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Professional School Counseling

What is a school counselor?

School counselors are professionals with a master’s degree or higher in school counseling or the substantial equivalent who are uniquely qualified to address the developmental needs of all students. Professional school counselors encourage their students’ academic, career, personal, and social development and help maximize their achievement.

School counselor

Professional school counselors are employed in all levels of education as well as in district supervisory and counselor education.

Is a certification currently required to practice school counseling?

Yes. All states require school counselors to hold state school counseling certification and to have completed a master’s degree. Some states require public school counselors to have both counseling and teaching certificates. State requirements may be updated frequently. It is best to check with the state education department for current requirements.
For Alabama, click here.
For Georgia, click here .
For Tennessee, click here.

What are the educational requirements to become a certified school counselor?

To be certified as a professional school counselor, an applicant must have received appropriate education and training in the following areas:

  • Human Growth and Development
  • Theories
  • Individual Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Social and Cultural Foundations
  • Testing/Appraisal
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Professional Orientation
  • Career Development
  • Supervised Practicum
  • Supervised Internship

How can this program help you become a professional school counselor?

The School Counseling Program at Southern Adventist University is approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Students who finish the program will have completed the educational requirements for certification outlined above.

What are the requirements for entering the school counseling program at Southern Adventist University?

Applicants must be graduates of an accredited four-year college with an overall grade point average of 3.25 or higher; students with an upper-division (300- and 400-level classes) of at least 2.75 may be considered for provisional admission. Applicants also need a written statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, a personal interview, a personality test, a self-assessment, and a background check. Required guidelines, instructions, and additional information are available from the Graduate Enrollment Counselor. A minimum of six semester hours in upper division psychology or behavioral science is expected, as well as a statistics course. However, the student can complete any deficiencies while enrolled in the program.

When are the courses offered, and at what cost?

Classes are generally held in the evening. Our graduate pricing per credit hour is very competitive. For tuition rates, visit the graduate studies finances page.

How long will it take to complete the program?

Full time students should be able to complete the program requirements within two years.

What is the job outlook for school counselors?

Employment for school counselors is expected to grow 12 percent between 2012 and 2022. The median annual wage for school and career counselors in May of 2012 was $53,610, or $60,560 for those serving in state, local, public and private elementary and secondary schools.1 For more information about the outlook for the profession, click here



1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, School and Career Counselors,
on the Internet at (visited August 07, 2014).  |  phone: 423.236.2765  |  fax: 423.236.1765  |  P.O. Box 370, Collegedale, TN 37315-0370