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Get your Master of Arts in School Counseling

Master of Arts in School Counseling

Become a Licensed School Counselor

The Loras College School Counseling program is specifically designed for individuals who plan to become a Licensed School Counselor after completion of the program.

This offering is the only active training program for school counselors in the Tri-State area and it is directed by a recognized leader in the profession, with over 25 years of experience.

Program Features

  • 39 credits
  • 2 years (financial aid available)
  • Evening classes
  • Full or part time
  • Limit 9 credits per semester

Apply now to join our exciting new offering!

Quick Links
Application Requirements

Master of Arts in School Counseling Program Application Checklist (Degree Seeking Student)

  • Online Graduate Program application: loras.edu/apply
  • $25 application fee: to be paid online via loras.edu/ecommerce (click on Graduate Application Fee)
  • All official transcripts from current and previous institutions including undergraduate and graduate. For a transcript to be considered official it must be sent from that institution’s Registrar’s Office to Loras College Graduate Admissions.
    • Note: Transcript “issued to student” will not be considered official. Faxed and copied transcripts will not be considered official.
  • Official GRE test scores (general test only)
  • Applicant statement: a typewritten statement outlining your interests and professional goals. This statement is an integral part of your application (maximum of 2 pages double spaced).  Please address the following information:
    • How did you become interested in school counseling?
    • What specific factors have led you to apply to Loras College?
    • What do you consider to be your outstanding strengths and weaknesses? Please also comment on your specific skills, talents, aptitudes.
    • Please briefly describe any participation in research or employment which might be relevant to your application.
    • What are your professional goals?
  • Current resume or vitae.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation: Please have your references complete our Letter of Recommendation Form. (They are welcome to provide a supplemental letter in addition to the form as well). The recommendations need to be from individuals who can speak to the applicant’s character.
  • Interview with faculty of School Counseling Program.

Following the receipt of all application materials (and interview) listed above, your application will be reviewed by the School Counseling Program Director and you will be notified of an admission decision. 

Application deadlines:

Spring enrollment – all materials due by November 15

Fall enrollment – all materials due by July 15

Materials may be sent to: 

  • Applicant statement, resume, and letters of recommendation can be emailed to: megan.henderson@loras.edu
  • All official transcripts and official GRE scores can be mailed to:Loras College Graduate Admission
    Attn: Megan Henderson
    1450 Alta Vista Street
    Dubuque, IA  52001

International Students:

In addition to the standard application requirements above, international students whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting one of the official test scores below (Loras College’s school code is 6370):

  • TOEFL
    • PBT (paper based score) 550 or higher
    • IBT (internet based score) 79 or higher
    • CBT (computer based score) 213 or higher
  • IELTS
    • 6.5 or higher
  • SAT
    • Composite test score of 1410 or higher (calculate Reading, Math, and Writing for the composite score)

At the time of admission, you will be sent a Certification of Finances form to complete and send back to us (along with a passport photo) so that we can start the I-20 process.

Course Requirements

Curriculum for School Counseling Program

Credits            CORE COURSES

3                      SCP 527 Human Growth & Development

3                      SCP 647 Helping Relationships

3                      SCP 605 Research and Program Evaluation

3                      SCP 635 Social and Cultural Diversity

3                      SCP 637 Career and Lifestyle Development

3                      SCP 643 Group Work

3                      SCP 615 Assessment

ALL CORE COURSES MUST BE TAKEN PRIOR TO CLINICAL COURSES WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SCP 605 Research and Program Evaluation

CLINICAL COURSES

3                      SCP 690 School Counseling

3                      SCP 694 Practicum in School Counseling

6                      SCP 696 Internship in School Counseling (K-8)

6                      SCP 698 Internship in School Counseling (5-12)

39 credits = Total required

Proposed Course Sequence (For full time – 2 years)

First fall semester (9 credits)

SCP 527 Human Growth and Development

SCP 647 Helping Relationships

SCP 615 Assessment

 

First Spring Semester (9 credits)

SCP 643 Group Work

SCP 635 Social and Cultural Diversity

SCP 637 Career and Lifestyle Development

Second Fall Semester (9 credits)

SCP 605 Research and Program Evaluation

SCP 690 School Counseling

SCP 694 Practicum in School Counseling

 

Second Spring Semester (12 credits)

SCP 696 Internship in School Counseling (K-8)

SCP 698 Internship in School Counseling (5-12)

 

 

Course Rotation

SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM COURSE ROTATION

Fall Offerings

SCP 527 Human Growth and Development

SCP 647 Helping Relationships

SCP 615 Assessment

SCP 605 Research and Program Evaluation

SCP 690 School Counseling

SCP 694 Practicum in School Counseling*

SCP 696 Internship in School Counseling (K-8)*

SCP 698 Internship in School Counseling (5-12)*

SCP 697 Independent Study (prior approval)

