Jan 16, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

School Counseling, M.A.


Alar Lipping, Ph.D., Interim School of Kinesiology, Counseling, and Rehabilitative Sciences Director 

Dorea Glance, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director

Purpose

The Master of Arts in School Counseling, a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredited program, prepares students to become professional school counselors. The development of a strong professional identity, a rich knowledge base, and expertise in the skills of counseling are essential to respond to the multitude of societal changes and to the ever-expanding counseling profession. Specifically, this program prepares quality counselors for public schools in P-12 settings.

Contact Information

Counseling Graduate Office - MEP 203

counselored@nku.edu or 859-572-7892

Admission Requirements

Individuals applying must meet all requirements for admission to graduate study at Northern Kentucky University as defined by the Graduate Catalog at the time of application in addition to the following:

To be eligible for admission applicants must have: A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an overall minimum 2.75 undergraduate grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Undergraduate coursework must contain 48 semester credits (or equivalent in quarter hours) in the liberal arts. Baccalaureate degree must show completion of a statistics course with a C- or higher bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited institution of higher education, with a total cumulative undergraduate grade point average of a 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.

Application Process:

  1. Submit an online application and application fee to the Office of Graduate Education.
  2. Submit official transcripts of undergraduate and any graduate coursework sent directly from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
  3. Submit official scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).  PLT Praxis Test scores may be submitted in lieu of the GRE. This requirement will be waived for those individuals who have already completed a master’s degree.
  4. Submit the supplemental application with essay required by the counseling programs including a 500-700 word essay demonstrating evidence of your potential to work effectively with people, reasons for wanting to become a professional school counselor, any relevant work or volunteer experiences, and examples of important events that have influenced your career goals. Essay must be submitted on supplemental application. Supplemental application available on Office of Graduate Education web page.
  5. Three recommendations from people (former instructors, supervisors, colleagues, etc.) who are qualified to evaluate academic and professional potential in the field of counseling. These must be submitted on counseling recommendation form.  Recommendation forms available on Office of Graduate Education website.
  6. Submit a professional resume tailored to educational goals, including educational background, employment history, awards, and accomplishments.
  7. Submit a copy of a Kentucky Statement of Eligibility or a teaching certificate if applicable.
  8. A criminal background check (state and federal) is required for admission to the program. For individuals currently employed in the public schools, a copy of their teaching certificate may be submitted in lieu of the background check. Please contact the program at counselored@nku.edu in order to obtain information on getting your background check completed. Any costs associated with background check are the responsibility of the applicant.
  9. Successful completion of an interview with counseling program faculty and a positive recommendation for admission from the counseling admissions committee to ensure the candidate holds qualifications and a personal disposition to uphold ethical standards of the counseling profession.

The counseling program admits new students for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Admission to the counseling program is competitive, and admission decisions are based on a holistic evaluation of each applicant’s admission file.

♦ Indicates prerequisite.

Curriculum Requirements


The coursework for the school counseling program corresponds to the academic and experiential standards outlined by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the Experienced School Counselor Standards established by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board.

Total Hours: 60


Program Retention


The counseling program has additional academic standards, beyond those of the minimum university standards for graduate students. No student will be allowed to begin Practicum or Internship while on academic probation.  Furthermore, a student who receives an F in any counseling course, or any grade lower than a B- in the following courses (COU 600 , COU 601  , COU 602 , COU 640 , COU 641 , COU 650 , COU 690 , COU 691 , COU 692 , COU 693 ), will not be permitted to continue in the program without the approval of the respective program director. 

Timeline of Clinical Practice Experiences:

1. Prior to enrollment in practicum (COU 690 , COU 693 ), students must have completed the following courses:

COU 600 , COM 601 , COU 641 , COU 640 , COU 650  (may be taken concurrently)

2. Application to Practicum or Internship. The semester prior to the expected start date for practicum (COU 690 ), students must submit an Application for Clinical Practice and Criminal Background Report to the Clinical Director or the Program Director.

