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MEd School Counseling

School Counseling Certification Programs (Elementary and Secondary)

This degree program is designed to prepare students for both elementary and secondary school counseling positions. Developmental school counseling programs function in elementary, middle/junior, and high school settings. They are designed to support the educational process, providing for the personal growth of students in such specific areas as career awareness, personal development, decision-making, interpersonal communications, educational planning, and community involvement. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

*Full-time and part-time programs available

Program Philosophy:

The hallmark of the IUP School Counseling program is its philosophy based on the developmental approach to school counseling. Children and youth learn best when they are given the opportunity to increase self-awareness and develop those life skills that contribute to an understanding and utilization of self in all life experiences. This approach to counseling is sequential and flexible, involves all school personnel, helps students learn more effectively and efficiently, and is managed by a trained counselor who provides specialized counseling services and interventions.


To qualify for PK-12 institutional endorsement and commonwealth certification, students must complete a 60-credit-hour, competency-based program to include a series of counseling skills courses, including practicums at the elementary schools and secondary schools level, and complete a 600-hour field experience under the supervision of a certified school counselor. All students have five (5) years from the date of their first course enrollment to complete their degree program.

While teaching experience is not a prerequisite for school counseling certification in Pennsylvania, students are expected to possess an understanding of educational philosophy and child or adolescent growth and development. They should also understand the basic principles of psychology, sociology, and learning theory in addition to courses specific to either a child or adolescent population.

All students seeking an MEd degree with certification in either elementary or secondary school counseling will take:

Core Classes
Course Number Credits Course Title
GSR 615 3 credits Elements of Research
COUN 613 3 credits  Counseling Children
COUN 615 3 credits Counseling Across the Life-Span
COUN 617 3 credits Basic Counseling Skills
COUN 618 3 credits Multicultural & Diversity Issues in Counseling
COUN 621 3 credits Introduction to Professional School Counseling
COUN 624 3 credits Assessment Procedures for School Counselors
COUN 636 3 credits Career Counseling
COUN 628 3 credits Management of Professional School Counseling Programs
COUN 637 3 credits Counseling & Consulting Theory
COUN 639 3 credits Group Counseling
COUN 667 3 credits Elementary Practicum
COUN 659 3 credits Secondary Practicum
COUN 672 3 credits Counseling and Consulting within Systems
COUN 677 3 credits Crisis and Addictions Counseling
COUN 682 3 credits Counseling Students/Clients with Disabilities
COUN 720 3 credits Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice in Counseling
COUN 755 6 credits Field Experience
COUN 3 credits Elective
Total 60 credits  

Course Descriptions

Occupational Outlook: Positions in school counseling look very promising beyond the 1990s. The Safe School initiatives and proposed national legislation will likely result in an overall increase in the number of counselors in the public schools. In addition to working in school counseling settings, certified school counselors may qualify for employment in mental health centers, human resource agencies, health care facilities, and residential settings serving the needs of youth and families.

Prospective students for the Master of Education and school certification program must meet departmental admissions requirements and procedures in addition to those of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Prospective students should contact the department to determine these requirements. Applicants are required to attend an admission workshop as the final step in the admissions process. Workshops are held two times a year, and applicants should contact the department to obtain the dates of workshops and deadlines for applications to reach the department.

Correspondence regarding this site should be sent to its maintainer, Dr. Bob Witchel, at

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License Only Option
The License Only Option for admission is designed for individuals who need additional credits to meet state standards for licensure.

School Counseling Certification Only
Those students already possessing a master’s degree and desiring School Counseling certification may apply to the counseling program for “Certification Only” status.

License Only Option
The License Only Option for admission is designed for individuals who need additional credits to meet state standards for licensure. 
School Counseling Certification Only
Those students already possessing a master’s degree and desiring School Counseling certification (elementary or secondary) may apply to the counseling program for “Certification Only” status. 

  • Counseling Department
  • Stouffer Hall, Room 206B
    1175 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2306
  • Fax: 724-357-7821
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.