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College of Psychology
3301 College Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

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(954) 262-8000
800-338-4723
admissions@nova.edu

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(954) 262-7563
800-541-6682 ext. 27563
gradschool@nova.edu

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(954) 262-5730
(954) NSU-CARE (678-2273)

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Curriculum

The Master of Science in School Counseling degree program requires 48 semester hours of graduate credits. Please note the 48 credit hours does not include additional courses that may need to be completed by students who do not hold an active and valid teacher certification by the Florida Department of Education. The required courses and course descriptions are listed below. Each course is 3 credits.

Please Note: The new Florida DOE approved-program curriculum requirements described below are in effect for students who started the program Fall 2010 and after. Students admitted to the School Counseling Program prior to Fall 2010 should refer to their respective Policy and Procedures Handbook for degree curriculum and completion requirements.

PYCL 0503 – Counseling Theories for School Counseling (3 credits)

This course provides a foundation and overview of theories relevant to the fields of counseling and psychotherapy. The course focuses on the theories and techniques that are consistent with current professional research and practice in school counseling.

PYCL 0507 – Research and Evaluation for Counselors (3 credits)

This course seeks to prepare mental health and school counselors to be informed consumers of research and evaluation. It covers basic statistics, research designs, and program evaluation within the counseling and educational fields. It provides experience in developing accountability measures and in reading research and evaluating reports applicable to multicultural populations.

PYCL 0510 Career Development and College Planning (3 credits)

This course surveys the major theories of career choice, planning, and development as well as standardized methods of assessing vocational interests and aptitudes in school settings. Social, psychological, and economic factors influencing career choice are examined. Emphasis will be placed on individual and group career counseling skills across diverse populations.

PYCL 0511 – Introduction to Counseling Techniques (3 credits)

This course is an overview of basic counseling skills. The major focus will be on the development of fundamental counseling skills, including listening, empathy training, and basic interviewing. Issues regarding the development of the therapeutic relationship, cultural diversity, and the impact of the counselor on the counseling process will be covered. Prerequisite: PYCL 0502 or PYCL 0503 for School Counseling students.

PYCL 0512 – Human Growth and Development (3 credits)

This course covers how developmental maturation and social learning impacts individuals across the lifespan. Theory and research in social development and learning are covered in topics for mental health and school counselors.

PYCL 0515 Principles of School Counseling (3 credits)

This course covers the history, philosophy, functions, management, and operation of comprehensive school counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools with emphasis on the role of the professional school counselor.

PYCL 0550 Contemporary Clinical Interventions (3 credits)

This course focuses on an understanding of critical psychological, academic, and socioeconomic issues when working with children, adolescents, and adults in school settings. Topics covered include substance abuse, suicide, violence, teen pregnancy, and other issues affecting the well-being and academic success of students. Primary and secondary prevention strategies will be examined for suitable school-based interventions. Prerequisite: PYCL 0503

PYCL 0560 Appraisal and Evaluation in School Counseling (3 credits)

This course covers basic measurement concepts, test content and purpose, psychometric properties, administration, and scoring procedures. Frequently used tests of aptitude, interest, achievement, and personality are reviewed. Issues involved with standardized and non-standardized assessment of achievement, educational diagnostic tests, and vocational interest tests are examined from the school counseling perspective. Issues of ethical test use and use with culturally diverse students are also addressed. Prerequisite: PYCL 0507

PYCL 0571 – Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues for School Counselors (3 credits)

This course covers standards for ethical, legal, and professional conduct in counseling. It considers ethical and legal decisions that school counselors must make. Case examples, current federal and state laws/statutes, ethical codes, and standards on assessment, diagnosis, practice, and placement data are discussed in relation to counseling a variety of populations in multiple settings. Prerequisite: PYCL 0503

PYCL 0585 Psychology of Exceptional and At-Risk Children (3 credits)

This course covers the etiology and characteristics of exceptionalities and children at risk for underachievement and dropping out. Also covered is the role of the school counselor in identifying such problems, drawing on available resources, and making appropriate referrals.

