Counseling & Psychology

Counseling Psychology: School Counseling

Master of Arts (MA), full-time or part-time graduate program

Encourage, challenge, and support students and their families.

Today, children and young adults face increasing pressure to meet new standards and demands. By training to become a school counselor, you can play a critical role in helping students to achieve their highest potential. At Lesley, you’ll learn to thrive in a fast-paced environment and to coordinate your efforts with teachers, administrators, and parents. And, you’ll become eligible for Massachusetts school counselor licensure (grades PreK-8 or 5–12).

Combine mental health counseling with your desire to work with multiple age groups in educational settings. Work with children and adolescents, as well as their families, to build an environment of respect, cooperation, and support. As a school counselor, you’ll do all you can to help students reach their academic and personal goals.

Benefit from our ongoing partnerships with public schools in the Boston area, and also from our reputation among principals and districts as New England’s largest and most respected provider of teacher education. During a required yearlong internship in an educational setting, begin to promote growth, healing, and social change in schools.

Your education will integrate mind-body behavioral health, trauma studies, and social justice advocacy—so you’ll be prepared to counsel students from the basis of the whole person. With support at every step, you’ll qualify for your school counseling license, and master the skills to push young people toward success, both in the classroom and in life.

Program Structure

On-Campus Full- or Part-Time Program

48 Credits

Expected Program Competencies and Outcomes

Learn more about the expected competencies and outcomes that our clinical mental health counseling programs meet:

  • Read the Program Outcomes

    Outcome 1: Professional counselor identity development integrating multicultural awareness, culturally competent counseling, and social justice advocacy interventions

    Outcome 2: Capacity for empathic engagement, therapeutic alliance, and critical self-reflection as a counselor including the recognition of personal worldview and biases to enhance working with diverse groups in school and community settings

    Outcome 3: Knowledge of cognitive, social, and emotional development across the lifespan including ecological, contextual, multicultural, and social justice foundations

    Outcome 4: Understanding of a variety of counseling theories, prevention, intervention, consultation, and social justice advocacy strategies

    Outcome 5: Knowledge of individual psychopathology, mental health assessment and diagnosis, as defined by classification systems such as Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) and the International Classification of Disease (ICD) and their relationship to treatment, prevention and knowledge of cultural biases associated with these systems

    Outcome 6: Ability to conduct an intake interview, use biopsychosocial case conceptualization for treatment planning, and conceptualize and deliver a case presentation in both written and oral form  

    Outcome 7: Knowledge regarding the use, limitations and interpretation of assessment tools with an awareness of the cultural bias in assessment protocols and use of assessment/evaluation instruments and techniques that foster social justice among diverse client populations

    Outcome 8: Skills for training, consulting, and collaborating with families, school personnel, and healthcare providers for education, systems change, and social justice advocacy

    Outcome 9: Understanding of ethical and legal professional standards of care grounded in federal and state laws, public policy processes, and ethical standards of ACA, AMHCA and ASCA

    Outcome 10: Knowledge of principles and practices of career counseling including the study of vocational/career development theories and decision making models; career assessment instruments and techniques, and the application of social justice theories to people’s vocational/career development

    Outcome 11: Understanding of how to critically evaluate and interpret traditional and social justice oriented research and apply relevant research in counseling practice with the knowledge of cultural biases associated with research practice

    Outcome 12: Knowledge of group theory, effective group interventions, principles of group dynamics, group processes, and group leadership, and the application of group work theory and practice to organizational dynamics and social justice advocacy in difficult settings

    Outcome 13: Neuroscience, physical and biological foundations of human development, behavior and wellness; including the use of neuro-scientific research findings for culturally competent counseling practices and social justice advocacy interventions

    Outcome 14: Completion of supervised field placement experiences that focus on the promotion of mental health, human development, wellness, cultural competency, and social justice advocacy, under the clinical supervision of appropriately credentialed professionals

man walking in harvard square, cambridge

Cambridge, MA

A nexus for higher education and mental health counseling practice and research, each year 250,000 students arrive to Cambridge from around the globe. The intellectual and cultural capital runs deep, and so do your opportunities addressing barriers to wellness. From Lesley’s location, access innovative community, hospital, and school-based mental health programs.

“Principals and guidance counselors trust that our graduate students are well prepared to lead group sessions and help their guidance staff provide psychosocial support to their students.”
Dalia Llera, Professor Emerita, Counseling & Psychology
$47,922
The average salary for professionals with a degree in mental health counseling in New England (Source: Burning Glass Labor Insight)
#1
Massachusetts is the best state in the nation for mental health care according to Mental Health America, with excellent access to care for both youth and adults.
11%
Careers in mental health counseling are expanding, with projections for an eleven percent increase in job openings in New England over the next ten years. (Source: Burning Glass Labor Insight)
Careers
Jobs You Could Have
The field of mental health counseling is expanding rapidly, making this an exciting time to pursue graduate study. Common job titles for people with master's degrees in mental health counseling include:
Careers
Where Graduates Work
Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area have a large concentration of medical, healthcare, and mental health-related facilities and organizations. Graduates find careers in a wide range of places, including:

Faculty

Total approximate cost for this master's degree program.
Counseling Psychology: School Counseling
  • Tuition
    $1,160/credit x 48
    $55,680
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fees
    $1,090
    Materials Fees
    $480
    Registration Fees
    $200
    Activity Fees
    $120
    Degree Completion Fee
    $75
    Practicum Fees
    $70
  • Merit Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship
    $-5,000
  • Total
Estimated Cost

The Division of Counseling & Psychology awards merit scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $12,000. Other forms of financial aid may also be available. Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover. Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

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Total approximate cost for this master's degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2019–2020 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.