Old Dominion University

Old Dominion UniversityLocated in the coastal city of Norfolk, Old Dominion University began in 1930 as a regional extension of two other notable Virginia institutions of higher education, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the College of William and Mary. Old Dominion quickly grew into a four-year institution offering undergraduate degrees in education and engineering. The school became an independent college in 1962 and a full university in 1969, due to its growing presence as a research facility and addition of graduate and doctoral programs. Today, ODU incorporates 56 departments into six colleges that offer over 160 degree programs leading to 21st-century careers. These programs are grounded in ODU’s philosophy that its graduates will bring positive change and a strong work ethic to their communities. Students benefit from innovative teaching and real-world learning through community partnerships that prepare them for competitive employment opportunities. ODU is recognized as a Best Southeastern College by The Princeton Review, for having one of the top 100 graduate schools of education by U.S. News & World Report, and for earning status as a top research university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Old Dominion University: Accreditation Details

ODU holds regional accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which allows the university to confer bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. Several other accrediting organizations approve specific degree programs. Among these are the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, and the American Psychological Association. It should also be noted that U.S. News & World Report ranked ODU at No. 42 on its list of best online graduate education programs from regionally accredited programs, and its CACREP-accredited counselor education program ranked at the top of a nationwide survey conducted by Graduate Programs in 2014.

Old Dominion University: Application Requirements

Application procedures have similar requirements for prospective undergraduate, transfer or graduate students across all degree programs including those offered online. Required submissions include

  • Completed, online application
  • $50 application fee
  • Official transcripts from previous schools
  • Official SAT, ACT, Compass, GRE, MAT, GMAT or PRAXIS scores

Undergraduates and transfer students can also send optional information in the form of an activity resume, letters of recommendation, or a 400-word essay on a topic of choice. Additionally, undergraduates with a GPA of 3.30 or higher on a 4.00 scale may waive submission of standardized test scores while graduate candidates must document a cumulative GPA of 2.80 for entrance. Applicants should pay particular attention to established deadlines for program entry. If deadlines cannot be met, applicants may request a one year deferral.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at Old Dominion University is based on program enrollment and whether students have Virginia residency. In-state rates per credit hour are $299 for undergraduates, $437 for graduate students, and $314 for those enrolled in distance-learning programs. By comparison, out-of-state rates per credit are $838 for undergraduates, $1089 for master’s candidates, and $456 for distance-learning students. Other mandatory fees may also be required such as a $20 fee for technology delivered courses. To offset tuition costs, students can investigate financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Some examples include the following:

  • Federal Student Aid loans
  • Federal Work Study awards
  • Stafford loans
  • Pell grants
  • Graduate PLUS loans
  • ODU department grants
  • State or federal grants
  • Graduate fellowships
  • Graduate assistantships
  • TEACH grant
  • Direct lending programs
  • Consortium agreements for distance-learning students
  • ROTC scholarships
  • Educational scholarships
  • Virginia Teaching scholarship loan program
  • Annual or endowed university scholarships

Online Degrees Available

The Department of Counseling and Human Services in ODU’s Darden College of Education offers several pathways for professional counseling careers including a Master of Science in Education with specializations in School Counseling or College Counseling. Many candidates are attracted to this nationally ranked, CACREP-accredited program that offers an online format for attaining the degree. Graduates are prepared to take licensing exams and work in public schools at all levels and institutions of higher learning to provide student support through educational and counseling services.

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Education encompasses 60 credit hours, 33 of which emphasize foundational coursework. After completing these core components, degree candidates finish the remaining 27 credits by delving into in-depth studies pertaining to School Counseling or College Counseling. Additional criteria involves participation in a 100-hour supervised practicum when taking core studies and completing a 600-hour internship in the specialization. These experiences allow candidates to apply their knowledge and skills in actual counseling situations. A final comprehensive exam rounds out degree requirements. Core components of study for the Master of Science in Education cover the following topics:

  • Counseling and psychotherapy theories and techniques
  • Human growth and development
  • Impacts of social and cultural diversity on counseling practices and programs
  • Relationship building and social advocacy
  • Counseling and psychotherapy in groups
  • Administration of client assessments and evaluation of results
  • Research and program evaluations
  • Career development and ethical practices

The goal of the School Counseling specialization is to prepare graduates to become educational leaders and children’s advocates in school settings while building partnerships with colleagues to proactively help students from all backgrounds to achieve at high levels. Courses specific to School Counseling in K-12 programs address these issues:

  • School culture, learning environments and classroom management
  • Counseling children and adolescents
  • Developing school counseling programs
  • Professional issues in school counseling

The college counseling option focuses on preparing graduates to work in higher education settings to support young adults and those re-entering the college arena. Candidates learn how to assist college students with academic expectations and offer them coping mechanisms for managing the stress and social influences that can affect degree completion. Courses for the School Counseling specialization focus on these areas of study:

  • College and career counseling
  • Development in college students and adults
  • Diagnostic evaluations and treatment protocols in mental health counseling
  • Characteristics of student affair administration programs
  • Services and resources for disabilities, women, minority groups and adult learners

This master’s degree program provides flexible scheduling for those interested in pursuing professional counseling careers online. For those who wish to see learners succeed, the Master of Science in Education from Old Dominion University can provide the credentials school or college counselors need for obtaining competitive employment in the field.

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