2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School Counseling, MS

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Melissa Luke, Ph.D., Sims Hall, Suite 440, 315-443-2266, mmluke@syr.edu

Core Faculty

Dr. James Bellini, Professor & Department Chairperson
Dr. Melissa Luke, Professor
Dr. Derek Seward, Associate Professor
Dr. Caroline O’Hara, Assistant Professor

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Synthesize historical and contextual dimensions of professional orientation, assessment, research, career, theory, and lifespan development

2. Explain group dynamics and construct clinical interventions that foster development

3. Apply ethical, empirically grounded, and culturally relevant strategies and models in counseling practice

4. Develop advocacy and leadership principles and practically apply them in the context of professional school counseling

5. Apply social and cultural diversity theories, models, and multicultural competencies in counseling practice and research

6. Explain the history and current best practices of school counseling, as well as the roles and responsibilities of a school counselor across grade levels

7. Identify and respond to characteristics, risk factors, and warning signs for students at risk for learning, mental health, behavioral disorders

Program Description

The Master of Science in School Counseling prepares students to work with children of all ages in urban, rural and suburban K-12 school settings. Beginning with their first courses, students gain practical hands-on experiences that prepare them for their clinical placements in schools. Students work closely with their advisor to develop a program of study that meets their interests and specific career goals. Through two unique school counseling specialty courses, students acquire the knowledge and abilities necessary to implement a comprehensive, developmental school counseling program that includes individual and group counseling, large group classroom guidance, advisement and consultative services, as well as systemic support skills. Students gain the tools necessary to be effective professional school counselors and change agents, so they can help to meet the needs of every student. Graduates from our program meet the requirements for provisional certification as a school counselor in New York State and are employed in schools as:

  • School Counselors
  • Directors of Guidance
  • Career Center Counselors
  • Admissions Counselors
  • Support Service Counselors
  • Alcohol-Drug Abuse Prevention Education Program (ADAPEP) Counselors
  • Student Assistance Counselors
  • Family Support Counselors

The Department of Counseling and Human Services has been a pioneer in training highly skilled practitioners and leaders in a wide range of counseling settings. Syracuse University’s programs are nationally accredited and can lead to national certification or State Certification in School Counseling or Licensure as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor.

Programs include extensive fieldwork opportunities in which students gain hands-on experience working with students and clients in a wide range of counseling and educational settings. Students work closely with their advisor and the fieldwork coordinator to identify settings that meet their individual interests and career goals. The faculty is nationally recognized for their leadership in the profession and all classes are taught by skilled experts and experienced clinicians.

The faculty is deeply committed to the growth and development of their students; faculty work closely with both our master’s and doctoral students. Students are trained in the most current practices and research in counseling and provided the opportunity to develop their skills and succeed in their chosen area of specialization. The department’s goal is to prepare national leaders in counseling. We provide constructivist and experiential learning environments in our classes and are committed to reflexive leadership. We seek to develop a diverse group of professionals who will excel in knowledge, skills, commitment, and service in a wide range of educational and community settings.

S.U. Re-Accredited through 2017:

The Department of Counseling and Human Services is focused on program quality which is exemplified through our commitment to accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation provides recognition of the quality and scope of training as well as assures students that the program is stable and committed to meeting professional benchmarks of quality. Our three master’s programs (Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Student Affairs Counseling) and our Counselor Education Ph.D. program are currently accredited by CACREP. We are pursuing re-accreditation, and as is expected of accredited programs, we are currently completing the self-study process in preparation for an accreditation site visit. CACREP accreditation is critical as you compare programs in that counselors must be graduates of a CACREP program as of 2022 to be credentialed as a National Certified Counselor. Accreditation also streamlines licensure and credentialing processes for professional counselors.​


In our admission process, we consider multiple facets of an applicant’s portfolio and background because we believe that successful counselors need to be interpersonally skilled, highly self-aware, professionally mature, academically prepared for graduate work, and committed to the values and philosophies of the counseling profession and the Department of Counseling and Human Services at Syracuse University. Therefore, academic, interpersonal, professional, leadership, and personal components are integrated in our admission decision process.

The Department of Counseling and Human Services faculty seeks to admit individuals who are personally and academically prepared to be successful in completing the master’s degree program in Counseling.  Within these parameters, the faculty is committed to admitting students who represent diverse backgrounds or who have special abilities to serve a diverse population. Admission is highly competitive and conducted three times a year.

Major Requirements

The Master of Science in School Counseling is a 48 credit hour program.

Transfer Credit

The Graduate School at Syracuse University allows students to transfer in up to 30% of the credits required for a master’s degree from other academic institutions. Only courses taken within the last seven years in which grades of “B” or better were earned can be transferred.  Once matriculated, decisions about transfer of specific courses, as well as decisions about whether any course may be used to waive a required course, are made by the student’s advisor in consultation with appropriate faculty. Some courses (for example, Practicum) taken elsewhere may not be used to substitute for the same course at SU.

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