What are the Professional School Counseling specialty courses?

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Client talking to her counselor.

Bradley University’s online Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program is structured to give each student an immersive and comprehensive learning experience. Through the curriculum, students gather the skills and knowledge needed to serve clients and promote human development. Counselors can be found in a number of employment settings and often see diverse client populations, meaning a well-rounded education is central to preparing counselors for the real world.

For students in the Professional School Counseling (PSC) specialization, enhancing skills to help children in an education setting is important. That need is reflected in the curriculum for PSC students, who benefit from a set of specialty courses designed for them and offered through Bradley University’s Online Master of Arts in Counseling program.

Let’s take a closer look at what these online classes for school counseling can help a MAC student learn:

School for Non-Teachers – ENC 585*

This class—which is only required for non-teachers—offers students an opportunity to learn about the structure, organization and operation of the U.S. educational system. Such working knowledge of schools is crucial for counselors who in the future will be key personnel at those institutions.

The course is a combined survey and field observation experience intended for non-teachers seeking Illinois certification for professional school counseling. Students will observe personally in local school districts and are required to complete four hours per week doing so.

Brain-Based Interventions – ENC 608

New research continues to enhance the counseling community’s understanding of the brain. Now, phenomena like neuroplasticity — or the brain’s ability to form new neural pathways over time — can be nailed down and leveraged for positive counseling outcomes. Coaching students to train their brain can help them better retain knowledge, be more mindful, and manage emotions and behaviors.

School-aged children, being in a particularly sensitive developmental stage, are in many ways the ideal clients for this type of counseling. In ENC 608, counseling students will experience instructions and demonstrations of brain-based interventions, as well as practice and evaluate those techniques.

Professional School Counseling, K-8 – ENC 653

Diving deep into the educational system and what professional school counselors can expect to encounter is important to preparing students for professional life. Not only will they work with children in social-emotional counseling situations, but they will also provide other services to children (like career planning) and the school.

This course will take students through school counseling programs in elementary and middle schools, their differences and similarities, and the history and development of comprehensive school counseling programs. Students are also trained in administration, finance and accountability, as well as the counselor’s role in school testing and career planning.

Professional School Counseling in Secondary Schools – ENC 655

The next logical step in the curriculum is taking students through the same themes of professional school counseling but in the context of secondary schools. While the topics students tackle will be similar to those in ENC 653 — like the history and development of counseling programs, except in secondary schools — the material within is vital to preparing students to work with adolescents, who might present more complex client situations than K-8 schoolchildren.

This course can help equip counselors with cognitive and experiential skills needed to thrive in secondary school counseling settings. Counselors will also face the varied job responsibilities of administration, finance and accountability, for which ENC 655 can help prepare them.

Special Education Law – ENC 669

Becoming competent in special education law is important for professional school counselors. Ensuring that children with developmental or intellectual development disorders are given the same high quality of service is often dependent on understanding their unique needs and how the law provides for them. This course covers how to create the least restrictive environment possible for counseling sessions, as well as legal considerations like due process proceedings.

Contact Bradley University for more information

The school system in the United States is expansive and requires a great deal of introduction to its inner workings. The Professional School Counseling specialty courses are designed to provide counselors the education they need to make an impact from day one. This preparation includes learning many skills, and combined with the core courses, the specialty courses ensure students have the necessary knowledge in each.

For more information about the Bradley University online MAC and more details about the program, contact an enrollment advisor today.

* Course is only required for non-teachers

Recommended Readings:

The positive impact school counselors can have on students

Tips for becoming a first-class high school counselor


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