2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - School Counseling Specialization

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Hande Briddick, Professor
School of Education, Counseling and Human Development
Wenona Hall 317, Box 507

Program Information

The School Counseling specialization is designed to prepare students for endorsement/certification as a school counselor in the state of South Dakota. Should the student seek endorsement in another state, it is that student’s responsibility to meet any additional requirements by that particular state. Students who successfully complete this 48-credit hour specialization will earn a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Resource Development specializing in School Counseling.

Upon successful completion of the core requirements, and those of the School Counseling specialization, and with the successful completion of the comprehensive written and oral examinations, graduates are endorsed as having constructed entry level knowledge and as having met appropriate skill acquisition to be recognized as professional school counselors. Students in the School Counseling specialization are also responsible for having taken supporting area courses which supplement or enhance their chosen specialty.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Understand developmental theory as it relates to the difference(s) between “normal” developmental behavior and “abnormal” developmental behavior in youth;
  • Utilize knowledge and skills to address the counseling needs of a dynamic and diverse population of students and their families;
  • Be prepared to create and deliver a comprehensive, K-12 developmental school guidance program;
  • Be able to consult with school personnel and serve as a liaison to community programs to assist in coordinating services for students, parents, and teachers;
  • Understand and provide effective individual, group, and classroom guidance services;
  • Know the ethical, legal, and professional standards in a K-12 educational institution;
  • Develop a commitment to continued personal and professional development;
  • Be certified by the State of South Dakota as a K-12 School Counselor; and
  • Understand the importance of school counselor wellness and create a wellness plan to ensure professional and personal vitality and resilience.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure


The Master of Science in CHRD specializing in School Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).


All Master of Science students are eligible to begin the process for the National Certified Counselor certification by taking the NCE six months before or after they graduate.

The School Counseling specialization prepares students for endorsement/certification in the state of South Dakota. Students are responsible for researching school counseling certification requirements for any state in which they wish to practice.


Graduation from this program does not grant immediate licensure as a counselor. Licensure differs by state and is obtainable by completing additional client contact hours after graduation. Students are responsible for researching licensure requirements for the state in which they plan to practice.

Course Delivery Format

Instruction occurs through didactic (classroom) and clinical experience. Most classes are enhanced with internet supplement.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Master of Science Option A - Thesis 48 Credit Hours
  Option B - Research/Design Paper 48 Credit Hours
  Option C - Coursework Only 48 Credit Hours


Total Required Credits: 48 (Option A, B, & C)

Additional Program Requirements

  • All Master of Science students are required to purchase and carry professional liability insurance throughout the duration of the program. M.Ed. students will be required to purchase and carry professional liability insurance if enrolled in clinical courses.
  • Clinical course registration is completed by the department.
  • Students enrolled in the M.S. CHRD program need to complete a practicum and an approved internship. These experiences allow students to learn by doing, with active, sound supervision. The practicum and internship experiences carry clock and credit hour completion expectations. For example, for every 3 credits of internship, students are required to complete 20 hours per week of on-site experience. In addition, regular work expectations outside the classroom exist for every credit hour enrolled. Thus, students enrolled in 3 credits of internship or practicum experience will be considered part-time. Students enrolled in 4 credits of internship or 3 credits of practicum plus other courses to total 4 semester credits will be considered full-time.

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Not required
TOEFL: 79 Internet-based
IELTS: 6.5
Duolingo: 110

Formal Application Process

In addition to applying for Graduate School, applicants must also apply to the CHRD program by April 1 for fall admission or by October 1 for spring admission. Admission is competitive; late applications will not be considered. Students have one calendar year from the time of acceptance to begin taking courses otherwise formal re-application to the CHRD program is required.

The CHRD department requires all applicants to submit the documents below by the appropriate admission deadline:

  1. CHRD Disclosure Statement
  2. Resume
  3. A typed, one-page goal statement discussing your aspirations to the counseling field
  4. Two completed CHRD Recommendation Forms (do not use the Graduate School reference forms).

Based on the rating score of the applicant’s file, the applicant will either be invited to the group screening interview top continue the admissions process or denied admission.

Criminal Background Check Requirement

Applicants who successfully complete the interview will be required to successfully complete and pay for a criminal background check before an official offer of admission is secured.

General Requirements

Graduate students should consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Master’s Degree Requirements .

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