Program goal

The M.Ed. in Counselor Education with a concentration in school counseling is a 48-credit-hour program designed to prepare counselors for elementary, middle and high schools. The school counseling concentration leads to school counseling licensure and preparation for advanced graduate work at the post-master’s level. The program requires a minimum of two years of study to complete.

The faculty makes every effort to assist students in individualizing a graduate program to match their professional needs and interests. However, individualization takes place in an environment of legitimate constraints revolving around institutional, accreditation and licensure requirements. Faculty members view each program as more than simply an aggregate of courses, and students should plan all program work with their faculty advisers.

For students who already have a master’s degree in education, the 36 credit hours of program core courses in the school counseling concentration also will lead to recommendation for licensure as a school counselor. Students who wish to gain this licensure must meet with the department chair and file a plan of study. Although students holding master’s degrees do not apply for admission to the graduate program, they must file the appropriate plan of study in order to qualify for the VCU-approved program of study. No course work taken more than seven years prior to applying for licensure as a school counselor will count toward meeting VCU’s approved program course equivalents.

Student learning outcomes

Professional orientation/professional identity/continuing education

  1. Students display knowledge and understanding of the historical and philosophical foundations of the counseling profession, including counselor professional identity, and display necessary skills in applying this knowledge and understanding to professional practice.
  2. Students demonstrate the ability to adhere to legal and ethical practice.
  3. Students understand the importance of continuing education and are committed to seeking continuing education throughout their careers.

Helping relationships/group work/career development/wellness

  1. Students display knowledge and understanding of counseling processes applied to both individuals and groups including knowledge of how to design, implement and evaluate programs related to academic, career and personal/social development of clients.
  2. Students display knowledge and skills related to responding to crises, emergencies and disasters.
  3. Students participate in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs that promote wellness, as well as prevention and intervention services.

Human development/wellness

Students display knowledge of theories of learning, personality development, transitions and resilience, and use this information as a basis for facilitating optimal development and wellness.

Social and cultural diversity/social justice and advocacy

  1. Students display knowledge and understanding of diversity and equity issues and how these issues impact clients’ academic, personal and career opportunities.
  2. Students display multicultural competencies including appropriate sensitivity, skills and advocacy in working with diverse clients.
  3. Students display knowledge and understanding of the relationship between counseling programs and academic achievement, including an understanding of factors that promote student success, and work to close the achievement gap among disenfranchised groups.

Assessment

Students display knowledge and understanding of multiple factors that may affect personal, social and academic functioning, and possesses knowledge and skills to identify, evaluate and implement appropriate needs assessments and consequent interventions.

Research

Students display knowledge and understanding of research and evaluation, including understanding of how data are used to inform decisions, and students display skills and professional practices in appropriate collection, analysis and use of data.

For school counseling concentration

  1. Students display knowledge of the professional models that guide the practice of school counseling and demonstrate the ability to articulate, model and advocate for appropriate school counselor duties and programs.
  2. Students display knowledge and understanding of the role of family-school-community collaboration on student development and strategies to enhance collaboration.

Leadership

Students display knowledge and understanding of leadership models and of the school counselor’s role in school leadership; students display appropriate skills and dispositions for working in a leadership capacity in school counseling.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

Students accepted into the counselor education program must make satisfactory progress toward their degrees. Students who earn unsatisfactory grades and/or exhibit unprofessional conduct may be terminated from the program. More specific information about satisfactory academic progress can be found on this website.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.Ed.Summer or fallDec 1 (early consideration)GRE or MAT
Jan 15 (final deadline)

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline
  2. Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
  3. Student’s written statement concerning career interests
  4. Transcripts of all previous college work
  5. Personal interview may be required
  6. Satisfactory scores on the GRE or MAT

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses.

  1. Credit hour requirements: Students are required to complete a minimum of 48 credit hours.
  2. Grade requirements: Receipt of a grade of C or below in two courses constitutes automatic dismissal from the program. Courses with a grade below C cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements.
  3. Internship requirements: Students must complete approved internship.
  4. Testing requirements: Students must provide acceptable score on the National Counselor Examination.

Curriculum requirements

Foundations
Human development and learning
CLED/EDUS 615Lifespan Development: A Gender Perspective3
Cultural, historical and philosophical
Select one of the following:3
Philosophy of Education
Social Foundations of Education
Education and the World's Future
Contemporary Educational Thought
Seminar on Educational Issues, Ethics and Policy
Research
EDUS   660Research Methods in Education3
Core courses
CLED   600Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice in Counseling3
CLED   601Theories of Counseling3
CLED   602Techniques of Counseling3
CLED   603Group Procedures in Counseling3
CLED   604Practicum: School Counseling3
CLED   605Career Information and Exploration3
CLED   606Assessment Techniques for Counselors3
CLED   607Multicultural Counseling in Educational Settings3
CLED   612Seminar in Counseling3
CLED   613Data-driven Comprehensive School Counseling Programs3
CLED   622School Counseling Services3
CLED   672Internship6
Total Hours48

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 48

Graduate program coordinator
Donna Gibson, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Counselor Education
Email: dgibson7@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-1332

Additional contact
Colleen Thoma, Ph.D.
Professor and chair, Department of Special Education and Disability Policy
Email: cathoma@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 827-2651

Program website: soe.vcu.edu