Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in the program’s core curriculum and in all subsequent coursework. A total of 60 credits is required.
In addition, two evaluative experiences are required to monitor the progress of matriculated students. The first follows the student’s completion of 10 academic courses and precedes the internship placement. Before beginning the internship placement, each student must formally demonstrate the academic and personal readiness to be an ethical and responsible counselor-in-training. The second is a capstone experience requiring MEd candidates to demonstrate their ability to apply, integrate, and synthesize what they have learned.
Curricular Requirements (60 cr.)
The purpose of the school counseling program is to prepare thoughtful and responsive practitioners to work effectively in urban schools and communities as school counselors. The School Counseling Program is aligned with the Massachusetts Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs and the American School Counseling Association National Model. The program is committed to the preparation of highly qualified professionals who effectively address the needs of children, adults, and families of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, abilities, and needs. Located within an urban university, the program is dedicated to the training of professionals who most likely will work in and provide counseling and related activities to individuals representing an urban and diverse population.
- Skills in applying theories and techniques of individual, group, and family counseling
- Knowledge and understanding of the theoretical basis of behavior
- An understanding of labor market trends and occupational information
- Skills in evaluation approaches, including interpretation of vocational evaluations and the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)
- Knowledge of statistical methods and research analysis
- Knowledge of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and their use in the schools
- Knowledge of consultation and of the coordination of school resources in student advocacy
- An understanding of federal, state, municipal, and school laws and regulations
- Knowledge of strategies for the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse; knowledge of the spectrum of mental illnesses and violence in Pre K-12 students
- Skills to understand and evaluate ethical dilemmas involving school counseling services.
- Knowledge of college-readiness counseling issues, K-16.
Required Content-based Courses (45 cr.)
Graduate courses in
- principles of assessment
- ethical standards and professional issues in counseling
- abnormal psychology
- vocational development
- counseling theories and practice
- individual counseling
- lifespan human development
- family therapy theories
- orientation to school counseling, group counseling, multicultural counseling, behavioral counseling, and consultation
- college readiness counseling.
In individual cases, substitutions may be approved by the graduate program director.
Required Field-based Courses
Required Examination and Capstone Portfolio
Prior to enrolling in
, school counseling students must pass the literacy portion of the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL). School counseling students are required to pass a capstone project containing three components:
- an accountability school counseling practice
- a solution-focused case study
- a parent and/or teacher workshop or professional presentation.
A portfolio collection of internship work samples is required to demonstrate skills and competence in four areas: counseling, consultation, coordination, and curriculum.
Please see the general statement of admission requirements for all graduate studies programs in the “Admissions ” section of this publication.
The counseling program faculty recommend admission of applicants who present evidence of potential both to complete a graduate course of studies with distinction and to become thoughtful and responsive practitioners. For master’s applicants, such evidence normally includes:
- A minimum of two social science courses.
- A distinguished undergraduate transcript with at least a 3.0 cumulative average. If your GPA is less than 3.0, please discuss the reasons in your personal statement. Graduate transcripts, if applicable.
- All applicants must submit strong scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). However, the School Counseling program may waive the GREs if you hold a master’s degree in a related field before starting our program. Two letters of recommendation where at least one letter should be from a person who knows your academic work. We strongly recommend getting letters from professors whenever possible but we will accept a letter of recommendation from a supervisor if you have been out of a school for some time.
- A statement of purpose detailing your goals, professional experience, and reasons for applying to the program. Your essay should consist of your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate study in 300 words (part 1). Then, indicate your specific interests and discuss the kind of work you would like to do in your intended field in no more than 1200 words (part 2).
- A group interview with other candidates and faculty members, which may be conducted by phone.
- At least one year of paid or volunteer work in human services.
Please note: Students may apply if they do not meet the aforementioned requirements, however, the chance of admission is diminished. We will count work, volunteer, research, and internship experience towards the one year human service requirement. Also, we do not have a minimum GRE score, nevertheless, if your Verbal or Writing GRE score is low then it may be prudent to send us a sample of a graded research paper.
Additional Requirements for CAGS Applications
The CAGS is an individually designed program of study to provide advanced training to those already licensed as school counselors, or provide those with a master’s degree in counseling who do not hold licensure as a school counselor a pathway to do so.
Candidates must have maintained an overall 3.25 GPA while earning a master’s degree in counseling or in a related field. The GRE requirement is waived for CAGS applicants. All candidates are asked to visit the campus for a personal interview, although phone interviews can be arranged if warranted.