 

Spring Offerings

SCP 643 Group Work

SCP 635 Social and Cultural Diversity

SCP 637 Career and Lifestyle Development

SCP 694 Practicum in School Counseling*

SCP 696 Internship in School Counseling (K-8)*

SCP 698 Internship in School Counseling (5-12)*

SCP 697 Independent Study (prior approval)

 

* Denotes courses that require candidacy and clinical acceptance with corresponding application

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

L.SCP-527 Human Growth and Development
This course is designed to enhance understanding of how we develop and change across the life span both as individuals and within a family context. Course materials include the study the characteristics of various aspects of development at different ages and the influences and factors that produce change and stability as well as crisis, disability and psychopathology. This course is structured by topic versus by chronology, thereby lending the learning process to a greater in depth understanding of areas of development (e.g. intelligence, language, gender identification and other topics). Course materials also consider controversies associated with our understanding of development. Examples include the nature nurture debate, the continuity (or lack of continuity) in development, the value and limitations of various theories of development. The range of developmental theories covered in this course includes learning theory, theories that emphasize biology and theories of personality development. In the consideration of situational and environmental factors that influence development course materials will contrast those factors that contribute to both abnormal and normal behavior with particular emphasis on strategies that facilitate optimum development. Ethical and legal considerations that health professionals need to consider will also be covered. 3 credits.

L.SCP-605 Research and Program Evaluation
This course is designed to provide an understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation. It will include an awareness of the importance of research as well as the limitations and difficulties in conducting research in the counseling field. Course materials will include information about specific methods such as single case designs, action and outcome-based research as well as both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Students will be able to demonstrate basic computer literacy and access technological tools for conducting research. Program evaluation is a major component of the course and includes awareness of needs assessment, outcome evaluation and program modification strategies. A consideration of the application of research findings to improving counseling effectiveness is also a component of the course. Relevant legal and ethical issues will be considered in all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

L.SCP-615 Assessment
In this course students be provided and understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment. Course materials include a consideration of historical perspectives on assessment, basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing including norm and criterion referencing, environmental and performance evaluation, individual and group testing, behavioral observation, and computer bases methods of assessment. There will be a review of statistical concepts central to the assessment process with an emphasis on concepts of reliability and validity. Person and environmental variables such as age, gender, culture and other variables related to accurate assessment processes will be considered thoroughly. Students will become familiar with strategies for selecting, administering and interpreting assessment instruments as they relate to case conceptualization, diagnosis and the overall counseling process. Ethical and legal considerations will be considered throughout all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

L.SCP-635 Social and Cultural Diversity
This course is designed to introduce students to multicultural issues involved in counseling. The course will emphasize both the cultural components and the social/political nature of groups nationally and internationally based on nationality, culture, age, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Topics of prejudice and discrimination as well as multicultural and pluralistic trends among and within these groups will be discussed. Course material will include theories of multicultural counseling, identity development and multicultural competency and also ethical and legal considerations. The course will consider the process of becoming an effective multicultural counselor in terms of becoming familiar with strategies for working with diverse populations and ethnic groups, individuals, couples, families and communities. Self-awareness of one’s perceptions, preconceptions, expectations, and behaviors towards various social groups, including one’s own groups, will be explored through experiential learning activities. 3 credits.

L.SCP-637 Career and Lifestyle Development
The course is designed to create an understanding of career development theories and decision-making models. Course materials will incorporate information about career information systems including technology-based career development applications and strategies, computer-assisted career guidance, relevant Web sites, labor market information resources, visual and print media and other relevant resources. The course will include information about career and educational planning, placement, and follow up evaluation. Students will become familiar with career assessment instruments, evaluation techniques and other resources which incorporate an awareness of the needs of specific populations. Students will also learn about the interrelationships among and between work, family, life roles and the influence of diversity and gender in career development. An emphasis on career program development, implementation and evaluation will also be included. Throughout the course there will be a consideration of ethical and legal issues associated with all aspects of career development. 3 credits.

