Students from grades preK–12 face unprecedented challenges, from academic struggles to bullying, self-esteem, and family issues. As a licensed or certified school counselor,* you can help children and adolescents overcome obstacles and achieve success while building a rewarding career.
The CACREP-accredited MS in School Counseling program is offered by Walden University, an institution accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Through online coursework, two in-person residencies, and field experiences, you will prepare to provide critical guidance and support to diverse student populations in preK–12 settings.
Why Choose Walden to Earn Your MS in School Counseling?
- Through Walden’s exclusive Virtual School—which uses online simulation to expose you to various perspectives of the school counseling profession—you gain the critical skills you need to function effectively within the school setting.
- An optional accelerated track allows you to complete your coursework faster and earn your degree sooner. This option requires a strong time commitment and is best suited for students who can dedicate themselves full time to their studies.
- Select the General Program or choose one of four specializations to help you meet your personal and professional goals.
- This program is tailored to the actual needs and challenges of school counselors today, including the use of technology and preparing preK–12 students for college and careers. Content is designed to address knowledge gaps within the counseling field as identified in the 2011 National Survey of School Counselors.†
- Benefit from a curriculum that explores the latest models and methods of school counseling and reflects professional guidelines set forth by leading counseling and education organizations.
Accelerated Track Option
The accelerated track in the school counseling program is designed for students who are interested in taking three courses per quarter and finishing their program in a shorter time frame. The accelerated track has the same curriculum, residencies, and field experience requirements as the general track, but requires a strong time commitment and is best suited for students who can dedicate themselves full time to their studies.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to:
- Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
- Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor.
- Analyze cultural development theories and models.
- Examine empirically based theories of human development.
- Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
- Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
- Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings.
- Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant.
- Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
- Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.
The competent and confident counseling professional will:
- Examine the factors that put K–12 students at risk for mental health and behavioral disorders.
- Choose strategies for assisting K–12 students in reaching personal, academic, and social growth.
- Assess data to inform decision making within the school setting.
- Critically examine the connections between social, familial, emotional, and behavior problems and academic achievement.
Read our MS in School Counseling Program Outcomes Report.
Skills That Are in Demand
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 8% employment growth for school and career counselors by 2022.*
Earning an MS in School Counseling from Walden can prepare you for a variety of rewarding career roles, including:
- School counselor
- Academic counselor
- Academic advisor
- Counselor for college and career readiness
Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
**Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, School and Career Counselors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm (visited September 07, 2016). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
†College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, “2011 National Survey of School Counselors: Counseling at a Crossroads.”
Find detailed information for the general specialization of this program, or all other specializations of this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.
Note on Licensure:
The MS in School Counseling program is offered by Walden University, an institution accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which is a requirement to practice as a school counselor in some states. The MS in School Counseling program meets the standards for school counseling licensure or certification and is a state-approved program in Minnesota and Ohio. The MS in School Counseling program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which may also be a requirement to become licensed or certified as a school counselor in some states. In addition, some states require school counselors to have an existing teaching license or certification, and teaching experience, in order to be eligible for a school counseling certification/license.
Further, many states require school counseling programs to be approved in at least one state, either their own or another state. The MS in School Counseling program is approved by the states of Minnesota and Ohio, and while this approval is accepted by the majority of states which require state approval, it may not be accepted by all states.