Online School Counseling Curriculum

The online Master of Arts in School Counseling program curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to work as social-justice-focused school counselors for P-12 students. Courses focus on how issues of identity, power, privilege, disability and discrimination affect students, both individually and as a school population. These courses will help graduates to form their own counselor identity, learning about themselves so they can better serve children and adolescents within schools in their communities.

Graduates of the program will complete 18 courses or 72 quarter credit hours, which can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. They will also complete a 100-hour practicum and 600-hour internship experience at a school near their community, as well as an optional immersion experience at the University of Denver campus.

Course Descriptions

Orientation to Professional Counseling & Ethical Practice – 4 credits

This course provides an introduction to the counseling profession, including an overview of legal, ethical and structural issues.

Basic Counseling Techniques – 4 credits

Basic counseling and interviewing skills; emphasis on building counseling relationships and facilitating client's self-exploration; skills of empathy, advanced empathy, self-disclosure, confrontation and immediacy. 

Counseling Theory – 4 credits

Basic counseling theories and philosophical principles as a foundation for professional training, including history, concepts, techniques and trends.

Research Methods and Program Evaluation – 4 credits

This course is designed to provide an introduction and overview of comprehensive program development and evaluation and research methods. The course will provide direction on the following topics: causation; research hypotheses; independent and dependent variables; sampling; internal and external validity; experimental, quasi-experimental, single-subject, causal-comparative and correlational designs; measurement and data collection procedures; types of instrumentation; and methods for determining reliability.

Roles & Responsibilities of the School Counselor – 4 credits

This course will provide an in-depth study into the roles and responsibilities of a school counselor, including counselor, consultant, coordinator and educational leader. Strategies for increasing collaboration among stakeholders and increasing parent involvement will be included. Students will understand the role of the school counselor as an educational leader and advocate for social justice in the school setting. 

Lifespan Development – 4 credits

Survey of the principles of development from conception to adulthood, emphasizing biological, environmental and cultural factors affecting development.

Group Counseling Theory – 4 credits

This course is designed to introduce graduate counseling students to group counseling theory, research and practice. This course will focus on group theory and research but will also provide instruction and experiences in a variety of group techniques. The course is designed for students in counseling psychology, school psychology and other related fields who work with persons in a group context. This course focuses on the entire age range from children, adolescents and adults, aiming to define therapeutic groups broadly. Students will learn about group theory, research and techniques through class lectures and discussion, group demonstrations, video recordings on group topics, reading assignments, a group presentation, an experiential task group, a required paper related to the task group presentation and other required assignments. 

Diversity: Multicultural Counseling Psychosocial Issues

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of multicultural and social justice issues in the United States. While this is not a skills training course, implications for multicultural counseling skills will also be discussed. Issues and concepts related to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and social class will be examined within a framework of privilege and oppression. This course is designed to present a general introduction to multicultural and social justice issues as well as culturally responsive counseling. Due to the extensive amount of material in this area, only some selected issues and topics will be presented. Students interested in gaining more specific or in-depth knowledge of topics covered in this class may pursue the 1-credit Counseling Psychology Diversity Seminars offered in the Counseling Psychology Program. Significant emphasis will also be placed on experiential learning and the application of students’ awareness and knowledge accrued throughout the quarter.

Comprehensive School Counseling Programs – 4 credits

This course will provide students with a framework for developing a comprehensive school counseling program in order to meet the development needs of students in the domains of academic achievement, personal/social development and career development. Students will become familiar with the American School Counselor Association’s National Model and the use of data to inform programmatic decision-making. The course is designed to provide students with practical experience in needs assessment, program development and implementation, and program evaluation. 

Introduction to Assessment – 4 credits

This course is designed to give students an introduction to the essentials of psychological testing, assessment and report utilization. This course will provide students with exposure to basic objective tests, projective tests, personality tests and other diagnostic techniques.

School Counseling Practicum – 4 credits

A minimum of 100 hours supervised practice for students in the Master of Arts in School Counseling program. Students must be supervised by a licensed school counselor. Enforced prerequisites: CNP 4740 with a minimum grade of C. 

Educational Strategies and Policies for School Counselors – 4 credits

This course will provide an overview of the history and current issues in legislation and government policy relevant to school counseling. In addition, it will provide training in learning theories, applied behavioral principles, curriculum and instructional strategies, and classroom management to prepare the school counselor for working with a diverse student population.

Counseling Children, Adolescents and the Family – 4 credits

Introduction to counseling children and adolescents, with considerations related to counseling within the family system. Includes survey of major theories, research and techniques. 

School Counselor Interventions and Strategies – 4 credits

This course focuses on developmentally appropriate evidence-based interventions and strategies used in a school setting to support and promote academic achievement and postsecondary success. Intervention strategies for common behavioral and social issues that occur in school will be presented, as well as culturally competent strategies for working with students and their families.

Mental Health & Substance Use – 4 credits

This course covers the identification and treatment of psychological disorders and substance abuse across the life span. Special emphasis will be placed on the signs and symptoms in children who are at risk of developing or living in an environment impacted by these disorders. Information will be provided on the effect of common medications on learning, behavior and mood.

Career Counseling – 4 credits

This course is designed to facilitate student development of knowledge, skills and competencies to engage in counseling clients with career issues; utilize occupational/career resources, including technology-based resources and assessments; examine theories of career development and decision-making; develop the ability to evaluate and implement appropriate assessments; collaborate with clients in identifying personal and career goals; and organize and implement program planning and techniques and do so in a diversity of work settings. Lab fee required. 

School Counseling Internship I – 4 credits

A minimum of 300 hours supervised field practice in a school setting for students in the Master of Arts in School Counseling program—with weekly seminar. Students must be supervised by a licensed school counselor. 

School Counseling Internship II – 4 credits

A minimum of 300 hours supervised field practice in a school setting for students in the Master of Arts in School Counseling program—with weekly seminar. Students must be supervised by a licensed school counselor.