Our School Counseling program has established a tradition of excellence in teaching, research, and service. The program was nationally ranked 10th in 2017 by US News and World Report.

It is the first school counseling program in the nation to provide an additional programmatic emphasis on counseling gifted students. In 2007 the program won a regional award for “most innovative counselor education program” (North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision). We are committed to providing students with training experiences that celebrate diversity and increased multicultural sensitivity in counseling practice and comprehensive program design.

The University of Iowa School Counseling program recognizes that school counselors work with students in a variety of ways including: individual and small group counseling, classroom guidance, educational/career planning, and as consultants to teachers, parents, families and other professionals. Students in the school counseling program experience a variety of educational opportunities to learn and practice skills in these areas.

The mission of the school counseling program is to enhance the academic, career, social and personal development of all children and adolescents in schools by preparing students with counseling, consulting and coordinating skills, generating knowledge about effective helping strategies and interventions, and leading the profession within the state and the nation.

The M.A. program in School Counseling prepares candidates to be school counselors that can provide:

  • Individual and small group counseling
  • Classroom guidance
  • Educational and career planning
  • Consultation to teachers, parents, families, and other professionals

The School Counseling M.A. program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) as meeting national standards for counselor preparation programs and by the State of Iowa as an approved program leading to K-8 and 5-12 school counselor licensure in Iowa. The University of Iowa School Counseling program prepares students to provide individual and small group counseling, classroom guidance, and consulting services to teachers, parents, families and other professionals.

Note: Students who enter without teaching licensure are required to take additional coursework to meet school counselor licensure standards. Graduates are eligible for K-12 school counselor licensure in Iowa.

Application Deadline

  • February 1 – priority deadline (Summer or Fall semester)

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions.
  • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale.
  • Graduate GPA or 3.0 or better on a four-point scale.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General test – verbal and quantitative
  • English Proficiency Requirements (international applicants)
  • Successful experiences with school age children and/or adolescents including a minimum of 1 year post bachelor's degree teaching or school related experience. This 1 year post bachelor's experience may be waived for those applicants providing evidence of direct service experiences (paid or volunteer) with school aged children and/or adolescents.
  • Interview with faculty. The school counseling faculty will be interviewing selected applicants on Friday March 2, 2018, for summer and fall admission.
  • Students may be required to complete a national background check prior to clinical placement to ensure eligibility for working with children and adolescents in schools (For more information from Iowa Code 282--25.3).

No one criterion is used in selecting candidates. All interested persons are encouraged to apply. In reviewing applications, the faculty considers the relevant qualifications of candidates across all required areas.

Application Procedure

  1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
  2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
  4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • Official transcripts of all previous college work, graduate and undergraduate.
  • Official report of GRE scores (UI Institutional code: 6681)
  • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  • Curriculum Vita (CV)
  • A statement of purpose, including a statement of your personal career objectives and successful experiences working with children and/or adolescents
  • Documentation of successful experiences with school age children and/or adolescents including a minimum of 1 year post bachelor's degree teaching or school related experience.
  • Three letters of recommendation*

* You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

Contacts

Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services   319/335-5260, sue-cline@uiowa.edu.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Additional Information

  • The number of applicants admitted is limited based upon the standards set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling Related Education Programs (CACREP).
  • Students may be required to complete a national background check prior to clinical placement to ensure eligibility for working with children and adolescents in schools (For more information from Iowa Code 282--25.3).

Admissions Selection Process

The admissions selection process is conducted in three phases.

Phase I - Applicant files are reviewed independently by the school counseling faculty. Faculty are considering GPA, GRE, and overall file during this first phase. Applicants who meet these requirements are progressed to Phase II of the admissions process.

Phase II - Applicant files in this phase are rated based upon their personal statements, documented success with school age children and letters of recommendations. The school counseling faculty seriously consider these interpersonal indicators in the admissions process to be important for individuals entering a career in professional school counseling. Successful applicants at this stage proceed to Phase III.

Phase III - Applicants who progress to this phase are invited to campus for interviews. This process is typically a 1/2 day meeting with school counseling faculty. Interviews will be set be conducted upon the completion of the admission materials. Faculty, current school counseling and counselor education students may be involved in these interviews.The school counseling faculty will be interviewing selected applicants on Friday March 2, 2018.

If an applicant is denied admission, the applicant may wish to schedule an appointment with the coordinator of the school counseling program to discuss their applicant file and future career objectives. Any applicant who is denied admission may reapply at the next admissions cycle.


