Career Paths for a Master's Degree in School Counseling
You may be wondering, "What can I do with a school counseling degree?" School counselors are agents of change, both at the individual and school level. School counselors provide counseling at the individual level so that students from kindergarten to high school can be empowered to reach their potential. At the school level, school counselors advocate on behalf of the profession and their students. School counselors understand social justice and have knowledge of the policies and politics that impact a school system.
At Loyola’s School of Education, the graduate program in school counseling prepares students to become culturally competent leaders prepared to implement a comprehensive school counseling program. Our school counselors are ready to be agents of systemic change. A school counselor must be able to deliver services to the whole school environment, to specific students in need of individual interventions, and within the community, working with area leaders, mental health professionals and others to facilitate the wellbeing of students.
A career in counseling can also grow beyond the school.
“Most of our students intend to graduate and become certified school counselors and our program, internships, and practical experiences are geared toward that end,” explains Jennifer Watkinson, Ph.D., director and associate professor at the School of Counseling. “But we do have students who will use what they’ve done here to work outside the school system.”
Here are some of the careers in school counseling that are open to those with a school counseling degree:
Community Mental Health: Some graduates choose to work in a community mental health office where they can do site-based work and go into the community or schools.
Private Practice: Many graduates pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor. This gives them the portability to work in either the school setting or in private practice, or with a group of licensed professional counselors in a group practice setting.
Entrepreneurial Work: A counseling degree can be a foundation for innovative programs and new business opportunities that meet a need in the school system or beyond. For example, says Watkinson, “We have an alumna who was a school counselor, obtained her licensure, and now is opening a mindfulness practice working with schools and professional counselors to incorporate mindfulness into the schools.”
Advanced Degree: Some graduates will move on to a doctorate in counselor education, which prepares you to teach, research, and supervise counselors. It’s also the only way to become a core faculty member at a CACREP-accredited program.
If you are looking to begin a career in school counseling you likely want to participate in a meaningful way in the lives of students, families, and administrators. Loyola’s graduate program in school counseling is designed to help you achieve that goal.