School Counseling
Graduate

School Counseling

Preparing culturally competent school counselors to lead comprehensive programs that promote and enhance student academic, social and emotional success.

TestSusan Scully, Ph.D. Director

Our rigorous, comprehensive program has been “approved with distinction” by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)!

Students are educated and trained in counseling strategies and interventions (academic, social, emotional, and behavioral) to facilitate positive outcomes for PreK-12 youth. The role of the school counselor has evolved over the years and has become quite expansive. At the same time the needs of our school youth have become much more significant. We know that youth cannot achieve academic success if they are struggling socially, emotionally, and/or behaviorally. Therefore, the role of a counselor in a school setting crosses many domains of student functioning. Our program has a well-defined mission that is focused on the tenets of social justice and anti-bias education. We educate students to recognize that youth of all social identities can learn, achieve, and succeed with the needed tools, resources, and learning environment. The faculty in the program are a strong group of academics, educators and practicing school support personnel (school psychologists, administrators, school counselors, school adjustment counselors). They model the disposition and characteristics required to be an effective counselor in the schools. Faculty are committed to student learning and success. Class sizes are small and there are many opportunities to connect and engage with faculty and fellow classmates. Students in the program typically coalesce and form study groups as well as life-long professional relationships. I hope you will seriously consider the School Counseling Program at Assumption University as you think about your future career. A career as a counselor in the school is dynamic, vibrant, meaningful, and deeply rewarding. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have after spending time reviewing program information.    

An Exceptional Program at an Affordable Tuition- $680 per credit


Graduate Virtual Information Sessions



School Counseling Program Contact

Stephanie E. Plotkin Murin, M.Ed.

Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions
508-767-7105 Admissions House - Room 203

Susan Scully, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Human Services, Director of School Counseling, Core Faculty Member in Rehabilitation Counseling
508-767-7319 Kennedy Building - Room 107D

Sabine Prizio

Administrative Assistant to Graduate Programs
508-767-7297 Kennedy Hall - Room 169

An Ideal Place to Learn

2
Two MA tracks available: School Counselor and School Social Work/ School Adjustment Counselor
100%
100% of our students met or exceeded DESE standards for school counselor All Levels, as rated by their site supervisor
Competitively priced tuition
DESE
Approved programs by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75
Approved programs by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Program Curriculum

  • After completing the program, graduates will be able to:

    • Apply knowledge of learning, behavioral, social, emotional and physical needs of diverse learners throughout the lifespan within a developmental framework using a biopsychosocial theoretical model;
    • Demonstrate ethical counseling skills and compliance with school laws and mandates;
    • Utilize evidence-based prevention and intervention practices in the domains of personal-social, academic, career and workplace;
    • Select and apply college and career counseling interventions based on theoretical models and state and national school counseling models;
    • Implement effective consultation and collaboration problem-solving skills in school, community and family contexts for academic and behavioral problems;
    • Integrate Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks with state and national models of comprehensive school counseling;
    • Communicate psychological and educational and statewide testing practices and results to teachers, students and parents;
    • Analyze research in the field and develop and conduct outcomes-based assessments;
    • Demonstrate a commitment to all students and families using counseling strategies that are culturally responsive;
    • Develop leadership skills and demonstrate strong communication skills within a learning community.
  • Sample full-time course of study for school counseling track:

    YEAR 1 FULL TIME

    SUMMER
    SCP 510 Professional Orientation to Counseling 3 credits
    SCP 505 Fundamentals of School Counseling 3 credits
    SCP 540 Introduction to Research & Program Evaluation 3 credits
    SCP 545 Human Growth & Development through the Lifespan 3 credits
    FALL
    SCP 500 Pre-practicum in School Counseling
    SCP 515 Counseling Theories, Principles, & Practices 3 credits
    SCP 520 Psychology of Learning & Motivation 3 credits
    SCP 610 Cultural Responsiveness in Counseling 3 credits
    SPRING
    SCP 535 Group Counseling & Leadership 3 credits
    SCP 560 Psychological & Educational Assessment 3 credits
    SCP 600 Family Counseling, Collaboration and Engagement 3 credits
    SCP 620 Vocational, Career & College Counseling 3 credits

    YEAR 2 FULL TIME

    SUMMER
    SCP 625 Neuropsychology of Learning & Behavior 3 credits
    SCP 640 Developmental Psychopathology 3 credits
    FALL
    SCP 635 Intervention Strategies: Academic and Learning 3 credits
    SCP 645 Consultation & Collaboration: School/Family/Community 3 credits
    SCP 705

