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Master of Education/Educational Specialist Degrees in Counselor Education

M.Ed. / Ed.S. Counselor Education

M.Ed. / Ed.S.
Counselor Education

Clemson University Education Masters Degree in Counselor EducationThe Clemson University Masters in Counselor Education is a CACREP accredited programThe faculty of the Counselor Education Program is dedicated to educating counselors as scholar practitioners who can effectively serve diverse populations. We prepare counselors who also seek opportunities to engage in outreach and advocacy through collaborative partnerships. The program provides opportunities for students to apply theory, research, knowledge, and skills through experiential learning, with an emphasis on wellness, prevention, and intervention. 

The counselor education program offers a 60-credit hour CACREP-accredited master of education degree with specializations in clinical mental health counseling or school counseling. The program also offers a 30-credit hour educational specialist degree in counselor education. Please see the Counselor Education Program Handbook for general information, or the tabs below for details about each program.

Students may complete the program on a part-time or full-time basis. The full-time program can be completed in two years, including summers. All students must complete the program in six years. Courses are taught in the evenings, Monday through Thursday, with most starting at 5:00. Approximately half of the courses are taught at Clemson University and the other half at the University Center in Greenville during each semester. All students will need to travel back and forth to both locations, and carpooling is encouraged. Most students tend to live in Clemson or Greenville. The program does not offer online classes.

Faculty

The program and faculty reside in the Department of Education and Human Development. Current program faculty include Dr. Amy Milsom (School Counseling Program Coordinator), Dr. Corrine Sackett (Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Coordinator), Dr. Amanda RumseyDr. Jennifer HallDr. David Scott, and Dr. Elaine Hiott.

Counselor Education Program Objectives

  1. Students will develop and demonstrate a professional counseling identity
  2. Students will exhibit self-reflection and self-awareness and demonstrate professional growth
  3. Students will exhibit critical thinking skills
  4. Students will apply culturally sensitive counseling, career, and human development theories to individual and group counseling practice
  5. Students will identify and use counseling interventions and techniques that are grounded in research
  6. Students will identify processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination and avenues for advocacy
  7. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to identify and use culturally relevant assessment strategies
  8. Students will identify opportunities and processes for collaborating and consulting
  9. Students will acquire knowledge and skills in their counseling specialty area

Information about recently admitted and graduated students (e.g., admissions data, job placement) are available via these links: Clinical Mental Health Counseling Student Outcomes and School Counseling Student Outcomes. Please also see the Counselor Education Program Annual Report.

Students completing the MEd specialization in clinical mental health counseling can find employment working with children, adults and/or families in any number of settings, including but not limited to: mental health counseling agencies, behavioral health settings, addiction treatment centers, group homes, residential treatment centers, hospitals and private practice settings. 

The following courses are required for the 60-credit specialization in clinical mental health counseling: 

EDC 8050 Clinical Mental Health Counseling
EDC 8100 Theories/Techniques of Counseling 
EDC 8110 Multicultural Counseling 
EDC 8120 Career Counseling
EDC 8130 Assessment in Counseling
EDC 8140 Development of Counseling Skills
EDC 8150 Group Counseling
EDC 8160 Introduction to Couples and Family Counseling
EDC 8170 Crisis Counseling 
EDC 8180 Psychopathology for Counselors
EDC 8210 Counseling Psychodiagnosis
EDC 8220 Addictions Counseling
EDC 8230 Advanced Counseling Techniques and Strategies
EDC 8250 Counseling Across the Lifespan 
EDL 8390 Research in Educational Leadership

In addition to the coursework and field experience requirements, during their final year in the program students must successfully complete a written final examination.

More Information about Field Experiences
Through the two field experiences courses (i.e., practicum and internship) listed above, students must complete a minimum of 700 hours in mental health settings.

Download a current version of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Field Experience Manual

Practicum involves students completing 100 hours in a mental health setting. This equates to approximately one day a week, or two half-days a week, for an entire semester. The purpose of practicum is to learn about the setting and to begin developing skills in individual and group counseling. Of the 100 hours, students must accumulate 40 by providing direct services to clients.

