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M.A. in School Counseling

Web: Department of Counseling

Dr. Cheryl Wu, Program Director
Fowler Hall, Room 104

The School Counseling Programs (full-time) prepares graduates to be multiculturally competent professional school counselors with the cultural self-awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, and skills essential to becoming effective and ethical practitioners, leaders, and advocates to promote social justice, equity and academic excellence for all deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students in a variety of K-12 educational settings.

The master's degree consists of a minimum of 75 credit hours and requires two academic years to complete, including the summer between the first and second year of study.

The program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) and is part of Gallaudet's Educator Preparation Provider Unit, which is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). In addition to the Graduate School Requirements, the school counseling program requires the successful completion of three undergraduate or graduate courses, one each in child, adolescent, or human development; abnormal psychology; and one additional course in psychology (nine hours total).


Admissions Procedures and Requirements

Applicants for the M.A. in School Counseling must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions web site for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Courses' and 'Overview' tabs.



First Date for Consideration of Application: November 15
Preferred Date for Completed Application: No Deadline


Students applying to the School Counseling Program must initially meet general requirements established by the graduate school:

  • evidence of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • preferably a 3.0 average in undergraduate work
  • required undergraduate major: Psychology, Social Work or related discipline in the helping or educational professions
  • three letters of recommendation - a supervisor, a current/recent college instructor, someone familiar with applicant to give accurate testimony of applicant's character and dispositions fitting to the counseling field, (but not a friend or family member).
  • a completed application
  • official transcripts of all college work.

Program Specific Requirements

  • There are 4 general counseling related essays required by the Department, and 1 essay specific to those applying to the School Counseling Program that is related to the field of school counseling with deaf/hard of hearing student populations.
  • Interview, in person or through videophone, with one or more program faculty is required.

Required Prior Coursework

  • minimum of nine (9) credit hours in Psychology prior to entering the program, including undergraduate courses in:
    • Child Development, Abnormal Psychology or Human Development

Core Program of Study

Students usually take 12-15 credit hours per semester.

Semester I - Fall

COU 712Orientation to the Profession of School Counseling3
COU 717Lifespan Development3
COU 721Foundations in Helping Skills I4
COU 730Social and Cultural Diversity Foundations & Multicultural Counseling3
COU 732Theories and Approaches in Counseling and Psychotherapy3

Semester II - Spring

COU 709Culture, Identity & the American Deaf Community3
COU 714Emotional & Behavioral Disorders Across the Lifespan4
COU 716Psychopharmacology for Counselors1
COU 720Introduction to Research for Counselors3
COU 731SIMSOC: Simulated Society1
COU 740*Practicum in School Counseling4
COU 751School Based Group Counseling4
  • *  Each student will be required to take a Gallaudet University American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (GU-ASLPI) and attain a rating of Intermediate before being allowed to enter COU 740

Summer Session

COU 702Play Therapy3
COU 703Substance Prevention For Children and Youth3
COU 765Crisis and Trauma Counseling2

Semester III - Fall

COU 715Family Therapy3
COU 734Lifestyles and Career Development3
COU 737Organization and Administration of School Programs3
COU 741Internship I in School Counseling4
COU 748Principles of Assessment in Counseling3
HSL 707Audiology and Hearing Technology for Educators and Counseling Professionals3

Semester IV - Spring

COU 790Internship II in School Counseling12
  • Total Credits: 75

COU 702 - Play Therapy (3)

This course is designed to give the candidate exposure to the various play therapies: play room, sand tray, art, movement and psychodrama. Through reading, lecture, class discussion, case presentations, and role play simulations, candidates will become familiar with various techniques used with children in therapy and counseling. Candidates will discuss the applicability of these theories in working with deaf and hard of hearing children and youth; as well as in working with children and youth with differing cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

  • Prerequisites: Graduate level standing.

COU 703 - Substance Prevention For Children and Youth (3)

This course will review current practice in the area of substance abuse prevention for children and youth, as well as focusing on current research in this area. Through readings, lectures, class discussions, class projects and presentations and role play simulations, candidates will become familiar with different methods and programs to use with children and youth of different ages.