Through The University of Iowa's nationally recognized programs, students master a body of knowledge and ultimately contribute to it through their own scholarship and research. Iowa's graduate students work closely with a faculty of scholars who are committed to lives of learning. Together, faculty and students work in an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual verve that stimulates creative and innovative thinking. Iowa's graduate programs have both depth and breadth. Iowa's graduate students actively participate in the life of a large and multifaceted University community. They receive specialized attention within their own disciplines while they exchange ideas with people from throughout the University's 10 colleges and more than 90 degree programs.

Curriculum

Plan of Study

Course Descriptions

Registering for Courses

Assessment and Grading

Practicum Information

Internship Information

Evaluation of Progress

Practicum & Internship Ethical Issues

Constituent Report

Curriculum

The Master of Arts in school counseling prepares individuals to work effectively as counselors in K-12 school settings. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Successful graduates are eligible for K-12 school counselor licensure in Iowa. Students may apply to the National Board for Certified Counselors at the completion of their programs. Student may choose to pursue additional coursework in gifted education via the Belin-Blank Center.

Requirements

The M.A. in school counseling requires a minimum of 60 s.h. of graduate credit. During the first few semesters, students take core cognate courses, including course work on gifted education, and the microcounseling clinical skills laboratory. Then they enter a counseling practicum followed by an internship. Students who enter without teaching licensure are required to take additional course work in education (EPLS:3000) Foundations of Education, EDTU:4900 Foundations of Special Education, and PSQF:6200 Educational Psychology or equivalent) to meet school counselor licensure standards. Students are expected to complete at least 100 clock hours in practicum and 600 clock hours in internship activities in an approved school setting, under the supervision of an experienced licensed school counselor and a University faculty supervisor.

Students must complete program and department core courses as outlined on the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education web site before enrolling in RCE:300 Practicum in School Counseling. All students are required to complete a background check the fall before they enroll in the practicum. Students who are not licensed teachers must complete course work in education before enrolling in the practicum.

Each student's progress is reviewed periodically by the program faculty. Students who have successfully completed all prerequisites for RCE:6300 Practicum in School Counseling, which is offered only in summer sessions, are reviewed in the spring before they take the practicum, to assure that they are prepared for it. During the fall, students are evaluated to assure their readiness for the internship RCE:6321 Internship in Elementary School Counseling or RCE:6322 Internship in Secondary School Counseling, which requires assignment in approved schools for the fall and/or spring semesters.

Plan of Study

The following plan of study suggests classes for seven sessions of study. Students who do not have teacher licensure are required to complete at least three additional courses in education before the second year of classes.

First Fall Semester (12 s.h.)

  • RCE:5200 Professional School Counselor (3 s.h.)
  • RCE:5278 Applied Microcounseling (3 s.h.)
  • RCE:5221 Theories of Counseling and Human Development Across the Life Span (3 s.h.)
  • RCE:5250 Multiculturalism in Helping Professions (3 s.h.)

First Spring Semester (12 s.h.)

  • RCE:5203 Career Development (3 s.h.)
  • RCE:5204 School Culture and Classroom Management for School Counselors (3 s.h.)
  • RCE:5222 Counseling Children and Adolescents in Schools (3 s.h.)
  • RCE:5202 Introduction to Group Counseling (3 s.h.)

First Summer Semester (6 s.h.)

  • RCE:5254 Assessment and Appraisal (3 s.h.)
  • RCE:4137 (EXW section) Introduction to Educating Gifted Students* (3 s.h.)

Second Fall Semester (12 s.h.)

  • RCE:6300 Practicum in School Counseling (3 s.h.)
  • EDTU:4940 Characteristics of Disabilities (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:3000 Foundations of Education (non-teachers) (3 s.h.)
  • RCE:5230 School Counseling Program Leadership and Management (3 s.h.)

Second Spring Semester (12 s.h.)

  • RCE:6321/6322 Internship in School Counseling (Elementary or Secondary) (6 s.h.)
  • RCE:5280 Topical Seminar Research in Counseling (3 s.h.)
  • PSQF:6200 Educational Psychology (3 s.h.)

Second Summer Semester (3 s.h.)

  • EDTL:4900 Foundations of Special Education (3 s.h.)

Third Fall Semester (6 s.h.)

  • RCE:6321/6322 Internship in School Counseling (Elementary or Secondary) (6 s.h.)

*Starting Summer 2016 this course will be offered every other summer as an online summer course. For some students this will mean taking the course after their first academic year and for some, taking it after their second academic year. Please check with your adviser.

Academic Advising

When you are admitted to the master's program, one of the faculty members will be assigned as your adviser.  Together you and your advisor will develop your plan of study. Your faculty advisor will guide you through your program, so it is important that you meet with him or her at the beginning of your program and on a regular basis thereafter. Your adviser will also chair your comprehensive exam committee.

