Are you looking to get your PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision? If so, it’s important to know what you’re getting into with this degree and how it differs from other PhDs that you might pursue. The following are some of the most important aspects of getting a PhD in this field, as well as why it makes sense to pursue this degree over the alternatives.
The Diverse Field of School Counseling
Becoming a counselor is all about helping people, but not all of us want to help people with mental or physical disabilities. However, if you do have an interest in working with children who have special needs or are highly at-risk for things like homelessness, juvenile delinquency, low academic performance and substance abuse issues, then becoming a school counselor may be your calling.
In fact, schools often employ both counselors who work with students on an individual basis as well as those that coordinate programs such as mentoring groups for younger students. Schools also employ counselors who specialize in disabilities services or teach pre-counseling classes within high schools.
School counseling can be very rewarding because it allows you to make a real difference in young lives.
While there is no specific application for admission to our program, we do require an official transcript from each institution you have attended. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher on all undergraduate courses is required. Additionally, if you have had any internship or work experience related to counseling, please note that information as well.
Finally, a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor must be submitted with your completed application packet for admission into the doctoral program in counselor education and supervision at (insert your university here).
Generally, those who wish to earn a PhD in counselor education and supervision must have already earned a master’s degree. Some programs also require candidates to complete an internship or other supervised clinical experience.
Because school coursework is extensive, it is best for potential students to make sure they are eligible before applying by contacting admissions offices directly. Applicants should also make sure that they understand how long it will take them to complete their doctorate degree as well as what type of career opportunities will be available upon completion.
Online programs may not provide students with opportunities for employment after graduation, so applicants need to choose schools carefully.
Types of PhD Programs
Because there are so many different doctoral degrees, it’s helpful to have an understanding of what your degree program will look like before you apply. Generally speaking, doctoral programs are designed to deepen your knowledge in a particular field, but they also focus on preparing you for entry into teaching and research positions after you’ve earned your degree.
Some of them take one to two years to complete; others can take up to seven years (and beyond). Additionally, you may choose between getting a terminal or non-terminal doctorate degree.
When choosing between these two options, ask yourself: Will I be using my degree as entry into an industry job? Or do I want to use my education to teach at a university level? The answer will help determine which type of degree is right for you.
Tips for Applicants
If you’re thinking about pursuing a doctorate in counselor education and supervision, you should consider what program characteristics might best suit your goals. That might include financial considerations (such as tuition, fees and scholarships), accreditation status, time to degree completion and post-degree employment outcomes for alumni.
When considering doctoral programs, find out: How much experience do your peers have when they enter doctoral studies? How many people from your program are employed as counselors or teachers after graduation? Do students work with licensed practitioners during their coursework?
Are there opportunities for clinical training that align with one of many specialties (e.g., health, school counseling, marriage and family therapy)? Can you pursue full-time study or must you hold down a job while earning your degree?
Other Important Things to Note about Pursuing a Doctorate Degree
Before you begin your doctoral program, there are several other important things to consider, including what specialty area you want to focus on. For example, do you want to be an educational counselor? A marriage counselor? A school psychologist? Or maybe you have an interest in becoming a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).
Understanding where your passion lies will help you focus on finding only those schools that best match your interests. Additionally, some schools don’t accept applicants into their counseling or psychology programs if they have no prior experience working with clients or patients.
If you’re just starting out, you may want to take some time volunteering at a local mental health facility before applying for admission. Also, make sure that any prospective graduate programs offer financial aid opportunities so that you can pay for tuition without having to incur excessive debt.
Finally, while it is possible to pursue a doctorate degree online or part-time while holding down another job, most students find it more beneficial to enroll full-time so they can dedicate themselves fully to their studies and get through coursework as quickly as possible.
This way of thinking is particularly true for students who already hold jobs and/or have families; therefore, online courses might not be ideal for them since it would likely require too much time away from family obligations or work responsibilities.