School Counseling Program
Professional school counselors assist students with academic, career, and social/emotional 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, PK-12 programs designed to respond to the needs of all students.
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 high 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 in achieving academic success, choosing appropriate career paths, making effective decisions, and developing socially and emotionally.
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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 Counselor Association’s National Model for School Counseling Programs, and affiliated school counseling organizations, such as those listed below.
- The American School Counselor 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)
- The National Consortium for School Counseling and Postsecondary Success (NCSCPS)
Each organization strongly adheres to the position that professionals in this field can best facilitate academic, career and social/emotional 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, Management, and Accountability) are infused throughout the innovative curriculum. Emphasis is also placed on the American School Counselor 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 have been National Trainers for the Education Trust’s Transforming School Counseling Initiative and have been members of state boards for counseling policy issues. Currently, the school counseling faculty are leaders in the formation of the Pennsylvania College and Career Readiness Consortium. They have also attended several invitation only White House Convenings to promote the important role thatschool counselors have in helping students reach their post secondary career and education goals. The White House Convenings are part of the National Reach Higher Initiative begun by Former First Lady Michelle Obama.
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 PK-12 school counseling positions. The program offers a learning environment whereby the student acquires the academic competencies of the profession, refines them through practical experience, and increases 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 60-credit curriculum leading to the Master of Science degree. The 60 credits include:
- 21 credits of school counseling core curricula
- 21 credits on foundations of professional counseling
- 6 credits of counseling practice sequences
- 3 credits of practicum
- 3 credits of internship
- 6 credits of electives
The 60 credit curriculum allows students to fulfill the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. Six credits of electives can be offered to provide students with opportunities for additional study in individual areas of interest and for development of skills in working with specific client populations.
For current specific course information, review the School Counseling Program Manual.
The school counseling program produces an annual outcome report. Click on the links below to view these reports.
2011-2012 Report (Earlier reporting format)
2010-2011 Report (Earlier Reporting format)
The American School Counselor 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, and social/emotional 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, techniques, and consultation skills, the transformed school counselor delivers comprehensive school counseling programs, contributes to keeping 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 2024 according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH projects 22,500 school counseling employment opportunities through 2024. School Counseling is noted as having the largest number of projected employment opportunities of all specialty areas of professional counseling practice.
Graduates of the school counseling program are also qualified to apply for general counseling positions, such as work in mental health agencies, college counseling centers, churches, hospitals, college admissions offices, and private practices.
The University of Scranton offers career counseling services to students through the Gerard R. Roche Center for Career Development. Click here to see all that the Center for Career Development has to offer.
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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 60-credit program leads to a master of science degree (M.S.) in counseling. Graduates of our programs meet the academic requirements for certification as PK-12 elementary and secondary school counselor. 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 as a PK-12 Elementary and Secondary School Counselor. The program is competency-based and meets the Standards for Program Approval as outlined in PDE.
Completing the Master’s degree ensures 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.
Students seeking certification in school counseling in Pennsylvania must apply for and pass the School Counseling Praxis Exam. Students matriculating into the graduate school counseling program will be requred to take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) near the conclusion of their program. This exam will be used to assess program learning outcomes (PLOs). Students must have completed coursework in at least 6 of the 8 requried areas and be enrolled in the remaining area(s) as outlined in the program manual.
Graduate students may apply to the National Board for 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 (CAGS) 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 or mentor that addresses licensure educational 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 Graduate Studies Catalog.
Click here to apply to the CAGS program online.
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 Graduate Studies 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 in order to 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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Individuals interested in our programs may find additional information in the Graduate School Catalog. Please feel free to contact Dr. Cerrito if you would like to speak with someone about the program directly.
Prospective students must submit their applicaiton of the School Counseling program to the Graduate Admissions Office by November 15 to meet the priority application deadline. March 1 is the due date for regular review. Applications received after March 1 may be considered at the Program Director's discretion.
For step by step directions on how to apply to the the School Counseling Program click here.
For step by step directions on how to apply to the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) Program click here.
Click here to apply online.