    OR

    SCP 710

    Clinical Practicum: Guidance (PreK-8)

    OR

    Clinical Practicum: Guidance (5-12)

    3 credits

     

    3 credits

    SPRING
    SCP 630 Intervention Strategies: Social & Emotional 3 credits
    SCP 660 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention 3 credits
    SCP 800

    OR

    SCP 810

    Advanced Clinical Practicum: Guidance (PreK-8)

     

    Advanced Clinical Practicum: Guidance (5-12)

    3 credits

     

    3 credits

    Total Graduate Course Credits 60

  • Sample full-time course of study for school social work/adjustment counseling track:

    YEAR 1 FULL TIME

    SUMMER
    SCP 510 Professional Orientation to Counseling 3 credits
    SCP 505 Fundamentals of School Counseling 3 credits
    SCP 540 Introduction to Research & Program Evaluation 3 credits
    SCP 545 Human Growth and Development 3 credits
    FALL
    SCP 500 Pre-practicum in School Counseling
    SCP 515 Counseling Theories, Principles, & Practices 3 credits
    SCP 520 Psychology of Learning & Motivation 3 credits
    SCP 610 Cultural Responsiveness in Counseling 3 credits
    SPRING
    SCP 535 Group Counseling & Leadership 3 credits
    SCP 560 Psychological & Educational Assessment 3 credits
    SCP 600 Family Counseling, Collaboration and Engagement 3 credits
    SCP 670 Introduction to the Principles and Practices of School Adjustment Counselors/School Social Workers 3 credits

    YEAR 2 FULL TIME

    SUMMER
    SCP 625 Neuropsychology of Learning & Behavior 3 credits
    SCP 640 Developmental Psychopathology 3 credits
    FALL
    SCP 635 Intervention Strategies: Academic & Learning 3 credits
    SCP 675 Advanced Principles and Practices of School Adjustment Counselors/School Social Workers 3 credits
    SCP 775 Clinical Practicum in School Social Work/Adjustment Counseling 3 credits
    SPRING
    SCP 660 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention 3 credits
    SCP 630 Intervention Strategies: Social & Emotional 3 credits
    SCP 875 Advanced Clinical Practicum in School Adjustment Counselors/School Social Workers 3 credits

    Total Graduate Course Credits 60

  • The comprehensive examination is required for all students in the Master’s degree School Counseling program. Students may take the exam after completing all course work or concurrent with the last semester of their course work. The questions have been selected based on this degree training program. Students will integrate knowledge and skill from all courses and experiences throughout their Master’s degree training. Questions are intentionally structured to require integration from all elements of training; thus, focusing on knowledge gleaned from one course or experience exclusively will not provide a comprehensive or exhaustive demonstration expected. To be considered for the exam, students must have submitted a complete Capstone Experience Request Form by the noted deadline for the semester intended to complete the exam.

    Comprehensive exams are scheduled during the fall semester and the spring semester. Exams are not given in the summer sessions. The student’s examination committee will consist of two faculty members. The exam itself is a one-hour exam.

    Comprehensive exams carry the grade of pass, fail, or pass with distinction. The candidate’s transcript, however, will only provide the information that the exam was completed and the date of the exam. If the candidate fails the comprehensive exam, he/she will be given one (1) additional opportunity to demonstrate competence. Generally, the second exam is given no sooner than the next regularly scheduled oral exam period, unless additional course work is required.

    Declaration of Intent to Take Comprehensive Exams

    Deadlines for forms are the first Friday of the Fall semester to sit for the Fall Administration and the first Friday of the Spring semester to sit for the Spring Administration. Please refer to the Assumption University Registrar’s Office for a current copy of the Academic Calendar.
    To declare an intent to complete the exam, students must submit via email the Comprehensive Exam Capstone Experience Request Form to express their intent to complete the examination. Please refer to this form and/or the assigned academic advisor for more information. Completed forms should be submitted to the School Counseling Office. Students should meet with their academic advisor to ensure all requirements are satisfied before submitting this formal email.

  • Students are required early in their course of study to be involved in pre-practicum experiences that are related to course assignments. Students will complete a pre-practicum of 100 hours in a school setting so that they may have the opportunity to observe and understand children and adolescents and spend time with individual students. Students will also have opportunities to learn with professional school counselors through interactive programs in the Institute for School Counseling and School Psychology.