L.SCP-643 Group Work
This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of group work. Course materials will include a review of theories of group counseling, principles of group dynamics from the perspective of leader development as well as the roles and behaviors of group members. Students will learn about the therapeutic factors, stages of group development, selection criteria, group leader orientation and training, and methods for evaluating group effectiveness. The course will also include a consideration of relevant research pertaining to group processes and development and the various applications and types of group work. Ethical and legal considerations concerning the use of group practice and the professional development of group leaders will also be explored throughout all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

L.SCP-647 Helping Relationships
This course is designed to provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes including an awareness of both counselor/consultant characteristics (such as age, gender, ethnicity, personal values and skills) and behaviors that influence the helping process as well as a knowledge counseling theories. The consideration of counseling theories will include an examination of the historical developments and an exploration of affective, behavioral, and cognitive theories that are consistent with current professional research and practice in the field. This course will incorporate an awareness of systems theory particularly as it applies to family systems. Students will be encouraged to develop a personal model of counseling based on an understanding of essential interviewing and counseling skills. These skills will include the ability to establish appropriate goals, effective strategies for accomplishing those goals and clarity about the components of therapeutic relationships especially the importance of maintaining professional boundaries. An awareness of technological strategies and applications and their usefulness in developing outcome assessment will also be emphasized. The course will include a consideration of the major models of consultation, their history, and an awareness of the appropriate application of those models. Legal and ethical consideration will be integrated into all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

L.SCP-690 School Counseling
This course is an introduction to counseling in the K-12 school setting focusing on the history, philosophy, and trends in school counseling. Topics include the role and function of the counselor including the development, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive school counseling program, individual and group facilitation skills, classroom management skills, curriculum development and delivery, counseling diverse students, coordination with programs inside and outside of the school, referrals, and consultation methods involving parents, educators, and the community.

L.SCP-694 Practicum in School Counseling
The purpose of this course is to become familiar with the school counselor role. Throughout the semester students will observe a variety of counselor styles and settings and have the opportunity to learn more about their future profession. Practicum is designed for students to observe counseling related activities that are new to them. Self-reflection and discussion will be encouraged.

L.SCP-696 Internship in School Counseling (Grades K – 8)
Internship is an applied experience during which the Intern Student works as a professional counselor in training in cooperation with a school district’s counseling personnel. The internship is the culmination of the school counseling student’s preparation. The emphasis of the internship is to engage in a variety of activities in which a regularly employed school counselor would be expected to participate including, but not limited to, individual counseling, group counseling, developmental classroom guidance, and consultation. The internship experience requires 600 hours of counseling tasks across all levels for grades K-8 endorsement (6 credits).

L.SCP-698 Internship in School Counseling (Grades 5 – 12)
Internship is an applied experience during which the Intern Student works as a professional counselor in training in cooperation with a school district’s counseling personnel. The internship is the culmination of the school counseling student’s preparation. The emphasis of the internship is to engage in a variety of activities in which a regularly employed school counselor would be expected to participate including, but not limited to, individual counseling, group counseling, developmental classroom guidance, and consultation. The internship experience requires 600 hours of counseling tasks across all levels for grade 5 – 12 endorsement (6 credits).

L.SCP-697 Independent Study
Primarily for master’s candidates in the School Counseling Program. Individual investigation of a special topic under the direction of a faculty member. Permission of the Program Director is required prior to registration. Only open to degree candidates. 1-3 credits.

 

Candidacy

Candidacy

Students who have been admitted as a degree-seeking student will be reviewed after the completion of at least 9-12 credits from Loras College and not more than 18 credits. This review will be conducted by faculty members in the School Counseling Program and will assess adequacy of academic performance as a well as overall suitability of the student for professional work in the profession of school counseling.

The student will fill out a form initiating this process and will also distribute a rating form to two independent outside raters. This form indicates a request to the raters to assess the student on attributes of Sociability (The capacity to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with one’s fellows), Interpersonal Sensitivity (The capacity to relate to others with compassion and empathy), and Professionalism (The capacity to commit one’s self to the technical and ethical standards of the counseling profession). The faculty will assess the progress of each student specific to success demonstrated in coursework and review the assessment forms completed by the two external independent professional raters. Faculty will also assess students on the same attributes as the independent raters. Based on the combined information, the faculty will make a recommendation on behalf of the student regarding admission to candidacy.

A student will receive one of the following three recommendations.

  1. Acceptance to Candidacy: The student is fully accepted into the program and may proceed with further coursework and internship experiences
  2. Acceptance to Candidacy Deferred: The student may continue his/her coursework but will need to successfully address areas of concern raised by the faculty during the candidacy review. The student, upon addressing said concerns, must reapply for acceptance to candidacy within six months of notification of deferred status. If the student has successfully addressed the specified said concerns, he/she will be recommended for Acceptance to Candidacy
  3. Acceptance to Candidacy Denied: The student will be denied acceptance to candidacy if he/she has demonstrated: an inability to meet the academic standards of the program. This would be manifested in a GPA of under 3.0 in his/her graduate coursework. A student may also be denied candidacy if he/she demonstrates unethical behavior or a pattern of misbehavior or inappropriate behavior in his/her dealings with classmates, professors, internship supervisors, or clients. Denial of candidacy will result in the student’s withdrawal from the program.
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s

What are the requirements for admission to the Master of Arts in School Counseling Program?