Occasionally students decide that they would work better with someone other than their assigned advisor. If, for any reason, you decide to change advisers, you may request to do so. You must find another school counseling faculty member who is willing to take over as your advisor, notify your current advisor of your decision, and complete a change of advisor form available from the Department assistant.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

All students are required to take comprehensive exams for Rehabilitation and Counselor Education and for school counseling during their final semester of internship. Comprehensive exams include a written six-hour exam in counseling, rehabilitation, student development, and school counseling. An oral exam also is required unless waived by the comprehensive exam committee.

Plan of Study

The School Counseling Program is a currently 2.5 year program. A Plan of Study is developed by each student with a faculty member to allow full communication leading to completion of a master's degree in school counseling. Students may opt for an extended plan beyond 3 years in accordance with the Graduate College manual.

Plan of Study - 2.5 year

Students plan their courses in consultation with a faculty adviser. The specific plan of study will depend on students' background, for example, taking into consideration whether they have a teaching license, graduate transfer credit, or recent coursework equivalent to program requirements.

The school counseling faculty understand students will progress through the program at various rates depending upon their personal and professional lives. Students are allowed to participate in the program as full- or part-time students. All students are encouraged to refer to the Graduate College manual regarding completion of degree and residency requirements.

There are 60 semester hours required in The University of Iowa school counseling program. These hours may be decreased based upon transfer credits or increased based upon background undergraduate degree in non-teaching field.

Students without a teaching license must complete additional education coursework. This is typically a minimum of at least two of the foundations courses listed below.

School Counseling Course Sequence

To fulfill degree requirements, students must complete three sets of course requirements and write a comprehensive examination. During the first few semesters, students are engaged in Department and program core cognate courses, which provide a foundation of knowledge about the school counseling profession, theories of counseling, human development and learning, multicultural issues, and techniques of assessment and intervention.

Simultaneously students are beginning their professional counseling skill training with laboratory skill courses and applied professional activities. Students who do not have teaching licenses must complete a sequence of three additional courses in education to be eligible for school counseling licensure. Students with limited experiences with children and youth may be asked to engage in direct experiences with students in school settings prior to field experiences.

Students without a teaching license must complete the following courses prior to practicum:

EPLS:3000 Foundations of Education 3 s. h.
EDTL:4900 Foundations of Special Education 3 s. h.
PSQF:6200 Educational Psychology or equivalent 3 s. h.

After completion of core cognate courses, professional counseling skill training, and education courses (if necessary), students begin the third set of requirements, counseling field experiences in school settings. Students apply to enroll in a spring counseling practicum during the fall of the second year and, upon satisfactory completion, continue into a school counseling internship in K-8 and 5-12 school settings. Because of the rigor required in clinical courses, students may wish to complete a form (commonly called a short hours form) with the registrar explaining practicum and internship require the equivalent of full-time hours even though the registration does not indicate the additional hours.

Gifted Education Endorsement Course Sequence

Students who have a teaching license may choose to elect to take classes to earn them the endorsement in gifted education in conjunction with their masters in school counseling.

The state of Iowa has mandated the completion of 12 semester hours of coursework in the area of gifted and talented in the following strands: 1. psychology of the gifted, 2. programming for the gifted, 3. administration and supervision of gifted programs, 4. practicum experience in gifted programs at a level not completed as part of initial teaching license.

Course Descriptions

The descriptions that follow provide brief introductions to the required school counseling courses that are offered through the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education. For information about other required school counseling courses, please refer to the general catalog or the department that provides the course.

School Culture and Classroom Management for School Counselors (RCE:5204)

This survey course is designed to help school counseling students understand of the workings of America’s public elementary and secondary schools, and the school counselor’s place in them. Specifically, concentration will be placed upon increasing knowledge of the school setting and cultural environment, preK-12 curriculum, and principles of classroom teaching and management. Through numerous activities, readings, discussions and guest speakers, students will learn how to create a positive, supportive and respectful learning environment, present interesting and meaningful classroom guidance lessons, and effectively deal with a range of challenges in the preK-12 classroom.

