School Counseling PK-12 (M.S. in Counselor Education)

Psychology & Counseling Department

Interested in Learning More About this Program?

Please contact:
Jennifer Barna, Ph.D., NCC, ACS
Associate Professor
Counseling Program Coordinator
School Counseling Program Coordinator
570-348-6211, ext. 2328

What do School Counselors Do?

Professional school counselors are certified/licensed educators with a minimum of a master's degree in school counseling, making them uniquely qualified to address all students' academic, career and personal/social development needs by designing, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student success. Professional school counselors are employed in elementary, middle/junior high and high schools; career and technical centers; gifted and alternative schools; in district supervisory positions; and counselor education positions.

Professional school counselors serve a vital role in maximizing student success (Lapan, Gysbers, & Kayson, 2007; Stone & Dahir, 2006). Through leadership, advocacy and collaboration, professional school counselors promote equity and access. (ASCA, The Role of the School Counselor)

Occupational Outlook

The occupational outlook for School Counselors is expected to grow at a higher than average rate for the years 2014-2024.

2016 Median Pay

$54,560 per year

$26.23 per hour


Master’s Degree

Work Experience in Related Occupation

Not Required



Number of Jobs in 2014


Job Outlook  2014-2024

8% ( Average Rate)

Employment Change 2014-2024


*The data provided above is based on information obtained from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published on December 17, 2015. 

Program Goals

The School Counseling program focuses on providing students with the personal and professional skills necessary for:

  1. developing competencies in individual and group counseling, classroom guidance instruction, and school wide programming
  2. consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, and administration;
  3. designing and managing a comprehensive school counseling program;
  4. creating standards-based interventions to support student academic, career, and personal/social development;
  5. using data to evaluate the effectiveness of programs; and
  6. applying leadership and advocacy skills to identify achievement gaps and support systemic change.

Upon successful completion of this school counselor preparation program, students earn a Master of Science in Counselor Education – PK -12 School Counseling degree. The course sequence meets the certification requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Educational Specialist I (school counselor certification).