The Certificate of Advanced Study program in School Counseling is designed to prepare counselors to assume the full range of professional responsibilities (i.e., counseling as well as guidance) in elementary, middle, and secondary school settings. Our training model, which integrates behavioral science theory and knowledge with practitioner skills, assumes that the effective counselor has a strong understanding of the theoretical and scientific bases of professional concepts and techniques.
Two other assumptions underlie the program. The first assumption is that counselors are involved in facilitating positive interactions between students and their environments. For this reason, counselors work within a variety of client "systems" such as families, peer groups, job settings, educational settings, and any other significant interpersonal or organizational contexts. Contemporary counseling is not solely based on one-to-one counseling relationships but also involves the use of group methods, consulting relationships, community resources, and training. School counselors are prepared to intervene effectively in the one-to-one context using skills and perspectives derived from various theoretical orientations.
The second major assumption is that one of the counselor's primary goals is to facilitate human growth and development. The goal of enhancing development is applicable to all human beings. As such, our training program focuses on developing skills and knowledge for educational and preventive roles as well as for the more traditional remedial or therapeutic roles. In addition, our program's commitment to human diversity is manifested in coursework as well as fieldwork placements. A dedication to facilitating development in a culturally sensitive fashion underlies our training philosophy.
Given these program goals and assumptions, the curriculum includes both comprehensiveness and depth. The full-time program curriculum includes a research/assessment sequence, an intervention theory/techniques sequence, a fieldwork sequence, and 4 electives.
Students in this 60-credit program receive the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS). Completion of the CAS enables provisional certification as a school counselor in the state of New York. Permanent certification is obtained by CAS graduates possessing a master's degree and completing two years of full-time employment in a school setting. This program admits roughly 10 students per year.
Applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal and quantitative scores. Also required are official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework, letters of recommendation, and satisfactory completion of 15 credit hours of psychology courses including statistics, abnormal psychology, and personality theory.
The required minimum of 60 graduate credits are distributed as follows:
- Specialized courses in Counseling as follows: (33 credits)
Cpy 521, 601a, 601b, 603, 604, 608, 626, 627, 630, and 767;
- Fieldwork in Counseling: (15 credits)
Cpy 602, 606;
- Electives as advised (6 credits must be school-related): (12 credits).
**Special requirement - A three hour training program in mandated child abuse reporting.
Completion of a 210 hour pre-practicum in a school or community agency and a 600 hour internship in a school setting. The school counseling internship, which is full-time is completed in the second fall in a school setting. A placement coordinator assists students in arranging all fieldwork requirements. Practicum and internship are supervised on site as well as by University at Albany faculty supervisors.