  • In most cases, students are considered eligible for the practicum once they have successfully completed all prerequisite courses or when they take such courses concurrently. A candidate’s eligibility for and enrollment in the practicum will be determined by the Director of the School Counseling program based upon:

    • A review of the student’s transcript, existing teacher licensure, and professional experience
    • Successful performance in required graduate courses; and
    • Evidence of passing scores on the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Test.

    The practicum for the School Counselor is 600 hours, and the practicum for the School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker is 900 hours. Both practicum commitments are governed by criteria outlined in the state regulations. Practicum students must be prepared to spend three (3) full days per week at the practicum site(s) during the practicum (two) semesters.

  • Assumption University responds to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in all matters of educator licensure. Therefore, the University reserves the right to revise the admission criteria and requirements of its graduate program(s) leading to eligibility for support personnel licensure in compliance with the current state regulations. Students seeking licensure as a School Counselor (All Levels) must meet with an academic advisor to plan an appropriate course of study before beginning their first semester of course work to ensure all license requirements are planned for.

    Upon successful completion of the Master’s Degree in School Counseling or School Adjustment Counseling, including the required Massachusetts-based practicum and licensing exams (MTEL, Praxis, etc.), you will have met the eligibility requirements for licensure in Massachusetts.

    Our program meets the educational requirements for licensure in Massachusetts. Please contact the School Counseling Program Director, Susan Scully-Hill at sscully@assumption.edu to discuss whether our program meets the licensure requirements to practice in another state.

  • Assumption University’s School Counseling master’s degree program meets the requirements for licensure in the state of Massachusetts.  The University has not determined if the program meets licensure requirements in other states.

    Students who complete the master’s degree program are eligible for licensure reciprocity with states that are members of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Contract.  Please see the link below for more information about NASDTEC:
    https://www.nasdtec.net/page/interstate

    To determine if a particular state participates in the NASDTEC agreement please see:
    https://www.nasdtec.net/page/InterstateAgreements

    To review the certification requirements and contact information for each state’s department of education please see:
    https://www.schoolcounselor.org/About-School-Counseling/State-Requirements-Programs/State-Licensure-Requirements

    Licensure Requirements in Other States

  • Post-Master’s Degree Programs in School Counseling

    The School Counseling Program offers students with earned master’s degrees the opportunity to pursue a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS). A CAGS can enhance students’ knowledge and skill set leading to increased professional competence. A CAGS may also be pursued to complement current knowledge and skill sets allowing professionals to be more effective in their roles. CAGS programs in School Counseling typically consist of 7 courses and is based on students’ professional goals.

    The C.A.G.S. program provides several customized pathways for students to choose from:

    1. For professionals with an earned master’s degree in Counseling, Social Work or closely related field, a focused School Counseling C.A.G.S. program that culminates in eligibility for endorsement for the initial license in School Counseling (All Levels) in Massachusetts.

    2. For professionals with an earned master’s degree in School Counseling, Social Work or closely related field, a focused School Counseling C.A.G.S. program that culminates in eligibility for endorsement for the initial license in School Adjustment Counseling/School Social Work (All Levels) in Massachusetts.

    School adjustment counseling/school social work is a specialized area of practice. School Adjustment Counselors/School Social Workers assist students with mental health issues, behavioral issues, positive behavioral supports, academic and classroom support. School Adjustment Counselors/School Social Workers collaborate and consult with teachers, parents, juvenile court system, child protective services and other community agencies. School Adjustment Counselors/School Social Workers also provide individual and group counseling. Individuals licensed as School Adjustment Counselors/School Social Workers significantly increase their opportunities for employment and advancement.

    3. For professionals with an earned master’s degree in Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, Education or closely related field, a customized (minimum) 7 course School Counseling C.A.G.S. program tailored to the students’ professional interests.

    4. For professionals with an earned master’s degree in a helping, human service, counseling or education profession, a 6 course Resiliency for Helping Professionals C.A.G.S. is offered.

    The Department of Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies also offers other C.A.G.S. programs to benefit school counselors such as Transition Specialist, Special Ops: Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF), and Rehabilitation Counseling. Students may choose to pursue one of these options or choose courses from these programs to customize a C.A.G.S.

    IMPORTANT: Students who have applied to any C.A.G.S. programs are invited to contact the School Counseling Program Director or designated program faculty to conduct a transcript review and draft an initial program of study. C.A.G.S. programs may vary with respect to credit hours and required practicum hours based on this transcript review.

