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M.A. in Counseling: School Counseling
Web: Department of Counseling
Dr. Gabriel Lomas, Program Director
Hall Memorial Building, Room 423
The school counseling concentration prepares graduates to be multiculturally competent professional school counselors with the cultural self-awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, and skills essential to becoming effective and ethical practitioners, leaders, and advocates to promote social justice, equity and academic excellence for all deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students in a variety of K-12 educational settings. Students will learn key functions of the school counselor including advocacy, crisis prevention and preparation, the ASCA National Model, and the development of a comprehensive school counseling program.
The master’s degree consists of a minimum of 61 credit hours and requires three academic years to complete. All students start with a summer residency, followed by online courses in the fall and spring in year one. Year two follows the same pattern of a summer residency and online courses in the fall and spring. Students are expected to do Practicum in spring of year two. All courses are online in year three and students are expected to do a 600-hour internship in a school with deaf students over two semesters.
The program is aligned with the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) standards and will seek accreditation as soon as we are eligible. Applicants should be aware that Gallaudet has regional accreditation as a university. While program accreditation is optional, we value program accreditation and intend to pursue it as soon as possible.
The program is designed to accommodate working adults, as the residency is only two weeks in the summer and classes in the fall and spring meet online at 7:00 EST one night per week. Candidates who are a good fit for this program are mature, able to study independently, and have at least conversational fluency in ASL. All classes are taught in ASL and students must pass the ASL-PI at level 2 or above prior to field placement. It is important that students are familiar with degree requirements in the desired state of employment, as requirements vary by state.
The program has relationships with many schools for the deaf as well as regional and local schools serving deaf students. We have financial support to help lower the cost for highly qualified first-year students, as well as assistantships.
Summary of Requirements
Semester I – Summer (6 Credits)
The course provides an orientation to counseling services within K - 12 educational settings. Includes an introduction to the profession of school counseling, counselor roles and functions, principles and models, professional ethics, organizations, and publications related to the field. Emphasis will be the beginning development of a framework in which to apply issues of educational equity, social justice, and multicultural practices for all students.
Admission to the counseling program or approval of the program director.
Semester II – Fall (6 Credits)
This course is designed for students' personal and professional development in the area of social and cultural diversity awareness development and multicultural counseling. Effective and meaningful multicultural work with culturally diverse clients, groups, and communities requires helping professionals to develop a continuing awareness of self; increased knowledge and practical understanding of others' worldviews; and an ever changing and evolving skill set for effective engagement with diverse individuals/populations. Throughout the course, students will engage in activities and experiences in and outside of the classroom setting designed to draw out personal reflections, self-evaluation, and interpersonal dialogue on related issues of cultural relevance and social justice work as a helping professional. This course will facilitate deeper awareness, broader knowledge and understanding, and provide a framework to developing multicultural competence as a counselor all the while addressing the impact of culture and power on an individual, his/her family, community, organizational structures and systems of power that reflect culture.
This course provides graduate counselor trainees with a foundation in the counseling treatment approaches commonly used in school, community, mental health counseling settings. This course is fundamental in developing skills in assessment of client needs and application of effective preventive and therapeutic counseling interventions. This course emphasizes the appropriate application of counseling and psychotherapy theories to culturally diverse populations of children and adults.
Department of Counseling degree students and special graduate students with permission.
Semester III - Spring (6 credits)
This course is designed to review theories and principles of human development across the lifespan, and to familiarize students with current knowledge and research in the field. This course also covers areas of childhood disabilities, as well as current issues regarding deafness and human development. Developmental issues across the life span related to culture, gender, heredity and environment will also be included.
Undergraduate course in child/adolescent development and an undergraduate course in abnormal psychology.
The purpose of this course is to assist students in understanding the language, principles, reasoning, and methodologies of research and to help them critically evaluate counseling research literature. Students will recognize ethical issues relevant to conducting culturally appropriate research, and how research can improve counseling effectiveness. Instruction is approached from a multicultural perspective, including through the selection of instructional materials and student assessments.