COU 709 - Culture, Identity & the American Deaf Community (3)

This course is designed to focus on the culture and identity of deaf/hard of hearing individuals and their related cultural communities in the context of American society. It will promote in-depth exploration and understanding of personal, socio-political, and cultural relationships of these individuals and communities and the effects on the counseling process and relationship between counselor and client, including group and systems level change dynamics. The course will utilize and build upon the theoretical frameworks and practices introduced in COU 730: Social and Cultural Diversity Foundations & Multicultural Counseling, including continuation of the "Sharing Views" cross cultural dialogue groups. There will be 5 units in this course: Deaf people within a Multicultural Framework, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Deaf populations, Intersectionality and Deaf Identities, Culturally Responsive Practice (Counselor to Client and Client Systems), and Working with Deaf Children in context of their Family, School, and Community.

  • Prerequisite: COU 730

COU 712 - Orientation to the Profession of School Counseling (3)

The course provides an orientation to counseling services within K – 12 educational settings. Includes an introduction to the profession of school counseling, counselor roles and functions, principles and models, professional ethics, organizations, and publications related to the field. Emphasis will be the beginning development of a framework in which to apply issues of educational equity, social justice, and multicultural practices for all students.

COU 714 - Emotional & Behavioral Disorders Across the Lifespan (4)

This course is designed to provide a foundation in the conceptualization, identification and treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders across the lifespan. Attention will be given to the specific symptoms associated with common psychological disorders such as those addressed in the DSM-5 and medical diagnoses that may have emotional, behavioral or learning implications for children, adolescents and adults. In addition, the course will take into account cultural aspects, age considerations, associated complications, and predisposing factors. This important foundation is reinforced through case studies with emphasis on case formulation, conceptualization and potential interventions. Intervention and treatment planning using a strength- and wellness-based model will be considered. Additionally, attention is given to the appropriate preventive measures. Students will begin to utilize the DSM system of classification while not being completely bound by this system and thus begin to develop their own working models of how maladaptive patterns of adjustment develop, persist and can evolve into newer, more adaptive patterns of functioning.

  • Prerequisites: Completion of COU 710 or 712, and COU721 and COU732

COU 715 - Family Therapy (3)

This course is designed to examine the major contemporary theories and approaches in couples, marital and family therapy. From this framework, candidates will also consider the applicability of these theories in working with deaf children, adolescents, adults and families with deaf members. Examined will be major concepts of family dynamics and the family life cycle, with additional emphasis on families with deaf members. Candidates will be introduced to key concepts involving 1) the understanding of functional and dysfunctional relationships which often occur within couples and families and which also may occur between the client/family and therapist or other professionals involved with deaf persons, 2) the formulation and implementation of clinical intervention techniques to modify dysfunctional individuals, couples or families and larger than family dynamics. Activities will include lecture, class discussion, case presentations, and role playing simulation sessions with post-session discussions. A major emphasis is placed on the development and becoming of the couples, marital and family therapist.

  • Prerequisites: COU 732.

COU 716 - Psychopharmacology for Counselors (1)

This is an introduction to current psychoactive medications used most often in schools and counseling/psychiatric settings today. The course will explore the conditions which respond best to psychoactive drugs, the specific drugs used to treat specific conditions, and the typical dosages used. In addition, it will explore when it is appropriate to suggest medication and also alternative medication, side effects to be aware of, and the benefits gained from the use of psychoactive drugs.

  • Prerequisites: Graduate level standing.

COU 717 - Lifespan Development (3)

This course is designed to review theories and principles of human development across the lifespan, and to familiarize students with current knowledge and research in the field. This course also covers areas of childhood disabilities, as well as current issues regarding deafness and human development. Developmental issues across the life span related to culture, gender, heredity and environment will also be included.

  • Prerequisites: Undergraduate course in child/adolescent development and an undergraduate course in abnormal psychology.

COU 720 - Introduction to Research for Counselors (3)

The purpose of this course is to assist students in understanding the language, principles, reasoning, and methodologies of research and to help them critically evaluate counseling research literature. Students will recognize ethical issues relevant to conducting culturally appropriate research, and how research can improve counseling effectiveness. Instruction is approached from a multicultural perspective, including through the selection of instructional materials and student assessments.

  • Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.

