Course Length: 16 weeks
School counseling requires you to be up to date on the events that are affecting your clients’ lives and new strategies that are being developed to address them. This course is taught as a seminar, providing a forum for you to explore and discuss current issues, trends and research in professional guidance and counseling. The course focuses on curriculum development for classroom guidance lessons, a review of counselors’ responsibilities, counseling in individual and small group settings and special client populations as they relate to the school setting.
- Addresses timely issues in counseling
- Encourages meaningful discussion
- May be repeated for credit as topic varies
Each week throughout the course will focus on a different theme. Coursework, assignments and discussions will align with that theme, as well as the course’s primary objective.
Week 1 - Introduction and Advocacy for the Profession
You’ll use this first week to acquaint yourself with classmates and establish goals for the semester. You’ll research and construct an advocacy letter to send to a local representative regarding an issue concerning diversity/equal rights/equal access, as well as a follow-up letter.
Week 2 - Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: Autism Spectrum Disorder/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
This week you’ll research effective strategies to use when working with students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder/PDD. You’ll also learn about the four American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model Themes: Leadership, Advocacy, Collaboration and Systemic Change.
Week 3 - Abuse: Victim and Perpetrator
This week's topic is emotional, physical and sexual abuse. You’ll research effective strategies to use when working with both victims and perpetrators and present a small group or individual counseling plan for a client who has been a victim of abuse.
Week 4 - Substance Abuse
This week you’ll explore substance abuse, especially by adolescents and teens. You’ll discover specific counseling strategies and techniques for this issue and reflect on how you would want to incorporate these into practice.
Week 5 - Your Week. Your Time. Your Decision.
This week is yours. There will be no readings or assignments and you are encouraged to spend your time in a way that personally benefits you. Prior school counseling students have used it to spend time with family and friends, catch up on program assignments or job responsibilities and indulge in self-care activities such as a relaxing massage or invigorating walk.
Week 6 - Depression, Suicide, Self-Mutilation
This week you’ll research topics related to depression, suicide and self-mutilation and participate in an online scavenger hunt to locate related counseling resources to use in the field. You’ll then create a SMART goal plan to help decrease the frequency of these issues in an identified area.
Week 7 - Ethnicity and Culture, LGBTQ Issues
You’ll discover counseling strategies to use and provide imagery to express your thoughts on the issues of ethnicity, culture and LGBTQ issues. You’ll also explore how school counselors should manage their time and how to advocate for the proper allocation of duties.
Week 8 - Poverty, Runaways, Homelessness
You’ll review websites covering issues such as poverty, runaways and homelessness. You’ll discover counseling strategies that will help you develop a small group action plan to address students who fall in one or more at-risk categories.
Week 9 - Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting
As you explore websites and literature on adolescent pregnancy and parenting, you’ll uncover counseling strategies to help you navigate through ethical dilemmas related to those issues. You’ll also learn how laws regarding teen pregnancy, parenting issues and counselor confidentiality vary by state and district.
Week 10 - Your Week. Your Time. Your Decision.
This Week is yours. There are no readings assigned, no exams to take and no assignments to post, so use this week to benefit YOU!
Week 11 - Bullying, Cyber Bullying and Technology’s Impact on Counseling
This week you’ll explore definitions of bullying and cyber-bullying and research ways to effectively counsel students who are victims and/or bullies. You’ll also discover how technology has impacted counseling and the delivery of a school counseling program to students.
Week 12 - College and Career Readiness
As you identify strategies to work with students regarding college and career planning, you’ll learn what role the school counselor plays in the process. You’ll also explore research that helps clarify whether a student should go to college and create three career guidance/small group career lesson plans.
Week 13 - Grief and Loss
This week you’ll identify the stages of grief and research ways to help students dealing with grief and loss using effective counseling activities.
Week 14 - Divorce
You’ll explore the effects of divorce on children and family, and learn ways to effectively counsel and support students experiencing them. You’ll examine scenarios where divorce might be a healthier option for a family and identify ways to prevent students from engaging in destructive behaviors as a result of divorce.
Week 15 - Military Families
This week you’ll explore ways to effectively counsel students of military families and
explain three counseling strategies that have been shown to be effective. You’ll also identify three ways to improve services provided for military students on your campus or at your agency.
Week 16 - Youth Violence and Gangs
This final week, you’ll define gang culture and learn strategies to effectively counsel students who are involved with gangs or have witnessed youth violence.
To learn more about this course or others in the online Master of Education in School Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University, call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions adviser or request more information.