James Madison University

Program Description and Outcomes

The School Counseling Program requires 54 credit hours for completion of the Master of Education degree and is obtainable in two calendar years if students begin their coursework in the summer. This program enables graduates to become licensed school counselors in elementary, middle, and secondary schools and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

We offer small, experiential classes that rarely involve more than eight to ten students.  Our dynamic and student-focused faculty members have been the recipients of national ACES awards, along with numerous other honors at the regional, state, university, college, and department levels.  Students receive constant feedback and supervision throughout their training. We place great emphasis on personal and professional growth and the practical application of skills at our on-campus practicum and community-based internship sites.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, 22 students were enrolled in the School Counseling Program at James Madison University.  The total number of graduates during this academic year was seven.  In recent years, we have typically admitted nine or ten students into the School Counseling Program each summer session. Our full-time students complete the program in two calendar years and our part-time students usually complete the program in four calendar years.  Our combined completion rate for full-time and part-time students in the School Counseling Program is 90%.  Our 48-credit-hour curriculum fulfills all the coursework, practicum, and internship requirements in order to qualify as a Licensed School Counselor in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Therefore, 100% of the School Counseling graduates automatically qualify for licensure.  Eighty-five percent of the alumni who reported their employment status to the program are employed in an occupation that is closely related to school counseling.  


  • Dr. Debbie Sturm is New Director - Beginning this fall, Dr. Sturm is the Director of Counseling Programs. She will continue as Coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.
  • Dr. Michele Kielty and Dr. Renee Staton to Coordinate School Counseling - Drs. Kielty and Staton are now sharing the duties of coordinating the School Counseling Program.
  • Dr. Lennie Echterling Continues as Doctoral Program Coordinator - Dr. Echterling remains the Coordinator of the Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision Program.