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PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The School Counseling Program awards a Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) in Counselor Education, and is offered on our Roanoke campus.

Counselors help individuals change their lives. They work in school and community settings to advocate for individuals, and work to advance social justice.

School Counseling is frequently among the top ten critical shortage teaching areas in Virginia.

We understand that School Counselors are counselors who work in school settings. Thus, we incorporate the same courses for both School Counselors and Clinical Mental Health Counselors. Many of our students who complete the School Counselor program continue to earn their Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) licensure as well.

At the completion of their M.A.Ed. program, School Counseling graduates will have completed all of the educational requirements for provisional licensure as a Professional School Counselor PK-12. After working for two years, gradautes become fully licensed as school counselors.

THE COHORT MODEL

The program operates on a cohort model. Members of a given cohort attend all of the same classes in the same sequence and pursue common plans of study.

The benefits of a cohort model are many. The cohort model is designed to facilitate social interaction, collaboration, and the formation of a supportive learning community.

Students in cohorts learn from and help each other with the successful completion of coursework and professional networking. Students who participate in cohort models generally report a strong sense of belonging and are more likely to complete their programs of study in a timely manner.

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WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

Students in the School Counseling master's program will accumulate 60 hours of graduate-level training over two-years of full-time studies. The coursework involves classes in the foundations of counseling theory and practice, including ethics, diagnosis, group counseling, testing, and appraisal. In addition, there are specialty courses on crisis, addictions, and the use of creativity in counseling.

Courses are sequenced to maximize the student developmental level, starting with didactic classes and moving toward more complex classes. In the spring of the first year, students complete a Practicum with both clients in our clinic that serves the adult community as well as a placement in a local school. After these experiences, the student declares their focus of school or clinical mental health, which defines a separate course taken in the second summer.

INTERNSHIP

The final year includes courses as well as Internship. Internship placements are arranged based on the student’s population of interest. Per Commonwealth of Virginia expectations, one semester internship is at the elementary level, and one is at the secondary level.

Typical Plan of Study

Program Entry - Summer II (typically early July)

  • EDCO 5204 - Orientation to Professional Counseling
  • EDCO 6534 - DSM Application in Counseling

Fall Year One

  • EDCO 5214 - Theories of Counseling & Consultation
  • EDCO 5224 - Counseling Techniques
  • EDCO 5234 - Group Counseling
  • EDCO 5424 - Life Span Development

Spring Year One

  • EDCO 5244 - Counseling Diverse Populations
  • EDCO 5354 - Addictions Counseling
  • EDCO 5284 - Practicum: Counselor Education

Summer Between Year One and Two

  • EDCO 5254 - Career Development and Information Services
  • EDCO 5364 - School Counseling 
  • EDRE 5404 - Foundations of Educational Research and Evaluation

Fall Year Two

  • EDCO 5264 - Appraisal in Counseling
  • EDCO 5344 - Systems Counseling
  • EDCO 5614 - Internship

Spring Year Two

  • EDCO 5554 - Crisis Prevention, Preparedness, and Response
  • EDCO 5564 - Expressive and Experiential Techniques in Counseling
  • EDCO 5614 - Internship

Note: The Comprehensive Exam is administered during the Final Semester

Course Descriptions

Survey of the philosophy, scope, purposes, and methods employed in a variety of counseling settings including agencies, private practice, higher education, and elementary/middle/secondary schools with emphasis on services offered and professional identity and ethical issues.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Major theories used to understand and change behavior in a counseling setting. Emphasis is placed on the application of theoretical orientations to understanding and changing behavior of clients. Systematic integration of themes used in the counseling process, including consulting and coordination roles in school and community settings.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDCO 5204 (UG) OR EDCO 5204

Systematic integration of techniques used in the counseling process. Course provides extensive practice, learning, integrating, and practicing skills characteristic of effective helping relationships. Extensive use is made of audio and video feedback in critiquing counseling interviews and techniques.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDCO 5214 (UG) OR EDCO 5214

Introduction to group counseling theory and practice. Emphasis on application of group counseling principles to practical settings. In a laboratory setting, students receive feedback about their personal behavior in a group and supervised practice in the design, implementation, and evaluation of a short term group counseling project.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): (EDCO 5214 (UG), EDCO 5224 (UG)) OR (EDCO 5214, EDCO 5224)

Examination and application of counseling strategies for special client populations including the exceptional; economically disadvantaged; culturally, racially and ethnically different; those with different life styles. Emphasis on the range of human characteristics.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDCO 5204 (UG) OR EDCO 5204

