay for school and career counselors in 2018, according to the BLS was $56,310. Many different factors can influence the salary potential for school counselors, including the location in which they are working, their years of experience, and the type of school that they serve.
Finding the Best Online Master's in School Counseling For You
In searching for the best online master's in school counseling program for you, it’s important to take into account the instruction method, the program length, and the credit requirements necessary to complete the program.
Featured Online Master's in School Counseling Programs
Pursue Your Masters in School Counseling Online with USC Rossier
We’ve compiled a list of all the masters in school counseling online programs in the United States along with instructional and curriculum information. The difference between asynchronous and synchronous is that synchronous coursework takes place in a live classroom as opposed to a video lecture recording
Online School Counseling programs in the United States
Adams State University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling. Students can specialize in Clinical Mental Health or School Counseling. Two one-week summer residencies are required with the program. Also, students must complete internships in either concentration - either in a clinical or school setting. Also, students must complete the program full-time.
Bradley University offers a fully online in a Master of Arts in Counseling. Students can concentrate on Clinical Mental Health and Professional School Counseling. Students must complete 60 hours of coursework, one practicum, two internships, and two one-week long campus residencies. Students may also graduate with a direct path to licensure.
Edinboro University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling that can be completed part-time or full-time. Students can also choose a concentration in Art Therapy; Clinical Mental Health; College Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation and Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling. An internship for each area is required, and some programs require portfolios and comprehensive exams as well.
Indiana Wesleyan University offers an online Master of Arts in Counseling with a variety of specialization options. Each option has required hours that vary from 48 to 60 hours. Also, internships are required for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, and School Counseling. Students also are required to take the GRE within the first five years of coursework. Part-time students can finish the program in 3-5 years; full-time students can finish in 2-3 years.
Concentrations/Specializations: Addictions Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Community Health Care; Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy; School Counseling; Student Development Counseling and Administration
Application Deadlines: Fall Deadline: June 1st (Fall); October 15th (Spring)
Accreditation Status: CACREP accredited
Program Options: Part-time or Full-time
Program Format: Asynchronous coursework
Internship Requirements: Internship required for Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy; School Counseling
NCC Central University offers a Master in Counseling with three tracks for concentration: Career Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, and School Counseling. Career counseling requires 48 hours of coursework; Mental Health requires 60; and School counseling candidates must finish 51 hours. The program utilizes Blackboard for student to log in at certain times per the syllabi for the courses.
NC State University offers a fully online, synchronous program for a Master of Education. Students can concentrate in Clinical Mental Health or Student Development. Both programs This part-time program works as a cohort and requires students to take courses year-round including summer. The cohort begins in the summer, and students will take two online classes in the fall and spring.
Regent University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling where students can choose one of three tracks: Clinical Mental Health; Marriage, Family, and Couple Counseling; and School Counseling. Each track requires an internship for completion of the program. This online program does require a residency as well as offers a 16-week course session. The residencies are two week-long sessions where students can network and participate in graduate level sessions. Upon completion, students can pursue licensure.
The University of Lafayette - Monroe offers a Master of Science in Counseling. Students can concentrate in Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling where both require 60 hours of completed coursework. The University of Lafayette - Monroe also requires a minimum of 12 hours of coursework each semester. Many resources are available to help students stay on task during their online work.
The University of Massachusetts - Boston offers an online Master of Education where students can concentrate in either School Counseling or Mental Health. Both programs require 60 hours of coursework and an internship. Two weeks of an on campus study are required. These two weeks are clinical courses held at UMass-Dartmouth and are held the first summer of the program.
Wake Forest University offers a 100% online Master of Arts in Education. Students can choose to concentrate in School Counseling or Mental Health. Both programs require 60 hours of coursework and an internship to complete the degree. WFU offers rolling admissions for their online programs which are intended to be done part-time. Students can also apply for licensure after completion of the program.