PYCL 0632 – Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling (3 credits)

This course addresses cultural diversity and its implications for counseling. It considers the psychological impact of factors such as gender, race, ethnicity and culture, religious preference, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and physical disability in a variety of counseling and educational settings. Finally, it reviews counseling issues and strategies for counseling diverse clients.

PYCL 0635 – Group Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course addresses group theory and practice in multiple settings with a variety of diverse populations and age groups. Major themes include group dynamics, group process, and group states for mental health and school counselors. Prerequisites for clinical mental health counselors: PYCL 0502; PYCL 0511 - For school counselors: PYCL 0503; PYCL 0511

PYCL 0665 School Consultation Skills (3 credits)

This course focuses on developing specific techniques in consultation, leadership, and advocacy. It integrates the various aspects of a developmental comprehensive school counseling program with particular reference to problem-solving and the utilization of available data and resources.

PYCL 0685 School Counseling Practicum (3 credits)

This course provides students with knowledge and exposure to educational K-12 settings and requires an in-school field experience.

PYCL 0688 School Counseling Internship (3 credits)

Students are required to spend a specified number of hours per week at a selected K-12 public school setting working under the supervision of a professional school counselor. During that time, student are expected to become advocates for and increase competence in providing services to youth and their families in the personal/social, academic, and career domains. Furthermore, students will be made aware of the ethical, legal, and professional issues inherent in the counseling process. Prerequisites: PYCL 0503; PYCL 0511; PYCL 0512; PYCL 0515; PYCL 0550; PYCL 0571; PYCL 0635; PYCL 0665; PYCL 0685 with a grade of B or better and consent of adviser.

PYCL 0689 Continuing School Counseling Internship (3 credits)

This course is a continuation of School Counseling Internship I. Student will be expected to develop more advanced skills in working with students and families in school settings. Simultaneously, continued emphasis will be placed upon ethical, legal, and professional issues. Prerequisite: PYCL 0688 with a grade of B or better.

Students are admitted into graduate study at the master's level and are reviewed for degree candidacy (matriculation) after the completion of the first four courses (12 credits) for which the student is enrolled.

During the formal review for matriculation, students' academic performance and professional functioning in the first four courses will be examined. Students need a grade point average of 3.0 or above in the first four courses to be matriculated. As stated above, the successful passing of the General Knowledge Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination also must be completed during the matriculation period (by the completion of the first 4 courses). Students will not be allowed to matriculate and register for a 5th course until this exam is passed and the course requirements are met.

Students who receive two grades below B or a grade of F in any one of the first four courses will not be matriculated and will be withdrawn from graduate study. Prior to the formal matriculation review, should a student receive a grade of F, the student will automatically be withdrawn from graduate study. Under no circumstances will students who achieve a grade point average of 2.5 or below in the first four courses be permitted to take graduate level courses in a Center for Psychological Studies program. Students with a grade point average greater than 2.5 but less than 3.0 for the first four courses will be maintained in a non-matriculated status. No more than four additional courses may be taken without achieving an overall grade point average of 3.0.

Students must complete their program within five years from the date of first enrollment. This means that students are expected to successfully complete all master's degree requirements and the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (all sub-tests) within this period. In the event that a matriculated student who has been in continuous enrollment does not complete all requirements within the five-year time limit, he or she must re-enroll in the master's program and:

  1. Maintain full-time status (minimum six credit hours per semester, excluding summer sessions.)
  2. Complete remaining degree requirements, which will include any course work that is more than five years old.

Each student is evaluated on an ongoing basis while enrolled in the School Counseling program. In addition to review for matriculation, the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices, portfolio, and course evaluations, students are evaluated on their professionalism, maturity, and emotional stability for readiness for Practicum and Internship. Evaluation provides students with relevant feedback concerning their performance and ensures high standards for the profession of counseling. Student advisement on relevant information, including practicum and internship placement and evaluation, is available through the Master's Programs Administrative Office.

A student must complete all course work required for the degree chosen with a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 and successfully complete the required examinations. The Master of Science in School Counseling requires a minimum of 48 semester hours of graduate credit, however additional courses may be required for students who do not hold an active teacher certification by the Florida Department of Education. A candidate is expected to complete all the master's program requirements and graduate within five years.