Internship involves students completing 600 hours in mental health settings. The purpose of the internship is to further develop skills. The internship is to be completed over the course of two semesters, so students will register for two separate six-credit classes of EDC 8460 during back-to-back semesters. During each six-credit class, students are required to accumulate 300 hours at their sites, with a minimum of 120 direct hours per semester. These 300 hours equate to approximately two and a half days a week, or five half-days a week, for an entire semester.

It is very difficult for individuals to be employed full-time in a 9-5 type job during the internship and successfully complete their internship requirements, as most agencies require interns be there during daytime hours.

Licensure

Students completing the MEd specialization in clinical mental health counseling will be eligible to pursue the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential upon graduation. 

Clemson University Master of Education - School Counseling SpecializationStudents completing the MEd specialization in school counseling are prepared to work as school counselors in P-12 settings. In addition to developing counseling skills, they will be prepared to work effectively with diverse populations, to engage in data-driven practices, and to be leaders and advocates in their schools. They also will demonstrate an ability to collaborate with teachers, administrators, parents, and other members of the community. 

The following courses are required for the 60-credit specialization in school counseling:
EDC 8010 Foundations of School Counseling 


EDC 8100 Theories/Techniques of Counseling 


EDC 8110 Multicultural Counseling 


EDC 8120 Career Counseling 


EDC 8130 Assessment in Counseling


EDC 8140 Development of Counseling Skills 


EDC 8150 Group Counseling 

EDC 8180 Psychopathology for Counselors
EDC 8250 Counseling Across the Lifespan


EDC 8500 Collaborative School Counseling 
EDC 8510 Leadership in School Counseling
EDL 8390 Research in Educational Leadership 


EDSP 8530 Legal and Policy Issues in Special Education 



Approved Electives (six credits) 


EDC 8300 School Counseling Practicum 


EDC 8410 School Counseling Internship (two semesters)

In addition to the coursework and field experience requirements, during their final year in the program students must successfully complete a written final examination and receive a passing score on the PRAXIS II Exam in Professional School Counseling. 


More Information about Field Experiences
Through the two field experiences courses (i.e., practicum and internship) listed above, students must complete a minimum of 700 hours working with school counselors in K-12 settings. The faculty encourages (but does not require) students to complete their field experiences in different building levels to increase their understanding of K-12 school counseling programs. The faculty require students to complete at least one of their field experiences in a diverse school. The Upstate South Carolina area boasts very diverse schools (e.g., ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status), and the faculty are committed to helping students gain experience with populations that will help facilitate their readiness to work effectively with a variety of students and families.

Download a current version of the School Counseling Program Field Experience Manual

Practicum involves students completing 100 hours in a school. This equates to approximately one day a week, or two half-days a week, for an entire semester. Students must arrange their work schedules to allow for at least half-days at their sites and must be at their sites throughout the course of an entire semester. The purpose of practicum is to learn about the school setting and to begin developing counseling skills. Of the 100 hours, students must accumulate 40 by providing direct services to students (i.e., individual or group counseling, or classroom lessons).

The internship involves students completing 600 hours in a school. The purpose of the internship is to further develop skills in individual and group counseling and classroom lessons, as well as to practice consultation skills by actively working with teachers and parents. Students are placed in K-12 schools and they can choose the building levels they would like. The internship is to be completed over the course of two semesters, so students will register for two separate six-credit classes of EDC 8410 during back-to-back semesters. During each six-credit class, students are required to accumulate 300 hours at their sites, with a minimum of 120 direct hours per semester. This 300 hours equates to approximately two and a half days a week, or five half-days a week, for an entire semester. Students must arrange their work schedules to allow for at least half-days at their sites (i.e., it is not acceptable for hours to be accumulated in a piecemeal manner, with an hour or two here and there) and must be at their sites throughout the course of an entire semester.

It is not possible for individuals to be employed full-time in a school setting in a position other than school counselor (e.g., teacher, school-based mental health counselor) during their internship and successfully complete the internship requirements.

Certification
Students completing the MEd specialization in school counseling will become eligible for starting salaries at the master's + 30, or EdS., pay level. Graduates are eligible for certification in South Carolina as elementary and secondary school counselors. Students moving to other states usually have little difficulty pursuing certification, as our program requirements are comparable to requirements in most states. Furthermore, through careful selection of elective courses during their program, students can complete all coursework necessary to pursue the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential in South Carolina after graduation.

