M.S. in School Counseling - Initial/Professional: Specialization in Disability SC5

This program leads to the following NYS Certifications:
School Counseling Initial
School Counseling Professional

Program Options/Extensions:
In addition to taking the core program outlined below, students may want to consider supplementing their program to achieve other goals and pursue additional certification. Each option enhancement has specific prerequisites and/or course requirements in addition to the requirements for the SC5 base program.

Additional Options & Certifications
  • Additional Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership [UT1] (0+ Additional Credits)
  • Advanced Certificate in Mind/Body Healing and Wellness [MB1] (13 Additional Credits)

Primary program course requirements

The primary program includes a total of 60 credits.

Entry Level Courses   

Up to 10 credits in graduate-level coursework in education or related fields may be transferred in prior to matriculating into the Master’s degree program if approved by the faculty advisor. These transfer credits can fulfill an elective requirement or be a direct substitution of a required course. Required courses that are part of accreditation assessments cannot be substituted.

Masters' Core   
ED406 Master's Research Methods|Introduces research methods and research design in education, emphasizing both qualitative and quantitative research design and analytic thinking. Prepares students to be literate consumers of education and counseling research using multiple methodologies.
ED429 Theories of Human Development|Provides a multidisciplinary, comprehensive introduction to a range of theoretical approaches in understanding human development. Explores the process of individual change over time that occurs in social, cultural, and historical contexts. Examines central theories of transformation and development that explain human behavior, environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior, and contexts that interact to affect individual development (e.g., school, family, and community).

Specialization Courses   
EDU450 Introduction to School Counseling|Introduces the counseling profession with an emphasis on the counselor’s role in educational settings. Examines the responsibilities of the counselor from a historical, theoretical, and practical point of view. Explores the helping relationship, the roles of the school counselor, and the professional practice issues related to providing school counseling services in historical and contemporary settings. Focus is placed on the fundamental elements of basic listening and communication skills that serve as the building blocks for more advanced counseling skills.
EDU457 Counseling Theory and Practice I|Introduces the major theories of counseling and their relationships to its practice in a variety of settings. Addresses the historical development and views of human nature for each theory, as well as the counselor’s role in facilitating change. Introduces basic interviewing and counseling skills and integrates theoretical approaches with skill development for counseling practice. Considers counseling ethics and multicultural awareness.
EDU460 Counseling Theory & Practice II|A continuation of Counseling Theory and Practice I. Enhances counseling and communication skills and knowledge of the counseling relationship. Prepares and supports students in their Practicum in Counseling (EDU 458), which may be done concurrently.
EDU454 Career Counseling and Development|Provides an overview of the career counseling and development field, including career development theories and decision-making models; career development program planning, organization, and services; career education practices; career counseling materials, processes, and techniques; and computer-assisted career guidance systems.
EDU453 Counseling and Facilitating in Small Groups|Explores the dynamics of small groups and their application to the work of counselors. Content includes: human systems; small group dynamics; leadership and membership; group counseling and facilitation; small group techniques and interventions; and the legal and ethical considerations in group work. Students become members of an ongoing growth group that meets regularly as part of the weekly class agenda.
EDU470 Multicultural Perspectives in Counseling|Addresses issues of culture, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, age, and social class in relation to current counseling theory and practice. Students examine their own cultural identities and values and how these may impact their work as counselors serving diverse populations. Issues include recognition/acceptance of diversity; knowledge of multicultural issues and concepts; knowledge of specific cultural and racial/ethnic groups; personal, institutional, sociopolitical responses to diversity; and communication and counseling skills for diverse populations.
EDE417 Crisis Counseling and Disaster Mental Health|Examines the crisis counseling and disaster mental health field with an emphasis on improving the well-being (mental health) of those who are survivors or extended survivors of a crisis event or disaster. The objective of the course is to address the psychological reactions and human response to crisis and the appropriate responses of mental health professionals to these events. Topics covered include: crisis and disaster management; disaster theory and models; and post-trauma interventions such as psychological first aid, psychological triage, and emergency trauma treatment protocols. Addresses the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of crisis/disaster-related issues, such as stress, acute stress disorder, acute crisis episodes, trauma, and PTSD. Investigates current evidence-based practice and research in crisis/disaster mental health, and addresses the role of the counseling professional in the development, training, and care of an effective crisis team and the development of community resources.
EDU459 Contemporary Issues in School Counseling|Reviews a wide array of current issues and strategies for school counseling, including child abuse and mandated reporting; legal and ethical issues; working with multicultural, diverse, and special populations; and the counselor’s role in responding to eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, violence, and more. The course entails lectures, class discussions, and in-class/extra-class projects that combine knowledge in many disciplines with self-understanding and perceptive abilities.
EDU465 Assessment and Appraisal|Explores the fundamentals of selecting, administering, interpreting, and presenting tests as a component of the diagnostic and counseling process. Includes discussions of the principles of measurement; an examination of intelligence, career, personality, and other test instruments; rationale for test selection; guidelines for test administration; and ethical use of appraisal in decision making and treatment planning.

