New Jersey requires that its public school counselors hold master's degrees and have completed approved counselor education programs, either as part of the master's program or separately through certificate programs. Aspiring school counselors can find appropriate programs at 4-year colleges and universities. State certification and experience in school counseling may be required for director of school counseling post-master's programs. Below are short summaries of the 10 largest schools in New Jersey that offer counselor certification programs.
Kean University offers a master's degree program in school counseling at its main campus in Union and at the Kean Ocean Campus in Toms River. The school offers a post-master's certificate for school counseling director certification at the main campus. The master's program requires 48 credits with courses in group counseling, research methods, multicultural counseling and career counseling. Specialty courses explore psychopathology, behavior management and working with children with autism. Students gain experience in real schools through practica and internships. By adding 12 credits in mental health counseling, master's program students meet the educational qualifications to become licensed professional counselors (LPC). Kean's post-master's director of school counseling requires 12 credits, with courses in school administration, ethics and curriculum development, along with a practicum in counselor supervision.
Monmouth University in West Long Branch offers a master's degree program in school counseling that totals 48 credit hours. Courses cover counseling theory, social justice, behavioral issues and research methods. Two internships reinforce classroom work. Monmouth also offers a program that allows students to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in school counseling. Students begin master's-level work during their senior year and complete both programs in five years. A 9-credit post-master's endorsement program for school counseling directors is also available at Monmouth.
Montclair State University
Montclair State University in Montclair has a master's degree program in counseling with a school counseling concentration. Core courses include counseling theory, group counseling, multicultural counseling and counseling for all ages. In the 48-credit school counseling concentration, students study the psychopathology of children and adolescents, educational psychology and theories of learning. Montclair also offers a post-master's endorsement program. Practical experience is required for both programs. A post-master's program for director of school counseling certification is also available at Montclair.
New Jersey City University
The master's degree program in school counseling at Jersey City's New Jersey City University trains students to develop counseling, intervention and prevention programs for students and families. The 48-credit program includes courses in group counseling, ethics, therapeutic intervention and family therapy. Two internships and a practicum are required. Students can also complete elective courses that will count towards earning an LPC or licensed associate counselor (LAC) designation.
Students can complete educational requirements for school counseling endorsements through two degree programs and a certificate program at Rider University in Lawrenceville. The master's degree in school counseling calls for 48 credit hours, including career development and assessments in counseling. A practicum at the elementary or secondary level and two internships are required. The educational specialist degree calls for 66 credits of post-master's study. Students can specialize in elementary/secondary school counseling. All students complete 36 credits in professional and psychological foundations of counseling and then choose additional courses based on their academic needs and career goals.
Rider's school counseling certificate program is a 48-credit program for students currently enrolled in the master's or educational specialist degree programs in counseling services or who already hold these degrees. Rider also offers a director of counseling services certificate program.
Rowan University in Glassboro has a 48-semester-hour master's program for school counseling that includes courses in group and individual counseling, career counseling and human development. Students study advocacy in educational settings and learn to design and implement counseling programs. They examine research methods and complete an action research project, in addition to a practicum and internship.
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
At Rutgers University - New Brunswick, school counselor certification is available through a master's degree program that emphasizes counseling in a multicultural environment. The 48-credit degree program includes courses in psychometric theory, the psychology of learning and counseling theory. Child psychology, career counseling and program planning are part of the curriculum, and students must also complete a practicum and an internship.
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University offers a master's degree in school counseling online and at its campus in South Orange. A post-master's school counseling certificate is also offered. The curriculum is the same for both the master's degree and the certificate program and emphasizes work in a socially- and culturally-diverse atmosphere. Students must complete 48 credit hours that cover counseling theory and methods. They gain experience through a practicum and internships.
The College of New Jersey
The College of New Jersey in Ewing has a master's degree program in school counseling that totals 48 semester hours. Students complete core courses, including statistics in counseling, evaluation techniques, multicultural counseling and group counseling. They study counseling theory and career counseling. Other courses cover community agency counseling and supervision of school counseling. A practicum and internships provide counseling experience in real schools.
William Paterson University of New Jersey
In Wayne, at William Paterson University of New Jersey, master's degree students in professional counseling can opt to concentrate in school counseling. This 48-credit program includes courses in multicultural counseling, research, group counseling and addiction counseling. Students explore human development, crisis intervention and legal issues in counseling. A practicum and an internship are required.
The New Jersey Department of Education issues a school counselor standard endorsement to individuals who meet state education standards. This endorsement, or certification, is required to practice school counseling. The state also issues director of school counseling services certification to individuals with master's degrees who've completed a director of school counseling education program and have three years of school counseling experience.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||School Counselor Certification Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition (2018-19)|
|Kean University||Four-year; public; large suburb|| Master of Arts in Counseling - School Counseling,
Master of Arts in Counseling - School Counseling and Licensed Professional Counselor,
Certification - Director of School Counseling
|$17,133, in-state; $21,998, out-of-state*|
|Monmouth University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Master of Science in Education - School Counseling,
Master of Science in Education - School Counseling,
Director of School Counseling Post-Master's Endorsement
|Montclair State University||Four-year; public; large suburb|| Master of Arts in Counseling - School Counseling,
School Counseling Certification - Post-Master's,
Director of School Counseling Services - Post-Master's
|$12,837, in-state; $18,525, out-of-state*|
|New Jersey City University||Four-year; public; midsize city||Master of Arts in Counseling with School Counselor Certification||$12,802, in-state; $20,484, out-of-state*|
|Rider University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Master of Arts in Counseling Services - School Counseling,
Educational Specialist in Counseling Services - School Counseling,
School Counselor Certificate,
Director of Counseling Services Certificate
|Rowan University||Four-year; public; large suburb||Master of Arts in Counseling in Educational Settings||$16,360*|
|Rutgers University - New Brunswick||Four-year; public; small city||Master of Education in School Counseling||$19,416, in-state; $31,488, out-of-state*|
|Seton Hall University||Four-year; private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Master of Arts in School Counseling,
Post-Master of Arts in School Counseling Certificate
|The College of New Jersey||Four-year; public; large suburb||Master of Arts in Counseling - School Counseling||$16,707, in-state; $24,445, out-of-state*|
|William Paterson University of New Jersey||Four-year; public; large suburb||Master of Education in Professional Counseling - School Counseling||$12,904, in-state; $20,050, out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.