MASTER OF ARTS
IN SCHOOL COUNSELING

Personalized Attention.
Professional Growth.
Community Impact.

Be an advocate for our students

Our Master of Arts in School Counseling program is tailored to meet the needs of working professionals and new graduate students. The curriculum is specifically designed for individuals who plan to become a Licensed School Counselor after completion of the program.

Want to talk to a current student to find out what our graduate programs are REALLY like? Here’s your chance! Dinner is on us!  You’ll meet with a master’s of counseling graduate student in The Loras College Pub for dinner. There’s no set agenda, so just come chat, ask any questions you have, and enjoy some delicious food in a low-pressure setting.

Dinner With a Duhawk

BENEFITS

  • This degree is the only active training program for school counselors in the Tri-State area and is directed by a recognized leader in the profession, with over 25 years of experience.
  • The program courses are efficiently designed so that all required educational standards are covered in just 39 credits, which can be completed in two years. Compared to most other programs, this saves students one year of time and tuition.
  • All faculty are practicing professionals who bring real-world experience to their teaching, and have an extensive network of field placements where students can meet both program and state criteria for practicum and internships.

FLEXIBLE & CONVENIENT
Graduate students are often juggling work and family life at the same time. Our program is set up with your hectic schedule in mind.

  • Students typically take two or three classes a semester, or at their own pace.
  • Each class is held once per week, and starts at 4pm or later, which helps students maintain full-time jobs while working toward their degree.

REPUTATION OF EXCELLENCE
Loras College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the School Counseling program is approved by the Iowa Department of Education.

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

"The program was only two years, allowing me to have a full-time job while obtaining my Master's degree."

Meet Molly
Application Requirements & Checklist

Master of Arts in School Counseling Program Application Checklist

Domestic Students Application Requirements

 

International Students Application Requirements

 

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 Methods

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 Methods

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 Methods

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

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 Methods
This course is designed to develop skills in order to facilitate groups for specific problem issues and developmental needs primarily targeted for school–aged populations. The history of group counseling as a medium for delivering intervention and prevention services will be presented. Research will also be reviewed, which supports specific outcomes, the economics of group counseling and the role of group counseling in the broader continuum of education based services. Students will primarily use role-play and class discussion as a means for developing knowledge and skills.

L.SCP-647 Helping Relationships
This course is designed to provide an understanding of counseling/consultant characteristics (such as age, gender, ethnicity, personal values and skills) and behaviors that influence the helping process as will as a knowledge of 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. Students will be encouraged to develop a personal style of counseling based on an understanding of essential microskills and intervention techniques, consistent with counseling theory. 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. 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

Students who have been admitted to Loras College as a degree-seeking graduate student will be reviewed  for candidacy to continue on in the school counseling program after the completion of at least 9-12 and not more than 18 school counseling 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

Application and Admission FAQ

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

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in last 60 credits)
  • Completion of at least 12 credits in the behavioral sciences

How do I apply for admission?
Please see the Application Requirements and Checklist section of this webpage.

What are the application deadlines?
Fall enrollment – all materials due by July 1
Spring enrollment – all materials due by December 1

Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on an individual basis.

What if I’m still finishing up my Bachelor’s degree?
Applicants who are undergraduate students in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree may be awarded a provisional acceptance to Loras’s graduate program based on receipt of their in-progress, unofficial transcript and all other application materials; with full acceptance contingent upon receipt of the final, official transcript(s) and the conferred undergraduate degree. If a program has a minimum GPA requirement, the student must meet the minimum GPA at the time the undergraduate degree is conferred for full acceptance.

Does the Master of Arts in School Counseling program require an undergraduate degree in Education? What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?
The Master of Arts in School Counseling program 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?
Immediately following receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by the Program Director to determine whether to move forward with an interview. You will then be contacted with information about your next steps. After completion of your interview (or after review of your file), you will be notified of an admission decision via email within one week.

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

Can I take some courses as a non-degree student?
Individuals who would like to take graduate classes for professional development, continuing education credits, or personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree special student. Special students may not enroll in practicum, clinical, internship courses or other courses without approval from the program director.

In order to enroll in the course(s), students must complete the standard online application (select “Graduate Non-Degree or Licensure Student” as the Admit Type), and email unofficial copies of transcripts from each institution attended to the Director of Admission for Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Programs. The transcripts will then be evaluated by the program director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met. Please note that degree-seeking students have registration preference.

After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the program in order to move forward and take additional courses.

Financial aid is not available to non-degree special students.

How can I receive more information about the Master of Arts in School Counseling program?
For more information about the application and admission process, please contact Megan Henderson: Director of Admission for Graduate and Postbaccalaureate 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 and Class Format FAQ

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 the classes is primarily face-to-face course instruction, but some core classes are offered in an online format.  Practica and internships 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?
Students can transfer a maximum of 9 graduate credits from a previous institution. The courses must be similar in content to coursework offered at Loras and approved by the Program Director.

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 set up 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?
Each face-to-face class meets 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?
Yes, students are required to attend the Graduate Student Orientation 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 of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Our program is also designed to fulfill the course requirements for the Iowa Board of Examiners Endorsement for Professional School Counselor.

If I’m interested in playing a sport at Loras while in graduate school, how many credits do I have to take?
Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program to be eligible to participate in NCAA athletics at Loras (please note that the Graduate Certificate in Applied Analytics does not qualify as a degree-seeking master’s program).

Student athletes enrolled in one of our degree-seeking master’s programs need to have full-time status (taking at least 6 credits per term) during the semester(s) they’re practicing or competing in the sport. Students also need to be making satisfactory progress towards their degree (as determined by Loras). If a student wants to participate in athletics while being enrolled less than full-time, they will need to work with their coaches to determine if they are eligible for a waiver.

Please note that while 6 credits per term is considered full-time for graduate students at Loras, students only need to take at least 3 credits per term in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.

Financial FAQ

What are current tuition rates for the Master of Arts in School Counseling?
Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for detailed cost information.

Is financial aid available?
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. Please contact our Financial Planning Office at 563.588.7136 or financial.planning@loras.edu for more information.

Loras College does not offer institutional scholarships for graduate students at this time.

Tuition & Fees

Master of Arts in School Counseling Program Cost

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.
  • 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 2020 – Spring 2021)

Contact us if you have additional Billing and Financial Aid Questions

Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

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/

Questions? Let’s get in touch.

Loras College Graduate Admissions
Megan Henderson

megan.henderson@loras.edu
563.588.7140

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