Jul 21, 2024  
2020-2021 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2026 
2020-2021 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2026 [Archived Catalog]

Counseling: School Counseling (MA)

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Affiliation: School of Health Sciences & Education


The Master of Arts in Counseling at Truman State University is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills to serve in one of two important counseling capacities. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Track will be prepared to serve as Licensed Professional Counselors. Students in the School Counseling Track will be prepared to serve the academic, career, and personal/social needs of culturally diverse students in the elementary, middle, and secondary schools. 

This program focuses on developing knowledge and skills involved in becoming a reflective practitioner in the art and science of counseling. To assist counselors-in-training to achieve the specified knowledge and skills, particular attention is given in both tracks to the application of personality and human development theories, the nature of the counseling relationship and the procedures and techniques of counseling practice, research and assessment, and intervention strategies. Specialty areas provide focused study on issues germane to the focused area of practice. Students in both tracks complete the necessary curricular requirements to pursue licensure or certification in their area of practice, including required practicum and internship experiences.

This program is scheduled to launch in August 2021. Please visit the Graduate Studies website for updates.


The Counseling program is aligned with the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Truman is concurrently launching its self-study for CACREP accreditation with the beginning of this program, and graduates of this program will be deemed to have graduated from a CACREP accredited program, once and provided accreditation is granted, if they are enrolled during the self-study period. The curriculum is also aligned with the Missouri Standards for Teacher Education Programs (MoSTEP) for students in the School Counseling track. Students should consult the state licensing board in their state of residence to verify any additional requirements for their state.


The Master of Arts in Counseling: School Counseling program at Truman State University has the following objectives:

  • The preparation of students for advanced professional degrees in school counseling;
  • The preparation of students to demonstrate compassion, competence, professionalism, and leadership in the school counseling profession;
  • The preparation of students to apply research skills in advanced academic work and in professional school counseling work settings;
  • The preparation of students to utilize theoretical models and research findings in:
    • Developing effective counseling relationships;
    • Working with culturally diverse clients and students in various counseling settings;
    • Assessing various behaviors and personality traits;
    • Developing, organizing, administering, maintaining, and evaluating various school counseling services;
    • Creating and implementing treatment plans appropriate to client needs, counselor expertise, and employment;
    • Mental health promotion and prevention;
    • Developing, organizing, administering, maintaining, and evaluating counseling services in a variety of employment settings.


The Master of Arts in Counseling program has the following goals for each student. Each of these goals has specific outcome measures.

  • Students understand the history and philosophy of the school counseling profession, ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling, professional credentialing and professional organizations.
  • Students understand counseling and consultation processes and are able to demonstrate the development of a therapeutic relationship and an appropriate case conceptualization.
  • Students understand both the theoretical and experiential basis of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches.
  • Students understand the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels, situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior, and strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life-span.
  • Students understand the cultural context of relationships, issues and trends in multicultural and diverse society related to such factors as culture, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomic status and unique characteristics of individuals, families, ethnic groups and communities.
  • Students understand individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation, general principles and methods of case conceptualization, and strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in school counseling.
  • Students understand career development and decision-making models, as well as assessment instruments and techniques that are relevant to career planning, counseling, and decision-making.
  • Students understand research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation, and are able to use these principles to improve counseling effectiveness and effect program modifications.
  • Students who will work in school settings understand various school guidance models with emphasis on the Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program, including structural components, guidance curriculum, individual planning, responsive services, support services, and technology.

The Master of Arts in Counseling program is available to students exclusively online and is designed to meet the most commonly accepted standards for counseling preparation nationwide: those of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The School Counseling degree is composed of 60 credits: a 39-credit Core Curriculum and a 21-credit specialization that includes 12 credits in internship experiences (6 credits across two internships at the elementary and secondary levels).

Qualified applicants may enroll at any of several starting points throughout the academic year. All courses are scheduled in 8-week terms. Students are allowed to apply to their degree program up to fifteen credits from another CACREP-accredited counseling program. Credit transfers from non-accredited programs will not be accepted. Students may not transfer COUN 656G COUN 663G , Practicum, or Internship credits. The Program Director reserves the right to deny transfer of credits from a CACREP-accredited program if the curriculum of the proposed transfer course does not adequately align with the Truman curriculum.


  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75;
  • A personal statement;
  • Successful completion of a required criminal background check; 
  • School Counseling students must complete the Missouri Educator Profile (MEP) prior to admission.


All students must pass an FBI background clearance before being placed in practicum or internship assignments. The background check must be current (within one year) when applying for certification.


  • Completion of all coursework with a minimum of 3.00 GPA;
  • Meeting all requirements for admission to the practicum and internship experience and completion of the practicum and internship;
  • Successfully complete the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment. Successfully complete the full battery of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education certification exams, which include:
    • The Missouri Education Profile (MEP), which must be successfully completed at or before the time of application to the program.
    • MOCA - 056 Counselor.
    • The Missouri School Counselor Performance Assessment (MOSCPA).



For individuals seeking certification as a school counselor in the State of Missouri, the Department of Elementary and Secondary education requires possession of a teaching certificate, earned through completion of an approved education program. Individuals not possessing teacher certification will be required to complete the following courses to become eligible to serve as school counselors.

Counseling Internship

Students complete a post-practicum supervised capstone clinical experience. Students in the School Counseling Track must complete 350 supervised hours in Elementary and Secondary School settings.

Certification and Licensure

Certification and licensure requirements are determined on a state-by-state basis. As requirements are regularly changing, it is the student’s responsibility to verify the requirements applicable to the state in which they ultimately intend to work. Upon completion of this program students need to apply for an Initial Student Services Certificate through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to obtain counseling certification. Once this is obtained, then they need to have a recommendation from Truman for certification. Students obtain their initial counseling certification in Missouri before applying for licensure out-of-state. Students planning to pursue employment outside of Missouri are still required to complete Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment (MEGA).

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