The EdS degree in counselor education is designed for individuals who already possess a master’s degree in counselor education (preferably from a CACREP-accredited program) consisting of a minimum of 48 credit hours. Most EdS applicants desire to add a different specialization to their existing degree, while some just want to further their knowledge and skills in counseling. Students entering this program must choose either a school counseling emphasis or a mental health counseling emphasis. 

All students enrolled in the EdS degree must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours. Courses that were completed as part of a previous degree program may NOT count toward the 30 credits. Most students will complete the program on a part-time basis, taking one or two classes per semester, including summers. All students must complete the program in six years. Courses are taught in the evenings, Monday through Thursday, at either the University Center in Greenville or on Clemson’s campus. 

EdS School Counseling Emphasis
Individuals choosing this emphasis typically are interested in completing requirements for school counseling certification or in advancing their knowledge and skills in school counseling to be eligible for salaries at the master’s +30/EdS pay rate. Students in this emphasis will choose courses as follows:

  • Complete any of the courses currently required for school counselor certification (see Master of Education - School Counseling Specialization tab) that they have not previously completed.
  • Take elective courses approved by the advisor and based on the student’s professional goals.

EdS Mental Health Counseling Emphasis
Individuals choosing this emphasis typically are interested in completing requirements for counselor licensure (i.e., LPC) or in advancing their knowledge and skills in mental health counseling. Students in this emphasis will choose courses as follows:

  • Complete any of the courses currently required for the master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling (see Master of Education - Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization tab) that they have not previously completed.
  • Take elective courses approved by the advisor and based on the student’s professional goals.

Applicants for the counselor education program are only reviewed once a year for consideration for admission into the program. Students admitted into the clinical mental health counseling specialization will start classes in the fall, and students admitted into the school counseling specializations will start classes during the summer mini D session (see academic calendar).

The application deadline is January 15 – and by this date ALL application materials (see required documents below) must be submitted. Application files that are complete by the deadline will be screened, and individuals who pass the initial screening will be invited to a group interview sometime early-mid February. Final decisions will be made after interviews are completed, typically near the beginning of March.

The counselor education program faculty seeks to admit a diverse applicant pool, and we review applicant files comprehensively. We try to admit 15-18 students per year in each specialization, and we have a very competitive admissions process. The stronger your application, the better chance you have of being offered admission. The applicant pool varies from year to year, so it is not possible for us to convey specifics regarding test scores or other factors. Tips for applying to each specialization are shared below.

In general, we want to admit students who have the potential to succeed in graduate school. Strong applicants show evidence of academic success (e.g., undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or above), especially in related coursework; potential for success in graduate school (e.g., evidenced by GPA, GRE scores and recommendation letters); and analytical thinking skills (e.g., analytical writing section of the GRE). We do not require any GRE Subject tests.

The counselor education program does not accept transfer students per se. That is, individuals who have started working on a graduate degree in counselor education at another institution must apply to this program in the same way as any applicant. Clemson can accept up to 12 graduate course credits from another institution. Transfer courses must meet the requirements of a Clemson graduate course and have been taken within six years from the date you will complete your graduate degree. See the Counselor Education Transfer Credit Policy for more information.

Required Documents:

  • Online Application (including essays)
  • Official GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing scores)
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students
  • Unofficial transcripts (Official transcripts will be required if recommended for admission).
  • Two letters of recommendation (from professional references or professors)

The application process can be started by clicking the Apply Now link on the Graduate School website. Most materials can be submitted online, but any supporting materials must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions so that they can be officially processed and added to your file: Office of Graduate Admissions, Clemson University, E-209 Martin Hall, Clemson, SC 29634.

Tips for Applying to the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization

In addition to possessing academic potential, applicants ideally should have some background in psychology, social work, sociology, or a related area. Priority will be given to individuals who possess some knowledge of mental health issues through prior coursework, research experience, and/or volunteer or paid work experiences.

We also look for individuals who have an ability to work well with others and a desire to become culturally competent. Application essay questions provide an opportunity for applicants to address these areas, and the interview process allows faculty to explore these areas further.

