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School Counseling Emphasis

Information about the school counseling (Pre-K-12) masters emphasis.


The school counseling emphasis in the Counselor Education (M.Ed.) Master's Program at Penn State is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The curriculum is also consistent with standards and guidelines of the American School Counselors Association and the American Counseling Association. The school counseling emphasis also meets the academic requirements for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania.

For additional information about this emphasis, please contact the Coordinators:
Dr. Richard Hazler, phone 814-863-2415; email:
or Dr. Julia Bryan, phone: 814-863-2402; email:

The purpose of this emphasis is to prepare our students:

  • for certification by the State of Pennsylvania and other states to work as school counselors in elementary, middle, and high schools

  • to function effectively in comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs2ndyear1.jpg

  • to function effectively as school counselors in culturally diverse schools of Pennsylvania and other states

  • for the various roles of counselor, consultant, collaborator, and leader

  • to effectively assist children and adolescents with their academic, social-emotional, and college and career development
  • with relevant academic work and extensive hands-on experience in schools
  • to prepare students to provide the wide variety of professional counseling services to children and adolescents necessary in a challenging educational system and complex society

  • to function as school counselors who are systemic change agents and social justice advocates to serve a culturally diverse population with complex needs 

Our well rounded program is attained by emphasis on:

  • individual and group counseling, family counseling, classroom guidance and psychoeducation, crisis response, collaboration and consultation, and program development and evaluation

  • preparing counselor-trainees to meet the academic, social-emotional, career and college development needs of children and youth

  • skills in peer mediation and conflict resolution, student appraisal, academic remediation, case management, social justice advocacy, college and career readiness programming, and coordination and administration of a comprehensive developmental school counseling program

  • developing skills to effect curriculum changes, behavioral change strategies for families, and classroom management in order to enhance the potential of all children and youth

  • preparing students for the school counselor roles of consultant and collaborator and to connect students and families to mental health, social, and academic supports in the community

  • multicultural counseling, educational equity, and closing success gaps among groups of students

  • addressing the systemic nature of schools, focusing upon the benefits of counseling for all students, parents, schools, and communities

  • incorporating counseling theory, skills and techniques into experiential learning modes including role-playing in class and genuine counseling situations through practicum and supervised internship in elementary, middle, and high schools and at the Dr. Edwin L. Herr Clinic 

  • a blending of appropriate didactic experiences with a full academic year of supervised field work in a school setting to promote the translation of theory into effective counselor performance, resulting in skilled and competent school counselors

  • School Counseling Emphasis Field Experience

    One of the major advantages of the Penn State School Counseling emphasis is the extensive year-and-a-half supervised experience in schools and the Herr Clinic. The first fall semester all students do videotaped role-play counseling sessions. Beginning in the spring semester of the first year they enter Practicum in the Herr Clinic working with college age students under the supervision faculty and doctoral clinical supervisors. Students most interested in elementary school work also spend one day per week in an elementary or middle school under the supervision of an experienced professional school counselor to gain practicum experience with this younger age group. Fall and spring of the second year, students spend two to three days per week in their school. This extensive field experience provides for application of all aspects of the school counseling experience including individual and group counseling, classroom guidance, and consultation with teachers and parents. Students graduate with the full experience of the school counselor’s year from orientation in the fall to the unique aspects as school nears ending in the spring.

Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.