School counselors are employed primarily in educational settings. They use their counseling
knowledge, insight, and skills to promote human welfare and educational success, and
to improve the institutions and programs in which they are involved.
- provide developmental guidance for students in the school to promote academic, social-emotional, and career development in a proactive and preventive manner;
- provide individual and group counseling for students identified in need;
- consult with teachers, parents, faculty, and administrators concerning student academic, social-emotional, and career success;
- provide a liaison with community agencies to garner services for students and families.
Professional school counselors provide and carry out a comprehensive developmental guidance and counseling program which focuses on the uniqueness of all students in three areas of development: academic, career, and social-emotional. These areas or domains are in alignment with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national standards. The program components include the guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services and program management. For more information about professional school counseling, see CSCA and ASCA.
The program endorsed by the State of Connecticut to meet certification requirements, CAEP and CACREP, as well as the International Registry of Counselor Education (ICREP). You can read about the CACREP Standards here. The School Counseling program also has program objectives that are linked to these accreditation standards.
MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN COUNSELING - SCHOOL COUNSELING
The school counseling program consists of a 60-credit Master of Science degree. The master's degree program prepares professionals to work in the elementary, middle, and high school levels and consists of a focus on human growth and development, social and cultural foundations, helping relationships, group work, career and lifestyle development, appraisal, research, program evaluation and professional orientation, including ethics and professional standards. A comprehensive exam is required.
There are two field experiences, a practicum and an internship: Practicum offers students the opportunity to develop, sharpen, and demonstrate individual and group counseling skills. Students are required to spend a minimum of 100 hours over the course of one semester within a school setting. Internship is an intensive, diversified experience that exposes students to a full range of school counselor responsibilities appropriate to the setting. Internship will consist of either a full-time 10-month, 900-hour, supervised counseling experience in a school setting. Both field experiences are completed under the supervision of a certified school counselor.
Note: Certified teachers with 30 months of teaching experience must complete no less than 600 hours over the course of one or two semesters.
SIXTH YEAR PROFESSIONAL DIPLOMA IN COUNSELING - SCHOOL COUNSELING
The sixth year advanced graduate studies program in counseling provides the opportunity for counselors holding a master's degree in counseling to enhance their counseling competencies. This program can be designed to help counselors who graduated many years ago to pursue the State of Connecticut certification requirements. At least 30 credits beyond the master's degree are required for the sixth year diploma. Consideration is given to demonstrated achievement in a master's degree program in counseling.
All Professional school counselors must have a Masters Degree and meet certification requirement as defined by the State Department of Education. The master's and sixth year programs are designed to meet the requirements for certification as a school counselor in Connecticut.