Semester IV - Summer (9 credits)
Using a multicultural emphasis, this course provides an introduction to the purposes, concepts, and techniques of assessment, including how assessment information is used in counseling and how it is communicated to others. Includes a review of foundational statistical concepts, an overview of assessment procedures, ethics, and legal implications. Includes tools and procedures for assessment of intelligence and ability, aptitude, development, personality, educational, and clinical issues. Note this course does not cover vocational and career assessment.
Counseling Major Only
COU 710 and COU 732
This course addresses the impact of crises, disasters, sexual assault and other trauma-causing events on individuals, schools, and communities. Students will be provided with opportunities for examining trauma and crisis counseling in school and community settings, including trauma and crisis theories; cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neurological effects associated with trauma; assessment strategies for clients/communities in crisis; and brief, intermediate and long-term culturally appropriate approaches to crisis and trauma intervention.
COU 721 and 732
Semester V - Fall (6 credits)
This course is designed to provide a foundation in the conceptualization, identification and treatment of emotional and behavioral disorders across the lifespan. Attention will be given to the specific symptoms associated with common psychological disorders such as those addressed in the current DSM and medical diagnoses that may have emotional, behavioral or learning implications for children, adolescents and adults. In addition, the course will address the impact of cultural aspects, age considerations, associated complications, and predisposing factors on diagnosis and treatment planning. This important foundation is reinforced through case studies with emphasis on case formulation, conceptualization and potential interventions. Intervention and treatment planning using a strength- and wellness-based model will be considered.
Completion of COU 710 or 712; COU 721 and COU 732
This introductory course provides students with an understanding of essential interviewing and counseling skills necessary to develop a therapeutic relationship with clients from diverse backgrounds, establish appropriate counseling goals, design intervention strategies, evaluate client outcome, and successfully terminate the counselor-client relationship. Counselor characteristics and behaviors that influence helping processes including age, gender, and ethnic differences, verbal and nonverbal behaviors and personal characteristics, orientations, and skills are covered. This course facilitates student self-awareness and sensitivity toward Deaf culture and other multicultural issues that facilitate relationships among people. Ethical issues in working with clients are reviewed. The instructional format including lectures, discussions, small group activities, and student engagement in role playing and simulated counseling sessions.
Semester VI - Spring (10 credits)
This course provides students with a specialized training in evidence-based techniques and strategies in child and adolescent counseling. Special emphasis will be given to working with children and adolescents who are deaf or hard of hearing. Students will learn about relevant codes of ethics, legislation, and regulatory processes relevant to working with minors.
This course is the beginning level of fieldwork experience in the school counseling program. The intent of this course is to introduce students to the basic roles and duties of a professional school counselor in a local (Washington DC-MD-VA Metropolitan Area) educational setting for deaf/hard of hearing students, K-12. This first semester of fieldwork is two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), 8 hours/day, for the duration of at least one semester. The total numbers of clock hours for the Practicum is a minimum of 150 hours, 40-60 of which are direct client contact hours. (Note: the actual total clock hours for one semester is 240 based on the calculation of 16 hrs/week for 15 weeks). The focus of this first fieldwork experience is for the student to develop competency in building rapport with their clients, site supervisor, and other significant school personnel. Students develop a basic understanding of their educational setting and its organizational structure, management and administration; and specifically the administration and operation of a comprehensive, developmental counseling program in a school that serves deaf and hard of hearing students. Students engage in basic school counseling duties including but not limited to: classroom observation, individual counseling, teacher/parent consultation, case conferences, staff meetings, individual student planning, counseling documentation (e.g. progress notes); IEP/ITP planning and implementation; intake interviews and basic behavioral assessments, conducting psycho-educational groups and guidance activities, etc. Students also experience and learn about the purpose of individual and peer group supervision. These experiences help facilitate the students' personal growth and professional identity development as they promote students to explore and apply different theories of counseling; deepen their self-awareness and ability for individual and collective refection; and share both successes and challenges with supervisors and other practicum students during group supervision. Site supervisors are encouraged to provide clients from diverse racial-ethnic (at least 40% to 50% of total number of clients) and cultural backgrounds, age levels, gender, as well as those with a wide range of counseling issues and needs.
