Professional School Counseling

The Esteves School of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (
National Accreditation Advantage

The Esteves School of Education has held continuous accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE/CAEP) since October 2001. NCATE/CAEP accreditation means that graduates are recognized as having completed an Education program that meets the highest standards in the field. Sage graduates should note the NCATE/CAEP accreditation on their resumes and be prepared to talk about its significance.

Conceptual Framework

The mission of the Esteves School of Education is to prepare highly effective educators, school counselors, and school leaders who believe in full inclusion, who value diversity, who are reflective, and who are knowledgeable about best practices.  Therefore, we ask Sage educators, counselors, and leaders to consider two essential questions throughout their studies and field experiences:  Who am I in the lives of those with whom I work? Who am I in the life of my educational community?  We expect all Sage candidates to demonstrate leadership and create optimal educational outcomes for all learners.

The motto of Russell Sage College, “To Be, To Know, To Do,” informs the educational purpose where the common effort is to translate learning into action and application, within a framework that recognizes the obligation of educated persons to lead and serve their communities.  In the Esteves School of Education, this motto is extended to form the basis of our programs.

Conceptual Framework: the underlying structure in a professional education unit that gives conceptual meanings through an articulated rationale to the unit’s operation, and provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate performance, faculty scholarship and service, and unit accountability.

T-BIRDS - the key concepts for the conceptual framework:
  • Technology: a vehicle for learners to acquire information, practice skills, use higher order thinking skills, and participate in collaborative projects.
  • Best Practices: the pedagogical knowledge, skills, and practices that have been shown through research and evaluation to be effective and/or efficient and that candidates use to teach all learners.
  • Inclusion and Diversity: the ability to collaborate and team with other professionals in developing and implementing strategies to accommodate diverse learners; the ability to develop solutions that will enhance the learning experiences of all children; and, the ability of candidates to be aware of and sensitive to diversity issues and to use culturally and socially responsible pedagogy.
  • Reflection: the ability to reflect and assess one’s own effectiveness, and to systematically make adjustments to improve and strengthen areas needing attention.
  • Dispositions: the demonstration of respect for learner differences, commitment to own personal growth, and engagement in short and long-term planning.
  • Service Learning: the strategies that integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich children’s learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. 

These elements are interrelated and integrated to prepare candidates to assume roles as reflective facilitators of learning, combining knowledge and skills to exemplify those qualities and dispositions that characterize effective educators.

School Counseling Certification

The Master of Science (M.S.) program in Professional School Counseling prepares counselors for New York State certification as School Counselors. The program is designed to develop specific areas of competency in human growth and development; social and cultural foundations; helping relationships; groups; career development; appraisal; research and evaluation; and professional orientation.

The program prepares school counselors to:

  • provide individual and small group counseling interventions to help remove barriers to student learning;
  • help elementary and secondary pupils gain understanding of their social, intellectual, and emotional development;
  • be knowledgeable about educational, occupational, and social opportunities;
  • develop leadership and advocacy skills;
  • communicate effectively with school personnel, parents, and particularly with students, about issues that facilitate or inhibit personal planning, self-esteem, achievement, and choice;
  • collaborate with faculty and administration in creating and implementing programs that are aligned with student needs.

After completing their M.S. degree, school counselors seeking to earn New York State permanent certification are encouraged to enroll in the program’s 12-credit Certificate of Advanced Study.

All matriculated students complete a signed program schedule. Any change in stated coursework must receive written approval of the assigned faculty advisor.

Admission Requirements 

  1. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  2. For students admitted with provisions, an interview may be required.

Degrees and Certificates


SCP 502: Critical Thinking: Research Into Practice

Critical Thinking: Research into Practice is concerned with providing school counseling students with the opportunity to increase their understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and school counseling program evaluation. School counseling students will utilize the ASCA model as a means to conceptualize evaluation of school counseling programs, needs assessments, results reports, and accountability issues related to managing a school counseling program. School counseling students will develop critical thinking skills for reading research and drawing conclusions about its implications for school counseling.

SCP 535: Conflict Resolution in School Settings

This course will provide a history, philosophy and theory of conflict resolution as it applies in educational settings. A definition, description in process for integration in core curricula will be considered. Utilizing peer mediation as a specific technique for handling conflict resolution among students will be emphasized. Classroom teachers and guidance counselors will be prepared to help organize programs in schools where such programs are not currently in place and to assume an effective leadership role in conflict resolution techniques and in the safe schools effort.