  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.75, or 2.9 on last 60 credits
  • 12 Behavioral Science credits (undergraduate and/or graduate)
  • Signed consent form of professional ethical conduct.

How do I apply for admission?
Interested applicants may apply by submitting their completed application, pay online application fee, official transcripts, official GRE scores, current resume, personal statement, and 3 letters of recommendation to:
Loras College Graduate Admission
1450 Alta Vista Street
Dubuque, IA 52001

Letters of recommendation, resume and personal statement can be emailed to megan.henderson@loras.edu.

What are the application deadlines?
Fall enrollment – materials due by July 15
Spring enrollment – materials due by November 15

Does the Master of Arts in School Counseling require an undergraduate degree in Education? What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?
The School Counseling Master of Arts degree does not require an undergraduate degree in Education, nor is any specific undergraduate degree identified.  However, having either an education or psychology undergraduate degree can be helpful in understanding foundation knowledge for the degree.

How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?
After receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by our program faculty. Shortly after, you will be notified about scheduling your interview – which is the completion of the application process. After the interview is complete, you will be notified of your admission decision within a week.

How will I be notified of the admission decision?
You will be contacted by email once your complete file has been reviewed and a decision has been made.

How can I receive more information about the Master of Arts in School Counseling program?
For more information about the application and admission process, contact Megan Henderson: Associate Director of Admission for Graduate Programs, at megan.henderson@loras.edu or 563-588-7140. For more information about the School Counseling curriculum, please contact Dr. Kim Tuescher: Program Director, at Kimberly.tuescher@loras.edu.

Curriculum

How many credits are required in the Master of Arts in School Counseling degree?
39 credits are needed to meet the course requirements for the Master of Arts in School Counseling.

What is the format of the Master of Arts in School Counseling classes?
The format of classes is primarily face-to-face course instruction.  On occasion a core class may be offered in an online format.  Practicum and Internship are primarily field experiences with regular meetings on campus.

Is there a preferred entry point into the Master of Arts in School Counseling program?
There is no preferred entry point into the School Counseling program, but entering in the fall semester seems most feasible with regard to course offerings.

Does the Master of Arts in School Counseling program accept transfer credits?
Up to 9 credits of coursework can be transferred from another institution to the Loras degree for those in the Master of Arts in School Counseling program. These must be approved by the faculty.

How long does it take to complete the program?
Our Master of Arts in School Counseling program offers working professionals a cohort model of study.  Most students complete the program within 2 years (or 4 semesters). Please note: students have up to 7 years to complete the program.

What is a maximum course load per semester?
Typically 9, however students are allowed to take up to 12 depending on their program plan of study that they setup with their advisor. 

What is the time commitment outside of class?
Time commitments vary depending on the course and individual’s specific skill set.  As a general rule, students will spend 4 – 6 hours per week outside of classroom instruction on class-related work for each class.

Where are classes held?
Classes are held on the beautiful Loras College campus in Wahlert Education Building and Hennessy Hall depending on the course rotation and schedule.

When do classes meet?
Classes meet one evening per week, typically from 4:00pm – 6:30pm. For specific times and dates, see the course schedule prior to each academic semester.

Will there be an orientation prior to the first class?
Students are required to attend an orientation session prior to beginning coursework, so they can become familiar with the faculty, campus, services and their peers.

Does the program offer online courses?
Currently, 2 – 3 of the core courses are offered online.

Is Loras College accredited?
Yes, Loras College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  Our program is also designed to fulfill the course requirements for the Iowa Board of Examiners Endorsement for Professional School Counselor.

Financial

What are current tuition rates for the Master of Arts in School Counseling?
Cost per credit for graduate course work is $659 during the fall and spring semester. Technology fees are $40/credit hour.

Is financial aid available?
Students are able to apply through FAFSA for student aid with at least 3 graduate credits per semester. Please contact Julie Dunn, director of financial planning at (563) 588-7585 or julie.dunn@loras.edu for more information. Loras college does not offer institutional scholarships for graduate students at this time.

Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.
Visit our Tuition & Fees page for more Financial Aid information

Tuition & Fees

2017-2018 Master of Arts in School Counseling Tuition

  • $659 per credit hour
  • $40 Technology Fee per credit hour

School Counseling program= 39 credits

 

Employer Reimbursement

  • The Employer Reimbursement Form must be completed.
  • Students are responsible for providing the course information, final grades, and billing information to their employer to obtain the reimbursement.
  • Students are expected to submit timely reimbursement to their employer after the final grade is posted.
  • If the employer reimbursement criteria is not met and/or reimbursement is denied, the student must bring their account current before any future registration will be permitted.

