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Why Earn a Master’s Degree in School Counseling?

School counselors help young people navigate social, personal and academic struggles and lay a strong foundation for success in adulthood. Working as a school counselor allows you to make a real difference in students’ lives. You’ll have the opportunity to work one on one with students in a way that teachers often wish they could. A master’s degree opens the door to becoming a school counselor.

School counselors are licensed by individual states. Most states, including Oklahoma, require that school counselors have a Master of Education degree in school counseling.

What You’ll Learn

The Southeastern Oklahoma State University online M.Ed. in School Counseling program starts the Orientation to School Counseling course. This course includes the history of school counseling as well as contemporary, clinical and training issues. The course also covers professional roles and responsibilities, professional organizations, credentialing and self-care. Finally, students in the school counseling orientation course will also get an in-depth look at ethics and regulations.

The program will teach you to work with students from elementary school through high school and will give you the skills to work with students in a classroom, in small focus groups or one on one.

An online M.Ed. in School Counseling program prepares you to work with every type of student you might encounter — and to help every student excel academically, plan their career, and manage any outside stressors that make focusing in school difficult. There are special courses that help you prepare to work with social, economic and cultural diversity, as well as courses that help you assess mental health issues so that you can provide appropriate referrals to get students the support they need.

The M.Ed. in School Counseling also includes a practicum that gives you hands-on experience working with young people and helps you gain confidence for your first job.

What Work Is Like for School Counselors

Nationwide, the average annual salary for school counselors is $54,560, according to 2016 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. School counselors work in private and public schools in districts around the country. They generally have approximately the same schedule as teachers, including summers off when school is out.

School counselors work in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. No matter what age of students they work with, their workday will include a mix of classroom presentations, group counseling, individual counseling and meetings with parents, teachers and administrators to coordinate and create plans for specific students.

School counselors focus primarily on helping students succeed academically, but that often means helping students overcome barriers to achievement. This might be in the form of referring a student to a professional to help with a learning disability or helping students work through social problems they are having at school.

At a high school level, school counselors help students plan their next steps and the rest of their lives. They help students complete college applications, locate and apply for apprenticeships, or find job opportunities.

A master’s degree in school counseling holds the key to a career that makes an immediate difference in students’ lives. The degree will prepare you to help a diverse student body navigate all of the challenges that come with being a young person in modern times.

Learn more about the SOSU online M.Ed. in School Counseling program.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: School and Career Counselors – Work Environment

American School Counselor Association: State Certification Requirements

American School Counselor Association: Role of the School Counselor

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