About our School Counseling Program
Niagara University’s school counseling program educates graduate students to become school counselors at the elementary, middle or secondary level. Through intensive course study and field work, students are prepared to create and work within comprehensive and developmental school counseling programs, which focus on the needs of all students in three areas of development: academic, career and personal/social. The school counseling program is 48 credit hours.
The Importance of our School Counseling Program
School counselors are vital members of the education team who are skilled at collaborating with students, parents, teachers, administrators and the community. They are leaders and advocates in schools in order to ensure that all students become productive, well-adjusted adults of tomorrow. School counselors promote ethical practices and inspire all students to achieve high academic standards.
Counseling Program Statement
The counselor preparation programs in Niagara University’s College of Education are founded on a commitment to developing practitioners and leaders in the counseling field who, in the Vincentian tradition, individually and systemically foster human growth and development, and spiritual and emotional well-being within a culturally diverse context. Graduates of these programs are expected to demonstrate qualities such as caring and respect for self and others, and a commitment to equity, social justice, open-mindedness and fairness. Additionally, candidates within these programs are expected to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and ethical standards as set forth by the American School Counselors Association, the American Counseling Association and adopted by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. CACREP, in its 2009 standards, outlines eight core areas of expertise for mental health counselors:
- Professional orientation and ethical practice
- Human growth and development
- Career development
- Helping relationships
- Group work
- Research and program evaluation
Student Counseling Mission
The mission of the Niagara University school counseling program is to educate professional school counselors. Graduates of the school counseling program will be able to address the academic, career, and personal/social needs of pre-k to 12 students. Our graduates will be ethical, reflective practitioners skilled in serving diversity in the schools by providing effective, evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. The Niagara University school counseling program has a strong commitment to social justice in the school environment, ethical responsibility and to leadership in the school counseling profession. Niagara University’s school counseling program educates graduate students to become school counselors at the elementary, middle or secondary level. Through intensive course study (48 credit hours) and 700 clock hours of field work, students are totally prepared to create and work within comprehensive and developmental school counseling programs, which focus on the needs of all students in three areas of development: academic, career and personal/social.
In January 2005, Niagara University’s College of Education school counseling program became a part of the network of the National Center for Transforming School Counseling (NCTSC), which is focused on preparing school counselors to become change agents focusing on eliminating the barriers that hinder student achievement. As a result of this partnership, graduating school counselors are prepared to meet expectations of their new roles in schools by developing skills in counseling, consultation, collaboration, leadership, advocacy, teaming, and effective use of technology and data.