The master's program is developmental in nature and attracts students interested in working in a variety of educational and human service settings. Students enter the master's program to focus on one of the following specialization areas: School counseling, clinical mental health counseling, or student affairs and college counseling.
The mission of the Counselor Education program at East Carolina University is to promote human development and learning by preparing professional counselors to assist children, adolescents, and adults with educational, career, social, and personal decisions. Begun in 1951, the master's of science degree (M.S.) in Counselor Education is the beginning level program for people wanting to enter the counseling profession.
The program of study is approved by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction in accordance with competencies required for a school counselor license, and the College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The master's program in counselor education satisfies the educational requirements for graduates to be eligible to sit for the National Counselor's Examination (NCE) and to apply for a license with the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).
The Counselor Education program offers an overview of many theories of practice and encourages students to develop personal styles and approaches to professional helping. A key feature of the program is the flexibility given to students to design elective study to suit their career interests. Faculty members represent diverse theoretical orientations, counseling experiences, and research interests. All full-time faculty hold doctorates in Counselor Education or counseling psychology.
Presently, the Counselor Education program admits students for the summer and fall terms. Applications for both summer and fall admissions are due by February 1st.
Competitive Process – Admission into graduate programs is a competitive process. Having strong scores and high GPAs does not guarantee an applicant admission into the Counselor Education program. Not everyone who applies is granted admission into the program and the Counselor Education faculty make final decisions regarding those applicants who are admitted into the program.
Newly admitted students are asked to complete COAD 6400-Introduction to Counseling and Human Services, COAD 6404-Counseling Theories, and COAD 6409-Counseling Skills and Techniques, early in their program to make appropriate progress towards graduation. Student progress is reviewed by counselor education faculty as part of continued matriculation through the program.
Application for admission to the Graduate School is made on forms furnished by the Graduate School. All applicants for admissions pay a nondeductible, non-refundable fee. The application form and all supporting documents should be received by the Graduate School, Ragsdale Building, (252) 328-6012. The online application can be found at http://www.ecu.edu/gradschool/
Masters degree in counselor education, the deadline for applications is February 1st for both summer and fall terms. Applicants are asked to furnish official transcripts from each institution attended since high school, test scores from the MAT or GRE, and at least three letters of recommendation. Once the application is complete and has been forwarded by the Graduate School to the Counselor Education program, the applicant will be contacted about completing a writing sample and interview. Links to the application may be found by visiting the website for the East Carolina University Graduate School.
The Master of Science in Counselor Education requires a minimum of 60 semester hours, including 45 hours of core course work and 15 hours of electives. A thesis is optional. Students must pass a Counselor Education Comprehensive Examination to complete degree requirements.
The counselor education program qualifies students for different licenses depending on the requirements fulfilled. There are two licenses available with a master's degree in counselor education. One is a license as a school counselor, which is received from the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction. Graduates of the M.S. in counselor education who have fulfilled requirements for school counselor license are eligible to apply for an "M" license.
The other license available to graduates of the counselor education program is the LPCA (Licensed Professional Counselor Associate), which is governed by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors.
Students seeking school counselor license through the Counselor Education program at East Carolina University follow one of two routes depending on their individual situation:
I. Full master's degree program for students with an undergraduate degree or with a non-counseling master's degree. The counselor education program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate course work in prescribed areas leading to the master's degree. Successful completion of the program, including electives appropriate for school counseling, and a passing score on the Praxis School Guidance and Counseling Specialty Exam are needed to qualify for a school counselor license.
II. Students who already possess a Masters degree in either Community/Agency Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling should contact their local office of the Regional Alternative Licensing Center (RALC – http://www.ralc.us/) who will review their transcript. The Department of Higher Adult and Counselor Education is pleased to offer three of the courses that RALC often requires, which include the following:
These courses are typically offered online once per year. Once you receive your plan of study from RALC, you would need to apply to East Carolina University Graduate School as a non-degree student.
For more information about this process, please click on the following link for a more detailed explanation: http://www.ralc.us
A bill passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1994 created a Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors. The counselor education master's program qualifies students with 54 semester hours (students beginning graduate coursework prior to June 1, 2013 must complete 60 semester hours) to sit for the licensing examination (NCE, National Counselor Examination). Application must be made to the North Carolina LPC Board. For information call (844) 622-3572 or (336) 217-6007 or www.ncblpc.org.
The counseling profession consists of practitioners who work in educational, mental health, healthcare facilities, and other settings to help people make decisions, solve problems, establish or improve relationships, and reach life goals. Although professional counselors work in different settings with seemingly dissimilar missions, they are united by an understanding and command of basic helping skills and a common knowledge of approaches to counseling, human development, measurement and assessment, and psychological, social and cultural theories.
Major professional associations include the American Counseling Association (ACA), its 17 divisions, and its state chapters. Some of the prominent divisions of the ACA are the American School Counselor Association (ASCA); American College Counseling Association; American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA); the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC); and the National Career Development Association.
The counselor education program at East Carolina University provides a foundation in counseling theory, helping skills, assessment, and developmental theories. It offers graduate students, who come from varied undergraduate backgrounds, an opportunity to study and develop their own personal style and approach to professional counseling. Students are encouraged to focus their elective study on course work that best meets their career interests. The program has three career options that include: school counseling, counseling in higher education, and clinical mental health counseling.
All Counselor Education students enrolled in practicum or internship must be supervised by an appropriately credentialed site supervisor. The Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education has designed a Counselor Education Supervisor Training Site, which is intended for potential site supervisors, but hopefully is also useful to all counseling professionals hoping to serve as supervisors of counselors-in-training.