School Counseling Program
Professional school counselors assist students with academic, career, and personal/social development. Their roles and responsibilities are integral to the fulfillment of every school’s overall educational mission. Trained as leaders, advocates, collaborators and systemic change experts, school counselors work with the entire school community to develop and deliver comprehensive, results-based K-12 programs designed to respond to the needs of all students.
Ph.D., NCC, LPC
McGurrin Room 455
Department phone: 570-941-4236
Ph.D., NCC, ACS
McGurrin Room 445
Department phone: 570-941-4236
The mission of the School Counseling Program at the University of Scranton is to prepare students to become professional school counselors in elementary, middle, or secondary schools. The program emphasizes professional school counselors working to improve educational practices that impact all students through the development and implementation of data-driven comprehensive school counseling programs.
Guided by a team effort and a vision of educational equity, the School Counseling Program trains students to contextualize their counseling competencies by developing skills in leadership, advocacy, and collaboration, and to develop an appreciation of diversity in meeting the varied needs of school students. As a member of a team with other school personnel and helping professionals, school counselors assist students to achieve academic success, choose appropriate career paths, make effective decisions, and develop personally and socially.
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Implicit within our mission statement is a commitment to assist students to develop a professional identity as a school counselor. To aid in that process, special curricular emphasis is placed on the American School Counseling Association’s National Model for School Counseling Programs, and affiliated school counseling organizations:
- The American School Counseling Association (ASCA)
- The Education Trust’s National Center for Transforming School Counseling (NCTSC)
- Pennsylvania School Counselors Association (PSCA)
- National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA)
Each organization strongly adheres to the position that professionals in this
field can best facilitate academic, career and personal/social development among
students by acting as leaders, advocates, collaborators, and visionaries for
systemic change. Trainees in the University of Scranton’s program are taught to
pay particular attention to access and equity issues that create educational
gaps between student groups. The four elements of the ASCA National Model
(Foundation, Delivery System, Program Management, and Accountability) are
infused throughout the curriculum. Emphasis is also placed on the
American School Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics.
Program faculty are advocates for comprehensive services that are appropriate and relevant for all students in schools, not just those with existing problems or in crisis, and they promote the use of developmental perspectives by school counselors. The school counseling faculty are National Trainers for the Education Trust’s Transforming School Counseling Initiative and are members of state boards for counseling policy issues. The School Counseling Program prepares graduates to conceptualize and implement comprehensive school counseling programs around the eight goals that characterize developmental counseling: understanding school environments, understanding self and others, understanding students’ attitudes and behaviors, understanding students’ decision-making and problem solving skills, exercising effective interpersonal and communication skills, understanding student success skills, understanding students’ career awareness and educational planning, and understanding community pride and involvement.
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The primary objective of the School Counseling Program is to prepare students for entry into either elementary, middle school, or secondary school counseling positions. The program offers a learning environment whereby the student acquires the academic competencies of the profession, refines them through practical experience, while increasing own self-understanding, self-confidence, and personal effectiveness.
More specifically, the program is designed to:
- enhance knowledge of counseling skills and concepts
- provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to function effectively as a counselor in school settings
- prepare individuals for certification in school counseling
The School Counseling Program is a 48-credit curriculum leading to the Master of Science degree. The 48 credits include:
• 24 credits of school counseling core curricula
• 12 credits on foundations of professional counseling
• 3 credits of practicum
• 3 credits of internship
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The School Counseling Program had an enrollment of 54 MS degree students and five CAGS students in the fall of 2011 and 51 MS degree students and 11 CAGS students in the spring, 2012, semester. Currently, the program has two faculty members with school counseling expertise. All adjunct faculty members that teach school counseling courses are certified school counselors. The current grade point average of the students in the program is 3.81. Students enrolled in the School Counseling Program come from a variety of life experiences, career and professional training, and educational backgrounds.
A summary of key areas from the 2011-2012 academic year student evaluation process indicated the following: 100% of SC students expectations are met or exceeded in all areas. In general, quantitative results indicate that the students are satisfied with the program. The highest rating was in response to the item “expertise of full time faculty”. Additionally, other highly rated items included “quality of full-time faculty teaching” and “overall program rating”.
For the 2010-2011 academic year, a total of twenty students graduated from the program. All students passed the clinical requirements in practicum and internship. Eleven of the twenty students responded to the Post-Graduation Activities Survey. Of the 11 respondents, 10 graduates were employed full time as school counselors. One student was unemployed in the school counseling field. The outcomes of 10 graduates are unknown.
