Counselor Education – School Counseling


The Master of Science and Educational Specialist degrees in School Counseling program, in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations, in the College of Education, offers degrees at the master's and educational specialist levels. Courses in this program are designed to accommodate the schedule of the working individual, offering flexibility of hybrid course delivery (i.e., face-to-face, live online, and/or asynchronous online). 

Graduates of these graduate programs are eligible for licensure as a school counselor in the state of Mississippi, and graduates of the specialist programs are also eligible for licensure as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Mississippi. Courses taught in the school counseling program use the college of Education's Conceptual Framework for General Advanced Program. The master's and specialist’s level school counseling programs are accredited by both NCATE and CACREP.

A degree in school counseling provides numerous opportunities for employment. Recent graduates from our program have not only been employed as school counselors in the pre-K - 12 educational environment, but have also obtained positions as child behavior therapists, counselors for the Armed Forces, counselors at the community college level, career counselors, and various positions at university settings, such as career counseling, academic advising, etc.

Faculty in the school counseling program seek to prepare graduates to be advocates for the appropriate role of the school counseling in pre-K - 12 educational environments, leaders in the educational field, supportive agents for teachers and parents, and advocates for children and adolescents. Through rigorous coursework and clinical experiences, graduates are trained to provide a wide array of prevention and intervention services in the school setting. Our program focuses on teaching graduates how to successfully integrate the Mississippi Counseling Model, the ASCA National Model, and the National Standards for School Counselors into a comprehensive school counseling program that focuses on helping each and every child to be successful. Students will learn the foundation of counseling, developmental issues and concerns, counseling skills, and group counseling strategies to help students with daily struggles, as well as program evaluation, research methods, and assessment strategies to assist with program management and implementation.

Students in the school counseling program will have the ability to gain and demonstrate knowledge through advanced readings, interactive discussions, small group work, and numerous field experiences. In addition to field-based activities in content courses, students will also participate in a 100 hour (for those with a current MS teaching license) or 600 hour practicum and a 600 hour internship that is completed in an accredited pre-K - 12 environment under supervision of a licensed professional school counselor. Faculty work with students to help ensure beneficial placement settings for both supervising counselors and students.

School Counseling Core and Specialty Area Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the multiple professional roles and responsibilities of counselors and the ethical standards that apply to those roles and responsibilities.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of diversity though the application of multicultural, advocacy, and social justice practices and skills across client populations, settings and concerns.
  3. Student will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of factors that affect human development and abilities across the lifespan.
  4. Students will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and strategies for assessing abilities, interests, values, personality, and other factors that influence career development across the lifespan.
  5. Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills to include the application of theoretical frameworks and ethically and culturally relevant strategies for establishing and maintaining in-person and technology-assisted relationships.
  6. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of types of groups related to client’s goals and other considerations that affect group work across varied counseling settings.
  7. Students will demonstrate knowledge of statistical concepts and psychometric properties necessary to understand and utilize assessment information for diagnosis and treatment planning.
  8. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of evidence-based counseling practices used to inform counseling outcomes.
  9. Students will engage in multicultural, advocacy, and social justice practices in counseling.

Specialty Area Objective

  1. Students will demonstrate skills in developing a comprehensive school counseling program which promotes students’ academic, career, and personal/social success.

M.S. Degree in School Counseling

60 Graduate Credit Hours Required
Courses taught in the school counseling program use the College of Education's Conceptual Framework for General Advanced Programs. The school counseling program is accredited by both the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Council on the Accreditation of Counselor Education (CACREP). This program of study prepares individuals who wish to work in a pre-K - 12 school setting as a school counselor. In addition to completing coursework, licensure requirements include passing the PRAXIS 2 exam for school counseling.