Applied Microcounseling (RCE:5278)

Microcounseling is one of the first courses offering opportunities to learn basic and advanced counseling skills. It consists of lecture, role play, class discussion, and videotaping experiences to learn and practice these skills in preparation for work in education and community settings. Beginning Fall 2007 School Counseling students should enroll in RCE:5278-002 only. This section has a focus on working with children and adolescents in school settings. Prerequisite: Admitted to program or consent of instructor

Professional School Counselor (RCE:5200)

This is an introductory course designed to provide an overview of the professional identity and roles of school counselors. Students are introduced to the national standards for school counseling programs as well as professional counseling organizations. Legal and ethical issues in school counseling also are discussed. The course combines the use of lectures, discussion, experiential exercises, and readings to advance students' knowledge and skills. Prerequisite: Admitted to program or consent of instructor

Introduction to Group Counseling (RCE:5202)

This is an introductory course designed to provided a overview of the basic dynamics, theoretical components, and developmental aspects of small groups. It is designed to foster increased skills and ethical awareness in group leadership. In addition to the didactic coursework, students participate in an experiential group where they will participate as a group leader and a group member. Prerequisite: RCE:5278 and Admitted to program or consent of instructor.

Career Development (RCE:5203)

The goal of this class is to provide information about work roles as well as career development concepts and theories. Exemplary career counseling techniques to use with clients are discussed, including materials and evaluation procedures, and students will leave prepared to assist clients in learning about, choosing, and entering work roles that are appropriate and rewarding for themselves. Admitted to program or consent of instructor.

Introduction to Educating Gifted Students (RCE:4137)

The purpose of this course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to gifted education and talent development, aligned with national standards in knowledge and skills in the field. The course takes advantage of a variety of sources of information and asks participants to apply new understandings and skills in practical ways. Assignments are differentiated for different roles in schools today; participants will develop knowledge and skills essential for successful teaching, counseling, or coordinating gifted/talented programs.

Theories of Counseling and Human Development Across Life Span (RCE.5221)

This course provides an overview of theoretical perspectives through a developmental and lifespan lens related to counseling and helping professions practice. Personal and professional influences germane to the development of helpers as consumers of theoretical orientations are explored. A solid knowledge base of various theories and techniques within a pluralistic society constitute a large majority of the class activities and assignments. Demonstration of the ability to integrate and apply theoretical perspectives with clients is required during the final portion of the course. Admitted to program or consent of instructor.

Counseling Children and Adolescents in Schools (RCE:5222)

This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of child and adolescent development in addition to the theory and practice of school-based counseling interventions (e.g., brief/solution focused therapy, reality therapy, behavioral therapy, play therapy, group interventions). The course combines the use of lectures, discussion, experiential exercises, and readings to advance students' knowledge and skills. Instructional objectives are designed to help students acquire an appreciation and understanding of child and adolescent development in relation to designing effective school counseling interventions; develop an awareness of some of the major issues currently facing children and adolescents; and develop basic skills in select counseling approaches. Admitted to program or consent of instructor.

Research Methods in School Counseling (RCE:5280)

This course provides an introduction to research methods for school counselors. It serves as an overview of several research strategies that have dominated the school counseling literature. Special attention will be given to key concepts related to the development of researchable questions, the use and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative analyses, factors that impact design integrity, and the use of findings to effect school counseling program modifications. Students will also focus on essential approaches needed to conceptualize and develop an action research proposal.

School Counseling Program Leadership and Management (RCE:5230)

This course is an advanced level course for students enrolled in the school counseling program or related programs. It is designed to provide training for school counselors and related professionals to develop and implement a comprehensive counseling and guidance program, which incorporates the ASCA National Model and the Iowa Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program Model. Participation in this course provides opportunities to learn leadership and management skills necessary to develop and strengthen K-12 School counseling programs by utilizing school-community teams and school-based consultation and collaboration models.

Multiculturalism in the Helping Professions (RCE:5250)

This class meets the Human Relations Iowa DE requirements. This course covers theory and application of multicultural competency in the helping professions. The course includes ethical treatment of clients in the context of a multiculturally diverse society as well as knowledge, skill, and self-awareness components relevant for helping practitioners. Admitted to program or consent of instructor.

Assessment and Appraisal in Counseling (RCE:5254)

Assessment and Appraisal in counseling looks at various aptitude, interest, and personality testing and evaluation tools and procedures that counselors may encounter. Laboratory practice in test administration, scoring, interpretation, reporting; ethical and multicultural considerations are covered as well as nontest procedures such as behavior assessments and personal documents. Students will begin to develop a research proposal. Admitted to program or consent of instructor. Prerequisite RCE:5280 Research Methods in School Counseling.

Practicum (RCE:6300)

This course involves class time, laboratory experiences, and counseling experiences in developing advanced counseling skills at the Belin-Blank Center for the Gifted and Talented on the University of Iowa campus. This practicum experience is under the supervision of University faculty and Belin-Blank supervisors. All coursework must be completed prior to entering the practicum except the following classes: 7C:281, RCE:5254, RCE:5256, EPLS:6206, EDTL:4940, and PSQF:6200.