For current information about our School Counseling program outcomes, please click here.
The American School Counseling Association supports the development and implementation of developmental, sequential, and systemic comprehensive school counseling programs as an integral part of the educational program. Through comprehensive school counseling programs, school counselors work with school personnel, families, and community members to assist students in academic, career, personal, and social development. Transformed school counselors use leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and data-driven decision making to improve student achievement and success in school. With a solid foundation in counseling theory and techniques and consultation skills, the transformed school counselor delivers comprehensive school counseling programs, contributes to keeping our schools safe and respectful, and offers challenging educational opportunities to every student.
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As in the other areas of professional counseling, employment
opportunities for school counselors are projected to grow comparable to
other occupations through 2020 according to the U.S. Department of
Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH projects 53,400
school counseling employment opportunities through 2020. School
Counseling is noted as having the largest number of projected employment
opportunities of all specialty areas of professional counseling
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The School Counseling Program is nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
(CACREP). CACREP is the accrediting body for the counseling profession,
recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). As a nationally accredited program by CACREP, the School Counseling Program prepares Professional
Counselors for direct entry into school counseling
positions. The program
prepares students for this work by providing a learning environment in
which they acquire the academic competencies of the profession, refine
these competencies through application, and experience personal and
professional development to meet the standards of Fitness for the Profession.
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Our 48-credit program leads to a master’s of science degree (M.S.) in counseling. Graduates of our programs are eligible to meet the academic requirements for certification as an Elementary School Counselor (grades K-6), Secondary School Counselor (grades 7-12), or dual certification meeting requirements for both elementary and secondary school counselor certification (K-12). Certification requirements are established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to apply for the Education Specialist I Certificate in Elementary and/or Secondary School Counseling. The program is competency-based and designed to meet the Standards for Program Approval as outlined in PDE.
Completing the Master’s degree insures students that they have met the academic requirements for PDE School Counseling Certification. There are two processes required when applying for a Pennsylvania professional educator certificate at the University of Scranton. Students must (1) complete the required University of Scranton paperwork and (2) complete the Pennsylvania Department of Education Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) online application process. TIMS is accessible through the PDE website.Graduates may apply to the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) to take the National Counselor Exam (NCE) towards the end of their program of study. Students who pass the certification examination will be granted recognition as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). The NCC designation represents a strong professional commitment to ongoing counselor training and development. As such, pursuit of this certification is strongly encouraged. Students are encouraged to discuss this option with their mentors.
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The Department offers a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Professional Counseling (CAGSPC) which is designed to meet the legislated educational requirements of Pennsylvania Act 136 of 1998 - The Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors Act. The Certificate allows students to obtain a minimum of 12 additional graduate credits in professional counseling that can partially fulfill requirements for counselor licensure in Pennsylvania.
A minimum of 60 graduate credits in professional counseling must be
attained before the CAGSPC is granted. Each student will design a plan
of study in conjunction with his/her Program Director that addresses
licensure education requirements and the student's unique needs.
Specific course work and clinical instruction requirements are subject
to modification by the State Board. Further information is available in
The College of Graduate and Continuing Education Catalog.
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Undergraduate Human Services majors with outstanding academic records may be eligible for early admission to the School Counseling graduate program through the Accelerated Baccalaureate/Master's Degree Program.
Interested students must commit to this program no later than the end of
their junior year of academic study, adhere to the time frame for application
as outlined in The College of Graduate and Continuing Education Catalog, and
meet specific admissions criteria. Please visit the Accelerated B.S./M.S. website for additional information.
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The University's Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) is located on the 5th floor of the Harper-McGinness Wing in St. Thomas hall. The mission of the CTLE is to provide academic support services for students and opportunities for faculty to enhance teaching and learning. The CTLE offers services to assist graduate students to achieve academic success. The CTLE can assist graduate students in improving their reading comprehension and retention, writing and enhance overall learning skills. Peer-tutoring is available to graduate students free of charge. Students may also work with CTLE staff in learning how to use instructional technology that is available on campus. Workshops are offered in the area of time management, organizational skills, effective study techniques and learning styles.
Graduate students with disabilities, who are registered with the CTLE, receive academic accommodations such as extended test-taking time, note taking and computer use for examinations. Individual consultations with the CTLE Reading Enrichment Specialist, Learning Enrichment Specialist and Writing Consultants are encouraged to assist students with physical and/or learning challenges achieve academic success.To learn more about the CTLE's programs and services for students and faculty, visit their website or call 941-4038.
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