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School Counseling - Counselor Education

School Counseling

(Master of Science Degree Program)

The School Counseling Program at Emporia State University is one of the best in the Midwest. Since 1947, the university has prepared more school counselors than any other Kansas college or University.

More than 40 percent of all practicing school counselors in Kansas have received their degrees from Emporia State University.

Based upon retirement projections of current counselors and recent growth rate in elementary school counseling, the employment future for school counselors is positive. Graduates of the School Counseling Program are readily accepted by employers because of the program’s high quality of graduates.

Successful completion of the School Counseling Program leads to Kansas licensure, grades PreK through 12. Graduates are qualified to seek employment in elementary, middle, or secondary schools. In school districts small enough to have just one counselor, graduates sometimes accept positions as the counselor for all levels.


Mission Statement:

The mission of the School Counseling Program is to prepare candidates at the graduate level to develop the skills for critical thinking, creative planning, and effective practice that will allow them to work effectively in meeting the developmental needs of all PreK-12 students in an ever-changing and diverse society.


CACREP Program Outcome Data:



Program Applications

Program Enrollment

Degrees Awarded

3 Year Completion Rate **

Employment Rate

Licensure Pass Rate

(First Testing)






Incomplete Data







Incomplete Data







Incomplete Data










The three year completion rate percentages identified above reflect those students who complete the program in three years. The majority of the students in the School Counseling program work full-time (many as teachers), and complete the School Counseling program on a part time basis.  On average, 75% of the students in the School Counseling program, complete all requirements within three years.   As of this time, accurate data regarding employment rates is not available. Please contact the Department of Counselor Education at 620/341-5220 and ask to speak to the School Counseling program coordinator for up-to-date information regarding employment outcomes of our graduates. School Counseling positions are expected to grow at an average rate through 2020, with the primary employment setting being educational services.


Degree Requirements:

Application, Admission, and Degree Requirements



Students pursuing the MS degree must earn a grade point average of "B" (3.0) for the degree.  A grade of "A" or "B" (no C or D grades) may be used in 500 and 600 level courses, and no grade lower than "C" may be used in other graduate courses.  All "C" credits must be balanced with an equal number of "A" credits; in such balancing, an "A" earned in 500-600 level courses may be used to balance a "C" grade earned in a 700-900 level course.  Only those courses in which a grade of "B" or higher has been earned may be transferred from another institution.  Although transfer credit may be accepted and used on the degree plan, no grades earned on transfer credit may be used in determining grade point averages.  Students shall have no grade lower than "B" in each core course.  Please note that for those faculty that utilize minus grades, a "B-" meets criteria for successful completion of a core course.


Time Requirements

Students are expected to complete work for their degree within a seven-year period from the date of first enrollment.  Courses taken at another institution and accepted for transfer to apply toward the degree must fall within the seven-year limitation.


Credit Hour Load

The noraml full-time load for a graduate student is 7-16 hours per semester of the academic year.  During the summer term a normal load is one semester hour of credit per week of enrollment.  In either case, outstanding students may make a request for an overload.


Graduate Credit While an Undergraduate

College seniors at ESU or other accredited four-year institutions may earn graduate credit (must be 500-799 level work) during the term in which the undergraduate degree is received.  This is providing this course work is not needed to meet undergraduate degree requirements.


Student Responsibility

Students have the responsibility to assure that they have met all requirements.  Students should familiarize themselves with the requirements in the Graduate Policy Handbook.  Any questions should be directed to the assigned advisor.


Transfer Credit

Graduate credit earned in other institutions of recognized standing may be transferred for credit toward the Masters or Specialist in Education degree subject to the following conditions:

  1. No more than nine (9) semester hours of credit may be transferred.
  2. Such courses must be from a regionally accredited institution and taught by regular members of the graduate faculty and listed as carrying graduate credit in the catalog of the institution from which they are being transferred.
  3. A grade of "B" or higher must have been earned in all such transfer credit.
  4. Official transcripts of all transfer work must be on file in the Graduate Office prior to submitting degree plans.


