Do you have a desire to work in a helping relationship? Are you interested in helping others improve the quality of their lives as they learn to effectively deal with a variety of issues through a collaborative relationship?

East Carolina University's counselor education program allows students to work closely with faculty as they learn and grow as professional counselors. The counselor education program places strong emphasis on students' development of professional identity as counselors, providing academic learning opportunities in core curriculum including theory, techniques and assessment and specialty training in three professional specialization areas: professional school counseling, student affairs and college counseling, and clinical mental health counseling. The program offers graduate students who come from varied undergraduate backgrounds, an opportunity to explore and develop their own personal styles and approaches to professional counseling.

Students will study in classrooms wired with the latest technology, as well as in the McClammy Counseling Laboratory as they learn about the profession. Students will engage in a variety of learning experiences as they seek to apply content to practice through a variety of courses, assignments, and experiential learning opportunities. In addition, students will gain leadership, collaboration, and helping skills as they become immersed in the field. In addition to a student's classroom experiences, he or she is encouraged to become an active member in the profession through professional association involvement (i.e, presentations, publications, etc.) and leadership positions.

ECU Advantage

East Carolina University's counselor education program offers students the opportunity to be trained by faculty who are active and engaged nationally in the profession. Faculty encourage students to develop counseling styles that best suit them while also best meeting the needs of clients. Students in the counselor education program are able to select and focus on one professional specialization while also learning about the other various settings in which counselors work. In addition, students enjoy the flexibility to design elective studies to best suit their career interests.

Our alumni have gone on to enjoy successful careers in a variety of counseling settings, and many of them have received state and national awards for their service and expertise.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Kylie Dotson-Blake (219 Ragsdale Hall; 252-328-5277; blakek@ecu.edu)

Students majoring in counselor education must complete a minimum of 60 s.h., including 45 s.h. of core research, theory and practical courses, and 15 s.h. of electives from education, psychology, sociology, human environmental sciences, or health according to the student's needs as approved by the advisor. The program includes common core curricular experiences in eight areas: professional orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment and research and program evaluation. Additionally, students choose a professional specialization: clinical mental health counseling, school counseling or student affairs and college counseling. Individualized programs of course work will be designed to promote the competencies required of counselors in the professional specialization chosen by students. The program also includes clinical practicum and internship experiences to promote professional development. A departmental interview will be required for admission.

Required courses:
  • COAD 6400 - Introduction to Counseling and Human Services
  • COAD 6401 - Analysis of the Individual
  • COAD 6402 - Career Development and Counseling
  • COAD 6404 - Counseling Theory and Techniques
  • COAD 6405 - Group Procedures
  • COAD 6407 - Social and Cultural Issues in Counseling
  • COAD 6409 - Counseling Skills and Techniques
  • COAD 6412 - Developmental Counseling and Learning: A Life-Span Approach
  • COAD 6414 - Family Approaches in Professional Counseling
  • COAD 6482 - Supervised Counseling Practicum
  • COAD 6991 - Counseling Internship I
  • COAD 6992 - Counseling Internship II
  • COAD 7408 - Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • COAD 7480 - Research Methods and Design in Counseling (EDUC 6480 or ADED 6491 may be substituted for 7480)
  • Choose one professional specialization course from:
    • COAD 6406 - Counseling in Schools
    • COAD 6411 - Student Affairs and College Counseling
    • COAD 6415 - Clinical Mental Health Counseling
For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

Careers With This Degree

Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

  • Counselor Education/School Counseling & Guidance Services
  • Educational, Vocational and School Counselors
  • Counselor Education/School Counseling & Guidance Services

Career Opportunities

ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

NC Tower

This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

  • Self-employed;
  • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
  • Work outside of North Carolina.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

Degree-specific internships

For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.