The Master of Education (MEd) in School Counseling is designed to prepare students to function as K–12 Certified Professional School Counselors. This program is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education and leads to New Hampshire certification in school (guidance) counseling. PSU’s school counseling program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). It is the only school counseling program in New Hampshire to hold this prestigious accreditation. See the 2013 CACREP School Counseling Program Outcomes report.
NEW – Students in this program may now receive stipends during their internships due to a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). PSU received the grant to help meet a critical shortage of trained school counselors and school psychologists in New Hampshire. Learn more.
Certification-only Option (for those who have a master’s degree): Students would complete 48 credits as listed below.
- Counselor Education Component – 30 credits
3This course examines the foundations of the counseling profession including ethics, advocacy, professional identity, and cultural competence. It emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and its relationship to effective counseling. Prerequisite: Matriculated in Counselor Education program or permission of the instructor.
3CO 5020 Counseling SkillsThe course is designed to help students develop basic counseling skills. Through role play, practice interviews, and tape transcriptions, students will have the opportunity to learn and practice basic counseling skills. The relationships among theory, case conceptualizations, and counseling interventions will be examined. Ethical and culturally responsive practices will be emphasized. Prerequisites: CO 5010 or SY 6010.
3CO 5040 Social Behavior and DiversityRecognizing that social behavior occurs within an intercultural context, Counselor Education, Couples and Family Therapy, and School Psychology students will develop the basic knowledge foundations necessary to understand and influence social behavior in a diverse society. Texts, readings and learning modules have been chosen and/or designed to facilitate the student's ability to understand the nature of social behavior cross culturally.
3CO 5050 Advanced Human DevelopmentFocuses on a life-span approach to human development and looks at the constancy and change in behavior throughout life, from conception to death. Students will study human development in the context of a multidisciplinary approach and the larger ecological context of developmental events in human behavior. This course will have four major concerns: to identify and describe the changes that occur across the life span; to explain these changes in the context of maturation, early learning, and societal factors impacting development; to review research and theoretical frameworks that have affected our way of thinking and, to study the interdependence and interrelatedness of all aspects of development. There is a 16-hour service learning/pre-practicum field experience as part of this course.
3This course is designed to familiarize students with a variety of research principles, ethical and legal considerations, research design, methodologies of research, data analyses, and principles of program evaluation. In addition, students will be able to critically evaluate research literature, understand basics of writing a literature review, and principles outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. As a result, students will be prepared to understand available research, act on that knowledge in being discriminate evaluators of research and in being able to design research projects.
3CO 5100 PracticumThis course is a 100-hour field-based experience that focuses on developing competency in basic helping skills. Students will complete field experiences in approved community sites appropriate for their concentration and participate in group seminar as well as in required on-site and university supervision. Successful completion of at least 100 hours of field work, including 40 hours of direct service to clients and successful completion of the practicum course is required to be eligible for internship. Prerequisites: Completion of all courses in program contract and submission of Intent to Enroll form by departmental deadline.
3An introduction to career development theories and their application to the counseling process. Students will understand and utilize career information and assessments as they pertain to counseling and career development. Students will apply theory and practice to current or potential work settings. There is a 20-hour pre-practicum field experience as part of this course.
3This course is designed to be a comparative and critical in-depth analysis of personality and counseling theories, including interrelationships, philosophical foundations, and practical application. Individual, familial, and systemic models are presented along with dynamics and issues that reflect cross theoretical perspectives. Students will be required to compare and contrast counseling theories and strategies, consider appropriate application of these strategies in diverse populations, and develop a personal model for providing help and facilitating behavioral change.