3. Practicum:

  • The practicum course provides counseling students with direct opportunities to enhance their counseling skills within a structured, supportive environment. Students will be expected to demonstrate the intentional use of their counseling skills with clients in an ethical and culturally responsive manner.
  • Students will complete supervised counseling practicum experiences that total a minimum of 100 clock hours over a full semester; at least 40 of these hours must involve direct service with actual clients that contributes to the development of counseling skills.
  • Each week, practicum students will participate in one hour of individual and/or triadic supervision by a counselor education program faculty member, as well as one hour of weekly supervision by an onsite supervisor, as applicable.
  • Practicum students will also participate in an average of 1½ hours per week of group supervision on campus throughout the practicum course. 

4. Internship:

  • Building on the competencies developed in practicum (COU 690 , COU 693 ), internship students will be expected to increasingly demonstrate the full range of competencies expected by a professional school or clinical counselor.
  •  After successful completion of the practicum course, students must complete 600 clock hours of supervised counseling internship in settings relevant to their specialty area; at least 240 of these clock hours must involve direct service with actual clients.
  • Internship students will have weekly interaction with site supervisors that averages one hour per week of either individual and/or triadic supervision throughout the internship.
  • Internship students will also participate in an average of 1½ hours per week of group supervision on campus throughout the internship provided by a counselor education program faculty member.

Exit Requirements


  1. Application to graduate submitted by posted deadlines by candidate through the myNKU student portal.
  2. Students will complete all coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  3. Completion of all required courses used for the degree with a C or better.
  4. Signed Counselor Education Handbook Acknowledgment.
  5. Signed Codes of Ethics for Counselor Education Programs.
  6. Signed copy of Master of Arts in School Counseling curriculum contract.
  7. Students will complete all coursework following the academic policies of the university. At the conclusion of their plan of study, all students must take a comprehensive exam (usually within their last two semesters of their courses) prescribed by the counseling education program faculty. A passing score on the prescribed exam, in addition to the academic coursework, is required.
    • Students must receive a total score at or above the 35th percentile on the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE®). If a student fails the CPCE®, the student may retake the exam in the next available administration. However, if the student fails the CPCE® a second time, they will be dismissed from the program.
      • In such instances, the student cannot enroll in counseling courses as a non-degree seeking student.  However, such a student may petition for reinstatement into the program after a period of 12 months.
      • In the event that a student is dismissed from the program, the student will be informed of this decision in writing. The policies and procedures for pursuing an appeal of such a decision are available here: http://scra.nku.edu/policies/student-rights.html
  8. For Certification: Completion of all courses (60 credit hours) and Praxis exam(s) if required by KYEPSB.
  9. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (KYEPSB) to apply for the certification. Contact the Kinesiology, Counseling, & Rehabilitative Sciences Graduate Office at counselored@nku.edu for questions on certification.

State of Kentucky Provisional Counseling/Guidance Certificate

Upon completion of the 60 hour master’s degree in school counseling the individual is eligible for the Kentucky Provisional School Counseling Certificate. This certificate is awarded by the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board with a recommendation from NKU. The initial Provisional School Counseling Certificate is valid for five years. The Provisional Certificate allows you to seek employment as a school counselor. The individual has five years to complete the requirements for the Standard Guidance Certificate or renew the provisional certificate with additional coursework in counseling. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Kinesiology, Counseling, and Rehabilitative Sciences Graduate Office (MEP 203) to apply for the certification. Forms and application process subject to change, please contact the Kinesiology, Counseling, & Rehabilitative Sciences Graduate Office for additional information.

No Praxis required at this time for KYEPSB*
* Requirements and passing scores for teacher certification are subject to change. For the most current PRAXIS II testing requirements, go to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board website (http://www.epsb.ky.gov).  If you are certified/licensed or requesting certification/licensure in another state please check with your licensing board for your state testing regulations.

Completion of the 60-hour master’s in school counseling program at NKU satisfies coursework requirements for the initial Ohio Licensure Application in Counseling (http://education.ohio.gov) as well as coursework requirements for many other states across the country (see: http://www.schoolcounselor.org). Each state has unique application requirements in addition to coursework, such as the school counseling Praxis, Pearson, etc. exam, so please review your home states school counseling licensure/certification requirements closely for the state you are planning to seek licensure/certification in.

