Frequently Asked Questions & Responses for students seeking a Masters (M.Ed.) or Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree in School Counseling
Do I need to have a teaching degree to enter the School Counseling program?
The FAU School Counseling programs are Florida Department of Education initial certification programs. Students who do not hold a FL teacher certification upon entry are required to complete the certification requirements as a condition of graduation. To meet this requirement, admitted, non certified, students are required to take TSL 4324 ESOL Strategies and RED 4335 Content Reading, and pass three Florida Certification Exams: General Knowledge, Professional Educators, and Guidance and Counseling. Additional information about the required certification exams is available at http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/postsecondary-assessment
If I already have a Master's degree (in a related field or not) what coursework will I need to complete? Field experience? How does this get determined?
The FAU School Counseling program offers an Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) option for those students who have already obtained a Master’s degree. The required course work and field experience will vary depending upon masters degree coursework and professional experience. Total number of credits to earn the Ed.S. will range from 12 – 60 credits. All admitted Ed.S. students must meet the department accreditation requirements as well as FL DOE certification requirements. Advisors tailor a Plan of Study for students after they have been admitted to the degree program.
Can I take courses as a Non-Degree Seeking Student?
Non-degree coursework is limited to MHS 6340 Career Development, MHS 5428 Counseling Special Needs, MHS 6700 Legal and Ethical Professional Issues, MHS 6482 Lifespan Development, EDF 6482 Educational Research, STA 6113 Statistics.
Can I only take the courses I need to meet the requirements for Florida Teacher Certification?
The FAU School Counseling program and specialty coursework, including the Practicum and Internship courses, are reserved ONLY for degree-seeking students. All students are required to meet the program accreditation requirements as well as FL DOE certification requirements.
What exams do students need to take be eligible for graduation and FL DOE certification?
All school counseling degree-seeking students must pass three Florida Teacher Certification Exams: (1) General Knowledge exam, (2) the Professional Educator’s exam, and (3) the Guidance and Counseling subject area exam. Students will not be cleared for graduation until all FTCE exams are passed. Students who graduate from the FAU School Counseling programs are eligible for FL teacher certification upon graduation. Additional information about the required certification exams is available at: http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/postsecondary-assessment
How does the program prepare students for certification?
The FAU School Counseling program curriculum is a competency-based program. The Florida Educators Accomplished Practice (FEAP) indicators are embedded in the school counseling specialty coursework so that each FEAP is introduced, reinforced, and assessed a minimum of two times. All students are required to meet expectations on their critical assignments in order to earn a grade in the course. Assignments are evaluated by standardized rubrics. Course instructors provide remediation and coaching as needed. In addition to the competency-based curriculum, students are expected to study for FTCE exams independently and/or participate in any additional preparation to ensure a successful outcome on the required certification exams. Students who graduate from the FAU School Counseling program are eligible for teacher certification. Additional information about the teacher certification can be found here: http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/certification/pathways-routes/teacher-edu-program-graduates.stml
What is the recommended timeline for exam completion? How can students prepare on their own to successfully pass these exams?
General Knowledge = during first semester. Note: Submitting a passing score on the GK may be a condition of admission for some applicants
Professional Educators exam = prior to beginning the Practicum experience or by the end of year two (whichever comes first)
Guidance and Counseling subject area exam = during their Practicum experience or once they have completed the counseling coursework (whichever comes first)
Students who do not submit passing scores on all three FTCE exams during their Practicum experience will receive a grade of Incomplete. The Incomplete grade may be replaced with a letter grade when the passing scores are received.
Once accepted to the program, when can students begin coursework?
Upon admission, students will receive a letter from the Department of Counselor Education and the FAU Graduate College. The letter from the Department will provide (a) details on how to document that you have completed the required program orientation steps and (b) the name of your assigned faculty advisor. After you have completed the orientation process, you can contact your advisor to set up a meeting to register for your classes. The semester in which you can begin taking classes will be stipulated in your letter from the Graduate College along with any conditions at must be met for your admission to the program.
What is the recommended course sequence?
Full-time enrollment status in the FAU School Counseling programs means students are registering for nine credits or three courses per semester. Classes are offered on the Boca and Jupiter campuses. Full-time students who follow the recommended sequence are expected to graduate within seven semesters. Students who deviate from the sequence are expected to take longer to graduate. Information about the recommended course sequence for a particular entry term and base campus can be found in the Orientation Video.
Are there any grade requirements once I am admitted?
All students enrolled in the FAU School Counseling program are required to pass their coursework by earning a grade of B or better. If a student does not meet that requirement they will be asked to remediate and/or repeat the course. Additional information is available in the Department Student Handbook available at: http://www.coe.fau.edu/academicdepartments/ce/handbooks.
What type of advising can I expect?
All degree-seeking students in the FAU School Counseling program are assigned a faculty advisor. Students are expected to communicate with their advisor on the following occasions:
Every semester to obtain permission to register for classes;
During their first semester in the program to create the Plan of Study;
At least 60 days prior to registering for a field experience;
To obtain permission to apply for a field experience; and
To obtain their advisor’s signature on their application for degree or any required university forms.
Students are also encouraged to seek assistance if they are struggling with a matter than may impact their academic or career goals. Advising appointments may be scheduled in-person, by phone, by email, or video conferencing depending on your advisor’s availability. Students should contact the department program assistant if they are having difficulty reaching their advisor.