Master's Degree in Guidance Counseling: Course Curriculum for a Master's Degree in Guidance Counseling

Published Aug 31, 2009

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A master's degree in Guidance Counseling is the minimum requirement for positions in this field, along with prior teaching experience and a valid teaching certificate. The Guidance Counseling course curriculum provides students with the necessary skills to succeed as guidance counselors at public or private primary and secondary schools.

Course Curriculum for a Master's in Guidance Counseling

The curriculum for a master's degree program in Guidance Counseling features coursework in counseling theory and practice, child development, crisis intervention, research methodologies, student counseling, ethics and group session techniques. Students are usually required to complete an internship or practicum as part of the curriculum. Graduates of the program will understand the various roles of guidance counselors, including counseling and evaluating students from diverse backgrounds; working successfully with parents, students, faculty and staff; assessing student behavior; employing crisis intervention techniques; and advising students on career and educational goals. While classes may vary depending on the school, all Guidance Counseling programs typically share a common core course curriculum.

  • Counseling Fundamentals: This course examines the processes, theoretical approaches, various perspectives and applications in counseling. Students learn basic counseling skills and how to apply them to various situations.
  • Child and Adolescent Development: Students learn about the physical, mental and emotional development of children and adolescents, and how this development is shaped by family, environmental and biological influences.
  • Counseling Diverse Students: This class instructs students on factors that influence counselor and client relationships. Students learn how to work with people from different ethnic, religious and minority groups and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Group Counseling: This course covers the fundamentals of group counseling, including its foundation, techniques and application. Students focus on self-awareness and open communication.
  • Research Foundations and Methods: Students identify research problems and learn how to find relevant information. Various research methods, data interpretation techniques and evaluation skills are discussed.
  • Ethical Counseling Practices: This class teaches the ethical and legal issues associated with school counseling, including confidentiality and special education law.

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