Curriculum

Master’s Degree Program (48 credit hours)

School Counseling Planning Guide

Niagara University’s offers the master of science degree in education for school counseling and is approved by the New York State Department of Education. This program is designed for persons seeking provisional and permanent certification in school counseling. Provisional certification is obtained after completion of the required credit hours (M.S.Ed.). Permanent certification can be obtained after completion of 60 credit hours of study in the certificate of advanced studies program and two years of work experience as a counselor. The CAS program (with additional work experience) qualifies students to apply for national certification as a professional counselor (NCC) and school counselor (NSC).

New York State Certification

The master of science degree in education is approved by the New York State Department of Education and is designed for persons seeking provisional and permanent certification in school counseling. Provisional certification is obtained after completion of the required 48 credit hours (M.S.Ed.). Permanent certification can be obtained after completion of 60 credit hours of study in the certificate of advanced studies program and two years of work experience as a counselor. The CAS program (with additional work experience) qualifies students to apply for national certification as a professional counselor (NCC) and school counselor (NSC).

Accreditation

The master of science degree at Niagara University is registered with the New York State Department of Education and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Practicums

The program includes a three-credit-hour field experience and a three-credit-hour counseling practicum experience. An additional practicum is available for students working on permanent certification.

Course Requirements

48 total credit hours

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the principles of research in education. Students will become effective consumers of educational research by analyzing the literature in a particular area of study and synthesizing the results into material that can be applied to diverse educational settings. Students will also develop practical research skills that they might use to assist them in their own professional development. Preservice teachers and practitioners enrolled in this course will complete a field-based research project pertaining to their area of study.

Credit Hours: 3

This course explores the basic counseling process, including developing active listening skills, building rapport, and facilitating client awareness. The course will also examine the settings in which a professional counselor can practice, such as schools, community and mental health agencies, career counseling centers, rehabilitation programs, and addiction programs. Professional roles, ethical standards and professional credentialing will be introduced in this course.

Credit Hours: 3

As an introduction to the issues which arise in counseling multicultural and diverse populations, this course will focus upon understanding the differences and similarities in values, goals and challenges of individuals from diverse and behaviors toward others from different backgrounds will be emphasized.

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to provide school counseling graduate students with an introduction to the history of the professional school counselor. The expectations of various stakeholders (students, parents, administrators, and teachers) will be explored in relationship to the 21st century role of a school counselor. The importance of implementing comprehensive, standards-based accountable school counseling programs will be stressed. An emphasis is placed on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and American Counseling Association (ACA) ethical codes.

Credit Hours: 3

This course will examine the various theoretical perspectives and techniques in the field of counseling. Through application of various counseling theories to the analysis of case studies and personal growth challenges, the student will begin to develop a personal style of counseling.

Credit Hours: 3

This course examines the theories of development from psychology, biology, sociology and cultural anthropology. Emphasis is placed on understanding how normal and abnormal behavior develops. Through learning about the developmental milestones and crises in the human experience, the counselor will develop skills to plan effective intervention strategies.

Credit Hours: 3

Fundamentals of educational/psycho- logical tests. This course also examines foundational principles of standardized testing and assessment.

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to practice the various counseling strategies and techniques learned in previous courses. Focus will be on developing the skills necessary to select the counseling intervention methods most appropriate for the specific life challenges facing the client(s).

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 654

This course focuses on the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to apply the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Model for the development and implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs. Students will compare and contrast the New York State School Counseling model with the ASCA model and other state models. Accountability and data- driven decision making strategies will be stressed. Students will learn how to construct and teach a lesson plan for instructional purposes as part of the delivery system of the national model.

Credit Hours: 3

This course critically examines the factors involved in career development including intellectual ability, aptitudes, personality, interests, and environmental influences. The value of theories of career development and what theories can be used to understand career development are also stressed.

Credit Hours: 3

The theoretical perspectives guiding counselors will be examined. Exploration of personal family dynamics through the use of different theories will facilitate the student’s awareness of various family system models. Beginning skills in family intervention will be developed through role-playing, small interaction groups and case studies.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 658, EDU 654, EDU 617

This course examines the various counseling theories applicable to group counseling. Through an experimental mode of learning, the student will develop beginning skills for facilitating groups and in planning intervention strategies.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 654, EDU 658, EDU 617

This three-credit course examines models of consultation to be used by school counselors in dealing with students, parents, teachers, administrators, social workers, psychologists, and other educators and personnel within schools and the community. Students will develop effective consultation skills through case study analysis, role playing and/or practical experiences in schools.

Credit Hours: 3

This course serves as the first 100 hours of a total 700-hour required practicum and internship of school-based experience in school counseling activities. Under the supervision of a certified, qualified school counselor, the student will be actively involved in many aspects of the school counseling program. This course is mandatory and will precede EDU 677 School Counseling Internship I and EDU 678 School Counseling Internship II. On- campus seminars will be held for the purpose of providing required group supervision while students are engaged in their school based experience.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 654, EDU 658, 100 hours, one day/week

The counseling practicum is a school-based experience in counseling. The major emphasis is on the counseling situation in an individual or group setting. The student will be supervised both by a instructor. Feedback will be provided on techniques, application of theory and counseling styles. On-campus seminars and individual supervision will be held to share experiences and for further supervision by the university instructor.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 651, EDU 654, EDU 658, EDU 676, 300 hours, two to three days/week

The advanced practicum is designed for those students completing requirements for the certificate of advanced studies in school counseling. This course will be conducted on an university instructor. By prior arrangement, students will study/practice particular aspects of the counseling process they want to further explore.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: EDU 676, EDU 677, 300 hours, two to three days/week

Notes

  1. The student will be required to complete a midpoint program assessment as part of the EDU 658 Counseling Process course.
  2. As a culminating assessment of their development, students will defend a portfolio with their faculty advisor.

Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS)

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.

Candidates will select four three-credit-hour courses (12 credits) with their advisor 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).

Fulfills academic requirements for permanent NYS certification. Two additional years working as school counselor is also required for certification.