School Counseling FAQs
The graduate school offers programs in both of these areas, and they are commonly confused but very different when you examine how you will interact with children in schools.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) provides information about a career in school counseling, such as the role of the school counselor at various K-12 levels (elementary, middle school, and high school) and the responsibilities of the contemporary school counselor.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides helpful information about the profession of school psychology, what the job is like, and how the profession compares to other related professions, such as school counseling.
We urge you to do some research on the two professions if you are unsure which program is right for you. We invite you to attend an Informational Session at Lewis & Clark for each program prior to application. You can also contact a faculty member in the program to talk with them about what you are looking for. Lastly, we recommend that you interview a practicing school counselor and a practicing school psychologist to get a better sense of the real-world job experience for both fields.
Most students find that a flexible job schedule that allows for some weekday work (when you are not scheduled for your internship), evening work (when you are not in class), and/or weekend work is best while completing the program.
Students in the licensure-only program have a particular challenge if they are already working in a K-12 school. Due to the internship requirements, which must take place at different schools, a flexible schedule is required. We can usually arrange one internship to take place at your current place of work, but the other internship does require scheduled daytime hours and supervision at other schools. We will work with you to attain the most convenient schedule for you, but flexibility is critical.
The Oregon School Counseling License is valid only in Oregon. However, most states have their own process for determining licensure transfer or eligibility. Every state will have distinct requirements and expectations for school counselors, so you are encouraged to contact the state’s governing licensure body and inquire about their requirements. It is often a matter of examining the components of your training. Typically, an Oregon license will serve as a provisional license with the possibility of additional requirements.
Detailed information about each state’s requirements are available through the respective state’s licensing websites. We recommend that students find out beforehand about any additional requirements in the other state of intended employment and incorporate those requirements into their Lewis & Clark program. Many former students have successfully obtained an additional license from another state.
Specific questions can be referred to our office of K-12 Educational Career & Licensing Services.
Complete information about admissions is available on the Admissions web pages.
Full-time students can complete the master’s and license program (45 credit hours) in two years or about five semesters (to include at least one summer term). Full-time students are usually those who are completing internships and the practicum from their first year in the program, attending 3-4 courses a term, and have worked with an advisor to plan a program to complete within two years.
Part-time students can complete the master’s and license program in three or more years. Part-time students usually spread out their internships and/or practicum, take fewer classes a term, and have worked with an advisor to plan a flexible program to complete in the desired time.
During the fall and spring semesters at Lewis & Clark, courses are generally offered in the late afternoon/evenings (4:30 or 5:30-8:30 pm). There is also the occasional weekend course during the year.786766 During the summer term, courses are offered on a compact schedule, usually with longer days for an intensive period (1-3 weeks).
Full-time students who want to complete the program in two years can expect to spend two days a week in K-12 schools completing internship and practicum hours, and will take 3-4 courses per term. Part-time students who want to complete the program in three or more years can expect to spend one day a week in K-12 schools, and will take 1-3 courses per term. Some of the required courses are sequenced, while others are not, thus providing both structure and flexibility.
Students must begin their program in either the summer or fall term; attendance during at least one summer term is also required (due to the fact that some courses are only offered during the summer).
We give you the skills to reach out to students whose needs are not being met, and to involve all members of the community in ensuring student success. By the end of your program, you will have experienced the continuity of the education system and will be prepared for licensure across all grades.
The Master’s Degree in Education and School Counseling License Program allow you to work as a school counselor in K-12 schools in Oregon. Once the program requirements are completed and your degree has posted, you are recommended for licensure to Oregon’s governing licensure body, the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC). Once your license is granted, you are then eligible to be hired as a school counselor in Oregon schools.
(Completing of this program only does not make you eligible to work as a private practitioner, LPC licensed practitioner, LMFT licensed practitioner, school psychologist, or full-time teacher. Additional training and licensure would be required for these professions—you can find information about our Teacher Education and Counseling Psychology programs elsewhere on this website). Also, faculty advisors can discuss the pathway for LPC licensure.
School counseling graduates have been very successful in finding jobs. Some of the local school districts that have hired our students include Portland Public School District, Beaverton School District, Salem-Keizer School District, Reynolds School District, West Linn-Wilsonville School District, Vancouver and Evergreen (Washington) School Districts, among others throughout the Portland metro, coastal, and rural areas of Oregon. Many students are hired even prior to completing their entire program and thus are able to work in the field while completing their final requirements.
We support students as they seek employment by advertising job fairs and job openings, providing instructions for the application process and TSPC licensure application process, communicating directly with hiring districts, and providing letters of recommendation. Many of these services are offered through our office of K-12 Educational Career & Licensing Services (ECLS).
Links to scholarship and financial aid information can be found on the Tuition and Financial Aid web page. Scholarships are awarded to admitted students. Faculty from each program determine scholarships for their program applicants. Applicants are encouraged to explore external scholarship options as well.
If you have reviewed that information and still have questions, you may contact the Financial Aid Office at 503-768-7090 and identify yourself as a graduate student. You will be directed to a counselor who can answer your questions. Financial aid at the graduate level is primarily comprised of non-need-based student loans. You must be admitted to a graduate program in order for the Financial Aid Office to review your FAFSA and prepare an award letter for you.
A new scholarship is also available specifically for school counselors.
School Counseling Annual Scholarship and Loan Repayment Assistance Program for School Counselors (SCAS & LRAP)
A unique two-part scholarship, the SCAS & LRAP offers recipients a $10,000 School Counseling Annual Scholarship (SCAS) upon admission to the program, and later encourages these same school counselors to remain working in Portland metro area public schools by easing the debt burden after graduation with an additional $10,000 Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Successful graduates must seek employment as a school counselor in a public elementary, middle, or high school in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, or Yamhill county and maintain full-time employment in one of these counties for the first two years post-graduation in order to become eligible to apply for the additional $10,000 LRAP award.
Students eligible for the SCAS & LRAP must:
- Be a self-identified member of one or more historically marginalized communities, or demonstrate significant commitment to promoting social justice and equity through PK-20 education and serving underserved student populations.
- Express an interest in becoming a licensed school counselor.
- Meet the customary requirements for admission to the MEd program.
- Remain a full-time student throughout the MEd program.
- Seek employment as a school counselor in a public elementary, middle, or high school located in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, or Yamhill county and maintain full-time employment in one of these counties for the first two years post-graduation.
Interested applicants should submit a one-page statement that describes their qualifications and interest in receiving SCAS & LRAP scholarship assistance. Statements must be emailed to the graduate admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1, 2022 in order to be considered. Recipients of the scholarship will be notified by June 15, 2022.
Educational Leadership and School Counseling is located in room 308 of Rogers Hall on the Graduate Campus.
Educational Leadership + Administration
Chair Mollie Galloway
Educational Leadership and School Counseling
Lewis & Clark
615 S. Palatine Hill Road MSC 84
Portland OR 97219