Master’s in School Counseling Programs By State and Online


Looking to get a Master’s in school counseling? I have a master’s in education in school counseling degree, so I feel pretty qualified to tell you how to get a degree in this field. :)

First, I highly recommend you attend a degree program that is accredited by CACREP. Research shows CACREP graduates perform better on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE), streamlines the licensure application process, and CACREP programs have been reviewed against professionally approved standards. I personally attended a program accredited by CACREP.

You can see a list of CACREP programs here.

Accreditation must be renewed, so accreditation can expire. Always verify that a program is accredited.

Here are a list of online master’s in school counseling programs that are currently accredited as of October 27, 2013: 

Adams State University

Capella University

Messiah College

Regent University

Wake Forest University

Here are a list of master’s school counseling programs accredited by CACREP (this list hasn’t been updated since 2012):

Alaska: None


Auburn University
Auburn University Montgomery
Jacksonville State University
Troy University – Dothan
Troy University – Montgomery
Troy University – Phenix City
Troy University – Troy
University of Alabama Birmingham
The University of Alabama,
University of Montevallo
University of North Alabama


Arkansas State University
Henderson State University
University of Arkansas


Northern Arizona University


California State University Los Angeles
California State University Northridge
California State University Sacramento
San Francisco State University
Sonoma State University
University of San Diego


Adams State College
Colorado State University
University of Colorado at Colorado
University of Colorado at Denver
University of Northern Colorado


Central Connecticut State University
Fairfield University
Southern Connecticut State University
University of Connecticut
Western Connecticut State University

District of Columbia

Gallaudet University
George Washington University
University of the District of Columbia

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Delaware: None


Barry University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Gulf Coast
Florida International University
Stetson University
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of North Florida
University of South Florida


Augusta State University
Clark Atlanta University
Columbus State University
Georgia Southern University
Georgia State University
University of Georgia
University of West Georgia
Valdosta State University

Hawaii: none


The University of Iowa
University of Northern Iowa


Boise State University
Idaho State University
Northwest Nazarene University


Bradley University
Chicago State University
Concordia University Chicago
Eastern Illinois University
Governors State University
National Louis University
Northeastern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University
University of Illinois Springfield
Western Illinois University


Ball State University
Butler University
Indiana State University
Indiana University
Indiana University
Indiana Wesleyan University
Purdue University


Emporia State University
Kansas State University
MidAmerica Nazarene University


Eastern Kentucky University


Louisiana State University
Our Lady of Holy Cross
Southeastern Louisiana University
University of Louisiana at Monroe
University of New Orleans

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Bridgewater State College


Loyola University Maryland-Timonium


University of Southern Maine


Andrews University
Eastern Michigan University
Michigan State University
Oakland University
University of Detroit Mercy
Wayne State University
Western Michigan University


Capella University
Minnesota State University Mankato
Minnesota State University Moorhead
St. Cloud State University
Winona State University


Southeast Missouri State University
University of Central Missouri
University of Missouri – St. Louis


Delta State University
Jackson State University
Mississippi College
Mississippi State University
University of Mississippi


Montana State University

University of Montana

North Carolina

Appalachian State University
Gardner-Webb University
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina State University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Wake Forest University
Western Carolina University

North Dakota

North Dakota State University


University of Nebraska at Omaha

New Hampshire

Plymouth State University

New Jersey

Caldwell College
College of New Jersey
Kean University
Monmouth University
Montclair State University
Rider University
Rowan University
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
William Paterson University

New Mexico

University of New Mexico


University of Nevada Las Vegas
NV University of Nevada, Reno

New York

Brooklyn College CUNY
Canisius College
Hunter College CUNY
Lehman College (CUNY)
Long Island University C.W. Post Campus
St. Bonaventure University
St. John’s University
State University of New York College at Plattsburgh
Syracuse University
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
University of Rochester


Bowling Green State University
Cleveland State University
Heidelberg University
John Carroll University
Kent State University
Malone University
Ohio University
University of Akron
University of Cincinnati
University of Dayton
University of Toledo
Walsh University
Wright State University
Xavier University
Youngstown State University