Successful completion of first semester courses with a ”B” or better in: COU 712, COU 717, COU 721, COU 730, COU 732; successful completion of first semester transition points; permission of program director
Semester VII - Summer (9 credits)
This course is designed to give the candidate exposure to the various play therapies: play room, sand tray, art, movement and psychodrama. Through reading, lecture, class discussion, case presentations, and role play simulations, candidates will become familiar with various techniques used with children in therapy and counseling. Candidates will discuss the applicability of these theories in working with deaf and hard of hearing children and youth; as well as in working with children and youth with differing cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Graduate level standing.
The goal of this course is to help professionals working with deaf and hard of hearing people understand the impact of drug and alcohol abuse throughout the individual's life span as well as within family and social systems. The course will examine current trends in alcohol and drug abuse; legal implications; street names and drug symptom identifiers for counselors; the medical implications for prescription and non-prescription drug abuse; substance abuse terminology; the historical context of substance abuse in American society; community responses to substance abuse; essentials of substance abuse prevention; deafness, family dynamics, and substance abuse; and substance abuse treatment strategies and service accessibility.
This course is designed to provide students with organizational and administrative theoretical frameworks of comprehensive school counseling programs (CSCP), and a basic understanding of the processes involved with the design, implementation, management, and evaluation of a comprehensive school guidance and counseling program from a multicultural organizational development (MCOD) context. In addition, the course will address knowledge and basic skills in multicultural organizational development, school-based consultation, advocacy, leadership, and coordination. The American School Counselor Association's (ASCA) national model for comprehensive school counseling programs will serve as the foundational framework students will utilize to explore, understand, and apply within a multicultural organizational developmental context. (Sue & Sue, 2004; Jackson & Holvino, 1994; Jackson & Hardiman, 1984; Pope, 1992; Colbert & Colbert, 2003). Course concepts and processes will be learned and reinforced primarily through the experiential class project throughout the semester. The project will focus on a comprehensive and multicultural organizational development analysis of an actual educational community.
COU 712, COU 720, COU 721, COU 730, COU 751 and COU 740 (740 may be taken simultaneously and may be waived by instructor depending on student’s experience level).
Semester VIII - Fall (7 credits)
This course is designed to provide students with knowledge of theories, materials, programs, and practices in the career development area. It specifically seeks to identify practices used with or potentially useful with deaf people. A central theme is the recognition of the role of career and work with the integration of personality. The course will discuss multicultural issues. Emphasis will be placed on discussing the career needs of deaf and hard of hearing people.
This course is the intermediate level of fieldwork experience in the school counseling program and typically takes place in the 4th semester of the student's program. It is also often a continuation in the same educational setting that the student begins for Practicum. The focus of this second fieldwork experience is for the student to expand upon his/her personal and professional counseling competencies in working effectively with diverse deaf/hard of hearing students (K-12), site supervisor, and other significant school personnel; engaging in both prevention and intervention counseling strategies and techniques with individuals and possibly group counseling opportunities; and begin to engage in effective practices as a professional school counselor with regard to client/family advocacy, leadership, consultation, collaboration and teaming, and affecting change on a systemic level. The student is expected to deepen his/her knowledge and understanding of his/her educational setting and its organizational structure, management and administration; and specifically the administration and operation of its counseling services. Furthermore, there will be emphasis placed on linking counseling theory and practice with the added incorporation of case conceptualization into this semester of students' case presentations. Students will also be exposed to consultation and collaboration models and will be encouraged to explore and develop their own style of consultation and collaboration. Students may engage in school counseling duties including but not limited to: classroom observation, individual counseling, teacher/parent consultation, case conferences, staff meetings, individual student planning, counseling documentation (e.g. progress notes); IEP/ITP planning and implementation; intake interviews, behavioral assessments, group counseling and guidance activities; leadership, advocacy, and collaboration activities, etc. See ''School Counseling Fieldwork Manual'' for additional information regarding requirements for: instructors, students, faculty supervisors, site supervisors, clinical instruction environment.
