The Counseling program offers an M.A. in School Counseling for students whose academic backgrounds include educator preparation or certification as well as for those who do not. Students in the School Counseling program take coursework in the areas of human development, legal and ethical issues of the profession, career development, appraisal methods, counseling theories, group work, practicum and research, and program evaluation. Additional specialized courses focusing on school counseling are offered in areas such as internship, special populations, consultation, and professional development.
The School Counseling MA degree aligns its competencies and preparation standards with those of the Florida Department of Education and the American School Counseling National Model and competencies. Students who are not already certified teachers or taken educational preparation courses will be required to enroll in two additional courses and complete all subsections of the state FTCE exam to qualify for state certification.
Students are engaged in field-based activities during almost every enrollment. Students without prior training as teachers who wish to become certified school counseling professionals must complete additional courses in classroom management, curriculum and instruction, and reading.
As of Fall of 2016, students may elect to earn their MA degree in both specialty areas by applying for a dual major. These students will meet all requirements for both mental health counseling licensure and school counseling certification. Students take all common and specialty courses required for both programs and it will typically add a year or more to degree completion.
The Counseling Programs at FGCU have a long history of graduates in Southwest Florida dating back to 1991 through the USF at Fort Myers branch campus. In these last two decades, the program has grown and evolved to meet local and national needs and practices and has always provided its graduates with high levels of skill, professionalism, and integrity. Our Southwest Florida community has many opportunities to serve its children, adults and families in its schools, community agencies, advocacy groups, health care, and other providers of support and clinical services. Our faculty have varying expertise areas, research interests, and backgrounds as school and mental health counselors and often bring their professional experiences and research interests to the classroom to ensure that we create an engaging and realistic learning environment.
Check out this video about the FGCU school counseling program: