Get Matched With School Counseling Colleges

What is School Counseling?

School counseling is a field of study that focuses on the physical, mental, and social well-being of students. Those who pursue a degree in this area can expect to gain knowledge and skills in working with children and adolescents, though you might also work in a college setting later in your career. There are a number of colleges and universities that offer degree programs specifically designed for those interested in becoming certified school counselors.

The most common route towards obtaining certification is through an accredited master's program after you earn a bachelor’s degree and you can be licensed after you earn the requisite experience. These programs typically involve coursework on topics such as ethical practice, human development, learning theory, assessment techniques, and curriculum planning. They may also include practical experience in the form of clinical work or internships supervised by licensed professionals. With the completion of these courses and research projects, graduates are better equipped for licensure examinations, which will allow them to begin their professional career as school counselors.

Compare Popular Online School Counseling Programs

Online School Counseling Education in Colorado

A school counselor is a licensed professional who can help students navigate the challenges of school. These professionals can be found in both public and private schools. They provide one-on-one counseling, group sessions, and workshops. They may help students with academic goals, career planning, and social/emotional development.

School counselors are trained to recognize issues that cause stress. They can help students deal with bullying, self-harm, and substance abuse. They can also refer students to a specialist, such as a psychiatrist, if a more thorough investigation is required or if they suspect that they have any type of learning disorder. This is good for the student and the school because early detection of learning issues can increase the success of the student, reflecting well on the school.

School counselors work with students, families, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders. They must maintain data, prepare useful records, and make effective use of the school's information systems, among other things. In addition to helping students with academics, school counselors can provide support in the toughest moments of a child's life. In particular, counselors are helpful for teens going through dramatic developmental changes. They offer support, guidance, and advice that can't be offered by a teacher while watching out for signs that a student might be in a negative environment for their best interests.

Online Associate Degree in School Counseling (AS)

An Associate Degree in School Counseling is a great way to start a career in the field of school counseling. This type of degree program prepares students for an entry-level job as a school counselor and provides them with essential skills and knowledge to better understand their roles and responsibilities. An associate degree provide the foundation for further study and help you decide whether or not you are interested in continuing in this field as you proceed, but it does not equip graduates with the necessary credentials to pursue teaching roles. However, they may be able to find various positions within educational institutions or other related settings, just not as the head of their own classroom.

School counseling colleges offer associate degree programs that teach students about human development, psychology, communication strategies and theories, group dynamics, research methodology, advocacy skills, and educational trends. Through coursework and hands-on training exercises, such as role play scenarios and student assessment activities, prospective counselors gain experience in working closely with individuals from all backgrounds including children, adolescents, adults, and families.

Online Bachelors Degree in School Counseling (BS)

A bachelor’s degree in school counseling is becoming increasingly popular among individuals looking to pursue a career in education. It provides students with the understanding of how to identify and assess student needs and develop meaningful relationships. While most schools do not offer a counseling degree at this level that is specialized in this field, students can complete counseling degrees that will prepare them for further education.

Colleges and universities offer courses focusing on areas of psychology, human development, classroom management, assessment methods, multiculturalism, and educational strategies. Those who know that they wish to move into school counseling during their master’s degree can mix some education courses into their counseling program in order to be better prepared for this specialization. Students can learn about different therapeutic approaches to helping children overcome emotional issues as well as strategies for providing academic support. In addition to core classes, students may be required to complete an internship or field experience prior to graduating from their program.

Find Your Online School Counseling Program

Online Masters Degree in School Counseling (MA)

A master's degree in school counseling is a great way to pursue a career in helping children, adolescents, and young adults with counseling. This degree can prepare students for many different roles within a school setting, from offering individual and group counseling services to providing academic advisement. With the right education and experience, graduates of these programs can easily become certified school counselors in Colorado.