Social Context Courses   

Choose one of the following social context courses:
ED419 Life Course Studies|A critical survey of existing scholarly knowledge, research, and theory about the development across the life course, from childhood to late life. Examines how socio-historical forces, timing of transitions, societal institutions, heterogeneity or variability, social ties, human agency, and interpersonal expectations shape the individual’s biographical experience and view of his or her personal past and future. Implications for practice and research are discussed.
ED418 The Family and Social Dynamics|Explores the cultural, social, and political structures that shape, change, and maintain “family,” addressing questions central to the study of family and families: What do we mean when we say family? Why is kinship always the center of human society? What are the roles of family policies in shaping family practices? To address these questions, we draw on personal histories, different theoretical perspectives, empirical research, current events, and public policy issues. Examines proximal processes and strategies of “doing family” and the distal arrangements and multiple contexts shaping these practices, bringing attention to how the family interacts with educational, governmental, community, faith-based, and other organizational groups constructed to “support” families. Explores research methodologies and methods emerging from different theories and their strengths and limitations, and studies family issues and policies, examining how they take shape, and how they shape families.
ED481 School, Family, and Community Relations|Surveys approaches for uniting schools, families, and community institutions into meaningful partnerships to foster academic success and healthy development in young people. Examines theoretical, political, and practical issues and research associated with new and traditional forms of collaboration.
ED425 Minority Youth Development in Urban Contexts|Provides an exploration of developmental and sociocultural processes that impact long-term outcomes for minority students. Examines influential environmental issues that focus on cultural, educational, structural, and sociopolitical factors. Students acquire an understanding of how these influences (e.g., racial socialization, parental stressors, and residential segregation) can impact development for minority children and how this knowledge can inform intervention strategies.
EDU442 Race, Class, Gender, and Disability in American Education|Explores how and in what ways schools produce inequalities based on socially constructed conceptions of identity (e.g., race, class, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, and language). Students will critically analyze relevant literature and their own experiences as raced, classed, gendered, (dis)abled, etc. individuals to develop an understanding of how educational institutions serve as agents of the transmission of social injustice. Students will understand race, class, gender, (dis)ability and other identity markers as intersected and mutually constituted, not as isolated variables. Examines how human diversity shapes and is shaped by our lives, and how the transformation of social and educational practices might re-shape lives.
EDU464 Child Development and Learning in Context (ages 5 to 12)|Develops an understanding of what can be expected of children five to 12 years old. Examines the development of children from theoretical and empirical perspectives, emphasizing the role of a wide range of contextual factors in children’s development. Examines research trends and findings in the areas of language development, social development, intellectual development, learning, and achievement motivation. Distinctions between informal and formal learning provide a context for exploring the role that formal schooling can play in learning and development.
EDU479 Promoting Mental Health in Midlife and Old Age|Focuses on challenges affecting psychological wellness that are commonly encountered in aging populations. Students consider the responses of older adults to socioeconomic constraints, grief and loss, chronic illness, retirement, changing identity, increasing dependency, loneliness, death and dying, and structural ageism. Attention is given to DSM-V diagnostic categories particularly germane to later life and to the unique manifestations of common mental disorders in aging adults. Students are introduced to assessments and intervention strategies specifically designed for use in older adults. Other topics germane to late life are explored, including assisted living, long-term care, and elder abuse.
EDE422 Motivation in Human Development|Provides a survey of theory and research in human motivation, with particular application to human development, educational and organizational settings, and counseling. Explores several influential approaches to motivation before focusing on one major contemporary approach known as self-determination theory. Topics covered include: the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation; processes of socialization and internalization; and the importance of basic psychological need satisfaction in educational, organizational, and counseling contexts. Emphasis is placed on application of motivational principles in the professional settings identified above.
EDU471 Counselor as Systems Consultant|Explores the different consultation and advocacy processes needed to identify and overcome organizational and institutional barriers that impair the development of individuals, small groups, and larger social units, with an emphasis on equity and successful identity achievement. Gives primacy to a social-systems view of schools and community agencies, and focuses on developing proficiency in systems analysis and strategies for implementing system changes. Theories and models of consultation to systems are introduced and incorporated into practice.


