Professional Counseling, School Counseling Concentration, Ed.S.
Virginia Dansby, Concentration Program Director
Robin Lee, Program Director
The Ed.S. 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 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 typically have demonstrated the following:
- 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);
- a score of 146 or higher on the verbal section of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or 385 or higher on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for applicants whose overall undergraduate grade point averages are below 3.50. A graduate admissions test score is not required for applicants with overall undergraduate grade point averages of 3.50 or above (on a 4.00 scale).
- three positive references on Professional Counseling recommendation form;
- 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;
- 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;
- if invited, participate 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, 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.
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.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
- submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
- submit a current resume;
- complete and submit a Professional Counseling Program supplemental application. This is available online at www.mtsu.edu/edu_leadership/professional _counseling/admission.php.
- submit recommendation forms that are specific to the counseling program. These are available online at www.mtsu.edu/edu_leadership/professional _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 during the spring or fall semester. 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:
- input from regular, adjunct, and affiliate program faculty (if the applicant has taken or is currently taking classes);
- input from practitioners who served on the admissions committee;
- each applicant's potential success in forming effective interpersonal relationships in individual and small-group contexts;
- each applicant's aptitude for graduate-level study, including technological competence and computer literacy;
- each applicant's career goals and objectives and their relevance to the program;
- each applicant's openness to self-examination and personal and professional self-development;
- each applicant's openness to and respect for diversity in its many forms; and
- each applicant's written acknowledgment that they reviewed the Professional Counseling handbook and the most current version of the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics prior to the interview day and agree to abide by the contents of those documents-should they be admitted into the program-on the day of the interview.
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.
The Specialist in Education in Professional Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling requires completion of a minimum of 61 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
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.
- PSY 3230 - Abnormal Psychology 3 credit hours
Major Requirements (61 hours)
COUN 6110 - Introduction to Professional Counseling
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 6120 - Counseling Exceptional Children
Examines the assessment and placement needs of exceptional children in the school setting and explores the strategies for counseling and guidance. Emphasis will be placed on lifespan, diversity, and ethical issues for professional school counselors.
COUN 6150 - Career Counseling
Prerequisites: COUN 6110 and COUN 6230 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 6160 - Foundations of School Counseling
Prerequisite: COUN 6110. History, foundations, philosophy, and principles of developmental school counseling; roles and functions of school counselors, including professional and personal requirements.
COUN 6165 - Advanced School Counseling
Prerequisite: COUN 6160; permission of department. Utilizes data to create and maintain a comprehensive and data-driven school counseling program within the K-12 educational system. Emphasis on the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model, the ASCA Professional Competencies, and the ASCA Ethical Standards.
COUN 6170 - Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
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
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
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 6230 - Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
Prerequisite: COUN 6110. Legal, ethical, and professional issues pertaining to the practice of school and mental health counseling.
COUN 6260 - Pre-Practicum in Counseling
Prerequisite: COUN 6110 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
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 6610 - Introduction to Counseling Research
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 6750 - Foundations of Trauma and Crisis in Counseling
Prerequisite: COUN 6110. Prevalence of different types and diagnostic criteria for trauma across populations, the fundamental aspects of trauma-informed care as a best practice philosophy to counseling and service provision, and the roles and responsibilities of professional counselors in relation to crisis and crisis management.
COUN 6765 - Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Counseling
Prerequisites: An undergraduate course in abnormal psychology; COUN 6110 and COUN 6830. Development of skills in the diagnosis and treatment of select mental disorders across the lifespan. Treatment planning strategies using evidence-based treatment interventions.
COUN 6830 - Theories and Techniques of Counseling
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
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.
COUN 6886 - Trauma-Focused Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents
Prerequisites: COUN 6110, COUN 6260, and COUN 6830. Examines theories and techniques pertaining to child and adolescent counseling with an emphasis on the impact of traumatic events on children and adolescents' cognitive, neurobiological, and psychological development.
COUN 6920 - Internship: Secondary School Counseling
1 to 6credit 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 6credit 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.
Choose one of the following in consultation with advisor:
COUN 6540 - Internship: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Prerequisite: COUN 6270. Requires 300 hours in a mental health setting with at least 40 percent in direct service. May be repeated; enrollment must be continuous.
COUN 6850 - Couples and Family Counseling: Assessment and Treatment
Prerequisites: COUN 6110, COUN 6260, and COUN 6830. Examines major models and techniques of couples and family counseling. Emphasis on assessment, treatment, and treatment planning as well as lifespan, diversity, trauma, and ethical issues for practitioners of couples and family counseling.
COUN 7520 - Trauma-Informed Assessment and Treatment of Addictions
Prerequisite: COUN 6110. An introductory study of the etiology and treatment of addictive behaviors. Theories linked with addiction to biological, psychological, and other factors will be evaluated critically with an emphasis on the understanding the impact of trauma on addictive behaviors. Clinical models (e.g., developmental, solution-focused, biopsychosocial, motivational interviewing, stages of change, self-help) reviewed.
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.
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 graduate 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:
- consult with the School Counseling program coordinator regarding what additional coursework is needed for licensure;
- apply to the College of Graduate Studies under the category of "Addition of School Counseling License to Previous Master's";
- submit all application materials, as described in Application Procedures, to the College of Graduate Studies;
- attend the half-day interview if invited to do so.
Internship Grade and Professional Dispositions Policy
Successful completion of School Counseling internship (COUN 6920 and COUN 6930) entails earning a grade of B- or higher and rubric ratings of "Acceptable" and/or "Target" in all six professional dispositions categories (i.e., Collaborative, Ethical, Professional, Reflective, Self-Directed and Critical Thinker). Successful completion of two semesters of internship is a requirement for the Ed.S. degree.
If a student earns less than a B- in their first or second semester of internship and/or if they receive an "Unacceptable" rubric score in one or more of the six professional dispositions categories then they will be required to repeat and successfully complete a semester of internship. Students will be give the opportunity to repeat a semester of internship, if necessary, only once during their program.
Remediation will be required if a student must repeat a semester of internship. Targets of remediation will vary from student to student and will be determined by the faculty. Remediation procedures will be employed in accordance with the Professional Counseling Program Continuous Evaluation policy.