SCP 540: Knowledge/Skills/School Counseling

SCP 540 provides students with an introduction to knowledge, skills, and contextual dimensions of school counseling. Students will acquire a general framework for understanding and delivering both responsive services and consultation in the school setting. Students will demonstrate an understanding of issues that may affect the development and functioning of students. Students will explore these issues and apply this knowledge to identify developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive counseling interventions that are representative of the best practices in the school counseling profession. Particular emphasis will be placed on developmental issues and unique challenges faced by school-aged children and adolescents in a diverse society.

SCP 550: Role of Professional School Counselor

The Role of the Professional School Counselor is designed to ensure the school counselors develop an appropriate professional identity. The course provides students with a framework for understanding the history and philosophy of the counseling profession, including significant factors and event, and current trends in school counseling and educational systems. The Role of the Professional School Counselor emphasizes studies that address the role, function, and professional identity of the school counselor in relation to the roles of other school personnel. The course promotes use of counseling and guidance activities and programs by the total school community to enhance a positive school climate. In considering the function and responsibilities of school counselors at the elementary, middle school, and high school level emphasis will be placed upon the counselor's role as a student advocate and agent of change. Particular emphasis will be placed on educational requirements of the Board of Regents and the American School Counselor Association. Opportunities to interact with school counselors and other school personnel will be provided through school-based interviews and observations.

SCP 553: Career Counseling Career

Counseling will examine approaches to career counseling, helping strategies in career counseling, and assessment and evaluation principles for using career information successfully. The course also addresses the types of delivery systems for elementary, middle and high school settings. Students will learn about developmental issues and career counseling information that facilitate an understanding of career development and related life factors. The course also addresses career, vocational, educational, occupational and labor market information resources, visual and print media, computer-based career information systems, and other electronic career information systems.

SCP 555: Group Processes in School Counseling

Group Procedures in School Counseling provides students with both theoretical and experiential understandings of group purpose, development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group approaches. Students will design and implement small-group counseling approaches that promote school success, through academic, career and personal/social development. Over the course of one semester students will meet for a minimum of 10 clock hours in a small-group activity. This planned group requirement is intended to provide direct experiences as a participant in a small group.

SCP 560: Pre-Practicum in School Counseling

The Pre-Practicum in school counseling is designed to prepare school counseling students to design and deliver individual and small-group counseling approaches that promote school success, through academic, career, and personal/social development. Students will increase their understanding of human behavior including an understanding of developmental crises, disability, exceptional behavior, addictive behavior, psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior. The course thoroughly addresses ethical and legal considerations in the school counseling profession and applications of ethical and legal standards of ACA, ASCA and related entities.

SCP 571: Working with Parents in Education

Working with Parents in Educational Settings is intended to develop appreciation for parents as active participants in their children's education. Working with parents also emphasizes awareness and appreciation of the diversity of families. A survey of theories and practices focusing on effective communication skills between parents and school personnel and between parents and their children will be addressed. School counseling students will engage in a simulated parent education group and simulated individual parent conferences. Students will attend representative parent evening programs in school districts of their choosing. School counseling students will demonstrate knowledge and skills related to promoting strategies and methods of working with parents, guardians, families, and communities to empower them to act on behalf of their children. Students will also demonstrate skills related to presenting school counseling-related educational programs to administrators, teachers, parents, and the community.

SCP 575: Appraisal in School Counseling

Appraisal Process in School Counseling prepares school counseling students to apply sound principles of measurement and appraisal in the counseling process with students, staff and parents. Current issues related to the use of standardize tests and alternative forms of assessment will be considered. Computer applications and systems appropriate to school counselor functions will be included. Basic steps in the planning and conducting of research in the school setting will be emphasized. This course includes studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation, including basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing and other assessment techniques including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment, environmental assessment, performance assessment, individual and group test and inventory methods, behavioral observations, and computer-managed and computer-assisted methods. Particular emphasis will be given to use, management, analysis, and presentation of data from school-based information (e.g. standardized testing, The New York State Learning Standards, grades, enrollment, attendance, retention, placement), surveys, interviews, focus groups, and needs assessments to improve student outcomes.

