Program Details

Master of Education in School Counseling (Leads to Initial Licensure)

Offered By: College of Education
Total Program Credits & Course Length:
Total Program Credits: 60
Online: 8 weeks [ More Info ]
Transfer Credits:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the program
Program Tuition Rate:
Online: $530 per credit. [ More Info ]

What is a Master’s Degree in School Counseling?

Grand Canyon University’s Master of Education in School Counseling (IL) degree program prepares individuals with a bachelor’s degree to pursue a career as a school guidance counselor and seek certification. A master’s degree serves as the next step for professional advancement in two impactful fields—education and counseling.

By completing this degree, school counselors can feel more confident and become competent in helping struggling young learners overcome obstacles, while they prepare for the next step in their educational journey and realize their career dreams. Continuing education provides aspiring school counselors with the knowledge to:

  • Respond to challenges that children and adolescents face including academic and emotional struggles to low self-esteem and issues at home
  • Identify risks that lead to mental health and behavioral disorders
  • Strategize ways to foster personal growth
  • Lead in data-informed decision making and school counseling program development
  • Treat disorders and examine how various non-academic problems affect achievement in the classroom
  • Determine whether problems stem from familial, social, emotional or behavioral factors

Course topics include theories and models of counseling, counseling skills, counseling the culturally diverse, organization and administration of a school counseling program, group counseling, lifespan and development, counseling for college and career, research methods and program evaluation, developmental disabilities and contemporary issues in school counseling.

Why Get a School Counseling Masters?

Teacher candidates choose to obtain a master’s degree in school counseling to expand their knowledge base and advance their skillset to become an advocate for pre-K–12 students. Students have difficult experiences that can include bullying, drug use, sexual orientation, social development, mental illness and violence/trauma. A graduate education ensures candidates are equipped to intervene and serve as a support system for these individuals. Candidates will also learn how to work with parents and school personnel to best meet a student’s needs.

The curriculum of this program at GCU is:

  • Regionally accredited
  • Approved by the Arizona State Board of Education and informed by the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model
  • Tailored to meet the needs and build upon the strengths of the adult learner
  • Facilitated by industry experts who have experience in child and adolescent development, counseling theory, group and individual counseling, college and career counseling, trauma and psychopathology

As a Christian university, GCU also designs programs with a values-based and faith-integrated curriculum that reflects the university’s Christian worldview. At GCU, teacher candidates develop into more than a school counselor, they grow into a compassionate servant leader with strong ethics and morals to positively make a greater difference in communities and the lives of children.

How Do You Become a School Counselor?

To start the journey toward becoming an effective counseling practitioner, apply to the College of Education by filling out the form on the right. Master’s degree requirements and program qualifications are provided on GCU’s admission requirements page. Applicants will also follow the standard application process.

Graduates of this program will have the career readiness to apply grief counseling, child and adolescent development theories and research to school practice. Candidates must have access to pre-approved pre-K–12 schools to complete program requirements. This program includes 25 field experience hours, 100 practicum hours and 600 internship hours for a total of 725 hours.

What Can You Do with a Masters in School Counseling?

Graduates can pursue positions in education and counseling that include school counselor, counseling professional, counseling practitioner, guidance counselors and counseling leader.

Program Domains

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
Major:
60 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
60 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course begins by acquainting candidates with the GCU learning management system, while preparing them to be successful graduate-level candidates and future school counselors. Beginning with the history of school counselors, candidates then explore and self-reflect on the needed traits to be effective school counselors in a PK-12 setting. An introductory discussion on ethics, credentialing and licensure, and professional organizations, particularly the American School Counseling Association (ASCA), rounds out the course. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of counseling ethics, legal standards, and responsibilities, including professional identity, report writing, record keeping, and service reimbursement for professional and substance use disorder counselors. Also covered are the history of and current trends in counseling. Important goals of this course are to help students develop a strong personal and professional ethic, as well as an appreciation of the value of professional collaboration and identity.

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the major counseling theories and principles. Coursework includes the following theories: psychoanalytic, Adlerian, existential psychotherapy, behavioral, cognitive behavioral, person-centered, reality therapy/choice theory, and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT).

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of counseling processes, including characteristics and behaviors that influence the helping processes. Included are age, gender, ethnic differences, verbal and nonverbal behaviors, personal characteristics, and orientations. The development of counseling techniques is emphasized, including establishing and maintaining the counseling relationship; diagnosing and identifying the problem; formulating a preventative, treatment, or rehabilitative plan; facilitating appropriate interventions; and successfully terminating the counseling relationship.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society. Studies in this area include the following: attitudes and behaviors based on such factors as age, race, religious preference, physical disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity and culture, family patterns, gender, socioeconomic status and intellectual ability; individual, family, group, and community strategies for working with diverse populations; theories of multicultural counseling and identity development; multicultural competencies; and issues such as substance use disorders. Students examine a variety of cultural populations in multiple regions of the United States, exploring issues and trends that are associated with each population. Cultural considerations for immigrants, refugees, and undocumented citizens are also addressed.