Student Endorsement Policy

Graduate candidates will be endorsed for credential and employment only in the area for which they are being trained.

Candidates wishing to become licensed school counselors must satisfactorily complete a master of science degree in school counseling.  Requirements for licensure are available from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) at or the certification officer in The Teachers College at Emporia State University, Shannon Hall at (620) 341-5412 or

Candidates wishing to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) may enroll in the school counseling graduate program and may be required by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board to complete additional course work (e.g. to complete a total of sixty credits) and other requirements.  Each candidate should obtain specific requirements and procedures for obtaining the LPC from the State of Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board at (785) 296-3240 or

Candidates wishing to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) will need to complete additional postgraduate requirements.  Each candidate should obtain specific requirements and procedures for obtaining the LCPC from the State of Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board at (785) 296-3240 or

All Counselor Education graduate candidates are eligible to take the exam administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors in order to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC).  The exam is typically taken in the last semester of a student's program.  Notices are posted each semester and candidates may obtain specific requirements and application procedures from the department chair.


Degree Candidacy

Candidacy is the formal approval for pursuit of the master of science degree after it is determined that all specified criteria have been met.  Upon completion of six to twelve hours, students should make application through their advisor.  Department requirements for degree candidacy are as follows:

  1. Degree plan filed through student's advisor.
  2. Maintain at least a "B" average with no grade lower than "B" in core courses.  Please note that for those faculty that utilize minus grades, a "B-" meets the criteria for successful completioni of a core course.
  3. In applying for degree candidacy the student shall have successfully completed SC810, SC815, and SC825.


Student Retention

Throughout the student's study the faculty advisor monitors the student's performance by regular review of semester grades as well as the student's developing clinical counseling skills and personal growth.  If the advisor feels the student is not making satisfactory progress, the advisor will take the necessary steps to assist the student toward improvement or offer assistance in finding a field of study more suitable to the abilities and/or interests demonstrated.  At the end of each semester, the academic and clinical skills, general performance, and personal growth of all students enrolled in the school counseling program are reviewed to determine if satisfactory progress is being made toward a degree.  Students in question are informed of any concerns by the appropriate faculty advisor.  Each student shall continuously demonstrate personal characteristics appropriate to the counseling field.  Students shall maintain a "B" or higher grade point average throughout their program.


Thesis Option

Students have the option to take comprehensive exams or to write a thesis.  Those students who desire to write a thesis should consult with their advisor when planning a program of study.  There are no limitations on the number of thesis and investigative credit hours for which a student may enroll.  However, only six hours and five hours of thesis credit may apply toward masters and specialist degrees respectively, and no more than 12 hours of combined thesis and investigation credit may apply toward a single graduate degree.  Three copies of the thesis (including the original) must be submitted  to the Graduate Office.  A candidate may obtain a thesis guide booklet in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, 313 Plumb Hall.  Exceptions to the rules governing the typing of thesis may be permitted, but only with the written consent of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research  and the Chair of the candidate's committee.


Graduate Requirements

In order to receive a master of science degree from this department the student must accomplish the following:

  1. Review the on-line orientation and satisfactorily complete the on-line "Orientation Quiz".
  2. Complete an approved program of study as developed and approved by your faculty advisor.
  3. Apply for Degree Candidacy.
  4. Pass a written comprehensive examination during the semester or summer in which on graduates, (Sign up in the department office during last enrollment before graduation.) OR complete a masters level thesis.
  5. Complete an Intent to Graduate form (submit to the Graduate Office).
  6. Pay commencement fee.
  7. Maintain a "B" average with no grade lower than "B" in a core course.  A core course is defined as all required, non-elective courses.  Please note that for those faculty that utilize minus grades, a "B-" meets the criteria for successful completion of a core course.