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 Humanities and Social Sciences 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.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.