3CO 5430 Assessment and ConsultationThis course will help the student understand and interpret the principles of assessing students with and without disabilities. It includes valid evaluations and their use in eligibility determination, development of individualized education plans and monitoring student progress. Standardized and non-standardized assessment techniques will be discussed in detail, including some state and national assessments. The range of assessments include: intellectual functioning, interest inventories, achievement tests, aptitude tests, objective and projective personality assessments and non-test techniques such as observations and self-reporting. There will be a special emphasis placed upon the role of the counselor as a consultant to staff and colleagues in schools and other agency settings. Discussion of federal and state rules and regulations as they apply to the rights and ethical responsibilities of the professional and the population served by the professional. Special consideration will be given to the treatment of minority populations and children with disabilities in the assessment and consultation process and in the inclusive educational environment. Prerequisite: CO 5010.
3CO 5460 Group CounselingThis course provides a comprehensive understanding of theory, practice, and ethics in group counseling across the lifespan within clinical, school and other professional settings. This course provides students an opportunity to develop group counseling skills through classroom facilitation and supervision. In addition to the didactic portion of this class students will also participate as group members in an in-class 10-hour facilitated experiential group process. Prerequisite or corequiste: CO 5010 or SY 6010, and CO 5260.
- School Counseling Specialization Component – 18 credits
3CO 5030 Foundations of School CounselingProvides opportunities for students to understand school counselors' roles and responsibilities. Students will understand the development, organization and administration of comprehensive guidance and counseling programs. Also focuses upon decision-making within a legal and ethical context, cultural diversity and contemporary issues facing school counselors. Prerequisite: CO 5010. There is a 20-hour pre-practicum field experience as part of this course.
3CO 5080 The Counselor in the ClassroomThis course is focused on providing school counseling students in the elementary, middle or secondary school setting with the prerequisite skills necessary for successful classroom work. Students will demonstrate competence in: knowledge of curriculum, lesson and interdisciplinary unit planning, organizing and delivering instruction, adjusting instruction for diverse learning styles, individual needs and cultures, evaluating outcomes of instruction and use of a variety of classroom management strategies. Seminars will address issues related to teaching and emphasize student reflection and evaluation of their teaching. All students will be required to complete direct observation, participation and teaching in a field placement. Discussions of ethical practice and professionalism will permeate the course.
3CO 5650 Critical Issues in SchoolsThis course focuses on the role of the school counselor in special education and crisis prevention and intervention. Topics include special education processes, roles, laws, ethics, disability categories, the Individual Educational Plan (IEP), cultural factors, school learning, divorce, bullying, child abuse, death, illness, parents with disabilities, moving, school violence and disasters, suicide, substance abuse, homosexuality, adolescent parenthood, parent-adolescent crises, rape and sexual assault and eating disorders. Prerequisite or corequisite: CO 5010.
3CO 5780 Counseling YouthThis course is designed to help students develop basic approaches, techniques, and advocacy for counseling children and adolescents. The course emphasizes student conceptualization of common issues, pathology, and behavior that occur in youth and the application of therapeutic skills and techniques to utilize when intervening. The course also emphasizes the therapeutic involvement of significant others with children in a variety of systems. Required course for students in the school counseling, marriage and family therapy, and school psychology programs. Prerequisite: CO 5010 or SY 6010, CO 5260, CO 5050, CO 5020, or permission of the instructor.
6Personal, educational and career guidance and counseling experiences performed under supervision of a certified counselor and conducted in a public school setting. In addition to the required field experiences totaling 600 hours, students must attend seminar meetings on campus with fellow student interns and the Plymouth supervisor to exchange viewpoints and feedback. Designed to be the culminating experience in the Counselor Education program. Prerequisite: Completion of all required courses, school counseling and consent of instructor.
- Successful completion of the Counselor Professional Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and a culminating project
- Total for MEd in School Counseling – 48 credits
For more information, visit the Counselor Education and School Psychology Department website.
Course Planning Matrix
Use the Course Planning Matrix to see when School Counseling courses will be offered.
Students may also be interested in learning more about the following certificate programs:
- Addictions Treatment Certificate
- Couples and Family Therapy
- Eating Disorders Institute Certificate
- Organizational Approaches to Transformation and Healing (OATH) Certificate
- Personal Approaches to Transformation and Healing (PATH) Institute Certificate
- Play Therapy Certificate