FAQs for the M.Ed. in School Counseling at JMU

M.ED. in School Counseling

School Counseling M.Ed. Program - FAQs

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What makes a strong applicant to your program?

Successful applicants have some prior experiences with children and schools/community groups and embrace a commitment to serving all children and adolescents. Strong applicants are committed to making a difference in K-12 settings. Please see our video and website for a deeper look into our program.

Do I need a specific GPA and/or GRE score to apply?

While the program does not use a pre-determined cut-off score for GPAs or GREs, successful applicants have demonstrated their academic potential in prior coursework. All components of the application are considered in the review process, not just GPA or GRE score. Currently, you may request an exception from the Director if you are unable to take the GRE. Please email your exception request to Dr. Michele Kielty (kieltyml@jmu.edu).

I am not a psychology major. Can I still apply?

Yes, applicants with other closely related majors can still apply. Applicants with experience and commitment to working with children and adolescents often have varied educational backgrounds.

What makes the JMU School Counseling program different from other programs?

The coursework for the JMU School Counseling program is heavily focused on developing counseling skills. Dedicated and personable professors provide real life opportunities for students to learn about what it is like to be a counselor and what it is like to be a client. Our students learn to be counselors first, and apply this identity to the specific requirements of K-12 schools and the profession of school counseling. We specialize in social-emotional learning, mindfulness-based practices, and trauma sensitive school-based interventions.

Are funding and graduate assistantships available for students?

Yes, many if not all of our graduate students have Graduate Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships (GAs and TAs).  These positions require 20 hours of work per week and are located in various departments and divisions around campus. GA positions offer tuition reimbursement each semester and a stipend.

What are practicum and internship experiences like?

Practicum involves a 100-hour placement in an elementary, middle or high school in the spring semester of your first year.  Two internship experiences, each of them being 300-hour placements, occur in the fall and spring semesters of your second year. Faculty coordinate these placements.

What can I do with this degree and will I get a job?

School counseling graduates qualify for licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The job outlook for school counselors is very bright and there are many available job openings. The percentage of graduates who gained employment as school counselors upon graduation has been 100% over the last several years.

What are the financial aid options?

The graduate school website explains all of the possible financial aid options.

Can I also meet the educational requirements currently required by the licensing board for the Virginia LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) while completing the school counseling program?

Yes!  You can talk with your program faculty about your interest in this process.  Under the current 54 credit hour program, you only need to take two additional classes and fulfill the supervised hours to sit for the licensure exam.  You can also review this handbook to learn more about the requirements. 

Where is the School Counseling Program located?

The school counseling department is housed in Johnson Hall on the West side of campus, in a Bluestone building at JMU. View the campus map.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

You can email us at schoolcounseling@jmu.edu and a team member will get back to you very soon.