School Counseling Concentration

Professional Counseling, School Counseling Concentration, M.Ed.

Virginia Dansby, Program Director
(615) 898-2995

The Womack Educational Leadership Department offers the Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) with majors in Administration and Supervision and in Curriculum and Instruction, and it offers the Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) with majors in Administration and Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction,and Professional Counseling.

The M.Ed. in Professional Counseling offers concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. The School Counseling concentration is developmental with a prevention/intervention focus.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Students apply separately to the College of Graduate Studies and the Professional Counseling program. Admission to the School Counseling program is not automatic for students meeting minimum admission requirements. Admissions decisions for the School Counseling Program will be made after reviewing all materials and determining the applicant's capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study in this area.

Successful applicants for the Master of Education in Professional Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling typically have demonstrated the following:

  1. a 3.00 or higher undergraduate grade point average (If an applicant's GPA is lower than 3.00 then Professional Counseling faculty will consider applicant's academic performance during the last 60 hours of his or her undergraduate program);
  2. a combined Verbal + Quantitative score of 291 or higher on the GRE with scores on both the Verbal and Quantitative measures of the test above 146 and 140 respectively; 
  3. three positive references on Professional Counseling recommendation form;
  4. a written essay/statement of purpose on the supplemental application form in which the applicant's reason for pursuing a master's degree in Professional Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling is congruent with the focus/emphasis of the program;
  5. resume that includes name, address, and phone number of applicant; school applicant attended and applicant's major, minor, and grade point average; honors and awards; and employment and volunteer experiences;
  6. if invited, participation in a half-day interview within the first six (6) hours of coursework (invitation based on how the applicant compares to other applicants in relation to the other requirements). The interview is conducted by Professional Counseling faculty and a practicing mental health counselor and school counselor. The interview is conducted by Professional Counseling faculty, a practicing mental health professional, and school counselor. An invited applicant must review the Professional Counseling handbook and the most current version of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics prior to the interview day and agree in writing to abide by the contents of those documents-should they be admitted into the program-on the day of the interview. Applicant must receive a positive recommendation from the faculty and counselors for program admission.

Note: Meeting minimum requirements for program admission does not guarantee admission, as applicants are selected on a competitive basis.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application materials for Summer/Fall admission must be submitted by February 10; September 10 is the deadline for Spring admission.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at;
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  3. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  4. submit a current resume;
  5. complete and submit a Professional Counseling Program supplemental application. This is available online at
  6. submit recommendation forms that are specific to the counseling program. These are available online at _counseling/admission.php. If possible, two of the recommendations should come from faculty who can attest to the applicant's academic abilities. The third can come from someone who has either supervised the applicant's work, has been a colleague, or has known him/her for at least three years (other than family).

Professional Counseling faculty will review all completed application files (all of the above) and, if minimal requirements are met, will arrange with the applicant for participation in an admissions interview in February or September. The admissions committee consists of Professional Counseling faculty members and at least one practicing mental health professional and one school counselor.

Following the admissions interview, Professional Counseling faculty will make admissions decisions. The following are considered in the decision-making process:

  1. input from regular, adjunct, and affiliate program faculty (if the applicant has taken or is currently taking classes);
  2. input from practitioners who served on the admissions committee;
  3. each applicant's potential success in forming effective interpersonal relationships in individual and small-group contexts;
  4. each applicant's aptitude for graduate-level study, including technological competence and computer literacy;
  5. each applicant's career goals and objectives and their relevance to the program; and
  6. each applicant's openness to self-examination and personal and professional self-development.

Applicants will be formally notified of the admission decision by the College of Graduate Studies within 30 days of the admissions interview.

If accepted into the Professional Counseling program, the applicant must within two weeks notify the program coordinator of his/her intention to enter the program.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Education in Professional Counseling degree with a concentration in School Counseling requires completion of 49 semester hours. No more than 30 percent of the total degree hours may be dually listed as undergraduate/graduate hours.

Candidates must successfully complete the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (may be taken no more than twice).

Curriculum: Professional Counseling, School Counseling

 Candidate must complete 49 hours in the following course of study:


PSY 3020 - Basic Statistics for Behavioral Science with a minimum grade of C (or an equivalent undergraduate statistics course taken at another accredited educational institution)

An exceptional child course such as one of the following:

  • COUN 5201 - Directed Public School Experience for Non-Teachers
  • SPED 3010 - Characteristics and Teaching of Diverse Learners
  • PSY 4250 or PSY 5250 - Psychology of Exceptional Children
  • SPED 6800 - Exceptional Children and Youth

Professional Counseling Core Courses (31 hours)

  • COUN 6110 - Introduction to Professional Counseling

    3 credit hours

    An introductory study of the counseling profession. Basic educational, historical, philosophical and psychological foundations of counseling as well as specific traits and skills of professional counselors. Beginning level concepts and skills required for certification and licensure.

