This CACREP-accredited program of study is designed for candidates who wish to focus on linking research with practice in school counseling. It prepares candidates to be skilled counselors, practitioner scholars, educational leaders, and advocates who work in K-12 school settings. Candidates complete a six-credit thesis seminar over two semesters where they are mentored in research methods that will inform and evaluate their practice during the internship experience or produce generalizable results on a research topic to address a gap in the literature. Candidates work with program faculty throughout the seminar to select a research focus, choose methodology, and analyze data. At the completion of the seminar, students submit a written account of their work in APA style in accordance with Loyola's thesis guidelines. Thesis seminar must be taken concurrent with internship and is broken up into two semesters.
Internship and practicum must be completed in schools during regular school hours. Practicum may be completed one day a week or an equivalent of one day per week. Internship requires students to work part-time (two to three days a week) or full-time (five days a week) in schools. There are no exceptions. To avoid dual relationships, internship cannot be completed at an intern's school of employment. In cases where the intern is working in a paid counseling position, internship may be completed if the position meets the requirements for the types of activities we expect (often requiring new responsibilities) and supervision that meets CACREP requirements. In these cases, a proposal must be drafted by the intern and approved by faculty prior to placement.
Students are required to complete criminal background checks prior to beginning practicum and internship along with professional liability insurance. All students are required to have valid background checks on file for the duration of their experience and are responsible to know their site's background check procedure/requirements. Procedures and fees for this process may vary slightly depending upon clinical experience site. More information on this process is given to students as they apply for practicum and internship.
School Counseling Dispositional Outcomes
Loyola School Counseling Masters Students are regularly assessed on the school counseling dispositional outcomes throughout the duration of the program. Student progress related to the dispositional outcomes are documented during techniques, practicum and internship and reviewed yearly by program faculty. Dispositional outcomes can be found on our Digital School Counseling Handbook Moodle page. These outcomes are reviewed with students during the new student orientation.
When concerns arise over dispositions exhibited by a student, the first course of action is an informal remediation between the student, professor and/or advisor.
- Upon initial concern, the school counseling professor will call a meeting with the student to voice concerns and work through the issue informally. Depending upon the nature of the issue, the student's academic advisor may also get involved to develop an informal plan of remediation.
- If the issue persists or is noticed by two or more of the student's professors, the professor will initiate a Performance Assessment Review (PAR).
The Professional Assessment Review (PAR) for School Counseling Students provides an opportunity for program faculty to raise a concern about academic or nonacademic student's professional and personal development in order that the noted deficiency be addressed. A PAR can be submitted by program faculty at any time. In the event where the student becomes verbally or physically aggressive, which can include intimidation, against the professor or another student, a PAR will be immediately submitted without going through the informal process.
The Director of the School Counseling Program reviews all PAR submissions with the student's academic advisor. Students will be informed in writing if they have been referred to the PAR process.
When a PAR is initiated, a formal remediation plan is constructed by a committee that includes one to two program faculty and led by the student's academic advisor. Remediation plans are agreed upon by the Program Director and Department Chair. Students will be notified of the remediation plan in writing. Prior to the committee's decision on a remediation plan the student is invited to submit a written statement pertaining to the event or circumstances that resulted in a PAR.
A student's failure to comply with the remediation plan, or an inability to make necessary progress, could result in a dismissal from the program. Students would be notified in writing to the conditions of their remediation plan and the consequences of not following it or making necessary progress. Remediation plans are final and cannot be appealed.
Deficiencies reported by faculty when a student is enrolled in Practicum or Internship could require a withdrawal from the clinical experience until the remediation plan has been completed to the satisfaction of all involved faculty. Withdrawal decisions are at the discretion of the student's academic advisor, clinical faculty supervising the experience, program director and department chair.
The PAR process is part of a formal academic process and as such, third parties are not permitted to participate in PAR meetings. Refer to the following Professional Assessment Review (PAR) Form for listing of areas assessed which can be found on our Digital School Counseling Handbook Moodle page.
Master's Comprehensive Examination
A candidate's mastery of course content is assessed near the end of the candidate's program using a comprehensive examination. The examination is given twice a year in March and November, and each candidate must pass it in order to graduate. Degree candidates are responsible for applying to sit for the examination at the appropriate time, no sooner than one semester before the semester in which the candidate is scheduled to graduate. No candidate may take the examination more than three times. Students who document licensure as a Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC or equivalent) are not required to take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).