K-12 School Counseling

Encourage the social, emotional and academic growth of school-aged children.

In fall 2020, more than 56 million K-12 students were enrolled in U.S. schools.* Many were affected by the fear and isolation brought on by COVID-19, but some faced additional challenges. Learning disabilities, peer pressure, behavioral issues, troubles at home and other factors can weigh on a young, developing mind.

The online Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in K-12 School Counseling and Post-Graduate Certificate in K-12 School Counseling programs from the University of North Dakota can teach you the knowledge and skills to help the youth in your community reach personal and academic goals that support development at the individual and family levels.

Coursework will teach you to promote students’ social and emotional well-being. With a focus on multiculturalism and social justice, you’ll discover ways to provide care that is purposeful and takes a mindful approach toward meeting the diverse needs of historically underserved populations.

You can learn best practices for providing support to students, families and school staff around issues such as bullying, drug abuse, planning for college or careers after graduation, and more.

*National Center for Education Statistics

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Transfer credits
may be accepted

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Prepare to serve
diverse populations

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3 start dates per year: spring, summer or fall

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Earn your master’s degree or post-grad certificate

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Why focus your education
in School Counseling?

  • Career prospects: Job growth for school counselors is expected to increase 8% between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the national average.*
  • Compensation: The median pay for those working in elementary and secondary schools (state, local and private) is $58,120, with the top 10% earning up to $97,910.*

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why choose UND for your
online degree?

  • Complete your M.A. online in as few as 3 years. The online graduate certificate program can be completed in as few as five semesters.
  • Learn from a diverse faculty with doctoral degrees and extensive teaching and counseling experience.
  • Benefit from a program housed within the College of Education & Human Development.

What can you learn?

As a student in the online master’s or graduate certificate program, you’ll learn how to collaborate and consult with school and community stakeholders to create positive, systemic change that supports educational initiatives at local and district levels.

We’ll also teach you to use empirical data on behavioral analysis to address institutional inequities in school communities while advocating for social justice and equality. This is accomplished by establishing a framework that offers greater awareness and sensitivity when providing counseling interventions to all individuals, groups and communities.

Your master’s degree or graduate certificate also can help you identify underlying issues that can affect school performance, such as infrequent attendance. You’ll learn how to effectively counsel school-aged youth and their families while addressing academic, career, social and emotional concerns.

The Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in K-12 School Counseling is for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field and wish to focus their career in K-12 school counseling. The Post-Graduate Certificate in K-12 School Counseling was designed for those who already have a master’s degree in either mental health or community agency counseling and wish to re-specialize.

Focus your studies on:

  • Best practices to help support the social, behavioral and emotional development of primary- and secondary-aged students.
  • Coordination with school, home and local agencies to serve the best interest of individuals and families in your community.
  • Applying prevention efforts, risk assessment and counseling ethics for learners who are most at risk of both academic and social developmental challenges.

Review Your Courses

University of North Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

What can you do?

Many of today’s youth don’t have access to mentors or role models who can encourage them to reach their full potential. But through dedicated online coursework and community-based internship opportunities, students in both the master’s and certificate programs can learn best practices to coordinate efforts between families, schools and community organizations to promote the well-being of school-aged children.

Both the online master’s and certificate programs explore the development of skills in applying the role of counselor to the school environment while addressing many conditions that can affect growth and development. Coursework can empower you to employ various methods of engagement such as individual or group counseling relationships.

Qualify for roles including:

  • School Guidance Counselor
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • Child or Adolescent Therapist
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Admission Requirements

You’ve decided to earn your Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in K-12 School Counseling or Post-Graduate Certificate in K-12 School Counseling, and you’re just a few steps away from completing the application process. Take some time to review the admission requirements for these programs and items needed to submit your application.

Review Requirements