School Counseling, M.S.Ed.

The UNK School Counseling Master of Science in Education (Elementary P-6; Secondary 7-12) Degree program prepares graduates to be an important part of the educational leadership team and to provide valuable assistance to students. School counselors spend most of their time in direct service to and contact with students through guidance curriculum, individual student planning and responsive services.

(School Counselor Endorsement +12)

The Nebraska Department of Education changed Rule 24 requirements Fall 2017 allowing professionals with any undergraduate degree (no longer limited to teacher education degrees) to become school counselors by taking 12 credit hours of online, teacher educator field-based training in addition to completing a master’s degree in School Counseling.

Accreditation & Certification

  • Nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) ensuring the highest educational and professionals standards.
  • Approved by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) for School Counselor Endorsement (Elementary P-6; Secondary 7-12).
*Graduates are eligible for NE School Counselor Endorsement after successfully passing the Praxis School Counselor Assessment.

Program Strengths

  • Licensed and certified faculty with clinical experience in schools, in-patient and out-patient mental health agencies, and college student affairs.
  • State of the art, on-site clinic for counselor training that involves client sessions, live and post hoc supervision, reflecting teams, and field-based experiences.
  • Engage in challenging and diverse activities in the schools.
  • Work collaboratively with parents and teachers to support children and adolescents success.
  • Support mental health needs of students using individual and group counseling skills.
  • Prepares students to pass the Praxis School Counselor Assessment.
  • Clinical, consultative, and cooperative skill development for graduates to work successfully in the profession.
  • Non-competitive environment in which students work together to make all students knowledgeable, successful, and professional.
  • Successful history of career placement of interns and graduates.
  • Active chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honorary society.

Graduation Plan

  • Flexible course scheduling to accommodate students who are employed full-time.
  • The 43 credit hour program offers long distance accessibility with a combination of evening, blended/online courses (2/3 = 28 hours of the program), clinical summer campus residency courses (1/3 =15 hours of the program), and fieldwork to prepare graduates for immediate career application.

Note that in order to add an additional endorsement students register for another 2 credit hours of CSP 894 Internship II with assignments specific for those grade levels.

*online or blended




*CSP 860

Theories of Counseling

*CSP 805

Child & Adolescent Development & Interventions

CSP 855


*CSP 875

Career Counseling

*CSP 856

Multicultural Counseling

CSP 865

Group Counseling


Praxis CORE


*CSP 870

Marriage & Family Counseling




*CSP 861P

Organization of Practice of SC

*CSP 893

Internship I in SC

*CSP 957

Problem Solving Consultation

*CSP 901

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Practice in Schools

CSP 885

Practicum in SC

CSP 905

Problem Solving Behavioral Assessment



* CSP 802

Research Methods




* CSP 894

Internship II in SC



Praxis School Counseling




The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) has approved a School Counseling +12 track which requires that students who do not hold an undergraduate education degree to complete 12 credit hours of teacher preparation courses. The UNK Transitional Certification Program (TCP) is an alternative teacher certification pathway for individuals with ANY bachelor’s degree or higher who wish to earn an Initial School Counseling Certificate issued by the Nebraska Department of Education.

School Counseling +12 Standards

School Counseling +12 Standards

UNK Transitional Certification Program Coursework

Core curriculum design, lesson plan development, classroom management strategies

TE 831 (6 credit hours online-35 hours in school - Spring)

Student assessment, differentiated instructional strategies

TE 832 (6 credit hours online – 35 hours in school - Fall)

Career Outlook

Graduates of the program are prepared to:
  • Know the role and function of a school counselor.
  • Understand diversity within the school environment and recognize the needs of children from special populations.
  • Be familiar with the legislation and policies relevant to school counseling.
  • Understand the legal and ethical issues of the school counseling profession.
  • Implement the Nebraska Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program Model.
  • Organize their work schedules around the following basic interventions:
    • Individual counseling
    • Small group counseling
    • Large group guidance
    • Consultation for parents, families & school personnel
    • Student advocacy
    • Referrals
    • Career exploration
  • Employment of school counselors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024.
  • The median annual wage for school counselors was $54,560 in May 2016.
  • School counselors can earn additional income by working summers in the school system or in other jobs.
  • There is a particular need for professionals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Do I need to have a teaching certificate to become a professional school counselor?

A: No. Even though you must have a Master’s degree in school counseling, you no longer need a teaching certificate. As of 2017, there is alternative pathway to becoming an endorsed school counselor in the state of Nebraska.  In the UNK program, you will take 43 credit hours of school counseling courses and 12 credit hours of transitional teacher preparation certification courses to complete the requirements.

Q: When can I start working as a school counselor?

A: If you already hold a Nebraska Teaching Certificate, you can begin working as a provisionally endorsed school counselor when you have completed at least 50% of the program.  If you do not hold a Teaching Certificate, you can begin working as a provisionally endorsed school counselor when you have completed 75% of the program and the TE 831 course (6 credit hours online in school setting).

Q: How are the courses offered and structured?

A:  We are proud that 75% of the School Counseling Program coursework is offered online or in a blended format to better meet the needs of working students. The remaining 25% of courses are clinical in nature and therefore, offered in a traditional on-campus format.

Q: What is expected of me during the summer residency?

A: The CSP faculty strongly values and believes that students excel when the core clinical course are taught face to face with experiential learning, extensive supervision, and interpersonal learning. Thus, core classes are offered in the summer as well as Fall and Spring semesters to meet the needs of our working school counseling students.

Q: How do I get more information about the program?

A: Contact Marissa Fye, School Counseling program coordinator at or 308-865-8316.