School Counseling

Welcome and thank you for visiting our professional school counseling program website. Included you will find general information about the School Counseling Program at the University of Central Arkansas. In addition, you will find links to faculty webpages, information for prospective students, the University of Central Arkansas, Graduate school website for application, the Department of Leadership studies helpful hints for online learning, and other important information to assist you in choosing the right educational experience for your professional goals. Please browse our website and contact any of our primary program faculty if you have questions or want further assistance.

Program Description

The Master of Science degree in School Counseling (SCCN) is designed to prepare individuals for school counseling programs in K-12 settings and as members of school leadership teams. The program is approved by the Arkansas Department of Education. Candidates must be admitted to one of two tracks: An Add-On Track for those who hold a valid Arkansas teaching license and seek to add this license to their teaching license and the Initial License Track for those who do not hold a valid Arkansas teaching license. The program of study consists of 48 semester hours including practicum and internship field experiences. The program is offered in an online format that includes primarily synchronous class sessions with occasional asynchronous and face-to-face sessions at the UCA main campus in Conway, AR.

There are two tracks available to gaining licensure as a professional school counselor in Arkansas. This program prepares students in each track:

Initial Licensure Track – Prepares individuals without an Arkansas teaching license to become professional school counselors

Add-on Licensure Track– Prepares those individuals that possess an Arkansas teaching license for additional licensure in the area of professional school counseling

Professional school counselors provide comprehensive school counseling services at public and private educational institutions. These services are focused on the career, social/emotional, and academic development of students. Professional school counselors employ leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and systemic change to enhance learning for all children.

On-campus requirements for the School Counseling program can be found on the Program of Study linked here.

Primary School Counseling Program Faculty Links

Dr. Valerie Couture       vcouture@uca.edu

Additional Program Faculty

Dr. Na Mi Bang

Dr. Sonya Marsh

Admission Requirements: Both Tracks (full admission)

Both Tracks (full admission)

  1. Meet the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School.
  2. Provide two professional references.
  3. Provide a statement of intent (purpose for becoming a school counselor).
  4. If requested, submit supporting evidence to document professional accomplishments potential. This evidence may be documented via letters of recommendations and/or personal interviews.

Retention Requirements: Both Tracks

Retention is contingent upon making satisfactory academic progress toward the degree. Violations of the state ethics mandates for P–12 educators, and/or violations of UCA student academic conduct policies may result in suspension or dismissal from the program.

Initial Licensure Track

  1. Complete and submit results from an appropriate background check either prior to enrolling or before the first course requiring a field experience. Contact the Department of Leadership Studies for information on the appropriate screening process. A minimal cost is associated with this screening.
  2. Submit a competitive standardized test score that meets accreditation and/or licensure requirements. Candidates entering the Initial Licensure track must submit scores on either the GRE (if taken within the last five years) or the Praxis Core exams. The minimum scores on these two tests are set by the Arkansas Department of Education. Currently, the minimum scores are as follows: GRE: Verbal – 142, Quantitative – 142, and Writing – 3.5; Praxis Core: Reading – 156, Math – 150, and Writing – 162.

Add-On Track

  1. For those candidates who hold a valid Arkansas teaching license, submit proof from the Arkansas Department of Education website of the license with the date the license expires.

School Counseling Licensure

School counseling licensure is contingent upon successful completion of the program and minimum scores on state mandated examinations. For more information concerning all state requirements for licensure as a school counselor in Arkansas please visit the Office of Candidate Services links below. Please note that Initial Licensure Track candidates must have background checks, complete state mandated professional development requirements and take one additional Praxis Exam for teachers. All candidates must pass the Praxis Exam for School Counselors.

Graduate School Application:

For information on the application and admission process, please visit the University of Central Arkansas, Graduate School

Residence Credit:

Candidates must meet the Graduate School policy of 24 credit hours. Both the practicum and internship must be completed at the University of Central Arkansas.

Transfer Credit:

Candidates are referred to the following parts of this bulletin for details: section 7 of the Admission to Graduate Study page and section 13 of the General Requirements for Graduate Study page. Below is a brief overview of information pertaining to transfer students and transfer credit.

No student who has attended another graduate institution and earned less than a cumulative 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale will be admitted to a UCA graduate program.

Subject to the approval of the Graduate Dean and the appropriate department chair, a maximum of 15 hours of graduate credit of grade B or above may be transferred from another accredited institution. If graduate credit earned at an accredited institution is equivalent to and constitutes a logical part of the student’s program, transfer of credit above the established policy may be allowed when recommended by the student’s major professor/advisor, advisory committee, and department chair, and when approved by the dean of the Graduate School.

Degree Requirements:

  1. Complete all required coursework with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above. (Required courses are listed below.)
  2. Complete practicum and internship courses with a grade of B or above.
  3. Complete practicum and internship courses in residence.
  4. Complete the program with no more than nine hours of grade of C (see item 2 above).
  5. Complete satisfactorily either the state-mandated licensure test or the program-developed alternative assessment.
  6. Required courses (48 semester credit hours):

SCCN 6320 Foundations of School Counseling
SCCN 6324 Life-Span Development or PSYC 6370 Advanced Developmental Psychology
SCCN 6330 Multicultural Counseling in Schools
SCCN 6340 Career Guidance for School Counselors
SCCN 6360 School Counselor as Consultant
SCCN 6365 Educational Assessment and Measurement
SCCN 6380 School Counseling Intervention Strategies
SCCN 6332 Instructional and Behavioral Strategies for School Counselors (only for initial licensure candidates)
SCCN 6390 School Counseling Practicum
SCCN 6695 Internship
LEAD 6320 Counseling Theory in K-20 Education
LEAD 6321 Research Methods
LEAD 6330 Individual and Group Counseling in the K-20 Education Environment
ELSE 6366 Educational Programming for Students with Mild Disabilities K–12 or PSYC 6335 Identification and Remediation of Learning Problems
SLMA 6312 School-Based Organizational Leadership

All course substitutions including transfer courses must be approved by the program coordinator and department chair.

Graduate Course Links:

Courses in School Counseling (SCCN):

Follow this link for SCCN course descriptions: course link.

Courses in Other Areas (ASTL, ECSE, LEAD, PSYC, SLMA):

Follow this link for ELSE course descriptions: course link.
Follow this link for LEAD course descriptions: course link.
Follow this link for PSYC course descriptions: course link.
Follow this link for SLMA course descriptions: course link.


Other Helpful Links:

American School Counselor Association

American Counseling Association

Arkansas School Counselor Association

BLS – Occupational Outlook Handbook

Office of Candidate Services – Praxis Information

Office of Candidate Services – Graduate Programs

Office of Candidate Services – Background Checks

Office of Candidate Services – Professional Development

School Counseling Online Orientation:

A. School Counseling Online Orientation – Program

B. School Counseling Online Orientation – General

Practicum and Internship:

Internship Student Manual

Practicum Manual

School Counseling Internship PowerPoint

School Counseling Practicum PowerPoint