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College of Continuing & Professional Studies

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements - 30 semester hours

The Educational Specialist Degree in School Counseling requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master’s degree. The 30 credit hours include a three hour seminar in Current Trends in Professional School Counseling and completion of an internship and capstone project under the direction of a Mercer Counseling faculty member. Successful completion of a faculty developed comprehensive examination is also required for successful completion of the degree.

The maximum amount of transferred credit is limited to 6 semester hours. Certain conditions must be met to transfer graduate credit to Mercer’s graduate program. The institution must be regionally accredited and the candidate must be admitted to the institution’s graduate program. Graduate work taken at other institutions must be part of a planned program leading to a degree equivalent to the degree of Educational Specialist in School Counseling at Mercer. The work must be appropriate for the candidate’s planned program. Only courses in which the candidate earned a “B” or better will be considered for transfer credit. Courses taken for another degree previously earned may not be applied to the Ed.S.

Plan of Study

Before or during the first semester of study each candidate will develop a formal plan of study for the Ed.S. degree, designating all courses he or she plans to take in the program. The candidate should consult with their program Advisor. Once approved, the Advisor will distribute the completed plan to the candidate, retaining one copy for departmental files. A plan of study may be amended at any time using appropriate forms and following the procedure described above. Until formal approval of an amended plan of study is made, the original or current modification of the plan will be in effect.

Ed.S. in School Counseling Degree Course Requirements
(30 credit hours)

Core Requirements (18 credit hours)
Counselor Related Courses  (6 credit hours)
COUN 802 - Counselor Supervision (3 hours)
COUN 706 - Advanced Issues in Diversity and Social Justice (3 hours)

School Counseling Specific Courses (12 credit hours) 
Required (12 hours)
COUN710 - Advanced Exceptionalities: ASCA Model applied to counseling exceptional students (3 hours)
COUN711 - Advocacy and Professional Development in School Counseling  (3 hours)
COUN713 - Educational Leadership for School Counselors (3 hours)
COUN714 - Ethical and Legal Issues in School Counseling (3 hours)

School and Counselor Related Electives - Select Three (9 hours)
COUN 702 - Advanced Counseling Theory (3 hours)
COUN 703 - Advanced Group Counseling and Leadership (3 hours)
COUN712 - Addiction Prevention and Intervention with Youth & Families (3 hours)
COUN715 - Theories of Child and Family Counseling & Consultation  (3 hours)
COUN716 - Theories of Adolescent and Family Counseling and Consultation (3 hours)

Required Capstone Experience  (3 hours)                                   
COUN717- Seminar in Current Trends in School Counseling (3 hours)

Capstone Project

During the candidate’s first semester of study, the candidate will identify a particular pathway that he or she wishes to take in his or her school counseling career. This could include, but is not limited to, one of the following:

  • Professional School Counseling in the P-12 Schools
  • Supervisory roles within the P-12 Schools
  • Supervisory roles at the district, state, or national level
  • Post secondary advisement or counseling

In addition, the candidate will complete an internship in the chosen career path which will inform a portion of the capstone project. This field experience is part of the coursework and assessment requirements for Advocacy and Professional Development in School Counseling. During the Seminar in Current Trends in School Counseling, the candidate will complete the written portion of the project, which is the comprehensive examination. The defense of comprehensive examination will be presented orally to the counseling faculty and the candidate will be assessed both on the quality of the writing and the oral defense.

Educational Specialist Comprehensive Examination

Each candidate will be required to complete successfully comprehensive examinations in Theory and in Professional Practice. Comprehensive examinations will be designed by the school counseling faculty in consultation with program faculty. The comprehensive examinations should be taken upon completion of each candidate’s planned course of study.

*Notice Regarding Acquiring School Counseling Certification:
Candidates who hold a master’s degree in a counseling field other than School Counseling may apply and have a transcript evaluation completed as part of the application process. Upon completion of the transcript evaluation one of the following two possibilities exists for these candidates:

Candidates seeking initial certification in School Counseling and who hold a 54 hour (CACREP equivalent) master's degree in a counseling field other than School Counseling may earn the program's recommendation for the S-6 Certificate by completing the Ed.S. in School Counseling, and all of the following school specialty courses: COUN 631, COUN 632, COUN 633, COUN 623, and COUN 640.

Candidates seeking initial certification in School Counseling and who hold less than a 54 hour (CACREP curriculum equivalent) master’s degree in School Counseling or in a counseling field other than School Counseling or Education with a teaching-related emphasis may earn the program's recommendation for the S-6 Certificate by completing the Ed.S. degree program in School Counseling and all of the course work in the M.S. in School Counseling not completed previously.