Core Curriculum Courses (24 Hours)
Course Code Course Name Hours
COE 8013 Counseling Skills Development (Prerequisite: COE 8023) 3
COE 8023 Counseling Theory 3
COE 8203 Placement and Career Development 3
COE 8043 Group Techniques/Procedures (Pre: COE 8013, 8023) 3
COE 8063 Research Techniques for Counselors 3
COE 6903 Developmental Counseling and Mental Health 3
COE 8073 Cultural Foundations in Counseling 3
COE 8083 Assessment Techniques in Counseling 3
COE 8303 Family Counseling Theory (Pre: COE 8023) 3
COE 8633 Psychosocial Rehabilitation 3
COE 8703 Principles of Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3
School Counseling Curriculum (9 Hours)
COE 8903 School Counseling Services 3
COE 8923 Seminar in School Counseling (Pre: COE 8903) 3
Select only one of the Following Electives
COE 8913 Counseling Children 3
EPY 6113 CBehavioral & Cognitive Behavioral Interventions 3
EPY 8253 Child & Adolescent Development & Psychopathology 3
Field Experience (9 or 12 Hours)
(Select the appropriate set of practicum/internship hours)
*COE 8053 Practicum [100-hour] (Prereq: COE 8023, 8013, 8043, 8903) 3
*COE 8730 Internship [300-hour] (Prerequisite: COE 8053) 3
*COE 8750 Internship II [300-hour] 3
COE 8750 Internship [300-hour] (Prerequisite: COE 8053) 3
Suggested Electives (3-6 hours)
COE 8173 Counseling the Gifted Student 3
COE 8183 Utilizing Art in Counselling 3
COE 8363 Psychological Aspects of Disability 3
COE 8373 Medical Aspects of Disability 3
COE 8623 Advanced Law & Ethics 3
COE 8803 Crisis Response in Counseling (Prereq: COE 8023 3
COE 8773 Counseling the Chemically Dependent Client 3
COE 8783 Counseling he Chemically Dependent Family 3
Other (must be approved by advisor prior to enrolling in course) 3


A maximum of 12 semester hours may be transferred from an accredited institution with faculty advisor’s approval.

Professional Experience

In addition to all academic requirements of the Department, the College of Education, and the Graduate School, student should attempt to make full use of their graduate experience and are encouraged to demonstrate professional commitment to the field of School Counseling. Membership in professional organizations, as well as presentation and attendance at local, state, regional, and national conferences and workshops are strongly encouraged.

Students will complete a comprehensive exam in Counseling at the end of their program.

Course Sequencing and Student Progress

Each student enrolled in the program is assigned a faculty advisor who assists the student with course selection and navigating through the program. Each student is strongly encouraged to communicate frequently with his/her advisor. Coursework provides a balance between theory, practice, and experiential learning. The course sequence varies depending on the students' enrollment status (full or part-time), the student’s semester admitted, and enrollment in summer classes. The program can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Academic and professional development evaluations are made of all graduate students each semester to ensure ongoing professional growth and completion of coursework in a timely manner.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science and/or Educational Specialist in School Counseling program is open for all semesters.

Admission Requirements Include

  • A completed graduate application.
  • Graduate counseling programs at MSU Meridian are digitally delivered programs that utilize digital learning activities. This includes varied formats:  asynchronous learning, synchronous learning, hybrid learning, and some in person learning. As a result, candidates are admitted, they need to have reliable access to Wi-Fi internet, audio and video capability, and have a secure location to access these to complete all course requirements. This includes demonstration of proficiency with accessing, utilizing, and completing work in varied online platforms with availability to upload documents, complete work online, reach deadlines, and have substantial interaction and engagement in these courses.
  • Being a digitally delivered program, please include the following in your statement of purpose detailing the following:
    • Explore how you intend to be successful in our digitally delivered program. Please address your exposure to digital learning, your use of varied formats, and ways you will ensure proficiency.
    • Explore your professional goals in the specified specialization (e.g., school, clinical mental health, substance abuse, rehabilitation) and how those goals fit the program to which you are applying.
    • Explore how you intend to maintain a professional, personal, academic, and holistic wellness balance while in the program.
  • Names and email addresses for three references including two professional contacts and one instructor/professor who can speak to your academic ability. The admissions office will send them a link to an online reference form. Do not list family members and please inform your references so they can expect to be contacted by the admissions office.
  • A minimum 2.75 GPA (bachelor’s degree) for admission to M.S. programs and a recommended minimum of 3.3 GPA (master’s degree) for admission to Ed.S programs.
  • Individuals applying to the Ed.S. degree must hold a M.S. degree in counseling or a related field (as determined by program concentration).
  • Current medical immunization record.

All documentation and official transcripts, must be submitted to the graduate school for both the M.S. and Ed.S degree programs.

Applicants are encouraged to check with the program for additional requirements.  An application committee will review materials for admission.  Further information may be obtained from the Graduate School Bulletin, and the graduate application may be obtained online at

  • Spring Application Deadline – December 1
  • Summer Application Deadline – May 15
  • Fall Application Deadline – August 1

Financial Aid

A variety of financial aid is available to eligible students. Information about student financial aid may be obtained via the Mississippi State University website at

Website Resources for School Counselors


Melissa Windham, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, NCSC portrait

Melissa Windham, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, NCSC
Assistant Clinical Professor of Counselor Education

Phone: 601-484-0181
Fax: 601-484-0280