Master of Arts in School Counseling

Learn the skills and reality-based experience to assist students with personal, social, academic and career concerns at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The School Counseling graduate program through Gardner-Webb is CACREP accredited and will prepare you for licensure as a professional school counselor.


  • Gardner-Webb University (Boiling Springs campus)


What You’ll Learn

In addition to studying basic counseling theory, philosophy and trends, you will develop your critical thinking and decision-making skills. Through classroom and school-based practicum and internship experiences, you will deepen your appreciation of diversity, demonstrate your knowledge of ethical and legal practices, and broaden your understanding of the educational process within school environments.

Program Objectives

  1. In keeping with the standards of relevant accrediting bodies and professional counseling associations, graduate students will participate in curricular experiences in each of the following areas: professional orientation and ethical practice; social and cultural diversity; human growth and development; career development; counseling and helping relationships; group counseling and group work; assessment and testing; and research and program evaluation.
  2. In keeping with the standards of relevant accrediting bodies, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and professional counseling associations, graduate students will demonstrate knowledge and skills appropriate to beginning counselors in each of the following areas of school counseling: foundations, contextual dimensions, and practice.
  3. Supported by self-reflective practices, graduate students will demonstrate the acquisition and application of the knowledge and skills outlined above in appropriate school-based practicum and internship experiences.

Student Learning Outcomes

SC-SLO 1a:      Identify and develop professional and ethical behaviors consistent with those defined and demonstrated within professional counseling associations (i.e. ACA, AAMFT, ASCA, AMCD).

SC-SLO 1b:     Examine the cultural contexts of relationships, issues, and trends in a multicultural society and generate therapeutic conceptualizations and interventions.

SC-SLO 1c:      Examine the nature and needs of persons at all developmental levels and generate appropriate therapeutic conceptualizations and interventions.

SC-SLO 1d:     Evaluate career development and related life factors as part of clinical assessment of clients’ therapeutic needs.

SC-SLO 1e:      Evaluate the counseling process for diverse client populations and demonstrate helping skills needed for successful professional practice.

SC-SLO 1f:      Examine and apply theoretical and experiential understandings of group process as a means of promoting therapeutic change.

SC-SLO 1g:      Examine and apply individual and group approaches to assessment.

SC-SLO 1h:     Examine and apply research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation.

SC-SLO 2a:      Demonstrate understanding of the history and development of the school counseling profession and current models of program design, including attention to comprehensive career development, school-based collaboration and consultation, and P-12 specific assessments.

SC-SLO 2b:     Demonstrate understanding of the effective and ethical functioning of school counselors in their varied roles in serving the academic and mental health needs of students.

SC-SLO 2c:       Demonstrate understanding of the elements of school counseling program development that contribute to the effective provision of competent counseling services to P-12 students.

SC-SLO 3:        Demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of all P-12 students.

Available Programs

Master of Arts in School Counseling

The Accelerated Master of Arts in School Counseling (SC) program allows undergraduate students to begin work in the MA SC degree program while completing their undergraduate degree in psychology at GWU.  

Qualified students may apply for admission to the Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) in SC upon registration for a cumulative 90 hours. 

Students enrolled in this program can take up to four graduate courses (12 hours) toward the SC degree while completing their final fall and spring semesters of an undergraduate degree in psychology at GWU. If they earn a grade of B (3.0) or better in each graduate course, twelve hours of graduate courses will count in both the undergraduate and the graduate programs. 

For a more in-depth look at program requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.

Seamless admission requirements for acceptance into the SC Graduate Program:

Students admitted to AMP-SC program who achieve a 3.0 GPA or better in their graduate-level courses, maintain at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and meet year-end evaluation criteria will be granted admission to the SC program upon receiving their Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree and completion of the following additional admission requirements.

  • Demonstrate completion of their undergraduate degree.

  • In addition to the one positive reference letter already submitted during the AMP application process, additional documented positive assessment from program faculty to determine readiness.

  • Proof of a satisfactory criminal background check for all states of residence within the past 5 years with a residence verification statement.

The requirements for the role of counselor are both personal and intellectual. Thus, program faculty review completed application materials and consider applicants’ readiness for counseling training based on these criteria. Applicants who meet both the personal and academic requirements of the program will be admitted.


What You’ll Do

The School Counseling program prepares graduate students to fulfill the roles of school counselors in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

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