Choose electives for a total of 3 credits; a selection from the following is suggested but not required:
ED453 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis|This is the first course in the Applied Behavior Analysis course sequence and will provide students with a basic understanding of the terminology and applications of ABA. The primary foci of this course are to teach students introductory principles and methods used in ABA and to explore the application of these methods in educational and other settings, including how to apply the practice to improve the quality of life and valued outcomes for individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This course is a co-requisite for all other courses in the ABA sequence, but does not require admission into the program to register.
EDU473 Problem Identification and Intervention in Counseling II|A continuation of Problem Identification and Intervention in Counseling I. Students are introduced to additional Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V categories, including: schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, feeding and eating disorders, dissociative disorders, neurocognitive disorders, substance-related and addictive disorders, gender dysphoric disorder, and paraphilic disorders. A variety of interventions are considered and opportunities are provided to make diagnostic assessments and construct treatment plans through the use of confederate case clients.
EDU439 Interpersonal Systems in Counseling and Human Development|Includes study of the multiple forms of intimate relationship across the life-course, and their role in human development and mental health. Emphasizes the interpersonal systems orientation to counseling in which problems and challenges, as well as their amelioration, are constructed and interpreted as experiences of relationship. Critical concepts from the literatures in family development; friendship and social support; marriage and family counseling; social psychology; and community prevention will be used to illustrate the meanings of, and opportunities for, relatedness in contemporary life for the purpose of learning to construct appropriate and empowering social-systemic counseling interventions for all ages of children and adults who are in relationship to each other.
ED405 Assessment in Instructional Contexts|Develops a comprehensive understanding of the multiple purposes of assessment. Provides a critical overview of the historical foundations of educational assessment and consequences of assessment and testing. Helps course participants to understand assessment as an ongoing part of instruction and reflective practice and to develop the ability to use assessment to guide instruction and improve student achievement. Familiarizes students with processes, procedures, and laws surrounding the use of assessment, particularly in special education, and provides opportunities to learn how to effectively and critically use a variety of tools and procedures in the determination of students’ eligibility for educational services as well as the role that assessment plays in the diagnosis and construction of ability and disability.
ED446 Collaborative Teaching Partnerships in Inclusive Classrooms|Empowers teachers to capitalize on the expertise and support of other professionals in addressing the needs of students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. Explores the nature of collaborative relationships within an educational and social context and how such relationships can be effectively established to support inclusive teaching. Examines historical and current theories and frameworks for collaboration and community building, and strives to have teachers develop a personal model of collaboration and team building with colleagues, parents, and students.

