M.A. in School Counseling

The School Counseling program prepares school counselors for placement in educational settings serving deaf and hard of hearing children and deaf children with additional special needs. The program gives a mental health emphasis to the training of school counselors. The age range of deaf students with whom trainees work varies from preschool through postsecondary. The master's degree consists of a minimum of 65 credit hours and requires two academic years to complete, including the summer between the first and second year of study.

The Gallaudet University master's degree program in school counseling is the only professional preparation program of its kind in the world. The program strives to train school counselors to work with deaf, hard-of-hearing students, and deaf special needs students, minority deaf, and hard-of-hearing students, their families, the educational systems of which they are a part, and the communities in which they live.

Student Learning Outcomes

In line with the 2009 CACREP Standards for School Counseling Programs, graduates of our School Counseling Program will:

  1. Articulate understanding of, advocate for, and model the professional role and identify of a counselor, in particular the school counselor.
  2. Demonstrate self-, and other-awareness, knowledge, and skills needed to effectively relate to and counsel diverse individuals and their families, groups, and classrooms, while demonstrating understanding of human growth and development.
  3. Integrate awareness, knowledge, and skills related to economic, legal, and political issues surrounding diversity, equity, and excellence in learning, achievement, and whole student development.
  4. Identify and assess multiple factors that influence the personal, social, and academic functioning of students, particularly any indicators of abuse/neglect or potential impact of crises/trauma, and select culturally appropriate prevention strategies or interventions.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to apply culturally appropriate ethical decision making and adhere to ethical, legal, and professional standards related to the practice of professional counseling, and in particular school counseling.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of and evaluate research relevant to the practice of counseling/school counseling with an ability to use outcome research data to inform decision making, accountability, and best practices.
  7. Facilitate teams and prevention/intervention plans which enable students to overcome barriers to learning and facilitate success and achievement in academic, career, and personal/social development.
  8. Demonstrate basic knowledge and application of theoretical models and processes of school and community consultation and collaboration.
  9. Demonstrate understanding of the concepts, strategies, and practices designed to (1) enhance student academic, career and personal development, (2) close the achievement gap, and (3) prevent students from dropping out of school.
  10. Recognize the importance of the school counselor as a system change agent and apply this in practice utilizing multicultural counseling competencies, effective leadership, advocacy, consultation, and collaboration to influence change on the individual, group, and organizational and systemic levels.

The program of study is accredited by the the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Council on Accreditation of Counseling-Related Education Programs (CACREP). In addition to the Graduate School requirements, the school counseling and guidance program requires undergraduate or graduate courses in child or human development and abnormal psychology, and one additional course in psychology (nine hours total).

For the program of study and requirements for the M.A. in School Counseling and Guidance, click the link "Program of Study" in the right-side menu.

Annual Student Outcomes Report: School Counseling Program

  • The program admits a class of approximately six students each academic year. The program is traditionally completed in two years (five semesters, including one summer).
  • In Fall 2011, the program admitted 9 students (Class of 2013).
  • Of the 9 admitted students, 7 were accepted into the full-time program of studies, and 2 requested an extended (3-year) program.
  • Eighty percent in this cohort who took the National Counselor Examination in April 2013 passed on the first attempt. (Note: The Univeristy receives combined results for both the School and Mental Health Programs; thus, the pass rate represents a total for all counseling graduate students taking the exam from our Department.
  • In May 2013, 5 of the 7 full-time students graduated, or 71 % of the original full-time cohort (one student transferred out, and an additional student converted to the 3-year option).  Of the 3 extended program students admitted in 2011, one graduated in December of 2013 and the remaining two will graduate in May 2014.
  • Within 4 months post-graduation, 80% of the graduates received and accepted job offers in the field of school counseling with deaf and hard of hearing students.

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 in the Graduate Catalog.



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.

Required Prior Coursework

  • Nine undergraduate or graduate credits in Psychology as follows:
    • Child or Human Development (3),
    • Abnormal Psychology (3), and
    • any other three credit Psychology course.
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