School counseling grad degrees equip individuals with the knowledge they need to ensure social, academic and career development of students in schools. They do this by identifying and analyzing the behavioral and social factors affecting the lives of students. Graduate degree programs in school counseling take between two and four years to complete and require a minimum of 100 hours of internship and 600 hours of practicum experience. There is a wide range of courses in school counseling grad degree programs. Here is a roundup of the courses you should expect.
Theory and Methods of Counseling
The theory and methods of counseling course covers introduction to counseling theories and the psychological techniques involved during counseling. It explores the current theories applicable to school counseling and puts more emphasis on those theories as methods of conceptualizing the behavioral changes among students. The coursework requires a minimum of three credit hours. After completion, students will be able to compare and contrast all the counseling theories based on their major constructs, psychological adjustment and counselling process.
Group Counselling and Guidance
This course combines the aspects of the theory of counseling and research to gauge the performance and organization of groups in school. Students learn about the practical and the theoretical aspects of group dynamics to acquire the skills necessary for facilitating various kinds of group interactions. Students who successfully complete this course should be able to identify all the principles of group dynamics, understand the processes involved in group development and design counseling groups. The course has a minimum of three credit hours.
Practicum in School Counseling
The practicum program is designed to help students expand their knowledge of the counseling theories and processes applicable to K-12 students. It also helps the students familiarize themselves with how a school works and distinguish the roles and responsibilities of the counselors and other school personnel. This will be achieved through observations, interviews and hands-on experience. Class meetings, group discussions, peer feedback and case presentations may also be conducted for effective results. The course has a minimum of six credit hours.
Cultural Competence and Social Justice
The cultural competence and social justice course explores how the cultural differences affect the delivery of counseling services to students. The course also exposes students to different racially and culturally diverse groups and helps them learn how their own cultural experiences can affect their counseling practices. By the end of the course, students should be able to understand the characteristics of diverse cultures in the country, explore different attitudes and beliefs and synthesize multi-cultural theories. The coursework has between three and six credit hours.
Internship in School Counseling
The internship course is designed to further enhance the counseling skills of students through clinical and field experience. It involves research, assessments, evaluations and interactions to help the students perfect their practice as counselors. The course has a minimum of nine credit hours.
Elective courses in school counseling allow students to specialize in certain fields or gain more knowledge of the principles of counseling. They include school consultation methods, families, educational sociology, philosophy of modern education and behavioral support methods.
Completing the relevant courses in your graduate program will open more opportunities for career development as a school counselor. All the school counseling grad degrees make you eligible for a K-12 license upon completion.