Jun 21, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School Counseling, M.A.

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Verl Pope, Ed.D., Department Chair

Dorea Glance, Graduate Program Director


The Master of Arts in School Counseling, a CACREP and NCATE accredited program, prepares students to become professional school counselors. The development of a strong professional identity, a rich knowledge base, and expertise in the skills of counseling are essential to respond to the multitude of societal changes and to the ever-expanding counseling profession. Specifically, this program prepares quality counselors for public schools in P-12 settings.

Contact Information

Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership Graduate Office - MEP 295
counselored@nku.edu or 859-572-7892

The School Counseling Programs are administered by the Department of Counseling, Social Work and Leadership, located in the Mathematics-Education-Psychology Center (MEP), Suite 203.

Admission Requirements

Individuals applying must meet all requirements for admission to graduate study at Northern Kentucky University as defined by the Graduate Catalog at the time of application in addition to the following:

To be eligible for admission applicants must have: A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an overall minimum 2.75 undergraduate grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Undergraduate coursework must contain 48 semester credits (or equivalent in quarter hours) in the liberal arts. Baccalaureate degree must show completion of a statistics course with a C- or higher, bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited institution of higher education, with a total cumulative undergraduate grade point average of a 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.

Application Process:

  1. Submit an online application and application fee to the Office of Graduate Education.
  2. Submit official transcripts of undergraduate and any graduate coursework sent directly from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  3. Submit official scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).  PLT Praxis Test scores may be submitted in lieu of the GRE. This requirement will be waived for those individuals who have already completed a master’s degree.
  4. Submit the supplemental application with essay required by the counseling programs including a 500-700 word essay demonstrating evidence of your potential to work effectively with people, reasons for wanting to become a professional school counselor, any relevant work or volunteer experiences, and examples of important events that have influenced your career goals. Essay must be submitted on supplemental application. Supplemental application available on webpage.
  5. Three recommendations from people (former instructors, supervisors, colleagues, etc.) who are qualified to evaluate academic and professional potential in the field of counseling. These must be submitted on counseling recommendation form.
  6. Submit a professional resume tailored to educational goals, including educational background, employment history, awards, and accomplishments. Submit a copy of a Kentucky Statement of Eligibility or a teaching certificate if applicable.
  7. A criminal background check (state and federal) is required for admission to the program. For individuals currently employed in the public schools, a copy of their teaching certificate may be submitted in lieu of the background check. Please contact the program at counselored@nku.edu in order to obtain information on getting your background check completed. Any costs associated with background check are the responsibility of the applicant.
  8. Successful completion of an interview with counseling program faculty and a positive recommendation for admission from the counseling admissions committee to ensure the candidate holds qualifications and a personal disposition to uphold ethical standards of the counseling profession.

♦ Indicates prerequisite.

Curriculum Requirements

The coursework for the school counseling program corresponds to the academic and experiential standards outlined by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Experienced School Counselor Standards established by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board.

Exit Requirements

  1. Application to graduate submitted by posted deadlines by candidate through the myNKU student portal.
  2. Students will complete all coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  3. Completion of all required courses used for the degree with a C or better.
  4. Signed Counselor Education Handbook Acknowledgment.
  5. Signed Codes of Ethics for Counselor Education Programs.
  6. Signed copy of Master of Arts in School Counseling curriculum contract.
  7. Students will complete all coursework following the academic policies of the university. At the conclusion of their plan of study, all students must take a comprehensive exam (usually within their last two semesters of their courses) prescribed by the counseling education program faculty. A passing score on the prescribed exam, in addition to the academic coursework, is required.
  8. For Certification: Completion of all courses (48 credit hours) and Praxis exam(s) if required by KYEPSB.

State of Kentucky Provisional Counseling/Guidance Certificate

Upon completion of the 48 hour master’s degree in school counseling the individual is eligible for the Kentucky Provisional School Counseling Certificate. This certificate is awarded by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board with a recommendation from NKU. The initial Provisional School Counseling Certificate is valid for five years. The Provisional Certificate allows you to seek employment as a school counselor. The individual has five years to complete the requirements for the Standard Guidance Certificate or renew the provisional certificate with additional coursework in counseling. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership Graduate Office (MEP 295) to apply for the certification.

Completion of the 48-hour master’s in school counseling program at NKU satisfies coursework requirements for the initial Ohio Licensure Application in Counseling (http://education.ohio.gov) as well as coursework requirements for many other states across the country (see: http://www.schoolcounselor.org). Each state has unique application requirements in addition to coursework, such as the school counseling Praxis, Pearson, etc. exam, so please review your home states school counseling licensure/certification requirements closely for the state you are planning to seek licensure/certification in.

State of Kentucky Standard Counseling Certificate

The Standard School Counseling Certificate requires 54 hours in counseling and may be earned with six additional hours beyond the 48 hour master’s degree in counseling. The additional hours beyond the degree will be a program planned by the student and his/her advisor. The Standard Guidance Certificate also requires one year of successful public school employment as a school counselor. For those individuals not holding a classroom teaching certification initially two years of successful experience as a school counselor are required. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership Graduate Office (MEP 295) to apply for the certification.

Those individuals with counseling degrees of less than 48 hours may meet the curriculum requirement of the standard certification by taking additional course work in a planned counseling program for a total of 54 hours including their master’s degree in counseling. Hours approved in the planned program must be approved by the counseling program director or assigned advisor.

State of Kentucky Rank II and Rank I

The Kentucky Rank II credential will be recommended for the candidate seeking the 48 hour School Counseling degree upon completion of the first 33 hours from the degree program. Rank I is a 60 hour program and will be recommended upon completion of the 48 hour degree and an additional 12 hours. The 12 hours will be an organized program planned by the student and their advisor and will be chosen to address specific areas to be strengthened. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership Graduate Office (MEP 295) to apply for the certification.

Potential Coursework for the Standard Guidance and Rank I Certificates

Rank I for 48-hour Program Graduates

(possible example of planned program)

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