School Counseling and Guidance Counseling Education

Increasing pressure by accountability and student achievement standards has caused serious unrest in the country's educational system. However, the current situation has spawned a new outlook toward educational procedures. The school counseling profession is one career in the field of education that is seeing a large change in function, responsibility and necessity.

Due to changes in the educational environment, school counseling graduate programs have had to adapt in order to provide future school or guidance counselors with the skills necessary for program graduates to meet the needs and expectations of our school systems.

The following is a quote by past American School Counselor Association (ASCA) president, Mark Kuranz during a summit meeting in Tucson, Arizona:

"Counselors need the inner-strength to step up to work with teachers to improve student achievement. I need to be able to demonstrate that what I do is connected to student learning."

School Counseling Graduate Programs are adapting to the needs of schools and students by incorporating the driving concepts behind change, leadership and advocacy necessary in schools. The best school counseling education programs are providing graduate students with the ability to create the following four attributes of proper school counseling programs:

  1. Foundation
  2. Delivery Systems
  3. Management Systems
  4. Accountability

After the completion of a school counseling graduate program, graduate students should understand the foundation of a school counseling program is based on goals for student achievement as well as on what has been deemed necessary for students to know and be able to do.

School or Guidance counseling graduate students will also learn how to develop proper delivery systems for providing students with effective guidance curriculum as well as for providing faculty with tools to incorporate successful student psychology concepts into their own processes of educating.

The following are a few schools offering school counseling programs as well as counseling and psychology graduate programs at the Masters and Doctoral levels.

  • Capella University
    • Capella University offers an online CACREP-accredited school counseling program for students across the country. They also offer graduate programs in various counseling fields and psychology.
  • Liberty University
    • Liberty University offers an online Masters of Education in School Counseling program that is both a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) approved and state-approved program for certification.
  • UMass Online (University of Massachusetts)
    • The University of Massachusetts offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling that is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education. The ease of reciprocity makes this program for online students across the country.
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As accountability trends continue, school counseling graduate programs will need to continue to adapt. Master's programs will focus more on producing school counselors with management skills and with the ability to manifest creative solutions to the problem of student achievement shortages.

The career of school counseling may be the most exciting and versatile in all of education today.

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