Master of Education in School Counseling (M.Ed.)
This program is delivered online (with some required in Residence).
The Master of Education in School Counseling (M.Ed.) program prepares a culturally diverse, global student body to be competent, responsible, and ethical professional school counselors. Our graduates are prepared to meet the holistic needs of diverse students, attending to their cognitive, emotional, spiritual, behavioral, and physical development with a balanced approach that promotes universal and optimal academic achievement and student health and well-being. Program graduates are prepared to seek certification/licensure as school counselors in in public, private, and Christian elementary, middle, and high school settings. The program also provides preparation for individuals desiring to further their education, pursuing higher level graduate degrees in counseling and related fields.
Program Learning Outcomes
The student will be able to:
- Apply the ethical and professional principles, standards, and expectations that are integral to a counselor's role and identity.
- Apply the social and cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills required to work with diverse populations at all developmental stages across the lifespan in a culturally sensitive and ethical manner.
- Assess the individual and group counseling skills necessary to establish and build a therapeutic relationship and will form a preliminary theoretical framework when counseling individuals at all developmental stages across the lifespan.
- Use developmentally appropriate assessment relevant to the client’s academic/education, career, personal, and social development and identify ethical, social, and cultural factors related to assessment.
- Evaluate research and apply it to their educational setting in accordance with best practices, and identify social and cultural implications for interpreting and reporting results.
- Integrate faith and spirituality into counseling where appropriate in an ethically competent manner.
- Evaluate the roles and responsibilities of the school counselor.
- Develop a comprehensive model of school counseling.
Program Specific Admission Requirements
In addition to the General Admission Procedures outlined in this Catalog, Master’s applicants to the School Counseling program must have:
- Apply online or download application for admission and submit via mail.
- Fax/scan unofficial college transcripts.
- Please Note - Unofficial transcripts can be used for acceptance purposes with the submission of a transcript request form.
- Mail official college transcripts (sealed, unopened copy).
- Regionally or Nationally accredited bachelor's degree with at least a 2.7 GPA for good standing. Applicants who have earned a master’s degree or at least 12 graduate credits from an accredited institution may be assessed on the basis of the master’s-level degree work. NOTE – once accepted into the program, a 3.0 graduate GPA is needed to maintain good academic standing in the program.
- Admission to this program requires:
Contact information for two recommenders (login required). As a part of the application process, we require contact information from two professional sources (i.e., not family/friends but individuals who have supervisory or evaluative knowledge of your work, volunteer, church, or academic experience). These individuals should be qualified to address the applicant’s ability to complete graduate level coursework, their disposition and ability to become a counselor, and their maturity, motivation, and ethics. Some examples of individuals that may be suitable include professors, employers, or leaders in an organization where the applicant volunteers.
Prompts for statement of purpose, please address each of the following items:
- Please describe in 200-250 words why you desire to become a counselor and indicate the type of counselor certification you plan to seek after graduation?
- Describe in 200-250 words an occasion in which you have interacted with an individual or a group of individuals from another culture. Identify the cultural differences which were present and how you demonstrated respect for those differences.
- Describe in 200-250 words how you form effective interpersonal relationships with others in individual and group settings.
- Students seeking to be admitted into this program and plan to finish it outside of the US will be required to sign an International Disclosure Agreement.
Students must agree to the Department of Counselor Education and Family Study’s Master of Education in School Counseling Mission Statement and Diversity Statement, which is available at the following link: https://www.liberty.edu/behavioral-sciences/counselor-ed/.
Transfer of Credit
Students may transfer up to 24 hours of coursework into the 48-hour M.Ed. in School Counseling program, including credit from a degree on the same academic level previously earned through Liberty. To be eligible for transfer, course work must have a grade of B- or better, and must have been completed within the previous 10 years. Courses not eligible for transfer: COSC 505 Counseling Techniques for School Counseling (3 c.h.), COSC 512 Structured Groups (3 c.h.), COSC 698 School Counseling Practicum (3 c.h.), and COSC 699 School Counseling Internship (3 c.h.).
Evaluation and Retention
Students are responsible for meeting the academic and professional standards of Liberty University and the counseling profession. The following requirements apply to all students:
- Students are expected to use the American Counseling Association “Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice,” the “American School Counselor Association Code of Ethics” this Catalog, the Graduate Student Honor Code, and the Liberty Way as guides for their behavior throughout their program. Students will undergo periodic evaluation by the counseling faculty for suitability as students and prospective counselors.
- Students must remain in good academic standing, are required to maintain high ethical standards, and must demonstrate evidence of functional competency in fulfilling the professional roles required by the discipline.
- Consult specific program sections of this catalog for additional requirements.
Students will be eligible for Administrative Dismissal from the Master of Education in School Counseling if any of the following are true:
- It will be mathematically impossible for them to raise their cumulative Graduate GPA to 3.00 with their remaining required courses.
- They do not have a cumulative Graduate GPA of at least a 2.7 after completion of early core counseling courses (Gate 2) and/or a 3.0 at Practicum.
- They have three (3) grades or three (3) courses of C+/C/C- applying to their degree and they have applied the repeat policy for the maximum allowed nine (9) hours or three (3) courses, and they earn two (2) or more additional grades or courses of C+ or lower.
- They earn two (2) grades of D+ or lower.
This program is accredited through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is a state-approved program for advanced licensure (reciprocity with other states) or endorsements. The School Counseling program is designed to provide academic course work in all areas required by the Virginia Department of Education for licensure as a School Counselor in Virginia. Students who are interested in seeking licensure in another state after graduation are required to investigate the departments of education for those states to become aware of each respective states licensing regulations. This will help students ensure they complete all necessary requirements for licensure in those states.
The student must have:
- Virginia requires completion of two years of successful full-time teaching or two years of successful experience in guidance and counseling. (Work experience form required.); and
- Virginia requires successful completion of Liberty’s M.Ed. in School Counseling which includes an internship in preK-6 and grades 7-12.
- Virginia requires certification or documented training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED); hands-on practice.
- Virginia requires completion of the Child Abuse Recognition and Intervention Training.
- Virginia requires completion of the Dyslexia training module available on the VDOE website.
- Virginia requires a social security number.
- Training in the recognition of mental health disorder and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide and substance abuse. Students who have graduated from our CACREP-accredited state-approved school counseling program since January 2016 will not be required to complete additional study to meet this requirement for initial licensure since the training is included in the approved school counselor program.