The MA in School Counseling consists of topics and courses that can help you grasps the theories and practices of your chosen field. While you may have a good idea of what school counselors do in the field, it may be worth your while to explore some of the common courses included in this degree program. The course work that you may be expected to do can shape your expertise in the counseling curriculum while also helping you build a better foundation for success after entering into your first position.
The list below this section contains actual courses that have been pulled from current MA in School Counseling programs. Most online MA in School Counseling programs can consist of 45-60 credit hours, which can result in 2 to 3 years of schooling depending on whether or not you are taking courses at a full-time rate. The courses within this program can also be a great option to prepare you for your supervised internship requirement that is required for licensure as a school counselor. Check out some sample courses from this program below.
In order to provide the best possible services as a school counselor, you should be knowledgeable about normal and abnormal lifespan development. This course can lead you through developmental stages beginning at conception and all the way through adulthood. Students in this course can explore some of the theories of psychological and physical development that are relevant to the field of school counseling. Internal and external factors and their effects on childhood development may be a primary focus within this course.
Multicultural Counseling in Schools
Since schools all over the country can be extremely diverse, upcoming school counseling students should be prepared to take courses that can assist them with getting to know a wide variety a cultures and groups. Multicultural counseling may involve varying methods that can allow counselors to accommodate the needs of different students, all while providing an inviting environments in which students can thrive. Students enrolled in this course may have access to historical and current counseling techniques developed for school counseling prospects.
Academic and Career Counseling
Students enrolled in the School Counseling MA program may be expected to take courses that can prepare them for a wide range of roles in the school system. One of those roles may be to work with students on planning their path for the future. This course can introduce you to various elements involved in both collegiate and career planning, such as testing to determine abilities and interests and plotting out a timeline for future goals.
Career Opportunities with this Degree
If you take the time to enroll in and complete an online School Counseling MA, you could have access to careers that can positively influence the lives of others. One of the most popular career positions for this degree program is located within K-12 schools all over the country. School – or guidance – counselors may be tasked with providing continual support to students enrolled in the school system, set up programs for students to attend that can provide awareness about concerning issues such as drugs and bullying, and even working individually with students that are interested in paving a successful path to their future.
In addition to this popular career choice, students may also pursue positions responsible for providing direct mental health counseling to the public as well as specific care to young people that are struggling with substance abuse. Each of these positions may require you to have experience working with youth, as well as the certifications and licensure required to counsel in the public. The earnings for each of these options may be different depending on the state you live in, how much work experience you have, and the organization that you are employed with.
- School and Career Counselors: $55,410 on average per year (BLS).
- Mental Health Counselors: $43,300 on average per year (BLS).
- Substance Abuse Counselors: $43,300 on average per year (BLS).
Professional Organizations to Know
One of the best things that you can do for yourself as a new entrant into the field of school counseling is surround yourself with professionals with deep experience and knowledge in your field. A preferred option for achieving this goal is joining a professional organization designed specifically for school counseling professionals.
If you were to do a simple online search of agencies that allow membership to online MA in School Counseling students and graduates, you might find a list similar to what is listed beneath this section. As you read through each of these organizations, you should consider how each of these aspects could positively benefit you while still enrolled in a degree program, during your internship experience, and while working in the field. Membership into a professional organization can provide you with consistent access to the most up to date information available in your field. Take a look at some of the most popular options listed below.
The American School Counselors Association
Once you have made your way into the field of school counseling, organizations such as the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) can be a great resource for you as you start a new career and as you move into new positions in the field. Members of this group can have access to literature pertaining to new theories and ideas, the opportunity to attend conferences with others, and networking among other school counselors in the U.S. This agency may also provide you with links to job search pages that can assist you with finding the career you may be looking for after completing your program.
The International School Counselor Association
Like the ASCA, the International School Counselor Association (ISCA) can also be a great way to meet others in the field and learn more about your field throughout your career. This agency allows membership to school counseling professionals all over the world, making it an even more diverse option for professionals seeking new information and expansive knowledge about their field. If you were to join a group such as this one, you could gain more expertise about your field through interaction with thousands of current members.
The National Board for Certified Counselors
Any person that is seeking a career in a counseling field should be familiar with the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). This agency is the leading certification entity for professional counselors in the field. Once you have completed your degree program and your internship experience, you may be required to apply with this organization and complete an examination prior to receiving your final certification as a school counselor. If you are not yet to the point of certification, you can utilize this agency’s website to learn more about what may be required of you once you have completed your degree program.