Internship (RCE:6321 and 6322)

This is the culminating experience of the master's program in school counseling and involves supervised school counseling experiences in and elementary and secondary school. A Middle School option may be requested. Students are expected to perform the tasks of a regularly employed school counselor in the district. Each Internship requires 2 days at the school site. Employed school counselors may request a 1 day alternative placement.

Registering for Courses

The courses in the school counseling program are designed to allow a student who is attending full-time to complete the entire program in three years if they begin in the summer session. Many students go through the program in this sequence, some however, go through at a different pace. Examples might be a student who enters with previous graduate coursework from another institution or the University of Iowa, or a student who is attending school part-time. Students should expect to attend full-time during the semesters that they complete their internships.

Students should meet with their advisor on a regular basis to be assured that coursework requirements are being fulfilled. Registration for courses is only permitted after the student and the advisor have approved the plan of coursework.

Scheduling is completed either at the Registration center or online at ISIS.

Some courses are limited in size, so it is important to meet with your advisor and register as soon as you can. Summer courses are required to have 10 students enrolled by University policy. Students are assigned to registration times by their student identification number. Registration times will be listed by student number in the Schedule of Courses for the semester.

Assessment and Grading

GRADING

You will experience a variety of types of assessments and grading practices during your master's studies in school counseling. Depending on the course and the instructor, assessment may be based on objective exams, essays, projects, papers, class participation, and/or practical experiences. These opportunities will provide feedback to you about your progress more completely than the use of a single type of assessment.

READINESS FOR PRACTICUM IN SCHOOL COUNSELING

In the fall preceding the spring counseling practicum, the School Counseling faculty will decide on the readiness of each student for practicum. The decision will be based on:

  1. Completion of all required classes
  2. Satisfactory academic standing (3.25 GPA) in the Graduate College; and
  3. Demonstration of readiness to meet the level of professional service expected in the schools, including but not limited to
    • emotional balance and maturity, and
    • ability to learn from feedback.

During practicum you will receive ongoing feedback about the development of your professional readiness and skills from your university supervisor and your field supervisor. If your supervisors have any concerns, you will be made aware of these. Successful completion of practicum is necessary before proceeding to internship.

READINESS FOR INTERNSHIP

In the spring preceding the fall school counseling internship, the School Counseling faculty will decide on the readiness of each student to continue the field placement as a school counselor intern. The decision will be based on:

  1. Satisfactory academic standing (3.25 GPA) in the Graduate College;
  2. Satisfactory performance in School Counseling Practicum, and
  3. Demonstration of readiness to meet the level of professional service expected in the schools, including:
    • emotional balance and maturity
    • ability to learn from supervision, and
    • recognition of the limits of competence.

During internship you will continue to receive ongoing feedback about the development of your professional readiness and skills from your university supervisor and your field supervisor. Typically you will receive a review at mid-term and if your supervisors have any concerns, you will be made aware of these. Final evaluation is based on tape recorded and live demonstrations of counseling services, written assignments, oral presentations, and reports from field supervisors.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS

All M.A. students are required to take 6 hours of comprehensives usually 3 hours in the Department and 3 hours in their program area. The Department exam is based on the integration of the knowledge and skills covered in the Department Core. The Program Comprehensive is developed by the faculty in each program based on the program requirements. Each program guideline is attached. It is advised that you consult with your academic advisor.

Students take their comps either when they have completed their academic program or during the semester when they are taking their final courses. It is important to remember to file the notification of your plan to sit for comps by the deadline, which will be posted in the halls. If you do not apply by the deadline, your graduation could be put off until comps are offered again. There is more detailed information about the exams available in the Division office, N338 LC, from the departmental secretary, or from your advisor. M.A. Comprehensives are given during Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions.

The Comprehensive Examination Committee, designated by the student on the Comp Exam Request Form, will evaluate the written answers on the basis of accuracy, thoroughness, depth, and organization. Statements, conclusions, and citations should be factually accurate. Answers should cover a broad range of relevant information. Ideas, concepts, and assumptions should reflect efforts to synthesize information. The logic and flow should be orderly.

DEPARTMENT M.A. COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

Each M.A. candidate in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development is required to write a 3-hour Department Comprehensive Examination. The Examination is designed to evaluate the student's knowledge in five topical areas. This knowledge may be acquired through the Department M.A. core courses and supplementary reading and study. The topical areas are:

  1. The process of counseling with individuals from the perspective of several theoretical positions.

  2. Small group processes from the perspective of several theoretical positions.

  3. How to collect appraisal data and make clinical and statistical interpretations for counseling purposes.

  4. To understand life-span development especially as it relates to work and leisure.

  5. The cultural, gender, legal, and ethical considerations in counseling.

Questions will require the examinee to demonstrate knowledge about both (a) abstract ideas, concepts, and theories; and (b) applications of concrete techniques, methods, and practices. The examinee will be asked to designate a target client population when giving examples of specific applications.