COU 721 - Foundations in Helping Skills I (4)

This introductory course provides students with an understanding of essential interviewing and counseling skills necessary to develop a therapeutic relationship with clients from diverse backgrounds, establish appropriate counseling goals, design intervention strategies, evaluate client outcome, and successfully terminate the counselor-client relationship. Counselor characteristics and behaviors that influence helping processes including age, gender, and ethnic differences, verbal and nonverbal behaviors and personal characteristics, orientations, and skills are covered. This course facilitates student self-awareness and sensitivity toward Deaf culture and other multicultural issues that facilitate relationships among people. Ethical issues in working with clients are reviewed. The instructional format including lectures, discussions, small group activities, and student engagement in role playing and simulated counseling sessions.

COU 730 - Social and Cultural Diversity Foundations & Multicultural Counseling (3)

This course is designed for students' personal and professional development in the area of social and cultural diversity awareness development and multicultural counseling. Effective and meaningful multicultural work with culturally diverse clients/groups/communities requires helping professionals to develop a continuing awareness of self; increased knowledge and practical understanding of others' world-views; and an ever changing and evolving skill set for effective engagement with diverse individuals/populations. Throughout the course students will begin to develop their own "cultural portfolios" through the activities and experiences in and outside of the classroom setting that have been designed to draw out personal thought, reflection, evaluation-re-evaluation, and interpersonal dialogue on related issues of cultural relevance and social justice work as a helping professional. This course will facilitate deeper awareness, broader knowledge and understanding, and provide a framework to developing multicultural competence as a counselor all the while addressing the impact of culture and power on an individual, his/her family, community, organizational structures and systems of power that reflect culture. The course takes a meta model approach to identity, and views people as being multifaceted and members of multiple cultural/language groups including but not limited to race, ethnicity, religious diversity, disability, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, language, education, and much more. Throughout the course, there is considerable use of experiential learning exercises including individual, pair, small and large group dialogue and activity in and outside of class, regular reading, didactic teaching of theoretical concepts, frameworks, and practices, gust presentation and use of media reflect the teaching approaches.

  • Co-requisites: Simultaneously taken with COU 710, or 712, 717, 721, 732

COU 731 - SIMSOC: Simulated Society (1)

SIMSOC is an experiential learning simulation activity developed in the 1960's by William Gamson that explores system / organizational dynamics, processes of large scale conflict, protest, social control, and social change. The simulation is played over two full consecutive days, and then is followed by an extensive debriefing, and an additional follow up and application session. During the simulation, participants are assigned membership into one of four "regions" of the SIMSOC "society". Each individual is given specific roles, responsibilities, and resources. During the SIMSOC experience, participants deepen their own understanding of themselves and others as they address complex intra- and inter- group communication, team-building, trust building, negotiation skills and other aspects of fact to face multicultural interactions. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore the challenge of creating a Utopian society. They experience the dynamics between individualism and collectivism as they seek to satisfy specific individual "goals" while simultaneously working to ensure the survival and developing culture of the society as a whole. This course is required for all Department of Counseling students (both Mental and School Counseling majors). The course is an elective course for non-counseling graduate students with Instructors permission.

  • Prerequisites: This course is for graduate level students and/or instructor permission

COU 732 - Theories and Approaches in Counseling and Psychotherapy (3)

This course provides graduate counselor trainees with a foundation in the counseling treatment approaches commonly used in school, community, mental health counseling settings. This course is fundamental in developing skills in assessment of client needs and application of effective preventive and therapeutic counseling interventions. This course emphasizes the appropriate application of counseling and psychotherapy theories to culturally diverse populations of children and adults.

  • Prerequisites: Department of Counseling degree students and special graduate students with permission.

COU 734 - Lifestyles and Career Development (3)

This course is designed to provide students with knowledge of theories, materials, programs, and practices in the career development area. It specifically seeks to identify practices used with or potentially useful with deaf people. A central theme is the recognition of the role of career and work with the integration of personality. The course will discuss multicultural issues. Emphasis will be placed on discussing the career needs of deaf and hard of hearing people.

  • Prerequisites: COU 710.

