M.Ed. in Counselor Education
The master’s degree in School Counseling, in addition to being accredited by CACREP, is approved by the Virginia Department of Education. Graduates of the School Counseling Program will be recommended for the Virginia pre-K through 12 Pupil Personnel Services License. The program is designed to prepare students to become accountable, competent, and reflective counselors who promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of PK-16 youth. The primary goal of the faculty is to prepare ethical, culturally competent counselors who address individual and systemic barriers to educational achievement and personal development in the context of a comprehensive developmental school-counseling program. As specialists in school counseling services, graduates of the program will demonstrate the ability to facilitate student development in programmatic development and the three broad areas described in the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) National Standards: academic development, career, development, and personal/social development. The program is broadly based and interdisciplinary in nature.
The School Counseling program requires a minimum of 50 (core, specialty, elective) credits. Students must enroll in a full-time basis during the academic year and one summer session course between their first and second years. In addition, students may elect to take other elective classes during the summer.
Students interested in the School Counseling Program focus their training on planning, implementing and evaluating counseling programs to meet the unique social, physical, intellectual, and emotional needs of children and adolescents in school settings. Although students may focus their training on a specific age level through the choice of electives, all students in the program are required to complete a counseling field experience at both elementary (pre-K through 6) and middle/secondary (7-12) school settings. Students are assigned to practicum and internship sites in local and neighboring school districts (e.g., Albemarle County, Charlottesville City Schools, Fluvanna County Schools, Greene County Schools, Nelson County Schools, and Orange County Schools). Students’ practicum, completed in their first spring semester, is 100 hours. Students must complete their internship during the fall and spring of their second year. They must complete a minimum of 600 hours (300 each semester).
Counselor Education Doctoral Program
The doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision is designed to prepare graduates to be faculty members in counselor education programs and to participate in excellent scholarship and leadership activities. The goal of the program is to graduate exemplary counselor educators and supervisors who are highly competitive in the state, regional, and national marketplace because they have the knowledge and skills required for success in academia, in research and scholarship, and in the training, supervision, and education of masters level counselors and in leadership and professional service. In addition, graduates are expected to have advanced knowledge of counseling theory and practice, and participate in on-going self-evaluation of all aspects of their work. Further, the doctoral program is designed for students who want to emphasize the development of their research and evaluation proficiency as an integral part of their training.
In addition to coursework, doctoral students have the opportunity to obtain a variety of other professional experiences through graduate assistantships and individual and team work with faculty (e.g., research, scholarly writings, and conference presentations). To assist students in their professional development, Counselor Education faculty members strongly encourage students to collaborate with them on research, publications, and professional presentations. Further, faculty provide direct supervision to doctoral students as they complete their clinical and supervision practicum courses, their teaching internship, and as they teach and provide supervision to master’s students.
As a result of participating in the doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision, students are expected to demonstrate mastery of specific competencies in five broad areas: Teaching, supervision, counseling, scholarship, and leadership. Further information about these competencies is available on the Counselor Education website.
The doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision requires a minimum of 63 credit hours (beyond Master’s work), including the dissertation and doctoral counseling practice internship hours. There are four areas of concentration within the Counselor Education doctoral programs: Counselor education, investigative area, supporting coursework, advanced practice (practica in individual and group counseling, supervision, and teaching, and internship).