Finally, we expect applicants to have some knowledge of clinical mental health counseling and to be able to articulate what, in particular, about the profession interests them, especially in comparison to other related mental health professions (like social work, psychology, etc.). Applicants are encouraged to chat with or briefly shadow people who are currently working as mental health counselors, and to explore the differences between counselors, psychologists and social workers. More information about mental health counseling can be found through the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Tips for Applying to the School Counseling Specialization

The school counseling program admits students from a variety of majors and backgrounds. It can be helpful for applicants to have completed some coursework in areas such as psychology, lifespan development, or education, but we do not require any prerequisite coursework or prioritize any specific undergraduate degrees during the application process. We do look for certain characteristics that we believe to be important, which are outlined below.

In addition to possessing academic potential, applicants must enjoy working with children and adolescents. We look for individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to children and adolescents through their own recent volunteer or paid experiences – and we love to read in your application essays about experiences that led you to want to work with kids. 

Working as a school counselor no longer means only working one-on-one and in small groups with students (although those things still are important parts of the job). Today's school counselors are leaders in their schools and advocates for students. They possess effective counseling skills, are collaborative, and are able to work effectively with diverse populations. As such, we also look for individuals who have demonstrated leadership skills as well as an ability to work well with others and a desire to become culturally competent. We love receiving recommendation letters from individuals who can speak from first-hand experience to those characteristics, as well as to your work ethic.

Finally, we expect applicants to have some knowledge of school counseling and to be able to articulate what, in particular, about the profession interests them. Applicants are encouraged to chat with or briefly shadow people who are currently working as school counselors, and to explore what the job is like at various building levels. It helps us to know what aspects of the profession excite you and in what ways you view yourself as a good fit for school counseling.

More information about school counseling can be found through the American School Counselor Association.

Applicants can review information about tuition and fees for our program. Please also see the Financial Aid website for up-to-date information regarding financial aid options, and contact that office directly with questions. A limited number of graduate assistantships are available each year through our department and other locations on campus, and they tend to be competitive. Assistantships are available to full-time students (enrolled in at least nine credit hours per semester) and typically require a 20-hour per week work commitment. The work assignments will vary depending on the assistantship. Students who obtain these positions will receive an extensive tuition reduction as well as a monthly stipend. Funding for these positions usually does not become finalized until the summer months, so it is difficult to know how many opportunities might be available until the summer. Applicants interested in assistantships should discuss this with the Program Coordinator upon receiving an offer of admission.

Additional fees associated with the counselor education program include:

For clinical mental health counseling:

  • One-time purchase of a Chalk and Wire account for student artifact management and assessment (approx. $100)
  • Liability insurance during practicum and internship (student rate approximately $100 per year — will need two years)
  • Cost to apply for the National Counselor Certification (NCC) and to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) orto take the National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam (NCMHCE) is $355. Depending on the state, one of these exams will be required for LPC licensure.

For school counseling: 

  • One-time purchase of a Chalk and Wire account for student artifact management and assessment (approx. $100)
  • Application fee for school counselor certification, including fingerprinting (approximately $160)
  • Membership in American School Counselor Association during practicum and internship for liability insurance purposes (student rate $69 per year — will need two years)
  • Fee to take the Praxis examination in school counseling prior to graduation ($120)

Graduation

2017 School Counseling Graduates"
2017 School Counseling Graduates
2018 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduates"
2018 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduates

 

Employment Outcomes

100% of the 2018 clinical mental health counseling graduates found employment in hospitals, mental health and behavioral health agencies, non-profit organizations, and specialized treatment centers.

100% of the 2017-18 school counseling graduates found jobs as elementary, middle, or high school counselors.

Conferences

Palmetto State School Counselor Association conference
Palmetto State School Counselor Association Conference
Palmetto State School Counselor Association conference
Palmetto State School Counselor Association Conference

 

CMHC students at the 2018 COE Research Forum
CMHC students at the 2018 COE Research Forum
2018 American College Counseling Association conference
2018 American College Counseling Association Conference

 

For more information, please fill out this form or visit the Clemson University Graduate School website. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact Julie Jones.