COU 737 - Organization and Administration of School Programs (3)

This course is designed to provide students with organizational and administrative theoretical frameworks of comprehensive school counseling programs (CSCP), and a basic understanding of the processes involved with the design, implementation, management, and evaluation of a comprehensive school guidance and counseling program from a multicultural organizational development (MCOD) context. In addition, the course will address knowledge and basic skills in multicultural organizational development, school-based consultation, advocacy, leadership, and coordination. The American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) national model for comprehensive school counseling programs will serve as the foundational framework students will utilize to explore, understand, and apply within a multicultural organizational developmental context. (Sue & Sue, 2004; Jackson & Holvino, 1994; Jackson & Hardiman, 1984; Pope, 1992; Colbert & Colbert, 2003). Course concepts and processes will be learned and reinforced primarily through the experiential class project throughout the semester. The project will focus on a comprehensive and multicultural organizational development analysis of an actual educational community.

  • Prerequisites: COU 712, COU 720, COU 721, COU 730, COU 751 and COU 740 (740 may be taken simultaneously and may be waived by instructor depending on student’s experience level).

COU 740 - Practicum in School Counseling (4)

This course is the beginning level of fieldwork experience in the school counseling program. The intent of this course is to introduce students to the basic roles and duties of a professional school counselor in a local (Washington DC-MD-VA Metropolitan Area) educational setting for deaf/hard of hearing students, K-12. This first semester of fieldwork is two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), 8 hours/day, for the duration of at least one semester. The total numbers of clock hours for the Practicum is a minimum of 150 hours, 40-60 of which are direct client contact hours. (Note: the actual total clock hours for one semester is 240 based on the calculation of 16 hrs/week for 15 weeks). The focus of this first fieldwork experience is for the student to develop competency in building rapport with their clients, site supervisor, and other significant school personnel. Students develop a basic understanding of their educational setting and its organizational structure, management and administration; and specifically the administration and operation of a comprehensive, developmental counseling program in a school that serves deaf and hard of hearing students. Students engage in basic school counseling duties including but not limited to: classroom observation, individual counseling, teacher/parent consultation, case conferences, staff meetings, individual student planning, counseling documentation (e.g. progress notes); IEP/ITP planning and implementation; intake interviews and basic behavioral assessments, conducting psycho-educational groups and guidance activities, etc. Students also experience and learn about the purpose of individual and peer group supervision. These experiences help facilitate the students' personal growth and professional identity development as they promote students to explore and apply different theories of counseling; deepen their self-awareness and ability for individual and collective refection; and share both successes and challenges with supervisors and other practicum students during group supervision. Site supervisors are encouraged to provide clients from diverse racial-ethnic (at least 40% to 50% of total number of clients) and cultural backgrounds, age levels, gender, as well as those with a wide range of counseling issues and needs.

  • Prerequisites: Successful completion of first semester courses with a "B" or better in: COU 712, COU 717, COU 721, COU 730, COU 732; successful completion of first semester transition points; permission of program director

COU 741 - Internship I in School Counseling (4)

This course is the intermediate level of fieldwork experience in the school counseling program and typically takes place in the 4th semester of the student's program. It is also often a continuation in the same educational setting that the student begins for Practicum. The focus of this second fieldwork experience is for the student to expand upon his/her personal and professional counseling competencies in working effectively with diverse deaf/hard of hearing students (K-12), site supervisor, and other significant school personnel; engaging in both prevention and intervention counseling strategies and techniques with individuals and possibly group counseling opportunities; and begin to engage in effective practices as a professional school counselor with regard to client/family advocacy, leadership, consultation, collaboration and teaming, and affecting change on a systemic level. The student is expected to deepen his/her knowledge and understanding of his/her educational setting and its organizational structure, management and administration; and specifically the administration and operation of its counseling services. Furthermore, there will be emphasis placed on linking counseling theory and practice with the added incorporation of case conceptualization into this semester of students' case presentations. Students will also be exposed to consultation and collaboration models and will be encouraged to explore and develop their own style of consultation and collaboration. Students may engage in school counseling duties including but not limited to: classroom observation, individual counseling, teacher/parent consultation, case conferences, staff meetings, individual student planning, counseling documentation (e.g. progress notes); IEP/ITP planning and implementation; intake interviews, behavioral assessments, group counseling and guidance activities; leadership, advocacy, and collaboration activities, etc. See "School Counseling Fieldwork Manual" for additional information regarding requirements for: instructors, students, faculty supervisors, site supervisors, clinical instruction environment.

