A program of study is offered which leads to the Master of Science or Master of Education degree in Counselor Education. Professional preparation in the program is designed for persons planning to pursue careers in school counseling (PreK-12), student personnel services in higher education, and community mental health and social services agencies.
For the Master of Science degree, a minimum of 51 semester hours, including a thesis, is required. For the Master of Education degree program, a minimum of 48 semester hours is required.
For persons interested in becoming licensed as school counselors by the Virginia Department of Education, the program requires 400 clock hours of practicum which are divided as follows: 200 hours in grades PreK - 5 and 200 hours in either grades 6-8 or 9-12. A specialization course, COUN 523, Seminar in School Counseling, is also required.
For persons interested in student personnel services in higher education the program requires a practicum of 400 clock hours in two university settings, such as, residential living, admissions, career planning and placement, student affairs, and judicial affairs. A specialization course, COUN 534 Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education, is also required.
For persons interested in working in community mental health or social services agencies, a 400 clock hour practicum is also required. The specialization course for community/agency is COUN 536, Seminar in Community Services.
The Virginia Department of Education and the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) have approved the current program of studies for School Counseling.