For individuals looking to gain the educational foundation necessary for success as a school counselor, there are many accredited colleges and universities that offer two-year master's degree programs in school counseling. These programs provide students with the knowledge to understand psychological principles along with social and cultural dynamics that influence child development. From there, students work on developing successful counseling techniques while also gaining practical experience through internships at local schools or related organizations.

Online PhD Degree in School Counseling (PhD)

A PhD in School Counseling can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career choice. Those who pursue a doctorate-level program in this field will gain more knowledge and skills beyond those found in their prior degrees. They may be prepared to teach counseling to others in a college setting or move into a research role so that they can help schools set more effective policies in the future. They may also learn how to create programs that promote mental health, self-esteem, and a positive school environment and move into policy creation for larger entities, such as a state department of education.

The potential for employment opportunities is excellent for those with a PhD in school counseling. With this degree, you would be eligible for positions such as school psychologist or counselor, social worker, personal advisor, education administrator, research coordinator, and more. The salary range is also very competitive, depending on the type of position you are seeking. Furthermore, those who are interested in teaching at the postsecondary level may find that their advanced degree serves them well when applying for professor roles at universities or colleges.

Online School Counseling Certifications

School counseling certifications are a popular choice for those looking to pursue a career in the field of education. Earning a certification in school counseling can prepare individuals to work more effectively with children, adolescents, and young adults as they transition through their educational careers. These certifications can help you to more easily recognize certain learning difficulties, when a child is likely being abused, and more.

Become a School Counselor in Colorado

  • Step 1: Get a degree in school counseling or a related field

    If you are aspiring to become a school counselor, studying at one of the many educational institutions offering degree programs in school counseling is an ideal way to gain the knowledge and qualifications necessary for success. School counseling degrees teach students about developmental psychology, learning theory, communication skills and methods of conflict resolution; all concepts that can be applied in their future professions. With various levels of study available - from undergraduate certificates to master’s degrees - there are options that cater to any educational background or career goal. However, you’ll have to obtain at least a master’s degree in Colorado in order to work in this position. Choosing a college with a strong program in school counseling means gaining access to top-notch faculty members who have extensive experience in the field, as well as research opportunities. It also means being able to take advantage of internships and practicum placements that further refine your expertise.

  • Step 2: Earn your license in the field

    Earning your bachelor’s and then a master’s in school counseling will mean that you are prepared to earn your license in school counseling. You will need to complete many hours of experience under the supervision of an already licensed counselor before you can go out and work on your own. The experience requirements include a 100 hour practicum, which you should finish during your degree program, and a 600 hour internship, which you will complete in a school setting. Unlike other careers, which you can approach from many directions, this is the only way to become a school counselor in Colorado. And, while school counseling degrees offer students an extensive education in psychology, research methods, counseling techniques, and mental health principles, you’ll also need to complete the PRAXIS 5421 in order to gain your licensure to prove that you have retained all pertinent information.

  • Step 3: Join a professional organization

    While it is not necessarily a requirement, when it comes to furthering your career as a school counselor, joining a professional organization can be beneficial. Professional organizations provide essential resources and the necessary experience needed to grow in the field. These organizations allow you to network with other counselors, stay up to date on the latest counseling practices, have access to online seminars and workshops, and find job opportunities. No matter what level of school counseling you are at—whether you’re still considering a degree program or already working as a counselor—joining an organization is important for keeping up with the profession’s changing trends. Not only will membership give you access to current research materials, but also provides mentorship from experienced counselors who can help guide your career path. Moreover, many organizations offer discounts on continuing education courses that are necessary for licensure renewal and other certifications.

Find Online School Counseling Programs

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in School Counseling?

