The Executive Program in School and Mental Health Counseling, M.S.Ed.
The Executive Program in School and Mental Health Counseling, M.S.Ed. is designed for working professionals embarking on careers as either school or mental health counselors. The program is organized around three distinct emphases: School Counseling Certification, Mental Health Counseling Licensure, and School and Mental Health Counseling Certification Plus Licensure.
- Emphasis I: School Counseling Certification. This emphasis is based on the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model and takes a comprehensive approach to training school counselors. Penn GSE's leadership in educational research, theoretical investigation, and practical training provides a resource-rich environment for future school counselors to absorb the profession's most current fund of knowledge. Degree candidates are prepared to meet the most difficult challenges in serving students, schools, and communities. Students completing all coursework and internship requirements for this emphasis are eligible for certification as a professional school counselor in the state of Pennsylvania and are well-positioned to earn similar certification in states across the country.
- Emphasis II: Mental Health Counseling Licensure. This emphasis prepares students to focus explicitly on mental health counseling and earn licensure as a professional counselor (LPC), with a specialization in counseling children, youth, and their families. Graduates who complete coursework and internship training for this emphasis seek positions in schools, residential treatment centers, and community agencies. The specialization in mental health counseling, including developmental and preventive interventions, makes graduates particularly attractive to schools and agencies that partner with schools. A subgroup of graduates from this program focus more extensively on young adults as they cope with the challenges of transitioning from school to work and career.
- Emphasis III: School and Mental Health Counseling Certification Plus Licensure. The joint emphasis on school and mental health counseling is designed for students who want to work as school counselors with advanced mental health counselor training and skills, or as mental health counselors with an officially recognized school counseling specialization. Students completing requirements for this emphasis must complete internship training for school counseling certification plus professional counseling licensure. Completing the internship training in both areas requires either committing more training hours per week during the second year of the program or continuing on for an extra semester or two following the second academic year of the program.
Using an executive-learning format, students earn their degree while maintaining their full-time employment by attending two years of monthly weekend classes and one week of intense study each summer. This model applies to all three areas of emphasis. Textbooks, instructional materials, and meals during weekend and summer sessions are included in the cost of tuition. The M.S.Ed. degree for the Executive Program in School and Mental Health Counseling requires 20 course units. The cohort-model program results in students who work closely with their peers through a sequentially structured curriculum of courses and field training. The instructional methods include an inquiry-based approach, engaged scholarship, and problem solving within context. Supervised field experiences are integral to the program.
A two-semester field placement, during each year in the program, provides the opportunity for students to learn and practice counseling skills in a professional and supportive environment. Students select placements from our online Site Placement website of high-quality training sites including mental health centers, schools, hospitals, and colleges. Students receive supervision both on-site and in a small seminar group format. In Year I, the Practicum placement requires a total of 100 hours in the field, usually a site commitment of 5 hours weekly. In Year II, the Internship placement can require from 300 to 600 hours in the field, based on the student's choice of program Emphasis. This commitment is usually 10-20 hour per week over the course of the year.
Students who are currently teachers or work in a mental health related site and wish to use their place of employment for the field training must secure approval both from their employers and the counseling program placement coordinator.
Application Requirements for the Executive Program in School and Mental Health Counseling, M.S.Ed.
- preferred, but not limited to, applicants with 2 years of experience working in a human services, or educational context
- Statement of Purpose, not to exceed 750 words, double-spaced, focusing on factors leading to application for the Executive Master’s program and applicant’s goals after completing the degree
- undergrad transcript(s)>
- master’s transcripts (when applicable)
- 3 letters of recommendation, (preferably two professional recommendations and one from professors with whom you have taken classes, if possible)
- TOEFL scores for International applicants.
(GRE scores are not required for admission.)
Application deadline for the July 2013 cohort is June 15, 2013.
Download the SMHC Planned Program of Study