State of Kentucky Standard Counseling Certificate

The Standard School Counseling Certificate requires 54 hours in counseling and may be earned with the completion of the 60 hour master’s degree in counseling. Certificate also requires one year of successful public school employment as a school counselor if already a certified classroom teacher. For those individuals not holding a classroom teaching certification initially two years of successful experience as a school counselor are required. If a student completed the 48 hour Master’s degree program standard may be earned with completion of an additional six (6) hours of coursework. The additional hours beyond the degree will be a program planned by the student and his/her advisor. The Standard Guidance Certificate also requires one year of successful public school employment as a school counselor if a certified classroom teacher. For those individuals not holding a classroom teaching certification initially two years of successful experience as a school counselor are required. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Kinesiology, Counseling, & Rehabilitative Sciences Graduate Office (MEP 203) to apply for the certification. Forms and application process subject to change, please contact the Kinesiology, Counseling, & Rehabilitative Sciences Graduate Office for additional information.

Those individuals with counseling degrees of less than 60 hours may meet the curriculum requirement of the standard certification by taking additional course work in a planned counseling program for a total of 54 hours including their master’s degree in counseling. Hours approved in the planned program must be approved by the counseling program director or assigned advisor.

State of Kentucky Rank II and Rank I

The Kentucky Rank II credential will be recommended for the already teacher certified candidate seeking the 60 hour School Counseling degree upon completion of the first 33 hours from the degree program. Rank I is a 60 hour program and will be recommended upon completion of the 60 hour degree. Teachers who hold a Rank II and a previously earned Master’s degree may apply for Rank I at the accumulation of a minimum of sixty graduate semester hours; this includes the program of study below in addition to hours earned in first Master’s degree. Additionally, if a Master’s degree in School Counseling was previously earned, then Rank I can be granted upon completion of a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours of a planned program. Planned program in completed by student with program director or counseling faculty advisor to strengthen skills. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (KYEPSB) to apply for the certification. Contact the Kinesiology, Counseling, & Rehabilitative Sciences Graduate Office at counselored@nku.edu for questions on certification.

Standard School Guidance Certification and Rank I School Counseling Certification


The planned programs for standard or Rank I in counseling are created by the counseling student along with the school counseling program director or counseling faculty. These programs are tailored to each student based on their previous academic coursework, their experience as a counselor, their goals, improving their skill sets, and helping them gain new insights. Because these are planned programs specific to each situation, there is no “set” list of courses. Generally the counseling faculty select from COU 500 and 600 level courses. We do have curriculum contracts for these programs but they include a full list of classes in addition to blanks for other approved courses to be written in.

Admission

Requirements for admission to non-degree 6th year Rank I program. Requirements for standard certification as a non-degree graduate student are identical to Rank I admission requirements however, before a recommendation for standard can be made to KYEPSB the experience requirements as outlined in 16 KAR 3: 060

  1. Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3. 0 GPA
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  3. A copy of Rank II Kentucky teaching certificate or out-of state equivalent showing counseling certification
  4. Supplemental Counseling Application (essay only needs to address professional goals and type(s) of certification sought)
  5. Three recommendations from people qualified to evaluate the candidate’s academic and professional performance in the field of counseling on Counseling Recommendation form
  6. Up-to-date Resume
  7. Interview with the counseling program faculty; positive recommendation from the counseling faculty for acceptance to program. Interview will be waived if candidate graduated from the MA in School Counseling at NKU.

Exit Requirements


  1. Students will complete all coursework with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  2. Completion of all required courses used for the certification with a C or better.
  3. Signed Counselor Education Handbook Acknowledgment.
  4. Signed Codes of Ethics for Counselor Education Programs.
  5. Signed copy of Rank I/Standard in School Counseling curriculum contract.
  6. Students will complete all coursework following the academic policies of the university.
  7. A CA-1 form must be submitted to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (KYEPSB) to apply for the certification. Contact the Kinesiology, Counseling, & Rehabilitative Sciences Graduate Office at counselored@nku.edu for questions on certification.

Additional Information


Certifications are not automatic and must be initiated by the student.  Forms and processes of application for certification from Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (KYEPSB) are subject to change. For the most current application forms or processes go to the KYEPSB website (http://www.epsb.ky.gov) Contact the counseling graduate office for additional information on university recommendations for certification.

No Praxis Exams are required at this time for School Counseling Certification.

* Requirements and passing scores for teacher/educator certification are subject to change. For the most current PRAXIS II testing requirements, go to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board website (http://www.epsb.ky.gov) If you are certified/licensed or requesting certification/licensure in another state please check with your licensure board for your state testing regulations.