Master of Education with a Major in Professional Counseling, School Counseling
The Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in Professional Counseling is designed for graduate students preparing for employment as professional counselors in schools, community agencies, and colleges or universities. Two options of study, School Counseling, Clinical and Mental Health Counseling, are available.
For more information, please see the Academic Catalog. A program sheet, which provides a required coursework sequence, is available for download in the Courses tab below.
The M.Ed. in Professional Counseling is designed for graduate students preparing for employment as professional counselors in schools, clinical mental health agencies, and colleges or universities. Two options of study, School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, are available. The School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Educational Related Programs (CACREP). The School Counseling program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours (2.5 years of full time study), and the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours (3 years of full time study). A student will receive faculty endorsement only for the relevant option and plan of study completed.
Program Outcome Data
During Academic Year 2021/2022, the University of West Georgia M.Ed. in Professional Counseling (School Counseling concentration) had 18 active majors and 14 graduates. Our graduates consistently achieve high pass rates on the national counselor preparation, licensing and certification examinations. Of the reported scores, our graduates achieved the following pass rates on the 2016-2017 administrations of the GACE School Counseling Content Tests I & II: 100%. Of the admitted students to the School Counseling program, we have a completion rate of approximately 77%, and a job placement rate of approximately 100%.
Program Handbook: MED Professional Counseling Graduate Student Handbook
Method of Delivery
Program is partly online (about 1/3 online; 1/3 hybrid; 1/3 face-to-face)
The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
This program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Credit and transfer
Total semester hours required: 60
A transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the UWG Transfer Team (email@example.com). Course application to a program is subject to review by the department.
Access to current technological tools is required along with a subscription to the TK20 portfolio and evaluation program.
This program may be earned entirely face-to-face. However, depending on the courses chosen, a student may choose to take some partially or fully online courses.
UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited universities of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen.
- Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
- The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
- Face-to-face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
- Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
- Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
- One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, he/she will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
- For cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website
There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.
Program is offered in various modalities, and includes both face-to-face and online coursework.
An introduction to selected, prominent counseling theories. Focus is on relating theory to practice and on comparing and contrasting the key concepts, techniques, counselor and client roles, counselor-client relationships, methods of assessment and the contributions and limitations of each theory.
An overview of basic, therapeutic interviewing skill building through practice and feedback to develop personal strengths in counseling. This course also provides students with an orientation to professional counseling organizations, the developmental history of the counseling profession, as well as ethical, legal and professional issues.
Methods for the assessment of individuals in counseling will be taught, including clinical interviewing techniques, mental status exam, use of the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), test selection, administration, scoring, interpretation, and reporting of results. Selection and interpretation of assessment tools appropriate for community and school settings will be addressed.
Studies that provide both theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches. This course also includes 10 hours of experience as a group member.
This course is a foundational course to prepare school counselors as leaders who strengthen elementary, middle and secondary education and also serve as effective change agents in a multicultural environment. The content of the course includes an overview of the functional skills necessary for the delivery of a school counseling program and the principles underlying the work of the school counselor. Emphasis is placed upon the role of the counselor as an advocate for student success in school and life. Professional skills in six arenas - advocacy, brokering of services, collaboration, counseling, effective use of data, and leadership, are introduced. Technology will be integrated throughout the course.
The counseling internship is designed to give candidates an opportunity to continue integrating and applying the awareness, knowledge, and skills learned throughout the counseling training program. Candidates will deliver counseling services in a field setting, and receive supervision of their work in biweekly group seminars for discussion of on-site issues, ethical issues, professional development, tape presentations, in-service training, and participation in peer supervision. A minimum of 600 on-site hours (240 direct service) for internship is required. CEPD 6182 Prerequisites: CEPD 6188 and College of Education Field Experience Application approval required.
This course emphasizes supervision of individual and group counseling and guidance conducted in field settings. Special attention is paid to the development of skills, interventions, and brokering of services. The foundation for the course is brief counseling approaches. A return to campus for individual supervision is a requirement of the course. A minimum of 150 hours is required. CEPD 6188 Prerequisites: CEPD 6131, CEPD 6140, CEPD 6160 and College of Education Field Experience Application approval is required.
This graduate course is a study of human growth and development from birth through aging and death. The course focuses on areas of physical, cognitive, social, personality, and emotional development as a series of progressive changes resulting from the biological being's interactions with the environment. Special emphasis is placed on the development characteristics of school age youth within a multicultural and diverse society.
This course is designed to give an overview and provide an understanding of abnormal behavior in the context of the diagnostic categories as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (5th Ed.) [DSM-5] and the diagnostic system. Particular emphasis will be placed on the processes of assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders and factors influencing these.
This course is designed to help students in a master's level or higher curriculum become competent in the use of educational and occupational information in counseling-related activities. Particular emphasis will be placed on how information is processed in planning, establishing and managing careers from a life-span perspective.
