Professional School Counseling

M.A. Ed. in Professional School Counseling


Courses now available in Wilmington

Director - Dr. Shenika Jones

Questions about joining our learning community? Please contact me at or 910.521.6354

Prospective students can also email the Graduate Office at or visit The Graduate School website. 

Program Description:

The Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) in Professional School Counseling (PSC) is a 60-credit hour, graduate program housed in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling located in the School of Education.  The PSC program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).  Our program is designed to prepare and mentor graduate students to become committed, collaborative, and competent professional school counselors.  Through a variety of teaching formats (i.e., online, hybrid, face-to-face), graduate students develop core competencies necessary to serve ALL students (k-12) in elementary, middle, and secondary schools.  Our students acquire knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to promote social/emotional, academic, and career development through intentional methods such as advocacy, use of evidence-based practices, and data collection. Through experiential activities, students learn how to develop and deliver comprehensive school counseling programs including direct (i.e., individual and small group counseling) and indirect (i.e., consultation) services aimed at promoting student success and life-long learning.  The American School Counseling Association (ASCA)Ethical Standards and American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics are used as guides in developing and delivering the program’s curriculum.  For more information, please visit the UNCP 2015-2016 Catalog - PSC Program Information 

Our program is approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and meets NC Professional School Counseling Standards.  Graduates are licensed by NCDPI as advanced graduate (specialist) in K-12 school counseling which can result in additional pay beyond the master's level (dependent upon current NC legislation/State Board policy).  Our graduates also seek certifications through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).  While our program prepares students for professional school counseling, plans of study also meet current requirements for licensure by the NC Board for Licensed Professional Counselors.  Graduates go on to pursue careers in a variety of professional counseling settings.

What do Professional School Counselors do?

Professional School Counselors develop comprehensive counseling programs designed to serve the unique needs of students, families of students, teachers, and administrators at the school level. They provide consultation to school staff and parents, make appropriate community-based referrals, and conduct individual and small group counseling sessions as well as classroom guidance.  Using needs assessments, data collection, program evaluation, advisory boards, and collaboration with all stakeholders, school counselors develop and implement curriculum geared to promote academic, social/emotional, and career development for ALL students.  School counselors are systemic change agents and advocate for students, policy change, and their role in schools.  Professional School Counselors work in elementary, middle, and high schools preparing students for life-long learning and success through career and college access. 

Program-Specific Admissions Requirements

In addition to The Graduate School and Research admissions requirements: 1. Submit an essay detailing: a) relevant experiences and career goals and b) qualities and skills possessed that will lead to becoming an effective professional school counselor; 2. Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals with whom the applicant has professional affiliation, such as former faculty members or current supervisors; 3. Complete a brief electronic supplemental skills survey; and 4. Participate in an interview with program faculty.

Requirements for M.A.Ed. in Professional School Counseling

Sem. Hrs
Core Counseling Courses 27

CNS 5000       Professional & Ethical Issues
CNS 5050       Counseling Skills & Techniques
CNS 5500       Research and Program Evaluation
CNS 5400       Theories of Counseling
CNS 5700       Career Counseling & Development
CNS 5025       Lifespan Development
CNS 5100       Groups in Counseling
CNS 5600       Assessment Practices in Counseling
CNS 5800       Multicultural & Social Justice Counseling

Specialty Area and Elective Courses 24

CNS 5350       The Professional School Counselor

CNS 5550       Seminar in School Counseling 

CNS 5750       College & Career Readiness

CNS 5250       Counseling Children & Adolescents

CNS 5310       Mental Health Issues in Childhood & Adol.

CNS 5060       Crisis Intervention

Select two elective courses from:

*CNS 5650 School Counselor as Leader, Adv., & Consult.

*CNS 5760 Legal Aspects of Educational Leadership

*CNS 5770 Evidence-Based School Counseling

*CNS 5780 The Achievement Gap & Social Justice

CNS 5360 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning,

CNS 5080 Gender and Sexuality Issues in Counseling,

CNS 5850 Theory and Process of Family Counseling,

CNS 5070 College Counseling and Student Affairs,

CNS 5870 The Family and Addiction, or

CNS 5900 Addictions Counseling

CNSS 5xxx Special Topics in Counseling


Clinical Field Placement Courses 9

CNS 6100       School Counseling Practicum

CNS 6130       School Counseling Internship I

CNS 6130       School Counseling Internship II


Total Program Hours