  • Prerequisites: COU 740 Practicum in School Counseling; Advancement to Candidacy; Passed 2nd and 3rd (summer) semester program transition points; permission of Program Director

COU 748 - Principles of Assessment in Counseling (3)

Using a multicultural emphasis, this course provides an introduction to the purposes, concepts, and techniques of assessment, including how assessment information is used in counseling and how it is communicated to others. Includes a review of foundational statistical concepts, an overview of assessment procedures, ethics, and legal implications. Includes tools and procedures for assessment of intelligence and ability, aptitude, development, personality, educational, and clinical issues. Note this course does not cover vocational and career assessment.

  • Prerequisites: Counseling Major Only

COU 751 - School Based Group Counseling (4)

This course is for graduate school counseling majors and offers an introduction to basic group counseling theory and practice, with particular emphasis on counseling children and adolescents K-12 within the context of culturally diverse school settings. This course is largely experiential in nature as students will be exposed to a variety of group counseling approaches that may be utilized in a school setting as well as the opportunity to design a psychoeducational group counseling curriculum which will be directly applied in practicum/internship field placements. Students will also participate in a 10-week group process experience.

  • Prerequisites: COU 712, COU 721, COU 730, COU 732

COU 765 - Crisis and Trauma Counseling (2)

This course addresses the impact of crises, disasters, sexual assault and other trauma-causing events on individuals, schools, and communities. Students will be provided with opportunities for examining trauma and crisis counseling in school and community settings, including trauma and crisis theories; cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neurological effects associated with trauma; assessment strategies for clients/communities in crisis; and brief, intermediate and long-term culturally appropriate approaches to crisis and trauma intervention.

  • Prerequisites: Completion of COU721 and COU732

COU 790 - Internship II in School Counseling (12)

This course is the culmination of the experiential training component of the school counseling program and represents the most advanced level of fieldwork. Candidates engage in a full-time, 5 day per week internships in educational settings that primarily serve deaf and hard of hearing students (K-12). The intent of this course is for trainees to experience as wide a range of supervised school counseling services as possible, including but not limited to: individual and group counseling; school guidance and prevention oriented activities; career and transitional counseling; parent/family education, referral and advocacy; individual education and transition goal planning and related interventions; and activities of leadership development, advocacy, collaboration, coordination, teaming and systemic change that fully support the academic, career, and personal-social needs of students. The time required for Internship II is 600 clock hours, and of these hours 240 are to be direct client contact. The focus of this last fieldwork experience in the counselor trainee's education and training is further expansion, refinement, and strengthening of professional counseling competencies in working effectively with diverse deaf/hard of hearing students (K-12) and their families/communities, school personnel, and community helping professionals/organizations. Candidates will also further develop skills in both prevention and intervention counseling strategies and techniques with individuals and groups and school-wide issues and concerns, effective practices with regard to client/family advocacy, leadership, consultation, collaboration and teaming, as well as affecting change on a systemic level. Candidates are expected to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their educational setting, including its organizational structure, management and administration and specifically the administration and operation of its counseling services. Candidates may engage in school counseling duties including but not limited to: classroom observation; intake interviews and assessments; individual/group counseling; crisis intervention; parent/family education; community outreach and education; teacher/parent consultation; case conferences; staff meetings; individual student planning; clinical writing and case documentation (e.g. report writing, progress notes); IEP/ITP planning, implementation and evaluation; functional behavioral assessments; guidance curriculum planning, implementation, and evaluation. See "School Counseling and Guidance Fieldwork Manual" for additional information regarding requirements for: instructors, candidates, faculty supervisors, site supervisors, clinical instruction environment.

  • Prerequisites: Completion of COU 741: Internship I in School Counseling with a grade of B or better; successful completion of all 4th semester courses, transition points, and recommendation of Program Director

HSL 707 - Audiology and Hearing Technology for Educators and Counseling Professionals (3)

This course is designed for professionals who work or are preparing to work with individuals with hearing loss. Using an ecological perspective, this course facilitates an understanding of the biological aspects of hearing loss as well as implications for the psychosocial systems. Areas examined include the scope of practice for audiology, sound and hearing, the anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism, etiologies of hearing loss, hearing measurement, audiometric interpretation, aural rehabilitation, and hearing technology including hearing aids, group listening systems, cochlear implants, telecommunication devices and alerting systems which facilitate communication in educational and social contexts. Practical applications of these topics for education and the counseling professionals are explored.

  • Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
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