SCHOOL COUNSELING M.A. COMPREHENSIVE EXAM

Each M.A. candidate in the School Counseling Program is required to write a three-hour program comprehensive examination. The examination contains questions about both theory and practice; that is, both abstract theoretical concepts and propositions and concrete practical techniques and methods. Following is a description of general content that will aid candidates as they prepare for the examination. The School Counseling comprehensive exam will include questions from the following topics:

  1. The application of individual and group counseling interventions with children and adolescents.

  2. The ethical and legal standards for school counseling practice and their application to difficult situations.

  3. Career development across childhood, adolescence and early adulthood and appropriate interventions designed to enhance students' understanding of opportunities and relevant aspects of their self-concept/personal identity.

  4. Methods for appraising student learning and development including selection of appropriate instruments and interpretation of findings for students, teachers, and parents.

  5. The nature of serious student problems such as absenteeism, self-harm, substance abuse, violent and destructive behavior, school failure and drop-out, and educational interventions designed to prevent these problems.

  6. The nature of family dynamics as they influence student behavior and appropriate interventions by school counselors.

  7. Consultation with parents, teachers, and professional helpers about issues regarding student learning, development and behavior.

  8. The nature of schools as organizations, social systems and cultures and their general impact on student development and learning.

GRADUATE SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION

Students should be aware that he graduate school of the University of Iowa has specific graduation requirements, which can be viewed at http://www.grad.uiowa.edu/ or obtained from the graduate school office located in 107 Calvin Hall.

Practicum Information

The Practicum in school counseling is the initial opportunity for students to synthesize the theoretical information on individual counseling and small group work from their coursework and apply it with clients. The course provides both a laboratory experience in counseling skills under the supervision of the U of I supervisor, and a field experience under the joint supervision of the U of I supervisor and the site supervisor. The first three weeks of the class will be spent in the in the laboratory experience, followed by two six-week school placements, one each at the elementary and secondary school levels.

Goals

Practicum is the course where students will learn how to apply counseling and consulting skills consistent with accepted school counselor role descriptions. The coursework provides an opportunity for reviewing theoretical models of counseling and consultation and to practice counseling skills in a laboratory setting as well as in the field.

Objectives

At the end of Practicum students will be able to:

  1. Perform basic helping skills.
  2. Develop client case conceptualizations.
  3. Develop counseling interventions.
  4. Understand the professional school counselor role and the roles of other school personnel.

General Expectations

These guidelines have been developed by the U of I School Counseling faculty (in accordance with CACREP standards) to provide guidelines to the site supervisor and the Practicum student. Because Practicum is the first opportunity for the student to practice his or her counseling skills, the expectations of the site supervisor, student, and U of I supervisor are as follows:

Expectations of the student

  1. Spend one day per week at the elementary level for six weeks and one day per week at the secondary level for six weeks in an approved school setting.
  2. Complete required activities and assignments listed on the course syllabus and move through the process of observing, co-leading, and leading clinical experiences that school counselors are involved with at various levels:
    1. Required elements:
      • Individual counseling (One session with at least two different clients each week, with experiences involving academic, career, and personal/social concerns)
      • Classroom guidance
      • Small group counseling (if possible)
    2. Suggested activities as the site supervisor deems appropriate, for example:
      • Consulting with teachers, parents, or other professionals.
      • Participating in child study or assessment team meetings.
      • Gaining awareness of the organizational structure and political climate within the school building and district.
      • Attending district counselor meetings
    3. Activities outlined on the course syllabus (to be distributed each semester)
  3. Meet with the U of I supervisor in a group laboratory setting for four hours each week, weeks 1-3.
  4. Meet with the site supervisor for 1/2 hour of individual supervision per week, weeks 4-9 and 11-16.
  5. Meet with the U of I supervisor for one hour of individual supervision per week, weeks 4-9 and 11-16.
  6. Meet for 2 1/2 hours per week for seminar and group supervision, weeks 4-16.
  7. Record five audio or videotapes of a counseling session for each setting and bring to supervision sessions with the U of I supervisor.