A bachelor's degree in counseling may open up a range of career opportunities. With this degree, graduates can pursue further education in school counseling, family and marriage therapy, rehabilitation therapy, become substance abuse counselors, and more. However, it’s important to note that you cannot work as a school counselor with only a bachelor’s degree. Counseling is an education-heavy career choice and all counselors (except substance abuse counselors in some states) must hold a master’s degree. However, you may still be able to find jobs in schools or mental health services that are not directly involved in providing guidance to students or other patients or clients. And you could always move into another field in which a knowledge of human behavior could come in handy, such as human resources or marketing. Or, with your research experience, you could work as a junior researcher or as a writer in nearly any field.

Potential Careers for School Counseling Graduates

  • Marriage and Family Therapist:

    A marriage and family therapist is responsible for providing counseling services to couples, families, and individuals to help them address issues such as communication, relationship problems, parenting, divorce, intimacy, aging, and life transitions.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy or a related field
    • Licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (or eligibility to become licensed)
    • Knowledge of evidence-based practices in couple and family therapy

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for marriage and family therapists in the US in 2021 was $49,880
    • The median annual wage for marriage and family therapists in the US in 2021 was $49,880
  • Behavioral Disorder Counselor:

    A behavioral disorder counselor is responsible for providing therapeutic services to individuals with behavioral disorders and their families. This includes providing assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning for individuals suffering from mental health issues and educating their support group as to how they can best aid them in overcoming these difficulties.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master's degree in Psychology, Social Work, or related field
    • Licensure or certification in the field of psychology, counseling, or social work

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520
    • The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Colorado is $57,900
  • School Psychologist:

    A school psychologist provides psychological services to students, families, and staff in order to promote healthy learning environments for students. They often offer more in-depth services than those provided by school counselors and require more education to earn the title of psychologist.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree in School Psychology or related field
    • State license/certification as a School Psychologist
    • Knowledge of child development, behavior management techniques, assessment instruments, and intervention strategies
    • Excellent communication skills both verbally and written

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for school psychologists in the US in 2021 was $82,770
    • The mean annual wage for school psychologists in Colorado is $103,240
  • Postsecondary Psychology Teacher:

    A postsecondary psychology teacher is responsible for teaching and providing instruction in the field of psychology to undergraduate and graduate students. They may create their own curriculum, choosing which books and resources to tap, and may participate in research performed at the school. They will need to also provide enough aid to struggling students that the school can graduate them from their program.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Master’s degree or higher in psychology or a related field
    • Previous teaching experience at the postsecondary level is preferred
    • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
    • Proficient computer skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for psychology teachers (postsecondary) in the US in 2021 was $88,390
    • The mean annual wage for psychology teachers (postsecondary) in Colorado is $74,040
  • Academic Advisor:

    An academic advisor is responsible for providing students with guidance and support in their academic journey. They will assist students in navigating the complexities of higher education including course selection, scheduling, and the development of educational plans at the college level; at the high school level, they will help them make a plan for college, plan which school to attend, consider their major, and more.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in Education or related field
    • Demonstrated knowledge of college curricula and methods of instruction
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with a team

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for school and career counselors and advisors in the US in 2021 was $60,510
    • The mean annual wage for educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors in Colorado is $59,010
  • Outpatient Therapist:

    An outpatient therapist provides mental health counseling services to clients in an outpatient clinic setting. They may work with individuals, couples, and families to help them overcome mental health issues and reach their treatment goals.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A Master’s degree in Psychology, Counseling or another related field
    • Be licensed as a Mental Health Counselor or Licensed Professional Counselor
    • At least 2 years of experience providing counseling services in an outpatient setting
    • Familiarity with evidence-based therapeutic interventions
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520
    • The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Colorado is $57,900
  • Substance Abuse Counselor:

    A substance abuse counselor provides support, advice, and guidance to individuals and families affected by substance abuse. The counselor will work with clients to develop treatment plans, provide counseling and therapy sessions, and coordinate care with other professionals.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Social Work or related field
    • Must possess a valid state license or certification in substance abuse counseling
    • Knowledge of substance abuse

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the US in 2021 was $48,520
    • The mean annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in Colorado is $57,900