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.
Comprehensive Evaluation in the School Counseling Area of Studies
The Comprehensive Evaluation in the School Counseling Area of Studies is designed to assess the student’s ability to integrate theoretical knowledge into an effective counseling style. The counseling program is based upon an integrative approach to counseling practice, which is the intentional process of selecting concepts and methods from various theoretical orientations. Students learn to synthesize the distinctive contributions of diverse theoretical approaches by integrating concepts and techniques that fit their unique personality and style.
Counseling Practicum and Counseling Internship
The practicum provides students with experiences in three distinctly different settings, such as rural, suburban, urban, affluent, high-needs, large and small in elementary, middle, and high schools. Students will interview personnel and observe the counseling styles of different counselors. The three placements are organized by the program director. The two internship placements are at a school selected by the intern from a list of approved schools with advisement from the student’s adviser. At the internship placements students will learn how to develop and implement comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs. In addition, the students meet in a weekly seminar on campus with the university supervisor. The students will be supervised weekly by the site supervisor at the school.
Post-Master’s Program Leading to the Advanced Certificate for the School Counselor and Provisional and/or Permanent New York State Certification as a School Counselor
Requirements for admission are those identified for the graduate programs in education.
New York state certification regulations require a total of 60 graduate credit hours plus two years of school experience in the field of pupil personnel services for permanent certification as a school counselor. Graduate students have five years from the time they complete their master’s degree (48 credit hours) to complete the remaining 12 credit hours and the two years of experience as a school counselor or a closely related position in a pre-K thru 12 school setting.
Of the 60 graduate credits, a minimum of 24 must be earned at Niagara University.
Certificate of Advanced Studies Courses
(12 Credit Hours)
Candidates will select four three-credit-hours courses with their adviser depending upon their experience, needs, interests and aspirations.
The CAS program (with additional work experience) also qualifies students to apply for national certification as a professional counselor (NCC) and as a professional school counselor (NSC).