School Counseling Initial License Only Program
Total credit hours: 37-42 (before waivers)
Program start date: Summer or fall
Program length: 24-36 months (full-time or part-time study available)
View the current program of study in the course catalog
View admissions requirements and deadlines: Track I or Track II
Faculty: Laura Pedersen, Danielle Torres, Bill Layton, Heather Hadraba
The Initial License Only Program in school counseling provides an opportunity for students who hold a master’s degree in a closely related field (e.g., education, psychology, social work) to earn the Initial School Counseling License.
We emphasize a contextual and systemic approach to school counseling that gives you the skills to build upon students’ previous education and work experience. We provide you with the core aspects of our innovative school counseling program, including furthering knowledge of the American School Counseling Association National Model, collaboration strategies, understanding and utilization of data and action research, and internship support.
Students enrolled in the Initial License Only Program earn the Initial I School Counseling License. Track I is for students already holding a teaching license and with two years of successful teaching experience. Track II is for students who do not yet have a teaching background.
Students in the Initial License Only Program will leave prepared to:
- Further develop the most current skills and approaches to working with K-12 students.
- Design and implement a comprehensive school counseling program as described by the American School Counseling Association National Model.
- Solve real-work problems with the support of fellow interns and stellar faculty.
- Utilize work experience to develop leadership and advocacy skills to deliver services to ALL students.
- Demonstrate the life-long learning involved in working with diverse students and communities.
- Better understand, analyze, and communicate data-driven decision-making that addresses issues of equity and targets the achievement gap in schools.
What to Expect
Students enrolled in the Initial License Only Program take similar courses to degree-seeking students. However, at Lewis & Clark, we recognize that every student comes with a unique history of education and experience. Admitted students work closely with a faculty advisor to design an individual program of study leading to licensure. All students enrolled in the Initial License Only Program meet with an adviser early in the program to determine what, if any, classes can be waived. This process is intended to honor your previous coursework and work experience, while also ensuring that you are receiving the training and experience necessary to complete our program. The waiver process is usually completed during the first term of enrollment so that students are clearly aware of their program requirements.
During the fall and spring semesters, courses are offered in the evening and on occasional weekends. During the summer, courses are offered on a compact schedule. Courses have a specific school-counseling focus that emphasizes working with children and adolescents in a school setting, and are taught by a team of faculty with real-world work experience.
In addition to the required coursework, we expect students to spend substantial time working in schools from the very first term. During the program, students work at three different school sites, earning authorization for all grade levels, K-12. Students in Track II will also spend time in schools completing a teaching practicum. A full-time student can complete the program in two years; a part-time student can take three or more years.
Applying to the Program
The Initial Licensure Only Program is for students with a completed master’s degree in a closely related field. Often, students are interested in changing their careers to work in a K-12 school setting, or adding a license to their current job. We expect successful applicants to have knowledge of child development, recent experience working in an educational/school setting, and a commitment to working with diverse communities. We appreciate the life experience and eclectic backgrounds that candidates bring to the program.
Special Student Status
To register for courses in any School Counseling program, an individual must either be fully admitted or have Special Student status. Special Student status allows an individual to take a limited number of semester hours in specifically designated courses prior to formal admission. Currently these courses include:
SCED 500 Introduction to School Counseling
SCED 507 Development of the Learner: Children and Adolescents
SCED 508 Social Justice, Diversity, and Cultural Issues
SCED 509 Ethical and Legal Issues in Education and School Counseling
SCED 510 Family Dynamics, Consultation, and Community Resources
SCED 512 Special Needs Populations in Schools
Admission to these classes is on a space-available basis after fully admitted students have registered.