This course provides an overview of the nature of family systems relationships and family development. Particular emphasis will be given to the theory and practice of marital and family therapy. Students will examine both theoretical and empirical elements of family counseling which can be applied to marriage and family systems.
This course focuses on encouraging the unique development and emotional growth of children through the process of counseling. The content of the course introduces a distinct group of interventions including play and communication skills as integral components of the therapeutic process. A major focus of the course involves instructional and experiential opportunities for the student counselor to develop skills that provide children with appropriate developmental materials and facilitate a safe relationship for the child to express models that can be applied to elementary age children.
An examination of selected issues relevant to understanding multicultural lifespan differences, counseling process and practice.
Studies that provide an understanding of professional roles and functioning of counselors and the application of ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling.
This course emphasizes 'theory to practice' by providing experiences that allow students to assess and develop their personal leadership while emphasizing the values, knowledge and skills required for effective advocacy and brokering of services through consultation and collaboration Special emphasis is placed on the development of skills in planning, organizing, coordinating and delivering programs that generate systematic change. Use of data to identify needs, remove barriers and mobilize resources from schools and communities in order to increase options for students and clients are primary themes throughout the course.
This course is designed to provide counselors with the research knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate individual and group counseling interventions, as well as educational programs. An emphasis will be placed on the collection and use of quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate programs. Counselors in training will also learn how to communicate data and findings to others to effect change and to act as advocates for students/clients.
This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of crisis intervention and trauma counseling. Students will be prepared to recognize, understand, and respond to the needs of individuals who are experiencing or have experienced individual, family, or community level crises, disasters, or trauma.
This course is designed for counselors and other human service providers working in a variety of settings, including schools, community agencies, private practices, and hospitals. Topics covered include the classification of drugs and their effects on users; various models of addiction; the use of assessment, diagnosis, and prevention strategies with individuals, families, and groups; relapse prevention; and legal, ethical and multicultural issues associated with addictions work.
Study of characteristics, identification, and support needs of exceptional children and youth. Includes basic teaching strategies and supportive techniques/resources for meeting needs of pupils with special needs in the regular classroom. Designed for non-special education majors. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in SPED 6706 or department approved alternative to meet the special education requirement of Georgia House Bill No. 671 and be recommended for educator certification in Georgia. The grade requirement of "B" or better is effective 07/01/2019 for courses completed on or after that date.
Julia Chibbaro, Ph.D.
Professor of Counselor Education
Regina Finan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
Morgan Jenkins, PhD, LPC, ACS
Clinical Assistant Professor
Michele Pinellas, Ed.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Counseling
Olivia Uwamahoro, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CPCS
Assistant Professor, Counselor Education
Julia Whisenhunt, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CPCS
Professor of Counselor Education
Guidelines for Admittance
- All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
- Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
- International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
- Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.
Program Specific Admittance Guidelines
The admission process begins with an application to Graduate Studies. The application and all materials are submitted to the Graduate Admissions office. Files will be reviewed in the department only after all materials are received. Admission to the M.Ed. Professional Counseling School Counseling are in the summer semester.
- 2.7 Undergraduate GPA
- Personal Statement: In 3 - 5 pages, please discuss reasons for applying to the program, an analysis of personal strengths and weaknesses, and relate them to a discussion of a current issue in counseling and how this program will prepare you to address the issue in your career.
- Interview with faculty (after application file is complete). This interview will focus on the assessment of factors such as emotional maturity, professional related experience, readiness for the program, life experiences, attitude, compatibility with department goals, and communication/interpersonal skills.
Specific program deadlines are available via the Deadlines page
Admission Process Checklist
The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here
Dr. Regina Finan
Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
Specific dates for Financial Aid, Fee Payment, Registration, Start/End of Term Dates, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.
Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School
The Counselor Education Program at the University of West Georgia provides educational excellence in a personal environment through:
- challenging and supporting personal and professional development of students and faculty;
- promoting evidence-based practice;
- teaching from a knowledge base grounded in research;
- affirming diversity of ideas, values and persons;
- upholding the highest ethical principles in professional conduct;
- communicating new knowledge and ideas through applied research; and
- engaging in collaborative relationships with colleagues, institutions, and communities.
We are committed to the education of exemplary practitioners through adherence to the highest professional preparation standards.
(1) Candidates will demonstrate professional dispositions consistent with the field of professional counseling, as measured by an average rating of "proficient" or higher on a summative administration of the Professional Dispositions and Behaviors Rubric.
(2) Candidates will demonstrate professional skills consistent with the field of professional counseling, as measured by an average rating of "proficient" or higher on a summative administration of the Field Placement Evaluation.
(3) Candidates will know the major concepts, theories, and practices articulated in current counselor preparation standards, as measured by a passing score on the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).