Students who are interested in educational programs in school counseling have a good number of public and not-for-profit universities from which to choose. Programs in Georgia lead to a master's degree or an award as an educational specialist in the field. Graduate programs require that applicants hold a baccalaureate degree and may take two to three years to complete, depending on the school and the individual's educational and professional credentials. The completion of a thesis, internship, final project, practicum, and/or final exam may be required.
Continue reading to find more detailed profiles for each of the largest schools in Georgia to offer programs in school counseling and to discover a comparison table with such institutions' settings, degree titles, and tuition information.
Albany State University
This university, which enrolls about 5,000 students and is located in Albany, offers a Master of Education in School Counseling. This master's degree program includes 48 semester hours of coursework and 700 hours of clinical experience. Courses in the program cover topics like lifespan development, the theories of counseling and crisis counseling.
The school also offers two school counselor certification programs apart from the full degree program. The 'add on' option is for licensed teachers who have earned a master's degree in an education-related field. The 'initial certification' option is for applicants who have a master's degree in counseling or a closely related field but don't have a teaching license.
Augusta State University
This university, which is located in Augusta, recently merged with the Georgia Health Sciences University to form Georgia Regents University. The university's Master of Education in Counselor Education with a specialization in school counseling program is accredited by CACREP. Students in this 48-credit-hour program can enroll in evening and weekend courses. The program includes courses in diversity sensitivity, research design and internships.
Columbus State University
Located about five miles from downtown Columbus, Georgia, this school enrolls roughly 8,250 students. Its Master of Education in School Counseling program includes 48 credit hours of study and requires that students pass the state's certification exam prior to graduation. Coursework in this CACREP-accredited program includes a professional core set of classes as well as classes covering topics like individual analysis, school counseling services and diagnoses in counseling. The program's curriculum also includes an internship, practicum, portfolio development and exit exam.
Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley State University is located in Fort Valley. It offers a CACREP-accredited Master of Science in Education in School Counselor Education program, which emphasizes practical experience. This approximately 2-year program includes coursework in counseling theories, group counseling and counseling diverse populations.
Georgia Southern University
Located in Statesboro, this school enrolls approximately 20,000 students. The university offers programs leading to a Master of Education accredited by CACREP. This program prepares students for positions as counselors in elementary, middle, secondary or postsecondary schools. The master's degree program requires 48 credit hours of study in classes such as individual analysis and lifespan development. The program's curriculum also includes an internship and practicum.
Georgia State University
This school, which enrolls about 32,000 students, is located in Atlanta. Its Master of Education in School Counseling program is accredited by CACREP. Students in this program complete 60 semester hours of study and may focus their studies on either middle or secondary school counseling. The program's curriculum, which is designed to prepare students for certification as school counselors, includes coursework and a practicum.
The university also offers a 30-semester-hour Specialist in Education in School Counseling program for school counselors seeking a higher certification level. Classes in this program include advanced group counseling and supervision of school counseling services. The program also includes a practicum.
Mercer University is a private school located in Macon. The school offers a Master of Science in School Counseling program, in which students begin clinical experiences during their first year of study. Students in this program complete 60 credit hours of study.
University of Georgia
This school is located in Athens and enrolls about 35,000 students. UGA's Master of Education in Professional Counseling program has a concentration in school counseling available, which prepares students to work in elementary, middle or secondary schools. This program is accredited by CACREP. The school's Education Specialist in Professional School Counseling program requires 15 months of study at the Gwinnett campus. Classes in this program focus on subjects such as human development services intervention, consultation in human services and the process of counseling psychology supervision. This program's curriculum also includes an internship.
University of West Georgia
Located in Carrollton, this school offers a Master of Education in Professional Counseling degree program with a concentration in school counseling or college student affairs. The school counseling concentration is accredited by CACREP and requires 48 semester hours of study in classes covering topics like counseling theories, and multicultural counseling. The program's curriculum also includes a clinical experience component.
The college student affairs option requires at least 42 semester hours of study. Coursework in this program focuses on areas such as counseling theories. The program's curriculum also includes a practicum.
Valdosta State University
Valdosta State University is located in Valdosta. It offers Master of Education and Specialist in Education programs in school counseling through its Department of Psychology and Counseling, in the College of Education. The master's degree program requires 48 semester hours, and the education specialist program requires 27 semester hours of study. The master's degree program is accredited by CACREP. The education specialist program is designed for certified school counselors.
The Georgia Department of Education certifies school counselors in the state. To become certified, candidates need to complete a state-approved program in school counseling from a regionally accredited school and pass the state exam for school counselors. According to the American School Counselor Association and the Georgia School Counselors Association, all the schools covered in this article meet state requirements.
In addition to being state-approved, several of the profiled programs in school counseling are also accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This widely recognized accreditation indicates that the schools have met strict professional standards.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||School Counseling Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Albany State University||University, public; small city||Master of Education in School Counseling||$5,102 for in-state and $15,650 for out-of-state students*|
|Augusta State University||University, public; midsize city||Master of Education in Counselor Education with a specialization in school counseling||$7,064 for in-state and $19,464 for out-of-state students*|
|Columbus State University||University, public; midsize city||Master of Education in School Counseling||$7,612 for in-state and $13,822 for out-of-state students*|
|Fort Valley State University||University, public; town, fringe||Master of Science in Education in School Counselor Education||$6,052 for in-state and $17,836 for out-of-state students*|
|Georgia Southern University||University, public; distant town||Master of Education in Counselor Education: School Counseling||$8,728 for in-state and $28,610 for out-of-state students*|
|Georgia State University||University, public; large city|| Master of Education in School Counseling,
Specialist in Education in School Counseling
|$9,148 for in-state and $24,646 for out-of-state students*|
|Mercer University||University, private not-for-profit; midsize city||Master of Science in School Counseling,||$14,674*|
|University of Georgia||University, public; midsize city|| Master of Education in Professional Counseling (School Counseling),
Education Specialist in Professional School Counseling
|$10,982 for in-state and $26,970 for out-of-state students*|
|University of West Georgia||University, public;fringe town||Master of Education in Professional Counseling with a concentration in school counseling or college student affairs||$6,110 for in-state and $17,900 for out-of-state students*|
|Valdosta State University||University, public; small city|| Master of Education in School Counseling,
Specialist in Education in School Counseling
|$6,628 for in-state and $18,292 for out-of-state students*|
Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.