High school counselors provide students with educational and social guidance, vocational advice and crisis intervention. Most states mandate educational standards, licensure and certification to work in the field. Several graduate schools offer master's programs in school counseling to meet these requirements. One degree type is a Master of Education in School Counseling. These programs often take approximately two years to complete and may include online instruction. Most include practical experience with school-aged children.
A bachelor's degree, teaching hours and related coursework is necessary for admission. Applicants already holding a master's degree in another field may complete a truncated course of study resulting in a graduate certificate.
Master's Degrees in School Counseling
Common core courses in these programs discuss applicable laws, family advocacy training and child development. Others topics might include:
- Childhood psychology
- Cultural awareness
- Vocational and educational guidance
- Behavioral evaluation and encouragement
- Legal and ethical standards
- Child advocacy training
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 253,460 educational, guidance, school and vocational counselors were employed in the United States and earned a median salary of $53,660 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that employment for school and career counselors would grow 8% between 2014 and 2024.
Certification and Continuing Education
All states mandate licensure for high school counselors. The typical educational qualification required is a master's degree, and some states may include regulated certification as an eligibility factor for employment in the field. Some previous teaching experience may be necessary for licensure, and counselors may need to participate in continuing education courses to maintain a credential or license.
Master's programs in school counseling include both traditional coursework and internship practicums. Graduates are prepared to seek licensing and certification.