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 in Loyola's School Counseling Handbook. Dispositional outcomes are reviewed with students during the new student orientation.
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. Students who document licensure as a Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC or equivalent) are not required to take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).