A variety of Georgia universities offer graduate programs in school counseling, typically at the master's level, that prepare students to work with students from pre-kindergarten (P) through 12th grade. Explore some of these different programs and the Georgia certifications they qualify graduates for.
Georgia Schools with Graduate Programs in School Counseling
Mercer University's Atlanta campus offers a Master of Science (MS) in School Counseling for grades P through 12. Graduates of the program can pursue certification from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GAPSC) at the S-5 level, and the 2019 class boasted a 95% pass rate on the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE), according to the school's website. Students in the program participate in a field experience that is designed to give them hands-on experience in leadership, assessment, counseling and other areas. The program also includes coursework in topics like family counseling, counseling skills, program evaluation and career guidance.
Georgia State University
Georgia State University, also in Atlanta, offers an initial certification in school counseling (non-degree program), a Master of Education (MEd) in School Counseling and an Education Specialist (EdS) in School Counseling program. Both degree programs are offered on-campus and include hands-on learning components. The MEd program is at least 60 credit hours in length, offers an elementary/middle school concentration or secondary school concentration and includes an applied practice course and internship experience. The EdS program is at least 30 credit hours, qualifies graduates for a S-6 certificate from the GAPSC and includes an applied practice course in school counseling.
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia in Athens has a dual degree MEd/EdS in Professional Counseling (School Counseling). It also has an EdS in Professional School Counseling and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counseling and Student Personnel Services at the Gwinnett campus. The dual MEd/EdS program qualifies students for S-6 level certification and includes a practicum and internship experience. The EdS program, which is intended for already certified school counselors, is 15 months long, includes an internship and prepares students to work with children from P through 12. The PhD program is designed for school counselors and other professional counselors, is a part-time program, requires a dissertation and includes research, internship and practicum experiences.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University in Statesboro offers a MEd in Counselor Education with a concentration in School Counseling. Students in the program complete an internship experience that totals 600 hours of hands-on learning. The program also requires a Professional Portfolio Examination that includes a variety of assessments. Course topics specific to the school counseling concentration include career counseling, group work, short-term counseling, ethics and crisis intervention.
Valdosta State University
Valdosta State University in Valdosta has an online EdS and and on-campus MEd in School Counseling. The EdS is offered fully online and is designed for those with professional certification in school counseling. The MEd in Counselor Education with a concentration in school counseling offers some online coursework in addition to on-campus courses and an internship experience. The program is unique in that it requires students to demonstrate competency in special education and computer usage, as well as in curriculum.
Common Entrance Requirements
Students wishing to apply to graduate programs in school counseling in Georgia will usually need to meet specific GPA requirements and undergo an interview process after the initial admissions review. Applicants to all school counseling programs generally need to include their official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of reference, resume and/or a personal statement with their application. Students applying to an MEd program must also pass the Georgia Assessment for Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission Assessments. Students applying to a EdS program generally need to hold a master's degree in the field, have completed an internship or practicum and/or have professional work experience as a school counselor.
School counseling programs in Georgia are most commonly offered as an MEd or EdS in school counseling. The majority, if not all, school counseling programs require hands-on learning through practicum and/or internship experiences.