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Master of Arts in School Counseling: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

60-63 TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED

The online Master of Arts in School Counseling degree provides the academic credential required to pursue licensure or certification in your state. Through a selection of career-focused courses taught by expert educators, you’ll graduate prepared to support PK–12 students through academic development and social-emotional learning.

The program requires the successful completion of 20 courses total, including practicum and an internship to ensure you build-essential, hands-on experience that’s relevant to your chosen career path.

Although not a program requirement, in order to meet CT certification requirements, students who have not previously completed a teacher preparation program, including a course in exceptionalities, will be required to complete ED 569 at SHU during their plan of study.

ED 569 Introduction to Exceptionalities (3 credits; offered online Spring/Summer)

Required Courses

This course provides an overview, to clinical mental health counseling students, of the theories, concepts, and research regarding the developmental characteristics of human development. The course will enhance students’ understanding of significant developmental changes that occur over the lifespan. Emphasis will be placed on human development throughout the life span, including emotional, physical, cognitive, and social development with an emphasis on the influences of cultural phenomena on behavior. The course will involve critiques of different theories of human development culture, lifespan processes, and the relationships among these. Professional, clinical, legal, and ethical issues will also be addressed.

This course facilitates the development of individual counseling skills in clinical mental health counseling students. It serves to introduce students to the basic micro skills/helping skills and assist them to learn how to utilize and apply these counseling skills. The goal of this course is to present the basic skills and techniques that form the foundation of the counseling process. A focus of the course is the development of counselors that will become effective agents of change through therapeutic relationships. This course facilitates self-development related to one’s ability to relate to and connect with others and we will emphasize personal growth and self-care throughout the course. The course will involve live, online skills practice, submission of recorded sessions of skills practice for peer and instructor feedback, and a 1-week, on-ground live component.

This course introduces clinical mental health counseling students to the seminal counseling theories and helping relationships from individual and systemic perspectives. The course incorporates theory, skills, and techniques in the development of a counselor’s identity and theoretical orientation. The course allows students to explore a variety of established theoretical orientations and examine them for personal congruence and applicability to client populations. The course explores helper and helpee characteristics, sociocultural factors, and legal and ethical considerations.

This course is designed to promote the development of a theoretical and practical framework, for clinical mental health counseling students, and for effective delivery of clinical mental health services within the context of diversity and multiculturalism. In addition to exploring the effects cultural diversity has on the helping relationship, this course will examine the relationship that ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, minority status, aging, and disability plays in the delivery of clinical mental health services. Students will identify practice-based strategies that address cultural challenges to service delivery including the impact of individual prejudices and discrimination.

This course is designed as a practical introduction, for clinical mental health counseling students, to testing and assessment as this course covers the basics of assessment. The course explores the theory and techniques of administering, scoring, and interpreting educational and psychological tests and includes test selection, administration, and the dynamics of test interpretation to enable the counselor to synthesize, integrate, and evaluate appraisal data for use in guidance and counseling. Topics include intelligence, achievement, neuropsychological assessment, objective and projective personality testing, and testing of ability, aptitude, and attitudes. The course is designed to enable students to become competent and critical readers of testing data and research, improve their knowledge of referral options, and integrate testing data into treatment planning and therapy.

This course is based on the DSM 5 and ICD-10 and is designed to provide an in-depth look at the etiology and diagnosis of psychological distress and psychopathology to clinical mental health counseling students. Students will become familiar with cultural diversity factors impacting diagnosis and assessment. Students will gain an understanding of the biological, neurological, psychosocial, and physiological factors that affect human functioning, and behavior. The course allows for students to learn about and assess mental disorders across the lifespan and include the biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors implicated in vulnerability and resilience. A focus is made on the “continuous assessment process” and advancing one’s assessment skills.

This course introduces clinical mental health counseling students to the theories and stages of career development and will serve as the foundation for an exploration of life planning and career development. Career planning will be considered a process of continuous self-assessment, careful selection, skill development, goal setting, and decision making. The course will examine career development from the dual perspective of personal development.

This course is designed to allow clinical mental health counseling students to explore the methodological foundations of research and program evaluation including issues in general scientific practice; measurement; both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection; research design; the relationship among problems, theory, and method; and practical and ethical problems in the conduct of research. The course offers to develop the ability to critically analyze research in the area of research and program evaluation and become consumers of good research.

This course is designed to provide clinical mental health counseling students with an overview of substance use disorders and process addictions. This course examines the various etiological factors that contribute to substance use disorders and process addictions, including neurobiological, genetic, psychological, socio-cultural, environmental, spiritual, and contextual factors. Emphasis will be placed on a bio-psychosocial model, highlighting the inter-relationship between such factors. Special emphasis will be placed on co-morbid disorders, differential diagnostic issues, and the various methods used to evaluate substance use problems. Barriers to effective treatment will also be discussed.

This course provides clinical mental health counseling students with a solid foundation in the theory and treatment of psychiatric crises and emergencies. Fundamentals of trauma and trauma-causing events and their impact on crisis intervention work will be examined. The course will examine the differences and similarities between emergency as opposed to crises. All aspects of psychiatric emergencies will be examined: Emergency assessments and interventions, techniques of lethality assessment, risk factors such as substance abuse, violence history, demographic profile, cultural factors, and the presence of mental illness. Differential assessments regarding the various aspects and levels of professional mental health response will be reviewed, including the use of Psychological First Aid, suicide prevention, stabilization, and immediate psychiatric crisis response.

