School Counseling, M.S.

The M. S. School Counseling program is accredited by the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is the premier independent accrediting body in counselor education. A comprehensive exam is required.

The School Counseling program is designed to meet the State of Connecticut Certification (068) as a K-12 School Counselor. The School Counseling program (60 credit hours) prepares graduate students to work in a variety of school settings including elementary, intermediate, middle, and high school levels. Students are trained to provide preventive and responsive counseling services that meet the guidelines of the American School Counselor Association's (ASCA) National Model, as well as the Connecticut Comprehensive School Counseling Framework (CCSCF). The ASCA Model and CCSCF prepare graduate students to focus their work on the academic, career and social-emotional domains of student development and to design, implement, coordinate, and evaluate school counseling programs for optimum overall student success.

There are two field experiences, a practicum and an internship. Practicum offers students the opportunity to develop, sharpen, and demonstrate individual and group counseling skills. Students are required to spend a minimum of 100 hours over the course of one semester within a school setting. The internship is an intensive, diversified experience that exposes students to a full range of school counselor responsibilities appropriate to the setting. The internship consists of a 10-month long, 700-hour minimum, supervised counseling experience in a school setting. Both fieldwork experiences are completed under the supervision of a certified school counselor.

Note: Because the MS-SC program is CACREP accredited, certified teachers with 30 months of teaching experience must complete no less than 600 hours over the course of one or two semesters.

School counselors are employed primarily in educational settings. They use their counseling knowledge, insight, and skills to promote human welfare and educational success, and to improve the institutions and programs in which they are involved.

School counselors:

  • provide a program of services for students in the school to promote academic, social- emotional, and career development in a proactive and preventive manner;

  • provide individual and group counseling for students identified in need;

  • consult with teachers, parents, faculty, and administrators concerning student
    academic, social-emotional, and career success;

  • provide a liaison with community agencies to garner services for students and families.

  • implement a comprehensive program which focuses on the uniqueness of all students based on data-informed decision making, closing achievement and opportunity gaps, and results in improved student outcomes. These areas are in alignment with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Standards and the Connecticut Comprehensive School Counseling Framework (CCSCF). The program components include delivery of service (i.e., school counseling curriculum, individual planning, responsive services), accountability, and program management. For more information about school counseling, see the Connecticut School Counselor Association (https://csca.wildapricot.org/)and the American School Counseling Association (ASCA).

Admission Criteria for School Counseling

Admission to the program is based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic background: Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. GPA Waivers are possible under certain circumstances.

  2. Connecticut State Department of Education's special education requirement: This requirement is a course that is offered at many colleges and universities in Connecticut (at SCSU it is SED 481 or 482 or 502). A list of those courses is available at the CT State Department of Education's Website. You may apply even though you have not completed this final course requirement. Many students opt to take this course in the summer prior to beginning their school counseling program. It is possible for students to complete this prerequisite after acceptance. 

  3. Recommender Contacts: contact information for at least three individuals who know the candidate in a professional and/or academic setting. 

  4. Admission Essay: A 500-word essay describing the basis of their interest in the School Counseling program at SCSU.
                   a. Evidence of a desire to enter the program and knowledge of the field.

                   b. Knowledge of profession.

    Note: Prior to being admitted to the program, students may take up to 9 credits on non- matriculated basis. However, taking such courses does not guarantee admission.

  5. Evidence of completion of an academic skills test within the last five years (i.e., SAT, ACT, GRE, or Praxis I).

Application Deadline

In order to be considered for admission to the program the following fall, all admissions materials must be received by January 15. In order to be considered for admission to the program the following spring, all admission material must be received by September 15.

For further information: SchoolCounselingGrad@southernct.edu.