Federal Loan Options

  • Students wishing to obtain a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan must complete the current year FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and take at least 3 credits per term.
  • The loan will disburse directly to the school to cover the cost of the term.
  • Graduate students are eligible for $20,500 in loan funds for each academic year.
  • The Loras College academic year runs from Summer – Spring (i.e. Summer 2017 – Spring 2018)

Contact us if you have additional Billing and Financial Aid Questions

Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.
Visit our Tuition & Fees page for more Financial Aid information.

Words Worth Reading

Student Demand for Counseling on the Rise
The number of students seeking assistance from school counselors has spiked this past year both at Lafayette and at colleges across the nation.
https://www.lafayettestudentnews.com/blog/2016/11/18/student-demand-for-counseling-on-the-rise/

Mindfulness Training and Classroom Behavior Among Lower-Income and Ethnic Minority Elementary School Children
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4304073/

Loras College Department Staff

Kimberly Tuescher Ph.D.
School Counseling Program Director
563-588-7739 | kimberly.tuescher@loras.edu

Dr. Kimberly Tuescher is the School Counseling Program Director, serving graduate students at Loras College who are interested in becoming licensed school counselors.

Dr. Tuescher received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Counseling Psychology with a minor in Psychology and Educational Psychology. she also earned her M.S.E.  from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh emphasis in Counselor Education and received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh majoring in Physical Education and Health Education Experience.

Previously, Dr. Tuescher held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for 25 years. She has trained over 500 school counselors in her years of experience as a professor. Dr. Tuescher’s research and scholarship interests include at-risk youth, behavioral problems, and school counseling programs. She has delivered well over 200 presentations at the local, state, and national levels. Dr. Tuescher has also worked as a psychologist in private practice, doing therapy, consulting, conducting assessments, all on a variety of psychological issues and across all age groups.  Other professional years were spent working at public schools as a teacher and school counselor.

Dr. Tuescher has served on numerous committees and councils throughout her career. A notable position was as the President of the Wisconsin Counseling Association. She also sat on the Wisconsin School Counselor Association Board as post-secondary vice president and was the Ethics Chair. Dr. Tuescher has been highly awarded and recognized in the profession of school counseling.  In both 2010 and 2013, Dr. Tuescher received the Althea-Brach Leadership Award for the State of Wisconsin.  Dr. Tuescher also received a state award for Outstanding Supervision and a state award for Research and Writing.

In her spare time, Dr. Tuescher prefers to spend quality time with family and friends.  She also enjoys cooking, participating in sport activities, doing house projects and traveling.

Mary Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
563-588-7228 | Mary.Johnson@loras.edu

Dr. Johnson earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Iowa, with a research background in gender studies and burnout among healthcare workers. She is interested in all aspects of psychology, and mental health issues in particular. Dr. Johnson is a licensed Psychologist and a Certified Mental Health Provider with over 30 years’ experience providing mental health services to a wide range of people with a unique host of needs. She considers herself a serious advocate for the rights of the mentally ill and is a member of the licensing board for psychologists in the State of Iowa. Favorite class activities include listening to the wisdom students bring to the educational experience and being endlessly impressed with their intuition and novel ideas.

Mark Hopper, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
563-588-7226 | Mark.Hopper@loras.edu

Dr. Hopper earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Neuropsychology from Ball State University. His teaching interests include wellness, mindfulness, self-awareness and metacognition, and he has just begun a project on “The Monkey Mind,” i.e. discursive thinking. Dr. Hopper’s classes include Introduction to Psychology, Positive Psychology and Introduction to Clinical Psychology and Cognition, as well as graduate courses in Research and Program Evaluation and Career Counseling. He is inspired by the results of the mindfulness exercises he teaches in his Positive Psychology class, including Miksang—the art of mindful photography.

Steffanie Schilder, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
563-588-7783 | steffanie.schilder@loras.edu

Dr. Schilder earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her teaching and research interests are clinical in nature.  She is interested in mental health diagnoses and cross-cultural issues. In the graduate program, she teaches Helping Relationships, Social and Cultural Diversity, Marriage and Family, Assessment, and other clinical courses. Her research involves studying the impacts that autism has on the family, availability of services, and cross-cultural implications of diagnosis and treatment.  She is currently licensed in Iowa with her LMHC, Wisconsin with her LPC, and is pursuing licensure at a doctoral level.