This course is to provide a basis for clinical mental health counseling students. In the theoretical, experiential, and practical understanding of the dynamics, techniques, and other factors involved in group psychotherapy. Content will combine theoretical knowledge of group process, dynamics, facilitation methods, and experiential learning and exercises designed to foster understanding of the power and scope of group forces. Aspects of learning will encompass a wide range of topics relative to salient concepts of group work. This will include stages of group development, cultural diversity factors, roles of group members, agents of change in group dynamics, group leadership skills, group composition, various types of groups, methods of evaluation of effectiveness, and legal and ethical considerations. This course will also introduce students to leading therapy groups in a wide range of settings, e.g. outpatient, inpatient, day treatment, and community settings. Applicability of various theoretical perspectives, specialty groups, and other identified areas of student interest.

This course will include an examination of the history and current trends of the school counseling profession, including professional identity development, and an understanding of the socio-political aspects that impact the roles, responsibilities, and functions of a professional school counselor. Aspects of learning include understanding what an effective 21st-century counselor is through a social justice lens and through the ASCA National model. Concepts include data-driven decision-making, utilizing technology, and supporting student success across all 3 domains—academic, college & career readiness, and social-emotional development. This course will also provide an orientation to professional organizations, licensure/credentialing, advocacy, self-care, and address legal and ethical aspects relevant to school counselors and their students.

This course provides the necessary skills to effectively deliver counseling services to children and adolescents that are developmental and therapeutically appropriate. With a strong emphasis on cultural competence and social justice advocacy, students will learn how to apply post-modern theoretical orientations that best serve diverse student populations.

This course provides students with an understanding of the development and implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses the domains of academic, college and career readiness, and social-emotional learning and development and is in alignment with the ASCA National Model and state models. Understanding the importance of leadership, advocacy, systemic change, and data-driven decision-making will be addressed. Additionally, this course will focus on how social justice is at the forefront of the role of school counselors and the contribution to a safe and successful school climate.

In order to be an effective professional school counselor, one must recognize the importance of collaboration and consultation with all relevant stakeholders, which include parents/caregivers, school staff, and community members. This course will address these aspects as well as models of consultation and effective strategies for collaboration with community resources. Additionally, this course will focus on the role of developing cultural competence and creating collaborative consultation relationships intended to support student success and well-being. Students will develop an understanding of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), data-driven interventions, and conducting student intervention-type meetings.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with specific intervention strategies and approaches to support student success and well-being across the three domains of academic, college and career readiness, and social-emotional learning and development. Trauma-informed and evidence-based strategies and interventions will be discussed. Topics covered include: building study skills, improving motivation, effective communication strategies and making friends, improving attendance across the delivery formats of individual and small group counseling, as well as core curricular classroom lessons.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the unique needs of diverse learners, which include but are not limited to first-generation students, English Language Learners (ELL), pregnant youth, homeless and foster care youth, student-athletes, and individuals who identify as a part of the LGBTQUIA+ community. Students who require additional support as identified through a child study/find, RTI, or MTSS and are eligible for special education services will also be discussed. Additional topics include understanding the 504 processes, categories of eligibility for special education and gifted, and appropriate interventions and strategies to support student success and well-being.

This synchronous, online course is an experiential, fieldwork course designed to strengthen school counseling students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes/dispositions related to the practice of school counseling, through supervised practice. This course provides for continued development and practice of skills learned during Residency I and II. In this initial fieldwork course, students will complete 100 hours of supervised practice, 40 of the hours must be direct service hours. Students are expected to develop their competency in delivering direct services: individual and small group counseling, and core curricular classroom lessons, Additionally, they are expected to deliver indirect services that support the development and implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program. Students will receive feedback, based on recorded sessions and case conceptualizations, from the instructor and peers as well as group supervision from instructors and individual supervision from approved, site supervisors.

This synchronous, online course is an experiential, fieldwork course designed to strengthen school counseling students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes/dispositions related to the practice of school counseling, through supervised practice. This course provides for continued development and practice of skills learned during Residency I, II, and practicum. In this initial internship course, students will complete 350 hours of supervised practice, 120 of the hours must be direct service hours. Students are expected to develop their competency in delivering direct services: individual and small group counseling, and core curricular classroom lessons, Additionally, they are expected to deliver indirect services that support the development and implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program. Students will receive feedback, based on recorded sessions and case conceptualizations, from the instructor and peers as well as group supervision from instructors and individual supervision from approved, site supervisors.

This synchronous, online course is an experiential, fieldwork course designed to strengthen school counseling students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes/dispositions related to the practice of school counseling, through supervised practice. This course provides for continued development and practice of skills learned during Residency I, II, and practicum. In this advanced internship course, students will complete 350 hours of supervised practice, 120 of the hours must be direct service hours. Students are expected to develop their competency in delivering direct services: individual and small group counseling, and core curricular classroom lessons, Additionally, they are expected to deliver indirect services that support the development and implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program. Students will receive feedback, based on recorded sessions and case conceptualizations, from the instructor and peers as well as group supervision from instructors and individual supervision from approved, site supervisors.