M.S. in School Counseling
The Master of Science in School Counseling degree program requires 48 semester hours of graduate credits. Please note the 48 credit hours does not include additional courses that may need to be completed by students who do not hold an active and valid teacher certification by the Florida Department of Education The required courses and course descriptions are listed below. Each course is 3 credits.
Please note: The new Florida DOE approved-program curriculum requirements described below are in effect for students who started the program Fall 2010 and after. Students admitted to the School Counseling Program prior to Fall 2010 should refer to their respective Policy and Procedures Handbook for degree curriculum and completion requirements.
Core Courses (3 Credits Each)
This course surveys the fields of psychotherapy and counseling. It reviews the various theories and techniques of counseling that are consistent with current professional research and practice in the fields of mental health and school counseling.
This course focuses on the development of school counseling skills including basic interviewing and assessment with an emphasis on therapeutic listening, empathic response, and interviewing skills. Stress will also be placed upon the acquisition of skills related to the counselor/counselee relationship and the establishment of an alliance appropriate to the school setting and in the context of cultural diversity.
This course seeks to prepare mental health and school counselors to be informed consumers of research and evaluation. It covers basic statistics, research designs, and program evaluation within the counseling and educational fields. It provides experience in developing accountability measures and in reading research and evaluating reports applicable to multicultural populations.
This course surveys the major theories of career choice, planning, and development as well as standardized methods of assessing vocational interests and aptitudes in school settings. Social, psychological, and economic factors influencing career choice are examined. Emphasis will be placed on individual and group career counseling skills across diverse populations.
This course covers how developmental maturation and social learning impacts individuals across the lifespan. Theory and research in social development and learning are covered in topics for mental health and school counselors.
This course covers the history, philosophy, functions, management, and operation of comprehensive school counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools with emphasis on the role of the professional school counselor.
This course focuses on an understanding of critical psychological, academic, and socioeconomic issues when working with children, adolescents, and adults in school settings. Topics covered include substance abuse, suicide, violence, teen pregnancy, and other issues affecting the wellbeing and academic success of students. Primary and secondary prevention strategies will be examined for suitable school-based interventions.
Prerequisites: PYCL 502.
This course covers basic measurement concepts, test content and purpose, psychometric properties, administration, and scoring procedures. Frequently used tests of aptitude, interest, achievement, and personality are reviewed. Issues involved with standardized and nonstandardized assessment of achievement, educational diagnostic tests, and vocational interest tests are examined from the school counseling perspective. Issues of ethical test use and use with culturally diverse students are also addressed.
Prerequisite: PYCL 507
This course covers standards for professional conduct in counseling. It considers ethical and legal decisions that mental health and school counselors must make. Case examples, current federal and state laws/statutes, ethical codes, and standards on assessment, diagnosis, and placement data will be discussed in relation to counseling a variety of culturally diverse populations in multiple settings.
This course covers the etiology and characteristics of exceptionalities and children at risk for underachievement and dropping out. Also covered is the role of the school counselor in identifying such problems, drawing on available resources, and making appropriate referrals.
This course addresses cultural diversity and its implications for counseling. It considers the psychological impact of factors such as gender, race, ethnicity and culture, religious preference, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and physical disability in a variety of counseling and educational settings. Finally, it reviews counseling issues and strategies for diverse clients.
This course addresses group theory and practice in multiple settings with a variety of diverse populations and age groups. Major themes include group dynamics, group process, and group states for mental health and school counselors.
Prerequisite: PYCL 502 & PYCL 504.
This course focuses on developing specific techniques in consultation, leadership, and advocacy. It integrates the various aspects of a developmental comprehensive school counseling program with particular reference to problem-solving and the utilization of available data and resources.
This course provides students with knowledge and exposure to educational K-12 settings and requires an in-school field experience.
Students are required to spend a specified number of hours per week at a selected K-12 public school setting working under the supervision of a professional school counselor. During that time, student are expected to become advocates for and increase competence in providing services to youth and their families in the personal/social, academic, and career domains.
Furthermore, students will be made more aware of the ethical, legal, and professional issues inherent in the counseling process.
Prerequisite: PYCL 502; PYCL 512; PYCL 515; PYCL 550; PYCL 570; PYCL 635; PYCL 665; PYCL 685; and consent of adviser. With a grade of B or better.
This course is a continuation of School Counseling Internship I. Student will be expected to develop more advanced skills in working with students and families in school settings. Simultaneously, continued emphasis will be placed upon ethical, legal, and professional issues.
Prerequisites: PYCL 688 with a B or better.
Students are admitted into graduate study at the master’s level and are reviewed for degree candidacy (matriculation) after the completion of the first four courses (12 credits) for which the student is enrolled.
During the formal review for matriculation, students’ academic performance and professional functioning in the first four courses will be examined. Students need a grade point average of 3.0 or above in the first four courses to be matriculated. As stated above, the successful passing of the General Knowledge Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination also must be completed during the matriculation period (by the completion of the first 4 courses). Students will not be allowed to matriculate and register for a 5th course until this exam is passed and the course requirements are met.
Students who receive two grades below B or a grade of F in any one of the first four courses will not be matriculated and will be withdrawn from graduate study. Prior to the formal matriculation review, should a student receive a grade of F, the student will automatically be withdrawn from graduate study. Under no circumstances will students who achieve a grade point average of 2.5 or below in the first four courses be permitted to take graduate level courses in a Center for Psychological Studies program. Students with a grade point average greater than 2.5 but less than 3.0 for the first four courses will be maintained in a non-matriculated status. No more than four additional courses may be taken without achieving an overall grade point average of 3.0.
Students must complete their program within five years from the date of first enrollment. This means that students are expected to successfully complete all master's degree requirements and the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (all sub-tests) within this period. In the event that a matriculated student who has been in continuous enrollment does not complete all requirements within the five-year time limit, he or she must re-enroll in the master's program and:
- Maintain full-time status (minimum six credit hours per semester, excluding summer sessions.)
- Complete remaining degree requirements, which will include any course work that is more than five years old.
Evaluation of Master's Students
Each student is evaluated on an ongoing basis while enrolled in the School Counseling program. In addition to review for matriculation, the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices, portfolio, and course evaluations, students are evaluated on their professionalism, maturity, and emotional stability for readiness for Practicum and Internship. Evaluation provides students with relevant feedback concerning their performance and ensures high standards for the profession of counseling. Student advisement on relevant information, including practicum and internship placement and evaluation, is available through the Master’s Programs Administrative Office.
Degree Completion Requirements
A student must complete all course work required for the degree chosen with a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 and successfully complete the required examinations. The Master of Science in School Counseling requires a minimum of 48 semester hours of graduate credit, however additional courses may be required for students who do not hold an active teacher certification by the Florida Department of Education. A candidate is expected to complete all the master's program requirements and graduate within five years.