Expectations of the site supervisor

  1. In addition to providing opportunities for the Practicum student to become familiar with the placement site, assist the student in moving through the steps of observing, co-leading, and eventually leading clinical experiences that school counselors are involved with at either the elementary or secondary level:
    1. Required elements:
      • Individual counseling (One session with at least two different clients each week, with experiences involving academic, career, and personal/social concerns)
      • Classroom guidance
      • Small group counseling (if possible)
    2. Suggested activities as the site supervisor deems appropriate, for example:
      • Consulting with teachers, parents, or other professionals
      • Participating in child study or assessment team meetings
      • Gaining awareness of the organizational structure and political climate within the school building and district
      • Attending district counselor meetings
    3. Activities outlined on the course syllabus (to be distributed each semester)
  2. Meet with the Practicum student for 1/2 hour per week of individual supervision.
  3. At the end of Practicum, complete an evaluation of the Practicum student (see Appendix B) and meet jointly with the Practicum student and the U of I supervisor.
  4. If concerns arise during the Practicum experience, address these concerns with the student immediately. If it is not possible to resolve the issue, then it is expected that the U of I supervisor will be notified.

Expectations of the U of I supervisor

  1. Provide clinical experiences in counseling in the laboratory setting during weeks 1-3 of the semester.
  2. Lead 2 1/2 hours of seminar and group supervision per week for weeks 4-16.
  3. Provide one hour of individual supervision per week for weeks 4-9 and 11-16.
  4. Meet with the site supervisor and Practicum student on a regular basis.
  5. Work with the site supervisor to provide the best possible learning experience for the Practicum student.

Internship Information

The internship is the culmination of the master's level program for school counselors and follows successful completion of program course requirements and Practicum in School Counseling (7C:300). All prior academic coursework and practical experiences are put to use during this portion of professional training. The internship (7C:320) consists of supervised experiences in the school as well as individual and group supervision by U of I faculty.

Goal

At the completion of the course, the student will be able to perform the tasks and responsibilities of a school counselor at particular school settings. Since CACREP requires a ratio of 2:3 (direct versus indirect hours), it is expected that the student will spend approximately 40% of his or her time in direct contact with students, parents, or other school personnel.

Objectives

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the organizational dynamics of a K-12 school system and the school and community as a learning/growing environment for children and youth.
  2. Demonstrate individual counseling effectiveness at the elementary and/or secondary school setting.
  3. Demonstrate small group counseling effectiveness at the elementary and/or secondary school setting.
  4. Develop, implement, and evaluate classroom guidance units at the elementary and/or secondary school setting.
  5. Communicate effectively with counselors and personnel from other professional specialties at the school setting (e.g., school psychologist, school social worker, administrator) with respect to student growth and learning.
  6. Demonstrate consulting effectiveness with teachers and/or family of clients at the elementary and/or secondary school setting.
  7. Produce case conceptualizations for a client at an elementary and/or secondary school setting.
  8. Demonstrate continued professional development through participation in workshops, professional organizations, and informal support groups.
  9. Demonstrate an awareness of a consistent characteristic style of initiating and developing counseling and consulting relationships.

General Expectations

As the Internship is the culmination of the educational experience, the expectations of the student, the site supervisor, and the U of I supervisor are slightly different than during Practicum. It is expected that at the end of the 16- week experience the Internship student will essentially be functioning as an additional counselor at the school(s). The following expectations (following CACREP standards) are meant as guidelines.

Expectations of the student

  1. Spend two days per week in each level (elementary or secondary) of the assigned school settings.
  2. Participate in all aspects of a school counselor's experience, including but not limited to the following:
    • Individual counseling (academic, career, personal/social)
    • Small group counseling
    • Classroom guidance
    • Consulting with parents, teachers, and other professionals
    • Participating in child study or assessment team meetings
    • Other activities outlined in the course syllabus (to be provided)
  3. Meet with site supervisor for one hour per week of individual supervision.
  4. Attend weekly 2 1/2 hour seminar/group supervision meetings with the U of I supervisor.
  5. Attend bi-weekly individual supervision with U of I supervisor

Expectations of the site supervisor

  1. Assist the Internship student with observing, co-leading, and leading clinical experiences of a school counselor at either the elementary or the secondary level, including but not limited to:
    • Individual counseling (academic, career, personal/social)
    • Small group counseling
    • Classroom guidance
    • Consulting with parents, teachers, and other professionals
    • Participating in child study or assessment team meetings
    • Other activities outlined in the course syllabus (to be provided)
  2. Provide the Internship student with one hour of individual supervision per week.
  3. At the end of Internship, complete a final evaluation and meet jointly with the Internship student and the U of I supervisor.
  4. If a concern arises during Internship, address the concern with the student immediately. If the concern is not resolved, the U of I supervisor should be contacted

Internship: Expectations of the U of I supervisor:

  1. Provide bi-weekly one hour individual supervision and weekly 2-1/2 hour seminar and group supervision to Internship students.
  2. Have regularly scheduled meetings with the site supervisor and Internship student.
  3. Collaborate with the site supervisor and the Internship student to provide the best possible learning experience.

