Master's degree programs in college counseling provide advanced study in the field of educational counseling with a focus on the college environment. Aspiring counselors learn how to offer creative leadership, nurture multicultural awareness and foster innovative learning environments. They may have the option to specialize in working with college students from diverse backgrounds, including non-traditional, returning, minority and disabled students. Prior to graduation, students must complete an assistantship experience and submit a capstone project. When choosing a master's program, students should look for programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). In order to apply for a master's degree, students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit college transcripts and GRE scores.
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Master's in College Counseling
Master's degree programs in college counseling consist of approximately 42 credit hours of classroom instruction, supervised fieldwork in a student affairs office, a graduate assistantship and a capstone project, which normally requires the completion and presentation of a professional portfolio. Coursework may include the following:
- Introductory college student affairs
- Diversity in student affairs practice
- Foundations of higher education
- Ethical and legal and issues in college student affairs
- Adult education and development
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for school and career counselors was $53,660 in 2015. The BLS also estimated that for the years 2014 through 2024 school and career counselors will see average job growth of 8%.
Continuing Education Information
There are many professional development and continuing education courses available through education associations and organizations, such as the American College Counseling Association, the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Additionally, graduates interested in pursuing further study may consider pursuing a doctoral degree in college counseling or a related field.
Overall, master's degree programs in college counseling provide students with the theoretical and hands-on training they need to become successful counselors at postsecondary schools.