Reston, Virginia, Community Counseling Diplomas and Degrees
Aspiring community counselors in the Reston area can attend Virginia and Washington, DC, schools for community counseling programs and courses. This article looks at three schools within 35 minutes of Reston and the programs they offer, all at the graduate level. There's also a table of information about the schools that could be helpful to a prospective student who is examining all options. At the end of the article is a listing of other area schools with community counseling programs.
- In nearby Fairfax, 13 miles from downtown Reston, students can attend George Mason University for graduate work in community counseling. The school offers a master's degree and a post-master's certificate.
- In the town of Arlington, Virginia, about 14 miles from Reston's city center, students can attend Marymount University to pursue one of several graduate degree programs in counseling. A master's and doctoral degree are available, as is a post-master's certificate.
- Students can also attend the University of the District of Columbia in the nation's capital for a master's degree in counseling. This school is nearly 21 miles from downtown Reston.
Comparison of Schools
This table offers a convenient method for aspiring counseling students to compare these three schools. It looks at pertinent aspects, such as tuition and size that students need to know.
|George Mason University||Marymount University||University of the District of Columbia|
|School Type||4-year; public||4-year; private not-for-profit||4-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||33,729*||3,441*||4,803*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Midsize city||Large city|
|Graduate Tuition (2015-2016)||$13,304 in-state; $31,424 out-of-state*||$16,560*||$8,700 in-state; $16,162 out-of-state*|
|Graduation Rate (Students began in 2008)||67%*||51%*||13%*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
George Mason University
George Mason University's College of Education and Human Development houses the Graduate School of Education, which provides a counseling certificate and a master's degree in counseling and development. The College of Education and Human Development also has several centers and research institutes.
Master of Education in Counseling and Development - Community Agency Counseling
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling and Development is split between the community agency counseling and the school counseling concentrations. Students in the M.Ed. in Counseling and Development program with a community agency concentration become qualified to pursue licensure as professional counselors. All students in the M.Ed. program take classes like foundations in counseling, group processes, multicultural counseling and counseling and social justice. The community agency counseling concentration covers family counseling, substance abuse counseling, counseling at community agencies and advanced counseling skills. An internship and a practicum are also included.
Counseling Licensure Post-Master's Graduate Certificate
This certificate program is designed for students who hold a master's degree in counseling and want to be qualified as a Virginia School Counselor or a Virginia Licensed Professional Counselor. Students can enroll in the 15-credit program either in the school counselor or licensed professional counselor concentration. Classes in the licensed professional counselor concentration include advanced counseling skills, substance abuse counseling, counseling in community agencies, treatment planning and family counseling.
Students can enroll in several graduate programs focused on counseling at this university, and many of these programs have some classes in community counseling.
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a research-intensive training program for aspiring counselors in the mental health field. Course topics in the M.A. program include counseling for individuals, clinical mental health ethics, human growth and development, group counseling techniques and career development counseling. A clinical mental health counseling practicum and an internship opportunity are also part of the curriculum.
Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Counselor Education and Supervision program helps students advance to higher-level positions in counseling or prepare for academic careers. The program is research-intensive and includes various clinical classes. Some of the class topics in the doctoral program include diagnostic classification, assessment of personality functioning, multivariate data analysis, advanced group counseling and qualitative research design. Practicums and a dissertation are part of the curriculum as well.
University of the District of Columbia
The University of the District of Columbia is the only public university in Washington, DC. The university's College of the Arts and Sciences offers a graduate degree in counseling that is accredited by both the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Master of Science in Counseling
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling programs prepares students for counseling licensure. Students can choose from the school counseling, rehabilitation counseling and mental health counseling concentration options. Relevant course topics include counseling philosophies, group counseling, cultural diversity issues, family counseling, child and adolescent counseling, counseling the elderly and grief counseling. Field experiences are part of the program as well.
Other School Options
Reston residents can enroll in other Washington, DC, area schools that are less than 30 miles from Reston. George Washington University, located 21 miles from Reston, offers a master's degree, post-master's certificate and doctoral degree in counseling. Located about 27 miles away, Trinity Washington University offers a master's degree program in counseling with general counseling and school counseling concentrations.