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Graduate Projects for School Counseling

    Introduction to Counseling Methods and Tools Through Completion of Graduate Projects

    • Graduate students should gain skills in activities such as substance abuse prevention.BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

      The 2010-11 Edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, located at bls.gov, explains that school counselors provide individual and group counseling to students in a variety of educational settings. These professionals engage in activities such as substance abuse prevention, crisis intervention, career counseling, mediation, and consultation with teachers and parents. School counselors commonly use aptitude assessment tests, interviews, career education programs and individual and group counseling sessions to evaluate and assist students. Internships and graduate projects should include experiences in school settings, engagement in counseling activities and the opportunity to use various aptitude tests and tools.

    Accreditation Requirements for Pre-Service, Internship and School Counseling Projects

    • According to naspaonline.org, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) requires post-graduate degree school counseling students to complete a minimum of two years full-time study and 600 hours of internship experience. Experience can be obtained through pre-service work, internships and capstone projects. CACREP also regulates school counselors in the same way departments of education license or certify teachers. More information about professional school counseling licensure and certification can be found at counseling.org.

    Experiential-based Capstone Projects

    • School counseling graduate students complete capstone projects.Ableimages/Lifesize/Getty Images

      A capstone project is required for some master's degree programs. According to the article "How to Create a Master's Degree Capstone Project" by Linda Neas, the most valuable projects provide community outreach opportunities by developing new initiatives that can be used in the community. "Listening to Youth," a project example listed at bls.org, involved students meeting with counselors to develop ways to make their school better, develop self-esteem and build relationships. The 2010 article by Neas also states that capstone projects must be academically sound and build on the graduate student's acquired knowledge.

    Outcome-based Research Projects

    • Graduate student research projects provide data about school counseling programs.Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

      Outcome-based research provides accountability for school counseling programs and bridges the gap between practice and research. As discussed in the 2005 article, "Collaborative Action Research and School Counselors" by Lonnie L. Rowell, collaborative action research provides opportunities for school counselors, graduate students and counselor educators to engage in research, disseminate findings and identify ways to implement discoveries in local schools and school districts. The article by Rowell highlights project examples, such as a project completed in 2000 that examined high school student perceptions of social, academic and career development. Graduate students gathered data, presented results and identified areas for reform.

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