Program Description and Outcomes
The School Counseling Program requires 54 credit hours for completion of the Master of Education degree and is obtainable in two calendar years if students begin their coursework in the summer. This program enables graduates to become licensed school counselors in elementary, middle, and secondary schools and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Per CACREP requirements, our program will move to a 60-credit hour program by the Fall of 2020. Our unique program includes: training in social-emotional learning, including mindfulness-based interventions in schools with experienced faculty; emphasis on trauma-informed care in school settings; addressing the needs of special education populations; inter-professional collaboration training with seven school-based professions; and learning hands-on creative interventions for children and adolescents.
We offer small, experiential classes that rarely involve more than eight to ten students. Our dynamic and student-focused faculty members have been the recipients of national ACES awards, along with numerous other honors at the regional, state, university, college, and department levels. Students receive constant feedback and supervision throughout their training. We place great emphasis on personal and professional growth and the practical application of skills at our school-based community internship sites. School counseling students are placed at all three levels in K-12 settings throughout their practicum and internship experiences.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, 15 students were enrolled in the School Counseling Program at James Madison University. The total number of graduates during this academic year was eight. In recent years, we have typically admitted nine or ten students into the School Counseling Program each summer session. Our full-time students complete the program in two calendar years and our part-time students usually complete the program in four calendar years. Our combined completion rate for full-time and part-time students in the School Counseling Program is 90%, and during the last two years is 100%. Our 54-credit-hour curriculum fulfills all the coursework, practicum, and internship requirements in order to qualify as a Licensed School Counselor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Therefore, 100% of the School Counseling graduates automatically qualify for licensure. Eighty-five percent of the alumni who reported their employment status to the program are employed in an occupation that is closely related to school counseling, and in the last two years that percentage is 100%.