Oklahoma State University


Oregon State University
Portland State University


California University of Pennsylvania
Duquesne University
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Geneva College
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Marywood University
Pennsylvania State University
Shippensburg University
Slippery Rock University
University of Scranton
West Chester University

Rhode Island: none

South Carolina

Clemson University
South Carolina State University
The Citadel
University of South Carolina
Winthrop University School

South Dakota

South Dakota State University
University of South Dakota


East Tennessee State University
Middle Tennessee State University
University of Memphis
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Vanderbilt University


Stephen F. Austin State University
Texas A & M University – Commerce
Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi
Texas State University – San Marcos
Texas Tech University
Texas Woman’s University
University of Houston Victoria
University of North Texas
University of Texas at San Antonio
University of Texas Brownsville

More Master’s in School Counseling Programs

Utah: none


College of William and Mary
James Madison University
Lynchburg College
Marymount University
Old Dominion University
Radford University
Regent University
University of Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University


University of Vermont


Central Washington University
Eastern Washington University
Gonzaga University
Seattle University
Western Washington University


University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin, Stout
University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

West Virgina

West Virginia University


University of Wyoming


If you’ve made it this far, you have just seen all of the CACREP accredited master’s degree school counseling programs in the United States including online programs. This list was created in April of 2012. Accreditation can expire and not be renewed, so please verify with the school before you apply if you want CACREP.


School Counselor as a Career Series Part 1: What is a Counselor?

So what is a counselor? According to CACREP, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs, counselors provide “a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals”. Counselors usually complete a master’s degree program in a specific area of counseling. For example, school, career, rehabilitation, or mental health counseling.

A lawyer or a credit counselor is not a “counselor”. A lawyer “counsels” her clients about legal information, which is why some people call a lawyer “counselor”. Many careers that are not related to mental health use the word counselor as a way to describe a relationship between the client and the employee. For example, a credit counselor “counsels” you on your credit.

Graduating from a counseling program does not automatically license you as a counselor. For example, I am a licensed school counselor. I am eligible for an LAPC (licensed associate professional counselor) license but I must complete supervision hours to be licensed.

Counseling is a helping professional.


Capella University Review: Accredited Online Counseling Programs


Your Guide to Capella University

Founded in 1993 by Dr. Harold Abel and Stephen Shank, Capella University is an accredited university that caters to adult learners in the United States. The university’s online and classroom courses aim to provide the best bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs for adults so that they may pursue better professional opportunities in the future. The university’s undergraduate and graduate degrees, which also include†online counseling programs, range from the following departments: business and technology, counseling and psychology, health care and nursing, and public service.

The undergraduate programs under Business and Information Technology include a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, General Information Technology, Human Resource Management, Health Information Technology, just to name a few. Doctorate degrees offered by the Psychology program, which fall under online counseling programs, include a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Clinical Psychology, General Psychology, Educational Psychology, and General Social Work. The degrees in General Psychology and Educational Psychology can equip you with the right credentials to become a school counselor. If you graduated with a degree in psychology or education, the units earned will not just give you a higher chance to work in schools but also equip you with the necessary to do a credible job.

If you have yet to earn a Master’s Degree, Capella also offers a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology, Child and Adolescent Development, General Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, and General School Counseling. You don’t have to give up your day job to finish any of these doctorate degrees. Capella University’s accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission makes it a credible institution for earning the classes through its online media. The American Counseling Association’s Council has also accredited its School Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy programs, and Mental Health Counseling.

All these are accredited online counseling programs, saving you the trouble of giving up your day job. The degrees only require you to attend a two six-day residential colloquia along with your online courses. You can easily time the colloquia with the demands of your job and balance the rest of the classes with your daily schedule. Stay at home and working mothers will have no problems either attending the required online and offline courses.

