Help Young Students Thrive With a Master’s in School Counseling
From family issues to cyber-bullying, today’s preK–12 students can encounter an array of challenges as they grow and develop. Help them overcome these obstacles and shape successful futures with an MS in School Counseling degree from Walden.
Our CACREP-accredited online master’s in school counseling program focuses on practical application, including virtual simulations and field experience. Graduate from your program feeling confident, inspired, and ready to make a difference for your students and your institution.
A master’s in school counseling program academically prepares students to pursue licensure or certification as a school counselor and provide support to diverse youth in preK–12 settings.
Throughout your program, receive personalized guidance and support from faculty who are invested in your success.
Our program incorporates cutting-edge technologies and opportunities to help you practice and refine your skills.
Interact with diverse faculty and students and engage in coursework designed to help you work with students of all backgrounds.
Choose our General Program or one of four specializations to tailor your coursework to your career goals.
Receive your tech fee waived for your first term and pay no tuition for 9 credits of Practicum and Internship, if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on August 30, 2021. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.Get Started Now
Build a solid foundation in school counseling theories, approaches, and best practices while gaining hands-on classroom experience.
Learn to help students cope with self-addiction and the emotional challenges of watching a loved one struggle with dependence.
Study human behavior following a crisis, psychological disorders that can stem from trauma, and the fundamentals of emergency planning.
Learn how to support the well-being of your students as they cope with complex personal and family challenges.
Gain insights into military culture as well as the unique emotional needs of children of active military personnel and veterans.
Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.
General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
Counselor Education Focused on Today’s Field
Walden’s master’s in school counseling program reflects professional standards set by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and accreditation standards set by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This helps ensure you’re well-prepared for today’s preK–12 environment.
In addition, we are one of the few institutions to fully integrate the counseling session simulation software Theravue into our curriculum. This technology empowers you to refine your counseling skills through intensive practice, opportunities for reflection, exploration of alternatives, and faculty assistance.
MS Dual Degree Program
You have the opportunity to switch to our MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program at any point during your studies. This option gives you greater professional flexibility by allowing you to earn two counseling master’s degrees at the same time.
International Counseling Honor Society
Omega Zeta—Walden’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honor society—offers many ways to get involved and make your voice heard. This includes participating in Learning Communities—biweekly groups of students and faculty who gather to talk about counseling topics such as play therapy, private practice, and telemental health. Learning Communities are one more way to practice your skills, develop your professional school counselor identity, and forge lasting connections with like-minded peers.
Tracy SenstockSenior Academic Program Director
Dr. Senstock has been training counselors and counselor educators since 1988. She has served in program administration since 1990 and has helped achieve CACREP accreditation for many programs. Dr. Senstock is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado and a National Certified Counselor.
Ariel HarrisonAcademic Coordinator
Dr. Harrison is a licensed school counselor in Virginia, a certified school counselor in Georgia, and a licensed professional counselor in Georgia. She has worked as a school counselor for almost 12 years in elementary, middle, and high school settings that include private, public, and charter schools.
K. Elizabeth McDonaldProgram Director
Dr. McDonald has worked in a residential setting for juveniles, a county jail, university counseling and psychological services settings, and community agencies. She is a licensed professional counselor in Minnesota, a National Certified Counselor, and a Board-Certified TeleMental Health Provider.
As a graduate of our online master’s in school counseling program, you will be academically prepared to:
- Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
- Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor.
- Analyze cultural development theories and models.
- Examine empirically based theories of human development.
- Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
- Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
- Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings.
- Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant.
- Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
- Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.
Read our MS in School Counseling Program Outcomes Report and Annual Data Report and on the School of Counseling DATA webpage.
With rising student enrollment in elementary, middle, and high schools, qualified school counselors are in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% employment growth for school and career counselors through 2029—a rate much faster than the national average.1
Earning an MS in School Counseling can prepare you for a rewarding career in a number of scholastic settings. Empower students of all ages to conquer their challenges and develop the social and academic skills they need to thrive.
An MS in School Counseling program can prepare you to work in settings such as:
8%projects 8% employment growth for school and career counselors through 2029.1
- Public schools
- Private schools
- Charter schools
- Online K–12 schools
Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
FAQ About Walden’s Online MS in School Counseling Program
Your degree can prepare you to seek licensure or certification in your state. You’ll want to start the process as soon as you graduate. After attaining state licensure or certification, you can pursue employment as a school counselor in K–12 schools. School counselors help to improve student success by implementing comprehensive school counseling programs that support the academic, personal-social, and career needs of all students. School counselors also provide short-term counseling; collaborate with teachers, families, administrators, and community members to support students; advocate for students and student needs; and analyze data that identifies student needs, concerns, and challenges.
Yes, individuals who wish to become employed as a school counselor in an elementary, middle, or high school are required to hold, at minimum, a master’s degree in school counseling.
While students may go at their own pace, it generally takes approximately two to two and a half years to complete a master’s degree in school counseling. Walden provides an optional accelerated track that allows students to complete their coursework faster and earn their degrees sooner. This option requires a strong time commitment and is best suited for students who can dedicate themselves full time to their studies.
Walden’s MS in School Counseling program is aligned with standards set by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model to provide students with skills to implement a comprehensive school counseling program. Walden’s faculty are dedicated to supporting students and possess a wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership in the school counseling field. Additionally, Walden’s online format provides flexibility for various student needs, allowing students to work and handle other life obligations with access to class wherever they can access a computer and internet. The MS in School Counseling program supports students in choosing to learn at their own pace, whether part time or full time, and courses use multiple forms of materials, such as videos, notes, articles, textbooks, and interactive programs, to cater to various learning styles.
Additionally, Words of Wisdom (WOW) workshops are offered by faculty and doctoral students on topics of interest to students, faculty, clinical supervisors, and alumni. These workshops provide lifelong learning opportunities and valuable continuing education to students, faculty, alumni, and site supervisors.
In terms of honor societies, Walden’s Omega Zeta (OZ) is the largest Chi Sigma Iota chapter, with 14 highly energetic officers. OZ pours energy into social change work in the United States and around the world. In addition, OZ focuses efforts on enhancing counseling student opportunities at Walden through learning communities. Members have the opportunity to grow as leaders in the field and as social change agents.
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