School Counseling FAQs
What is the difference between the M.Ed and the M.A.?
The biggest difference between the two degrees is the master’s thesis requirement. If enrolling in the M.A. program, you would be required to complete a master’s thesis during your last year. If you were enrolled in our M.Ed program, you would take six credits of electives (or two elective classes) instead of the thesis. Both degrees allow you to be certified in the State of Maryland as a school counselor.
What is the advantage of obtaining an M.A. over the M.Ed?
A master’s thesis or demonstrated research competence is generally a prerequisite for admission to a doctoral program. The M.A. provides students with the opportunity to complete a master’s thesis on original research. The M.Ed. does not provide this opportunity. Students who choose the M.A. program do so because they plan to continue study in a doctoral program in Counselor Education or a related field.
If I earn my degree at Loyola University Maryland, will I be able to practice as a school counselor outside of the state of Maryland?
Yes, the state of Maryland has reciprocity with 48 other states. Students interested in practicing in another state can visit www.schoolcounselor.org for information related to certification requirements around the country. It is also advisable for students to contact the state board of education from the state in which they seek employment early in the program.
What is CACREP and why is that something I should look for in the graduate program I attend?
CACREP stands for Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. This accrediting agency ensures that highest professional standards for institutions preparing school counselors. As a CACREP approved program, we adhere to the training standards established by this accrediting body. Those who attend a program that has the CACREP approval can be assured that the training they receive adheres to high standards that will prepare them for role of a school counselor. It also assures your potential employer that you have been highly trained. To learn more about CACREP, visit www.cacrep.org.
How will I complete the 600-hour internship requirement if I work full-time?
Loyola understands that not all of our part-time students can complete these internship hours over two semesters. Part-time students can complete their internship hours over two years (150 hours per semester). This option would allow you to maintain full-time hours at work while completing this program requirement. As internship hours cannot be completed in the summer, students are encouraged to talk with their employers about this requirement in order to create some flexibility in their work schedule.
I do not meet the undergraduate GPA requirement. What are my options?
Loyola's school counseling program is very competitive. Most students who are admitted unconditionally have earned a 3.5 undergraduate GPA, or better. If you have not earned a GPA of at least 3.0 you have two options. The first would be to take additional undergraduate coursework to strengthen your GPA. If successful, at some future time you could choose to apply to the program for unconditional admission status. The second option would be to include a statement, which describes your undergraduate experience, what you learned and how you have grown as a student. Additionally, your application must include a very compelling essay, which describes your commitment to advocacy and social justice in education. If successful, this approach could lead to conditional acceptance in the program. Students who are conditionally accepted into the school counseling program must complete required courses with a grade of B or better before continuing with the designated course of study.