Once you have finished the master’s degree online, you can start applying for counseling jobs in a private or public K-12 school or in an educational corporation like a private boarding school. Some of the job positions you can look into are guidance counselor, high school counselor, elementary school counselor, student life counselor, or school counseling coordinator. Even the Masters degrees in the different areas of psychology can equip you with the right means and skills by studying under the University’s†online counseling programs.

You can see the different programs offered at Capella University and other institutes here. From there you can decide if your educational needs will be met by its online counseling programs. This website caters to the specific needs of those who can only learn from the convenience of their homes but are still after an online degree from a credible college. Capella University is among the top universities for this kind of education, having achieved several accreditations from reputable boards and educational institutions. It’s all a matter of picking the best program for your intended career path and making the time for the required courses.


Find Online Cacrep Degree Programs


As a school counselor, I only recommend CACREP approved counseling programs. There are many reasons why, but the most significant reason is so when you get licensed, there won’t be any problems. If you choose to not attend a CACREP degree program, generally when you apply for licensure, you will need to either have more classes under your belt or more years.

To look for an online CACREP degree program, search here at my degree finding domain through eLearners. Once you find the degree at the school you are interested in attended, just sign up to receive information about the school. You will get more detailed about the online program.


School Counselor Shortage in Many States


So it’s 2013 and there is still a school counselor shortage. I’ve been unemployed since graduating in 2009. I admit, in the past couple of years I haven’t looked that hard for a job because I know school counselor jobs are hard to find, plus I’ve had two babies since graduating.

According to a recent 2013 article from the Washington Post, there is a huge school counselor shortage. According to ASCA, they recommend one school counselor to every 250 students. In reality, there is about 471 students to one school counselor. In California, there are 1,016 students per one counselor!

It’s ironic how there is a huge shortage of school counselors and it is hard to find a job. That means schools are not hiring school counselors. Why not? Lack of funds I presume. Many districts don’t have the money to fund another school counselor. All I know is when someone wants to hire a school counselor in Georgia, I am here available! :)

How is it going in your state?


Lack of School Counselor Jobs


School counselor jobs are difficult to find depending on your location. I am not trying to be gloom and doom in this post, so please check your local school districts for more information. I have personally been looking for a school counseling position since 2009. However, many of my friends got jobs after graduation. Some of them were able to obtain a position after working as a supply school counselor for a few months. Some of them moved to a different district or state. Some of them chose to drive an hour to work each day because they had to.

Many factors influence the availability of school counselor jobs such as the school’s budget, the number of students per counselor, the economy, etc. Unfortunately, some school districts feel that school counselors should be the first position to be eliminated even before extracurricular activities. You have to remember that there are generally 2-5 school counselors per school, so there are not a ton of positions available in each county.

If you are able to be very flexible in your search for a school counseling position, you might be able to land that job. However, if you are willing to only apply to one school district, chances of getting a job are going to be a lot more difficult. I hate to say this, but if you know someone, it might be easier to get a job also….this is just another word for networking. If you were a former teacher and were close to your former principal, the principal might be interested in hiring you over someone else. This might be good for you but bad for me!

Don’t give on looking for a school counselor job either. In this economy, people have suffered job loss and difficulty in finding a job regardless of profession.



National School Counselor Salary Per Year



School counselor salary really depends on location. For example, in the state of Georgia where I live, the  starting salaries range from $32,000 to $50,000 a year. Why the huge range? Well, besides location, the number of days worked affects this. Some school counselors might work for 10 months a year whereas some school counselors might work 10.5 months a year depending on their school district.

I am working on a school counselor salary page for each state in the United States. Here is just an example of some STARTING salaries:

Alabama Department of Education

  • School Counselor with less than 3 years of experience working 187 days= $41,564. This is the current 2012 salary.

California Department of Education: The salary schedule is a little confusing to me, maybe you can interpret it.