  • Courses are offered all three semesters: fall, spring and summer. Courses in the fall and spring tend to take a full-semester format where they will meet once a week. Classes run at one of two primary time slots: 4:00pm-6:30pm or 6:45pm-9:15pm.  Classes are typically offered Monday-Thursday, especially in the fall and spring semesters.

    The summer semester commonly offers intensive formats for courses across a 1-week, 3-week, or 6-week format.

    The program is operating in a fully remote format with synchronous Zoom class sessions combined with asynchronous class lessons.

  • How many credits is the School Counseling program?
    The School Counseling program is a 60-credit program.

    What is the cost of the program?
    You can find current cost per credit and fee information on our website at www.assumption.edu/gradfinaid.

    Do you have both full-time and part-time options?
    Yes, students can take our program full-time or part-time.

    What is the average length of time to complete the program?
    Our program can be completed in two years (including two summer semesters) full-time.

    What is a typical class size?
    Practicum Seminars typically have 6-10 students; other classes range from 10-22 students.

    How many classes do students take per semester?
    Part-time students take 1-2 classes per semester. Full-time students take 3+ courses. It is important to know that in order to be eligible for Federal Financial Aid in the form of student loans, student’s must be enrolled in at least 2 graduate courses (6 credits) per semester.

    Are courses held online or on campus? 
    The program is operating in a fully remote format with synchronous Zoom class sessions combined with asynchronous class lessons.

    What time and how often do courses meet?
    Courses meet Monday – Thursday once weekly in the late day or evenings.

    When do I need to decide if I want to pursue the School Counseling or School Adjustment/Social Worker track?
    Full-time students must decide by their 3rd semester in the program and part-time students must decide by their 5th or 6th semester.

    When does the pre-practicum and practicum start and what support is offered in finding a placement site?
    Pre-Practicum occurs during the first or second semester for full-time students and the fourth or fifth semester for part-time students. Students are given the support they need to find sites. Many students are already working in schools and prefer to complete their hours and assignments in those schools. If students need guidance and support to find placements it will be provided.

    Practicum begins in the fourth of fifth semester for full-time students and in the sixth or seventh semester for most part-time students. Many students are already working in schools and prefer to complete their hours and assignments in those schools. If students need guidance and support to find placements it will be provided.

    What are the requirements for pre-practicum and practicum? 
    The pre-practicum is 100 hours over the course of a semester. The School Counseling Practicum is 600 hours and the School Adjustment Counseling/School Social Work Practicum is 900 hours over two semesters.

    Can I do my practicum at the place where I work? 
    Yes, but you may not be able to do the practicum in your job. The practicum is specific to the role and function of the school counselor or school adjustment counselor.

    Can you complete the practicum while working full-time? 
    This is very hard to do. If you are in the School Counselor track completing 600 hours over two semesters you may be able to manage a full time job but the School Adjustment Counselor practicum requires many more hours therefore making it difficult to work full time. The practicum hours are completed during school hours. The School Counselor practicum requires 3 full days per week in a school and the School Adjustment Counselor practicum requires 5 full days per week in a school.

    Do I have to take the MTEL before I am admitted into the program?
    No, you don’t have to take the MTEL prior to enrolling in the program. It is a good idea to do so but it is not required.

    Do you offer preparation for the MTEL exam? 
    Yes, every Fall and Spring we offer a workshop that is free to students in the program.

    What are the start terms for the program?
    The program begins in the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

    What are the deadlines to apply?
    Application deadlines will vary by program and can be found on the upper left column on the main program page.

    Do applicants need to take the GMAT/GRE to apply to a graduate program?
    We do not require the GRE/GMAT. Our applications are reviewed more holistically focusing on an applicant’s academic transcript, letters of recommendation and personal statement.

    Do you offer financial aid to graduate students?
    Federal Financial Aid is offered in the form of unsubsidized student loans. Student’s must be enrolled in a minimum of two courses per semester to be eligible.

    Is your program state approved?
    The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has granted Assumption’s School Counseling program “Approval with Distinction.” This is the highest level of approval awarded by the Department, and Assumption is just one of three schools in Massachusetts to receive this prestigious designation.

    What are the GPA/application requirements?
    A 3.0 GPA is required. However along with your official transcript, all application materials are considered including three professional letters of recommendation, personal statement and resume. Refer to the program page for specific admissions information.