Evolution of how the relationships of work and leisure have evolved into the concept of Career Development. Brief review of the major theories of Career Development and their application to the collection, evaluation, and use of career information in a variety of counseling/student development settings.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDCO 5204 (UG) OR EDCO 5204

Various individual and group tests and informal approaches to better understanding of the individual in counseling. Case study methods examined in detail. Interpretation of test data and role of counselor in testing emphasized. Designed for masters level counselor preparation. 12 additional hours of suitable courses in education, psychology, or statistics required.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDCO 5204 (UG), (EDRE 5404 (UG) OR EDCI 4604 (UG)) OR EDCO 5204, (EDRE 5404 OR EDCI 4604)

Supervised experience in the practice of counseling. Didactic instruction in advanced couseling techniques and methods coupled with practice with clients in a supervised setting. Extensive feedback on counseling practice in individual sessions and group seminar. Must have liability insurance. Previous course work in the field required.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): (EDCO 5204 (UG), EDCO 5214 (UG), EDCO 5224 (UG)) OR (EDCO 5204, EDCO 5214, EDCO 5224)

Use of systems theory in practice of counseling. Influence of systemic factors on human development, theories of family development, and counselors role to remedy institutional and social barriers. Emphasis on counseling skills including systemic case conceptualization and clinical intervention used with individuals, couples or families, and other systems.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDCO 5204

Corequisite(s):

Provides an overview of the strategies, goals, methodologies, programs and types of knowledge and skills necessary for effective identification and treatment of addictions Examines the classifications of drugs and other process addictions; impact of addictions on clients and their family members; components of addiction and recovery; prevention, treatment and relapse prevention resources; and salient legal and ethical guidelines. Graduate Standing required.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Theory and practice of school counseling at the elementary, middle, and high school level, and introductory skills for those settings. Provides understanding of basic services performed by the school counselor; developmental characteristics of the age groups served; ethical, legal and societal issues that affect school counselors; special education terminology; techniques useful in school counseling; and sources of materials available for educational and career counseling at various school levels.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): (EDCO 5204 (UG), EDCO 5214 (UG)) OR (EDCO 5204, EDCO 5214)

Counselor preparation for clinical mental health setting. Wellness, management of services and programs, counselor role and legal issues for a multi-cultural society in clinical mental health. Current controversies and professional issues.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDCO 5204, EDCO 5214

Stages of individual development as they occur in the context of the family life course. Overview of current developmental theories. Impact of race, gender, and class on cultural views of developmental norms.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

Assessment of school and community climate and principles of personal and community crisis prevention for counselors, teachers, ans school adminstrators. Preparedness strategies appropriate for typical reactions to crises and relevant to special populations. Prepation and evaluation of crisis response plans that promote mental health and optimize potential for resilience and self-care. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Basic principles and practices of intermodal expressive arts therapy. Integration of expressive theories and techniques in individual and group counseling. Pre: Graduate standing.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Clinical experience (minimum 600 hours) under the supervision of a university staff member and a site supervisor in an appropriate field site: school (at least 300 hrs K-6 & at least 300 hrs 7-12), community agency, university counseling center, or other setting. Extensive feedback in individual sessions and group seminar. (12 hours minimum for program). Must have liability insurance.

Credit Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Lecture Hour(s): 1 TO 19

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture

Prerequisite(s): EDCO 5284 (UG) OR EDCO 5284

Advanced study of the criteria of mental disorders and standard diagnostic and assessment procedures. Provides students with the extensive knowledge and skills necessary to differentiate abnormal from normal behavior in children and adults, with special emphasis upon the identification and assessment of the mental disorders included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Emphasis will be on the application of the DSM in counseling situations.

Credit Hour(s): 3

Lecture Hour(s): 3

Level: Graduate

Instruction Type(s): Lecture, Online Lecture

NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FACULTY

Nancy Bodenhorn, Associate Professor and Program Leader, Counselor Education
Nancy Bodenhorn, Associate Professor and Program Leader, Counselor Education
Dr. Ellington smiles for the camera, posing in Hahn Horticulture Garden
Breanna Ellington, Assistant Professor
Dr. Fullen smiles for the camera. He poses in the warm environment of the Inn at Virginia Tech
Matthew Fullen, Assistant Professor
Dr. Grimes smiles confidently  in her formal portrait
Tameka O. Grimes, Assistant Professor
Dr. Lawson smiles broadly at the camera. He stands in front of a wall of Hokie stone.
Gerard Lawson, Professor of Counselor Education
Dr. Welfare offers a small smile to the camera in her formal portrait
Laura Welfare, Associate Professor

Additional Program Information