Q: What license does this degree program prepare me for?
A: The Master’s programs in School Counseling are for individuals seeking initial licensure as a School (Guidance) Counselor through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Refer to the School Counseling page on the Graduate Studies website for details about the program and the online application.
Q: How long will it take to complete the program?
A: On average, most students take between 2 ½ to 4 years to complete the program. Students have a maximum of seven (7) years allowed based on the date of the student’s acceptance and age of courses.
Q: When are courses typically offered and in what format?
A: Courses are offered all three semesters: fall, spring and summer. Courses in the fall and spring tend to take a full-semester format where they will meet once a week for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Classes run at one of two primary time slots: 4:00pm-6:30pm or 6:45pm-9:15pm. Classes are typically offered Monday-Thursday, especially in the fall and spring semesters. Some classes are offered in hybrid formats where they will meet both in-person and online using Brightspace. There are some intensive courses offered on weekends, but those are most common among elective options. Core classes are regularly offered in the traditional format meeting once a week on campus, or occasionally in a hybrid format. The structure of the hybrid class and the online weeks at the instructor’s discretion; therefore, no two hybrid classes may be the same. The summer semester commonly offers intensive formats for courses across a 1-week, 3-week, or 6-week format.
Q: Can I complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis?
A: Your coursework can be taken at a full-time or part-time pace, however the practicum requirement must be completed full-time. Full-time student status is taking 3 classes each semester; part-time is 2 classes. You may switch your pace at any point during your program through consultation and support of your academic advisor. We do not use cohort model. Upon acceptance, you will be assigned an academic advisor who is a full-time faculty in School Counseling Program. At your initial advising meeting, you will create your plan for completing the program. You will take a copy of that completed program plan with you that will outline the semesters of when you’re planning to complete the required courses, the anticipated semesters for completion of the fieldwork experiences as well as all other program requirements (e.g., oral exam, MTEL, etc.). Modifications to your program can be made at any point by requesting a meeting with your advisor and have a conversation about your options. It is best to keep your advisor in the loop as your plans change so that you two can work most effectively together throughout your program.
Q: Can I take start taking classes before I am formally admitted?
A: Yes. Students interested in the M.A. program in School Counseling are allowed to take up to two (2) courses as a non-matriculated student. Many of the courses offered will be elective course options. Permission must be granted by the Program Director to individuals who either have 1.) an application in progress or 2.) are interested in selected courses without intending to matriculate into the program. Not more than six (6) credits may be transferred in as a non-degree student from another institution. It is not guaranteed that non-degree transfer courses will be accepted into your program. After formal admittance into the program, all non-matriculated credits will be evaluated for acceptance. Should you choose to take a class before being admitted, your grade(s) in any class will not be assessed as a part of your application package to any of the programs in the School Counseling Program at Assumption College, however, professionalism and ethical conduct will be considered.
Q: What are the requirements and expectations for the Fieldwork portion of the Master’s degree program?
A: There are two stages to complete the fieldwork requirement. You will complete a total of 675 hours; 75 will be completed during the initial pre-practicum experience comprised mostly of observation; although direct contact is encouraged to ensure a meaningful experience. The remaining 600 hours will be completed as your practicum emphasizing direct contact and experiences in the role of a professional school counselor under the supervision of a licensed school (guidance) counselor working in that job role in a school approved by both the DESE and Assumption College. The total 600 hours are divided equally across the Fall and Spring semesters (300 hours each). Students may choose to complete all 600 hours at one school, or may split between two schools completing one experience in the fall semester, and a second in the spring semester. If a student choses to split their experience, often the sites chosen are at different levels (Elementary & Middle; or, Middle & High) based on the license sought. During the practicum hours, students can work with their Academic Advisor & Practicum Coordinator to identify a plan to complete the required hours in two semesters. Students are also enrolled in a corresponding supervision class for the clinical practicum hours to provide additional supervision and training throughout this process.
Key points to remember when preparing your application
There are multiple components to this application. The admissions process is a multi-layered process and not all students that apply are accepted. Contact the School Counseling Programs Director with questions as you consider if Assumption College is a good fit for your career goals and prepare your application.
- Official transcripts from a Bachelor’s degree program (B.A. or B.S.) are required. There is not requirement as to what major(s) a student completed. If any graduate work was completed, official transcripts from all graduate work will also be required.
- Priority preference will be granted to applicants who have already passed the MTEL at the time of applying to the program. To be eligible for Practicum, you will need to have completed and have obtained official passing scores for the Massachusetts Teachers Educators Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy sections before the application deadline. Refer to the MTEL website for more information. The program will be moving to make this a strict admissions requirement in the near future.
- You will need to include 3 letters of recommendation. Each reference must complete the standard form that is included with the application package. Select professional references that can speak to your abilities, skills, aptitude, and readiness to enter into and successfully complete this professional training master’s degree program as well as work with children and/or adolescents in a school setting.
- Focus your personal statement on information beyond the material already submitted in your application package. The following questions may assist to focus your thoughts and ideas in preparation for writing your statement: Why are you interested in the professional field of school counseling? What experiences have you had that have contributed to why you are applying now? What previous professional experiences have you had that are related or inform your decision to want to be a school counselor?
- All materials submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies by the application deadlines. Click here for the Application Schedule & Deadlines. The Office of Graduate Studies will begin a folder for you as soon as you submit materials – you may submit materials piece by piece or in a completed package. They maintain your application file before the deadline that you are applying for. Direct any questions about your materials or confirm receipts of materials to the Office of Graduate Studies. If you wish to defer your application to the next application pool, contact the Office of Graduate Studies to make this update.
- Completed applications by the stated deadline will be reviewed and considered for a required on-campus interview.