EDF450 Practicum in Counseling|This introductory onsite practicum experience in a school or community setting develops and improves counseling skills with clients and groups and observes the action of social systems in a real-world environment. Students work at the site, record counseling sessions, receive individual and group supervision, and attend a weekly university class. Practicum in counseling is a prerequisite to all other master’s-level internships.
EDF451 Supervised Internship in School Counseling I|The first semester of a two-semester field-based experience in a school setting, the school counseling internship includes work at the internship site, individual and group supervision, and attendance at weekly university seminars. Seminar topics vary and include: working with diverse populations, handling crises that may arise during the internship, working with parents and teachers, and other topics that interns may wish to discuss. Taken in the last year of a student’s program.
EDF452 Supervised Internship in School Counseling II|The second semester of a two-semester field-based experience in a school setting, the school counseling internship includes work at the internship site, individual and group supervision, and attendance at weekly university seminars. Seminar topics vary and include working with diverse populations, handling crises that may arise during the internship, working with parents and teachers, and other topics that interns may wish to discuss. Taken in the last year of a student's program. (Offered: Every spring)

Additional Requirements   
EDU455 Policy and Practice in Developmental Differences|Introduces opportunities, support, and resources for individuals concerned with developmental differences and normalcy. Welcomes participants from various positions, interests, and experiences, including health and human service professionals, educators, family members, persons with developmental differences, and scholars. Oriented by a developmental, life-long, and multi-disciplinary approach, participants work to dispute dominant disability discourses of 'lacks and absences' and to reconsider developmental differences as neither inherent nor ‘less than’ what is needed.
EDU466 Problem Identification and Intervention in Counseling I|Focuses on identification and treatment of clinical problems that students may encounter as practicing mental health or school counseling professionals. Introduces a variety of diagnostic systems and methods for constructing remediation and prevention strategies. Contents of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V are introduced, and opportunities are provided to make diagnostic assessments and treatment planning strategies through the use of confederate case clients. DSM-V categories covered include: anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, personality disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, reactive attachment disorder, trauma- and stressor-related disorders, and bipolar and related disorders.
ED447 Disability and Schools|Prepares educators to understand and respond to the needs of students with disabilities. Examines the concept of disability in society and, more specifically, in education. Considers the historical context for special education and the institutional approach to disabilities, and utilizes that context to critically examine and discuss current educational practices, laws, and regulations for students with diverse learning abilities. Addresses the inclusion/standards debate, as well as the diagnosis, classification, and assessment of students. Introduces some strategies for working with students with diverse learning abilities in the typical classroom.
ED457 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Characteristics and Educational Issues|Introduces the autism spectrum and the associated behavioral and learning characteristics. Explores the history of spectrum disorders, the current etiological theories, and the issues surrounding diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. Focuses on the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders; the historical context of the spectrum of disorders with particular emphasis placed on the diagnostic issues and debates; current theories and research into causes of the disorders; best practices in the assessment of children with a spectrum disorder; the learning characteristics of children with a spectrum disorder; and an introduction to and discussion of educational intervention models.


For students interested in also pursuing the Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership (UT1):
- Choose EDU442-Race, Class, Gender, and Disability in American Education as your “social context course”
- Choose as your 3 credits of electives the sequence EDE446, ED440, ED441, while conducting your Internship in urban settings; the sequence must start with EDE446 in summer A before the beginning of your second year in the program
- School Counseling students ONLY are allowed to substitute EDU470-Multicultural Perspectives in Counseling for ED468-Leadership in Urban Schools
- Contact the UTL Director in advance to be officially accepted into this additional program

Other Requirements:

In addition to the coursework indicated above, in order to graduate and to receive the certification(s)/licensure (if any) you are seeking this program has additional requirements. Please note that in some cases, while our program will provide you with all the academic experiences required for the certification you seek, there may be some additional requirements that you will have to complete independently and outside of our program in order to be granted that certification/licensure (ex: completing a certain number of years of mentored experiences or completing exams).

    Required for Program Completion
  • B.A. or B.S. Degree
  • Master's Essay or Thesis
  • NYS-approved Workshop on Recognizing the Signs of Child Abuse
  • NYS-approved Workshop on School Violence Prevention and Intervention
  • Dignity for All Students (DASA) Training in Harassment, Bullying, Cyberbullying, & Discrimination Prevention and Intervention
    Required for Certification (key items)
  • Finger-print Supported Background Check (to be completed and submitted directly to NYS at the beginning of the program)
  • 2 Years of Regular, Full-time Counseling in a School Setting (NOT a graduation requirements but needed before applying for professional certification)