Course Description

This course presents an overview for developing, implementing, and maintaining a school counseling program in the PK-12 setting. Theoretical frameworks of comprehensive school counseling programs are introduced, including a specific focus on the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model for developing a comprehensive school counseling program. Topics include multicultural organizational development, school-based consultation, working in multidisciplinary teams, ethical and legal issues, and advocacy leadership. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course is a supervised field experience that takes place in either an elementary or high school setting. During this experience, learners begin by observing day-to-day counseling routines and have the ability to apply listening skills, helping theories, and techniques. The practicum is performed under the supervision of a faculty member and an on-site supervisor approved by the college or university. Documentation of 100 hours of school counseling related activities is submitted directly to the College of Education’s Office of Clinical Field Experience for verification and tracking. State licensure requirements may mandate additional hours. Candidates must review and adhere to their state board's additional requirements. Practicum/field experience hours: 100. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: SCN-505; a GPA of 3.0 or better; maintenance of student professional liability insurance in the amount of $1 million, $3 million; and college approval.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of group development, group dynamics, group counseling theories, and ethical standards with reference to professional and substance use disorders counseling. The course addresses group process components, appropriate selection criteria, developmental stage theories, group members’ roles and behaviors; and group leadership styles and approaches. The course includes didactic and experiential group learning. Required synchronous group experience: 12 hours.

Course Description

This course provides an understanding of the nature, needs, and differing abilities of individuals at all developmental levels. Theories of individual and family development, transitions across the life span, theories of learning, theories of personality development, and ethical and cultural strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life span are addressed.

Course Description

This course emphasizes the vital role school counselors play in helping students envision their post-secondary school careers. Theoretical models of career counseling are presented, as well as the development of comprehensive, holistic career development programs; career exploration strategies for PK-12 students; and the utilization of career selection tools and materials. Ethical and legal considerations are also explored, including special considerations for meeting the needs of specific populations within the PK-12 school settings. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

In this internship course, candidates engage in comprehensive work where they engage in direct service contact with students, families, and school personnel. The internship is performed under the supervision of a faculty member and an on-site supervisor approved by the college or university. Documentation of 200 hours of school counseling related activities is submitted directly to the College of Education's Office of Field Experience for verification and tracking. State licensure requirements may mandate additional hours. Candidates must review and adhere to their state board's additional requirements. Practicum/field experience hours: 200. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: SCN-600; a GPA of 3.0 or better; maintenance of student professional liability insurance in the amount of $1 million, $3 million; and college approval.

Course Description

This course introduces research methods and basic statistical analysis, including the following: the importance of research, opportunities for research, and difficulties in conducting research. Research methods such as qualitative, quantitative, single-case designs, action research, and outcome-based research are addressed.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of current issues facing school counselors in the PK-12 setting. Strategies for addressing various problems are explored. Topics include bullying and violence prevention, supporting impoverished and marginalized students, and the increasing role of data and accountability in schools, among others. Candidates explore these present and pressing issues and determine their roles as responsive and flexible professionals in addressing issues as they occur. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of the theories related to child and adolescent development. Also covered are the variables that directly impact children and adolescents throughout their personal development. Students gain the knowledge to advance understanding of childhood and adolescent disorders.

Course Description

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of the developmental disabilities occurring in children and adolescents, as defined in the DSM. Students examine the following disorders and disabilities: specific language and learning disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sensory processing, and physiological developmental disorders, while learning assessments and measurements used in diagnosing. Students receive an overview of the neurological and cultural perspectives of developmental disabilities, and the unique needs of the families.

Course Description

In this internship course, learners engage in comprehensive work where they engage in direct service contact with students, families, and school personnel. The internship is performed under the supervision of a faculty member and an on-site supervisor approved by the college or university. Documentation of 200 hours of school counseling related activities is submitted directly to the College of Education's Office of Field Experience for verification and tracking. State licensure requirements may mandate additional hours. Candidates must review and adhere to their state board's additional requirements. Practicum/field experience hours: 200. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: SCN-605; a GPA of 3.0 or better; maintenance of student professional liability insurance in the amount of $1 million, $3 million; and college approval.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of trauma related issues during childhood and adolescence. Students examine the various types of trauma, including neglect; physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse; family trauma; parental substance use; and domestic violence. Students learn assessment and treatment approaches designed for trauma occurring during childhood and adolescence.

Course Description

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of common disorders among children and adolescents, as defined in the DSM. Studies in this area include the following: disruptive, impulse control and conduct disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, separation anxiety and selective mutism, trauma and stressor related disorders, PTSD, and adjustment disorders. Students also gain the required knowledge and skills needed for treating these disorders.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of various tests and measurements commonly used in education. Beginning with basic statistical concepts, candidates explore how assessments can inform education and counseling practices. Topics cover aspects of creation, administration, and interpretation of various assessments in PK-12 setting, including discussions of standardized tests, intelligence and aptitude tests and college and career assessments. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

In this internship course, learners engage in comprehensive work where they engage in direct service contact with students, families, and school personnel. The internship is performed under the supervision of a faculty member and an on-site supervisor approved by the college or university. Documentation of 200 hours of school counseling related activities is submitted directly to the College of Education's Office of Field Experience for verification and tracking. State licensure requirements may mandate additional hours. Candidates must review and adhere to their state board's additional requirements. Practicum/field experience hours: 200. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: SCN-615; a GPA of 3.0 or better; maintenance of student professional liability insurance in the amount of $1 million, $3 million; and college approval.

Program Locations

Online

Online

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.


* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length.

Online and Evening program disclosures (50 months)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.