Make a Powerful Difference

As the world becomes more complicated, young people need more help.

With the right qualifications, you can be a compassionate expert: a school counselor who helps students of every age and background overcome their struggles. Your knowledgeable support can help them reach emotional and mental health, and achieve academic and professional success.

Earn the strongest degree for this vital, fulfilling career. William & Mary’s Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling will prepare you for licensure and K-12 counseling positions.

Essentials: Licensure and Accreditation

William & Mary’s Online M.Ed. is a CACREP-accredited counseling program

Counselors working with school children must be licensed, and a Master of Education in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling from an accredited program is usually a prerequisite for licensing. Other requirements typically include completing a practicum and internship in a K-12 school and passing a state or national comprehensive exam.1

In addition to licensure, your master’s degree and concentration can help you prepare for a career-boosting professional certification from the American School Counselor Association.

William & Mary offers one of the few elite online programs that is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Accreditation ensures that the program meets high educational standards.

The Difference of a "Public Ivy"
The Difference of a "Public Ivy"
The Difference of a "Public Ivy"

Build Key Competencies, Foster Greater Change

William & Mary's online school counseling concentration program is designed to mirror our on-ground program almost exactly. The difference? Your access to a dynamic learning management system and digital Social Justice Dashboard that will help direct your coursework efforts and ensure that you remain on track with the development of key competencies for social justice-minded counselors.

This set of integrated digital tools will also help you interact with peers, faculty and mentors from around the country as you work together to transform education for a more equitable tomorrow.

The Online Experience

School Counselors’ Career Outlook: Increased Need Means Increased Opportunity

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a strong demand for school counselors in the years ahead. Employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow more quickly than the national average, with more than a quarter-million new openings—due to student need and staffing changes—between 2022 and 2032.2

According to research by the Jed Foundation, a non-profit organization that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults in the United States, K-12 students face more challenges today than ever before, due to factors including technological influences, academic pressure and mental health stigma. As student challenges persist, school counselors will continue to be essential in helping young people navigate the world’s complexities.3

Licensure Creates Possibility

A school counselor’s license positions you for a rich diversity of opportunities. You can work with K-12 students in public or private school settings, providing expertise in areas that include:

  • Counseling on educational and vocational topics
  • Counseling on personal, social or behavioral issues related to education
  • Advocating for students and families with service needs
  • Identifying cases of domestic abuse or other family problems
  • Developing and delivering alcohol, drug and violence prevention programs

You’ll also confer with parents or guardians, educators and other professionals about students’ progress and problems; determine priorities and resource needs for students; and keep accurate, complete records to meet different requirements and laws. Find more details on work context, tasks, activities and needed technology skills at O*NET.4

Become a Socially Conscious School Counseling Expert

The William & Mary Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling program with a concentration in School Counseling prepares you for success in school environments. It empowers you with the proficiency to address academic, career-related and developmental needs of students within a school setting.

three individuals having a conversation around a computer screen

Develop Expertise to Help Every Student

The faculty and coursework emphasize the crucial importance of social justice, diversity and inclusion. A lifelong commitment to these principles prepares you to work effectively and compassionately with students from every culture and walk of life.
counseling page

Gain Real-World Experience

In the internship and practicum portions of your program, you’ll have the opportunity to work with students in K-12 settings, applying your course-gained knowledge in diverse educational environments before you graduate.
young woman smiling wearing glasses and a sweater

Graduate Career-Ready

The curriculum is designed to instill a thorough understanding of:

• The educational system as a whole
• Individual school systems
• School culture
• The unique challenges students face
• Educational policies and laws

Through coursework and the practicum and internship experiences, you’ll be prepared to help students with academic planning, career exploration and decision-making. Most importantly for your students in crisis, you’ll be equipped to provide social-emotional support, address behavioral concerns, and collaborate in creating a positive school climate.

Highly Ranked and Highly Relevant

Top Public Schools5
Best Online Master's in Education Programs for Veterans6
National Universities5
Average Class Size7

The dynamic, collaborative learning environment of our Online M.Ed. in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling extends William & Mary’s renowned history of educational innovation. Forward-thinking excellence and intimately sized class cohorts combine to give you a distinctive, outstanding educational experience.

Program Outline

Coursework for the program is completed online, and there are two brief, three-day residencies on campus to prepare you for your practicum and internship experiences. During the residencies, immersive experiential learning activities will also help you get to know the faculty and other students.

You can complete the entire online program in as few as three years. When you graduate, you will have a well-rounded theoretical base for the invaluable experiences gained through the 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship.

Here is a sampling of some of the program’s coursework and sequencing.

First-Year Courses

  • Professional, ethical and legal issues in counseling
  • Theories and techniques of counseling and psychotherapy
  • Human growth and development
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Introduction to Professional School Counseling

You will also have the first of two required three-day on-campus residencies this year.

Second-Year Courses

  • Psychopathology
  • Research and measurement
  • Group theory and techniques
  • Marriage and family counseling
  • Career development

In the second year, you will also have the second of your three-day on-campus residencies. Your supervised practicum is scheduled for the end of this year. The 3-credit-hour practicum offers your first exposure to client contact, so you can begin refining your approach to counseling.

Third-Year Courses

  • Counseling school-aged children
  • Current trends and legal issues in educating special populations
  • Substance abuse and society
  • Advanced issues in school counseling
  • Prevention and intervention in public schools

Your supervised two-semester internship is part of the final year of coursework. The 6-credit-hour internship allows you to expand and reinforce the practical learnings gained during the second-year practicum. Together, the practicum and internship help develop your professional network and give you a solid base of experience on which to build your career.
Explore some of the considerations for a successful internship in our blog.

William & Mary Helps You Reach Your Goals

Accredited to Facilitate Your Success

The Online M.Ed. in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Additionally, the program curriculum adheres to the rigorous standards set by the National Standards for School Counselors as part of the American School Counselors Association (ASCA).

Helping You Qualify for Licensure

Licensing requirements for school counselors can vary depending on the state in which you work and the age group you are counseling. William & Mary online counseling graduates meet all coursework and clinical instruction requirements for licensure in Virginia. Students outside of Virginia will need to check with their state licensing boards for specific state licensure requirements.

Preparing You for the Challenges Ahead

For those who are called to serve others and make a positive impact on society, school counseling is a deeply satisfying role. But it’s not easily attained. Stringent licensing requirements help ensure that those who are entrusted with guiding our children are both committed and qualified. At William & Mary, we are committed to your educational success and qualified to help you attain it.
Student holding tablet and writing on pad

Are You Ready To Apply?

Important Dates for Counseling

Priority Application Deadline
May 3
Fall 2024 Term
Application Deadline
July 5
Fall 2024 Term
Next Start
August 26
Fall 2024 Term

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