  • COUN 6150 - Career Counseling

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: COUN 6840 and COUN 6260 or permission of department. History, theory, and issues related to career development, career choice, and career education. Demonstration of the ability to teach career information seeking behavior and decision-making skills.

  • COUN 6170 - Group Counseling and Psychotherapy

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: COUN 6830, COUN 6260, or permission of instructor. Corequisite: COUN 6180. Group process, ethics, and techniques. Application of counseling theory, group procedures, sociometrics, and group dynamics to interpersonal relations, mental health, school, and industrial settings. Supervised experience. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment.

  • COUN 6180 - Laboratory in Group Counseling and Psychotherapy

    1 credit hours

    Taken in conjunction with COUN 6170. Students will experience group processes as members of a growth group during the first half of the semester and will demonstrate group skills as leaders of group session(s) during the second half of the semester.

  • COUN 6210 - Multicultural Counseling

    3 credit hours

    A theoretical and skill development course related to the field of Professional Counseling. Information provided to strengthen multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills in the competencies necessary to create helping relationships with ethnically and culturally diverse clients.

  • COUN 6260 - Pre-Practicum in Counseling

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COUN 6830 or permission of instructor. Introduces basic communication skills, techniques, and process involved in working with clients in a counseling relationship; extensive role-play practice with peer and faculty feedback. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment.

  • COUN 6270 - Practicum in Counseling

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: COUN 6170, COUN 6180, COUN 6230, COUN 6260, COUN 6830; permission of instructor. Practical supervised experience in individual and group counseling in a school setting and MTSU Psychological Services Center; audio and/or video taping of sessions for peer and faculty feedback.

  • COUN 6830 - Theories and Techniques of Counseling

    3 credit hours

    Survey of leading counseling theories, including applications of theories to case studies. Demonstration and practice of specific techniques.

  • COUN 6840 - Measurement and Appraisal in Counseling

    3 credit hours

    Individual and group approaches to measurement and appraisal in counseling. Psychometric properties of tests and how to select, administer, and/or interpret aptitude, achievement, intelligence, personality, performance, and interest tests for use in counseling-related activities.

School Counseling Courses (18 hours)

  • COUN 6160 - Foundations of School Counseling

    3 credit hours

    History, foundations, philosophy, and principles of developmental school counseling; roles and functions of school counselors, including professional and personal requirements.

  • COUN 6610 - Introduction to Counseling Research

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: An undergraduate statistics course. Common methods used by researchers and practitioners to answer questions pertaining to counseling-related phenomena including quantitative and qualitative methods, action research, needs assessment and program evaluation.

  • COUN 6890 - Consultation  3 credit hours  

    COUN 6890 - Consultation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COUN 6270 and permission of instructor. Course must be taken prior to or concurrent with the first internship ( COUN 6920 or COUN 6930). Theory and practice of consultation as a useful technique in the helping professions. Applied experiences in schools and other settings. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment.

  • COUN 6920 - Internship: Secondary School Counseling

    1 to 6 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COUN 6270. Actual experience in the counseling, consulting, coordinating services to adolescents, teachers, and parents. Requires 300 hours in the schools, with at least 40 percent in direct service. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment.

  • COUN 6930 - Internship: Elementary School Counseling

    1 to 6 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COUN 6270. Actual experience in the school providing counseling, consulting, coordinating services to children, teachers, and parents. Requires 300 hours in the schools, with at least 40 percent in direct service. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment.

  • An approved graduate elective 3 credit hours

Program Notes

Students are required to complete a 100-hour practicum and two 300-hour internships in elementary and high school settings. An additional 40 hours of school experience for persons not licensed to teach are also required. Students seeking Tennessee school counseling licensure must obtain a positive recommendation from the professional counseling faculty at the end of their programs. Coursework completion is not a guarantee of the recommendation for licensure.

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which the student intends to graduate.
School Counseling Candidates Seeking Tennessee School Counseling Licensure

All candidates seeking licensure as a school counselor in Tennessee must take and pass the Praxis Test: Instructional Support Personnel, Professional School Counselor (per State Department of Education criteria). This test is taken when the student is near the end of the master's program.

Students who hold a master's degree in an area other than school counseling who seek to take classes to obtain licensure as a school counselor in Tennessee must be accepted into the School Counseling program in order to do so. This admission is not automatic. Successful applicants will generally meet the same criteria as other School Counseling program applicants, as described above.

These applicants should take the following steps:

  1. consult with the School Counseling program coordinator regarding what additional coursework is needed for licensure;
  2. apply to the College of Graduate Studies under the category of "Addition of School Counseling License to Previous Master's";
  3. submit all application materials, as described in Application Procedures, to the College of Graduate Studies;
  4. attend the half-day interview if invited to do so.