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Educational Specialist in School Counseling (Ed.S.)

Group Photo - CopyAs professional school counseling continues to transform, the implementation of new standards designed to increase school counselor efficacy and promote the academic, career, and personal and social development of students within the educational system has been encouraged by national organizations, legislators, and school administrators. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the Education Trust, and state departments of education, including the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, demand rigorous and continuous training beyond the initial Master’s degree and certification process for professional school counselors.

The Educational Specialist degree in School Counseling is designed to provide professional development for certified school counselors seeking an advanced degree. Candidates will emerge with a greater understanding of the role and responsibility of the professional school counselor as an engaged leader who advocates for the needs of all P-12 students. These leaders will be counselors who are also educators. Candidates will be adept at using data driven decision making to impact academic achievement, personal and social growth, and career decision making skills of all P-12 students. In addition, these individuals will be poised to encourage the development of best practices in the field with their rich understanding of ethical responsibility and their ability to conduct and disseminate results of local research efforts. Successful completion of the degree requirements will lead to eligibility for an upgrade of the candidate's Georgia S-5 level certification to the Georgia S-6 level certification through the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

The Ed.S. in School Counseling Degree at Mercer University connects with Mercer University’s mission as outlined in The Engaged University: Learning Together (QEP). The curriculum and mission of the program is in alignment with the concepts of leadership, scholarship, and advocacy. Ed.S. Candidates are purposefully taught the constructs and actions inherent in these principles. Ethical conduct, commitment to the school and community, and research and data driven intervention are at the heart of becoming a Transformational School Counselor. The Transformational School Counselor focuses on the conviction that effective school counselors understand and demonstrate the qualities of leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and systemic change. These attributes are demonstrated through knowledge of the theories and constructs that drive the profession of school counseling (To Know), through research and evidence-based intervention and prevention (To Do), and through the use of data driven decision making leadership practice to effect systemic change (To Be).

Program Learning Outcomes

In addition to successful completion of the core curriculum required for obtainment of the degree, the graduate of the Ed.S. in School Counseling Program will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Enhanced knowledge base associated with both the profession of counseling and the specialty of school counseling.
  2. Enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes of school counselors in order to support the academic achievement, career, and personal/social development of PK – 12 students in a multicultural society.
  3. Knowledge of theories and experience in supervision and consultation in school counseling.
  4. Knowledge of and experience in research in educational settings.
  5. Enhanced multicultural and social justice competencies of school counselors.
  6. Enhanced understanding of and implementation of the standards of the ASCA National Model for School Counseling.
  7. Comprehensive understanding of the mission and activities of professional organizations related to school counseling.
  8. Enhanced understanding of the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders.
  9. Development and implementation of a collaborative model for engaging in effective partnerships.
  10. Knowledge, skills, and ability to conduct and facilitate local research and evaluation efforts with local school districts and other local, state, regional, and national school and counseling partners.

Mercer University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; all programs, including School Counseling, are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Mercer University is a faith-based institution of higher learning that seeks to achieve excellence and scholarly discipline in the fields of liberal learning and professional knowledge. The institution is guided by the historic principles of religious and intellectual freedom, while affirming religious and moral values that arise from the Judeo-Christian understanding of the world.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees of Mercer University, April 21, 2006