COU 740 Practicum in School Counseling; Advancement to Candidacy; Passed 2nd and 3rd (summer) semester program transition points; permission of Program Director
Semester IX - Spring (13 credits)
This is an introduction to current psychoactive medications used most often in schools and counseling/psychiatric settings today. The course will explore the conditions which respond best to psychoactive drugs, the specific drugs used to treat specific conditions, and the typical dosages used. In addition, it will explore when it is appropriate to suggest medication and also alternative medication, side effects to be aware of, and the benefits gained from the use of psychoactive drugs.
This course is the culmination of the experiential training component of the school counseling programs and represents the most advanced level of fieldwork. Counselor trainees engage in full-time, 5 days per week internships in educational settings that primarily serve deaf and hard of hearing students (K-12). The intent of this internship is for trainees to experience as wide a range of supervised school counseling services as possible, including: individual and group counseling; school guidance and prevention oriented activities; career and transitional counseling; parent/family education, referral and advocacy; individual education and transition goal planning and related interventions; and activities of leadership development, advocacy, collaboration, coordination, teaming and systemic change that fully support the academic, career, and personal-social needs of students. The focus of this final fieldwork experience is the trainee's further expansion, refinement, and strengthening of professional counseling competencies in working effectively with diverse deaf/hard of hearing students and their families and communities. Students are expected to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their educational setting, including its organizational structure, management and administration and specifically the administration and operation of its counseling services. Another focus of this internship is to continue to develop through reflective use of supervision.
COU 741 or 743
Program Electives (6 credits)
Students will be able to articulate the elements related to professional identity including the history and philosophy of the counseling profession, the value of professional organizations, the need for legal and ethical practice, and advocating for the profession and clients that are served. (CACREP 2.F.1)
Students will demonstrate multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary for competency in working with a diverse population. (CACREP 2.F.2)
Students can demonstrate an understanding of development across the lifespan and the impact on normal and abnormal functioning. (CACREP 2.F.3)
Students can utilize career development theory in the development of individualized and developmentally appropriate career development activities and interventions. (CACREP 2.F.4)
Students can demonstrate the skills necessary to engage in an effective and therapeutic helping relationship. (CACREP 2.F.5)
Students demonstrate competency in preparing for and facilitating group counseling. (CACREP 2.F.6)
Students demonstrate the ability to identify effective assessment strategies to facilitate treatment planning. (CACREP 2.F.7)
Students will demonstrate an understanding of research methods to inform evidence-based practice. (CACREP 2.F.8)
Clinical Mental Health students will develop effective treatment plans utilizing the diagnostic process, assessment data, and evidence-based practices (CACREP 4.F.7. F.8, 5.2.d, 3.a)
School Counseling students will develop a comprehensive school counseling program based on data and utilizing a program model for their state of residence (CACREP 5.G.1.b, 3.a.,b.,n)
Students will show sensitivity, genuineness, and positive regard for others, practice high levels of self-awareness and demonstrate a commitment to personal growth and on-going professional development. (CACREP 4.G)
The former CACREP-accredited counseling programs suspended admissions in 2019. We are now reopened as a low residency program and we plan to stay aligned with CACREP standards until we are able to reapply for CACREP accreditation in the fall of 2024.
Completed online application form A non-refundable application fee of $75 A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a four-point scale) in all previous undergraduate and graduate study. (Occasionally, applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be admitted conditionally upon the recommendation of the program....
The employment of School Counselors is expected to grow by a 8% rate from 2019-2029, with an average annual salary of $58,120.
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