Florida Department of Education

Guidance Starting Salary: $50,441

Georgia School Counselor Salary

Texas School Counselor Salary

  • Average salary is $38,144 per year (source).
Mississippi Salary Schedule: PDF not working when I tried to open it.
New York Salary Schedule


The School District of Philadelphia: $42, 321 (step 1)

As you can the salaries are very spread out and it depends on the school district. I am confident to say that $38,000-$45,000 is not an unusual amount to expect as a starting salary. Starting in the $50,000′s seems to be for school districts that work longer contracted days per year or is possibly in a higher cost of living area.


How to Become a School Counselor


Learn How to Become a School Counselor….From a Licensed Professional School Counselor!

Making the decision to becoming a school counselor can be exciting. Entering the field of school counseling requires someone with passion  You are at the right place because I have literally been there done that. I graduated from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA with a Master’s in Education Degree in School Counseling. Becoming a school counselor is something I wanted to do for a long time because I wanted to help children. So, let’s get started learning how to make your your passion a reality!

School Counselor Degree Requirements

To enter the school counseling field, you must have a Master’s Degree, which would mean you first need a Bachelor’s Degree. If you are in high school, then you will need to apply to an undergraduate program at a college/university. In my experience, there is not a specific Bachelor’s Degree you need before you apply to many Master’s program unless you live in a state that requires teaching experience (PLEASE read next paragraph about certain conditions). I attended graduate school with students who had degrees in teaching, the social sciences, and social work. I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. I even knew a student who had a law degree! There is much variety of students who apply to graduate school programs.

With that being said, there are specific states that require you to have a teaching degree and experience as a teacher before you become a school counselor. For example, in the state of Texas, you must have experience as a teacher for several years before you can even apply to a school counseling position. I live in Georgia and that was not the case at all. I HIGHLY recommend you check with your local state educational board that approves licenses to determine what the regulations are in your state.

Once you have obtained your Bachelor’s degree, you can then apply to a Master’s Degree program. At this point, you will need to follow the requirements of the grad school before applying. You will generally need letters of recommendations and test scores. I took the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). I did not score particularly high on this exam; however, my references, interview and application materials allowed to me to show what an outstanding candidate I was. I highly recommend attending a graduate program that is accredited by CACREP.


Calendar with Velco Months, Years, Seasons: Great for Teaching

Decorating my own school counseling office is something that I think about occasionally. I love looking at items I would hang on my wall to make it kid friendly. I found this cute calendar that would be elementary school friendly. It is currently on clearance for $16.99. I’m thinking about buying it for my 4 year old! :)

This calendar allows the child to move and pick the day, date, month, season, weather, and year with the velcro pieces. Reviews stated that the calendar was durable. This teaching chart measures 25″L x 19″W. Includes years 2009-2014 and is machine washable.

So how can school counselors use this calendar? It could be used as an icebreaker for children who are upset and visit the office. Or it could simply be a decoration to make the school counseling office as kid friendly as possible. As a parent, I definitely see how I could use this at home since my son is still learning about these things. How do you think you could use this as a counselor?


Grief Lesson Plan: Balloon Release


Last year my father passed away. I have never experienced a death from someone that close to me like that in my life. My son was 3, going on 4, when he passed away. Now here we are, less than 2 months from my son’s 5th birthday, and we are dealing with the realization that my son has been deeply suffering from the loss of his “paw paw”. We are considering placing him in play therapy. My son has inspired me to look for grief lessons.

During my school counseling internship, I did administer a grief group to children who were in 3 and 5th grade. At the time, I had not lost anyone very close to me before. Now I have. It’s just so sad to think about children who have lost their parents at such a young age. My mother gave me an idea today that I wished I would have done with my grief group. A balloon release.

I plan to do a ballon release with my son. Here is a quick lesson plan you could do the same day with your students or child.

Domain: Personal/Social

ASCA Standards: Check back soon for this.

Start the group by explaining that there will be a balloon release.

Allow the child 10 minutes to write a message on the balloon to their loved one.

Ask if any of the children would like to share the message with the group.

When everyone is outside, have everyone release their balloons at the same time.

Conclude the group by asking all the students what were their thoughts when the balloon was released. How did it feel to see the balloon go in the sky?

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