    How long does it take to receive a decision after applying?
    Typically applicants will be notified within a few weeks after application completion (including the submission of all materials) if they will be invited for an admissions interview and progress in the application review process. This is an approximate time and may vary.

Faculty

Susan Scully, Ph.D.
Program Director Associate Professor of Human Services Director of School Counseling Core Faculty Member in Rehabilitation Counseling
Jennifer Baublitz, MA/ CAGS
Lecturer, Psychology Undergraduate Program, School Counseling and SMVF Graduate Programs
Dawn Breault
Lecturer, School Counseling and Transition Specialist Graduate Programs
Kendra Cantrell
Lecturer, School Counseling Graduate Program
Barbara Colombo-Adams, Ed.D.
Lecturer, School Counseling Graduate Program
Heather Courtney
Lecturer, School Counseling Graduate Program
Kayla DeWees
Lecturer, School Counseling Graduate Program
Brendan Keenan, Ed.D., MSW, CAEL
Adjunct Faculty Graduate School Counseling
Keith A. Lahikainen, Psy.D
Adjunct Faculty Graduate School Counseling
Jean Lindquist-Grady
Lecturer, School Counseling and Special Education Graduate Programs
Christopher J. Lopes, Ph.D
Lecturer, School Counseling Graduate Program
Katelyn McGowan
Lecturer, School Counseling Graduate Program
Lorette M. McWilliams, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice, Human Services
Scott M. Smith, LMHC
Lecturer, School Counseling Graduate Program
Tyshawn J. Thompson
Lecturer, School Counseling Graduate Program

Graduate Admission Events and Ways to Connect With Us

We invite you to learn more about our graduate programs - either through a visit to campus, attending an information session or by scheduling a phone or virtual conversation with an admissions team member or one of our program directors.


Admissions Requirements

General Graduate Studies Admissions Requirements

  • Graduate Application
  • Two Letters of Recommendation* (Professional and/or academic)
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Personal Statement
  • Current Resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS for applicants whose native language is not English
*We strongly recommend at least one academic letter of recommendation; the remaining letter(s) may be professional. All recommendations may be professional if an academic letter is not feasible. However, all letters should address the student’s ability to complete graduate-level academic work. Applicants may feel free to provide more than two recommendations.

Apply today

School Counseling-specific Requirements

The MTEL exam is not required for admission into the School Counseling program, however matriculated students must pass the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills exam prior to completion of the program. Candidates for the Massachusetts Initial License for School Counselor (All Levels) must meet the following standards:
  • Prior to completion of the program, submit evidence of passing scores on the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills. NOTE: The School Counseling program is state-approved for the Massachusetts Initial License for School Counselor (All Levels). Candidates who complete the state-approved program and thereby earn a first Initial License, are eligible for licensure reciprocity with the approximately 24 other states that are parties to the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Contract.
GRE scores are not required Tuition & Financial Aid


School Counseling Program Student Conference Award

This award reimburses up to $150.00 per student to provide fiscal support to active School Counseling students who are presenting at local, state, and/or national level conference related to their program area training.

Institute for School Counseling and School Psychology

The Institute is one of the few professional continuing education programs in the nation focused exclusively on the needs of school counselors. All of the workshops are open to School Counselors, School Social Workers/School Adjustment Counselor, School Psychologists, Rehabilitation Counselors, related counseling practitioners, and graduate students interested in the counseling fields.

Faculty Expertise Imparted Upon Future School Counselors

Lorrette McWilliams, one of our School Counseling faculty members recently published, “These Pandemic Times: Family and Community Engagement for School Counselors-In-Training,” a blog post for the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement. Lorette discusses how faculty affiliated with the School Counseling program at Assumption prepare school counselors-in-training to partner with families and communities.

Graduate Research Symposium

Assumption University Graduate School Annual Symposium showcases research, innovative projects, successful case study, and creative work of graduate students and recent alums from every graduate program. We offer all graduate students in every program an opportunity to present their excellent work on diverse topics.

Veterans at Assumption

Assumption University recognizes that servicemen and women have demonstrated great courage and made tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation and its people. The University has introduced a number of programs and services to assist veterans during the application process and while veterans are attending Assumption. We also have a lounge designated only for our veteran students. Assumption University is committed to maintaining recognition as a Military Friendly institution.  We strive to eliminate barriers to success for our Service Members, Veterans, and their qualified dependents.

Programs Related to School Counseling