Uplift Student Outcomes With a Master of Education in School Counseling
William & Mary’s Online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counseling with a concentration in School Counseling is designed to prepare students for licensure and counseling positions in elementary, middle and high schools. Led by experienced and committed faculty, our program emphasizes social justice and the creation of greater educational equity.
What Can You Do With a Master of Education in School Counseling?
A master of education in school counseling from an accredited program is usually a prerequisite for licensing, and counselors working with school children must be licensed. Other requirements for licensing typically include completing a practicum and internship in a K-12 school and passing a state or national comprehensive exam.1
William & Mary offers one of the elite few online programs that is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In addition to assuring that the program meets high educational standards, the accreditation helps you qualify for federally backed student loans.
Your master’s degree can also help you prepare for a career-boosting professional certification from the American School Counselor Association.
With a school counselor’s license, you can work with K-12 students in public or private school settings, providing any of a wide range of direct services, including:
- 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 will also be called upon to confer with parents or guardians, educators and other professionals about students’ progress and problems; to determine priorities and resource needs for students; and to 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.2
Build Key Competencies, Foster Greater Change
William & Mary's online school counseling 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 Career Outlook for School Counselors is Promising
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that this field will grow by 11%, which is faster than average, through 2030, with 37,000 new jobs added during the decade. Find state-level salary information at O-NET. Those who work outside of K-12 systems will find that a master’s degree will allow them to command a higher salary. BLS reports master’s degree holders earn an average of 18% more than those with bachelor’s degrees.3,2,4
What’s the Difference Between an M.Ed. and an M.A. in Education?
There are several advanced degree options available for educational professionals. In addition, as long as they meet certification standards, degree-granting institutions have a lot of latitude in shaping their curriculum for a specific focus.
For example, William & Mary’s master of education in school counseling prioritizes social justice while another program may have other priorities. Before committing to an advanced degree program, think deeply about your individual goals and how the program supports you in achieving them.
An M.Ed. usually has a different center point than an M.A. or M.S. in Education. Those degrees focus more on pedagogy and classroom work. The M.S. usually emphasizes research, while the M.A. has a more practical orientation.
The M.Ed. path is more for a professional who intends to work in counseling, administration or curriculum design. Your M.Ed. can prepare you to move out of the classroom and create positive change throughout an educational system from an advanced leadership position. Read more about career outcomes for William & Mary M.Ed. graduates or ask an Admissions Outreach Advisor.
William & Mary’s M.Ed. Program is Highly Ranked and Highly Relevant
The dynamic, collaborative learning environment of our online M.Ed. in School Counseling extends and continues William & Mary’s illustrious history of educational innovation. Our tradition of forward-thinking excellence combined with the intimately sized class cohorts give you a renowned “Public Ivy” educational experience.
In the Online M.Ed. in School Counseling, you will work through structured challenges, collaborative coursework and substantial experiential learning opportunities. When you complete the program, you will have the tools and knowledge to help students from all backgrounds thrive academically and socially and navigate the life-shaping choices they encounter.
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. Here is a sampling of some of the program’s coursework and sequencing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
William & Mary Helps You Reach Your Goals
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Helping You Qualify for Licensure
Preparing You for the Challenges Ahead
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- Retrieved on April 18, 2022, from schoolcounselor.org/About-School-Counseling/State-Requirements-Programs
- Retrieved on April 18, 2022, from onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1012.00
- Retrieved on April 18, 2022, from bls.gov/OOH/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm
- Retrieved on April 18, 2022, from bls.gov/careeroutlook/2021/data-on-display/education-pays.htm
- Retrieved on April 18, 2022, from premium.usnews.com/best-colleges/william-and-mary-3705/overall-rankings
- Retrieved on April 18, 2022, from usnews.com/education/online-education/college-of-william-and-mary-231624
- Retrieved on April 18, 2022, from usnews.com/education/online-education/college-of-william-and-mary-OEDU0155/education