Evaluation of Progress

Evaluation of Student Progress

As gatekeepers to the profession, both site supervisors and U of I supervisors have a duty to assist neophyte counselors by being open and honest about their skills. The input of site supervisors is, of course, invaluable because they observe the student under conditions that the U of I supervisor cannot.  Even though the U of I supervisor will observe the student during individual and group supervision and will listen to tapes, site supervisors have the unique opportunity to see the student in all aspects of practice in the school. Site supervisors' observations, expertise, and knowledge are valued and believed necessary to help the student with his or her growth as a counselor. In addition to feedback throughout the semester, site supervisors will provide an evaluation of the student at the end of each semester.

It is important to mention, however, that no decision about a student is based solely on any one source of information or perspective.  Additional sources of information, complementing site supervisor input, are utilized for making decisions in the evaluation process.  The most thorough and useful evaluation can be achieved when all parts of the process work together to evaluate the student's progress.

Comprehensive Examinations (Final Examination)

Each school counseling intern seeking a degree must take a comprehensive examination (written and oral). The comprehensive examinations are arranged through the Office of Education Services.  All MA students in the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education must successfully pass the comprehensive examination to proceed to graduation.

The Comprehensive Exam committee will consist of 3 faculty members, for school counseling this is typically your advisor and 2 school counseling faculty.

The requirements for master's degrees will include a final examination consisting of a written part and an oral part. Such an examination will not duplicate course examinations. It will be evaluated by the examining committee as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If the committee unanimously evaluates the written part as satisfactory, they may waive the oral portion of the exam. In the event of one or more unsatisfactory votes, the committee must conduct an oral part of the exam. In the event of two unsatisfactory votes on the oral exam, the committee must judge the exam as unsatisfactory. The report of the final examination is due in the Graduate College not later than 48 hours after the oral examination, and by the deadline date established by the Graduate College. (COE Policy adopted 9/2006)

Students will be notified by their advisor of the committee determination. A letter will be sent from the Office of Education Services as the official notification. 

Practicum & Internship Ethical Issues

University of Iowa school counseling students complete coursework in counseling ethics during their first semester in 7C:200, Professional School Counselor.  They learn basic information about ethical codes appropriate to school counseling practice (American Counseling Association and American School Counselor Association), ethical decision making, and ethical concerns common to school counseling (e.g., abuse, suicidal ideation, confidentiality).

Confidentiality

Confidentiality issues are always important to clarify for all persons involved in the counseling setting. Practicum/Internship students will be directed to inform his or her clients that the information they share is confidential except in the following situations:

  1. There is a danger to the client
  2. The client is a danger to others
  3. The client directs the Practicum/Internship student to reveal the information
  4. The Practicum/Internship student is legally directed to do so

Practicum/Internship student are also directed to notify the client that information will be shared with the site supervisor and U of I supervisors. Releases of information (to be provided at the beginning of each semester) need to be signed by the parents of the client involved to allow for video-audio recording of sessions to be reviewed by the U of I supervisor.

Documentation

Practicum/Internship students will need a space to keep their records at the school. They are expected to keep a one-page note on each session that they conduct with individual clients. They should also keep records of any telephone conversations that they have with parents or agencies. These records will need to be stored in a safe place to ensure that access to them is not open.

Crisis information

Practicum/Internship students will be directed to report any suspected abuse situations to the Department of Human Services per Iowa law. It is expected that the Practicum/Internship student first notify the site supervisor, and proceed through the guidelines of the individual school culminating in both the initial phone report and the follow-up written report which is submitted to the Dept. of Human Services. A copy of the written report filed with DHS also is sent to the site and U of I supervisor.

In the event that a client reports suicidal ideation, the Practicum/Internship student is directed to immediately notify the site supervisor, then to follow school guidelines. If the site supervisor is unable to takeover responsibility for the client at that moment, it is expected that the Practicum/Internship student will continue to observe the client until another adult has taken over responsibility for the client (i.e., parent, counselor, health care professional). The Practicum/Internship student is then to notify his or her U of I supervisor as well.

Supervisors

It is expected that students, University supervisors, and site supervisors will all adhere to ACA Code of Ethics and the ASCA ethical standards. In addition, both site and U of I supervisors should be familiar with and adhere to the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Ethical Guidelines for Counseling Supervisors.


Constituent Report

Application Deadlines

February 1 – priority deadline (Summer or Fall semester)

Application Questions