SCP 585: Counseling Culturally Diverse Populations

The focus of Counseling in Schools with Culturally Diverse Populations is on preparing counselors who will be able to assure students of culturally diverse backgrounds access to appropriate services and opportunities that promote maximum development. Counseling students will be expected to conduct self-examination of their personal values, attitudes, and beliefs regarding cultural diversity in the schools. Counseling techniques will be explored which foster the interest of culturally diverse students in careers that have been traditionally limited or closed. Also emphasized will be small group and classroom activities which enhance self-esteem and cultural awareness, and develop acceptance and appreciation of cultural diversity. These studies will provide an understanding of the cultural context of relationships, and issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society related to such factors as culture, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomic status and unique characteristics of individuals, couples, families, ethnic groups, and communities.

Prerequisite Courses

SCP 586: Practicum in Professional School Counseling

Students will complete a supervised practicum experience in a school setting that totals a minimum of 100 clock hours. The student's practicum includes 40 hours of direct service with students including experience in individual counseling and group work. The practicum provides for the development and refinement of counseling skills under supervision. Students will have weekly interaction with an average of one hour per week of individual and/or triadic supervision which occurs regularly over a minimum of one academic term by a Sage faculty member or a supervisor working under the supervision of a Sage faculty member. Students will also have an average of one and one half hours per week of group supervision that is provided on a regular schedule over the course of the student's practicum by a Sage faculty member or a supervisor under the supervision of a Sage faculty member (CACREP STANDARD III: G3). The practicum addresses issues related to professional credentialing, including certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues.

SCP 587: Internship in Professional School Counseling

The school counseling internship requires placement in a public school the equivalent of full time for one semester or part time over a full year. Interns will work under the direct supervision of an experienced school counselor and will participate in the entire range of activities and functions of a school counselor. The program requires students to complete a supervised internship of 600 clock hours that is begun after successful completion of the student's practicum. The internship provides an opportunity for the student to perform, under supervision, a variety of counseling activities that a professional school counselor is expected to perform. The internship reinforces issues related to professional credentialing, including certification, licensure, and accreditation practices and standards, and the effects of public policy on these issues.

Candidates must complete a minimum of 240 clock hours of direct student contact and a minimum of 360 hours in developing, implementing, and evaluating key school counseling program elements.  A minimum of 300 clock hours of the internship must be completed in grades K-8 and a minimum of300 hours must be completed in grades 9-12.

SCP 589: Issues in School Counseling

Utilizing a seminar format, this course will deal with issues presently confronting school counselors. Selection of specific topics will be determined by staff in consultation with prospective students. Potential topics include effective practices in elementary and middle school counseling, designing and implementing a comprehensive K-12 guidance program, guidance and counseling or the gifted student, developing students' study skills, supervision and evaluation of school counselors, models of classroom management, The Counselor Ethics and School Law.
Advising Note
Take GDC-587;

GDC 587

SCP 590: Advanced Practicum/Internship

Students will have an opportunity in their school setting or in a second internship at a different level from their first internship to apply counseling skills and techniques. While serving in the role of a professional staff member, students will have the opportunity to develop and apply specific counseling strategies to effect positive change in their counselee's academic, career, and personal/social development. A counseling tape with a student will be required. Students will be expected to practice counseling skills during the weekly seminar.

SCP 594: Implementing ASCA National Model

The ASCA model provides the framework with which school counselors and school counseling teams can design, coordinate, implement, manage and evaluate their school counseling programs. This course explores the components of the ASCA National Model and the school counselor's role in implementation. The course also provides orientation to the underlying philosophies of leadership, advocacy and systemic change that are the foundation of the ASCA Model. Students will learn the skills necessary develop school counseling programs that are accountable and data driven.

SCP 596: Integrating Mindfulness into Professional Practices

Mindfulness is a concept derived from Buddhism that was first described 2500 years ago. It is a non-anxious, non-judging, non-rejecting state of mind that encourages clear awareness of what is happening-as it is happening. The course will familiarize students with mindfulness and contemplative practices and their relevance in professional settings.  This course explores research supported mindfulness techniques.

SCP 601: Trauma Informed Practices

This course emphasizes the school counselor's role in understanding, identifying, and
developing trauma informed and trauma responsive practices in the field of professional school
counseling. Special emphasis is placed on understanding traumas impact on learning and
how to mitigate the effects of adverse childhood experiences in the school setting to assist
students with achieving personal, academic, and social emotional success. This course will have a
particular focus on prioritizing relationships, creating a positive environment and school
culture, trauma sensitive discipline techniques, trauma informed RTI, and educator self-care.
Prerequisite: PSY 571, SCP 585 & SCP 540