Counseling Degree Programs in Arkansas

| Staff Writers

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Broadly speaking, counselors provide guidance to individuals in issues related to mental health. More specifically, counselors can work in many specialties, offering their services to many different types of people in various settings. They might help people with anxiety or depression, or individuals with substance abuse problems. School counselors mentor students trying to balance difficult home lives with their schoolwork, while career counselors help people find and succeed in their job paths. 

In Arkansas, about 2,000 professionals work as educational and career counselors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In addition, approximately 1,800 professionals work as substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors. 

Counselors in Arkansas can obtain two different types of counseling licensure from the state. Both require candidates to obtain accredited master’s degrees with at least 60 graduate-level credits. In fact, without an accredited degree, individuals do not qualify for licensure; each Arkansas counseling degree in the list below holds accreditation. Licensure candidates must also complete 100 supervised practicum hours and 600 internship hours.

Top 10 Counseling Degree Programs in Arkansas

Rank School Location
1 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, AR
2 Henderson State University Arkadelphia, AR
3 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
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Career Outlook for Counselors in Arkansas

According to federal government data compiled through the BLS, the number of mental health counselors in Arkansas is projected to increase nearly 30% from 2016 to 2026. The number of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is also projected to increase 24% in that same timespan. Educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors are projected growth to grow by 13%. 

Educational, guidance, and career counselors in Arkansas earned an average mean wage of about $54,040 in May 2019, BLS data shows the top 90th percentile of people in this profession earning about $74,120. In addition, the annual mean wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors reached $55,260 in that same month. Earners in the top 90th percentile brought home salaries of about $76,380. 

Counseling Degree Programs in Arkansas


  • Arkansas State University
    Location

    Jonesboro, AR

    College of Education Graduate School

    A public university located in the heart of the mid-south, Arkansas State University was founded in 1909. With over 70,000 alumni, 1,500 active faculty and over 14,000 students enrolled at Arkansas State University, the focus is on the education of leaders and enriching lives.

    The School Counseling Program (M.S.E.)

    Arkansas State University offers the Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) in School Counseling with the goal of training students to be professional school counselors. The deadline to apply for admission to The College of Education Graduate School is April 15 for summer admission, July 15 for fall admission, and October 15 for spring admission.

    This graduate level program is founded in the model of school guidance and counseling. Students undergoing this degree will be prepared to work as K-12 counselors, assisting K-12 students in excelling in the areas of school, and, later, life during their formative school years. A particular highlight of the program includes encouraging School Counseling Program students to expand upon self-awareness and the promotion of professional and personal development. Students graduating from this program will be prepared to enter school counseling positions. Students should expect to obtain a depth of training and education in the school counseling field that is comparable to those counselors placed in other settings.

    Program Accreditations

    Arkansas State University is accredited by the Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE).

    Contact Information

    Graduate Admissions
    PO Box 1570
    State University, AR 72467
    810-972-2031 phone
    810-972-3406 fax
    gradsch@astate.edu

  • Henderson State University
    Location

    Arkadelphia, AR

    Counselor Education Department

    Founded in 1890, Henderson State University is known as "The School with a Heart," and offers undergraduate and graduate levels of education. Henderson State University offers 37 different bachelor's degrees and 11 masters degree programs. With a faculty of 166, Henderson state University has a 17:1 student to faculty ratio.

    The Counselor Education Department at Henderson State University observes rolling admissions, which means there isn't a particular application deadline.

    Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program (M.S.)

    Clinical Mental Health Counseling (formerly called Community Counseling) is a distinct profession with highly trained and skilled professionals that specialize in providing therapy for consumers. Often, traditional psychotherapy and problem-solving approaches are combined to develop a path leading to problem resolution and change.

    The educational courses at Henderson State University focus on teaching students about treatment planning, psychotherapy, utilization review, crisis management, prevention programs, and more. Graduate students receiving their M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will be prepared to adapt to the growing challenges of providing high quality care to individuals in hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers and behavioral health care organizations to name a few.

    The School Counseling Program (M.S.E.)

    If you are considering a career as a School Counselor or a counselor in prisons, nursing homes or any private or public institution, the program at Henderson State University can assist you in achieving that goal.

    With educational curriculum featuring traditional on-site classes and online offerings, individuals are prepared to work in the school counseling setting. Theoretical knowledge and practical skills will be developed in the counseling field which will assist students in the assessment and treatment of various issues and disorders such as anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, trauma, self-esteem issues and more.

    Program Accreditations

    The Henderson State University Counselor Education Department is accredited by the Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

    Contact Information

    Henderson State University
    1100 Henderson Street
    Arkadelphia, AR 71999
    870-230-5028 phone
    admissions@hsu.edu

  • University of Arkansas
    Location

    Fayetteville, AR

    College of Education and Health Professions

    The University of Arkansas was founded in 1971 and is located near the Ozark Mountains. With a student population close to 25,000 and a student to faculty ratio of 19:1, the University of Arkansas is a significant graduate level provider in the state of Arkansas.

    The University of Arkansas is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas and offers a diverse amount of outdoor activities and amenities. Fayetteville is often referred to as one of the nation's finest college towns and is routinely ranked as one of the top places to reside in the United States.

    The College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas offers several varying graduate degree programs in the counseling field in their Counselor Education Program (CNED). The CNED Program offers a Masters of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, Student Affairs and College Counseling, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counselor Education.

    The deadline to apply for admission to The College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas is January 15 for summer and fall admission, and September 15 for spring admission.

    The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program (M.S.)

    The Masters of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will prepare students to work as counselors in a variety of roles, including governmental, community, private agency, and at the collegiate level.

    Program goals include teaching students developmental processes that apply directly to adolescents, young adults and older adults within communities. Students will develop the ability to communicate in an efficient manner, in particular with those who have varied backgrounds, experiences and qualities. Conceptualization is also an important skill that will be taught, in relation to various client issues such as trauma, family and academic concerns, crisis and placement options.

    The School Counseling Program (M.S.)

    The M.S. in School Counseling program is obtained with the goal of becoming a certified elementary or secondary school counselor. While obtaining this graduate degree, students will learn about the development processes K-12 children go through. Students will also acquire skills assisting them in effectively consulting with teachers, school administrators and parents. Another highlight to the School Counseling Program is the research and understanding of planning and implementation skills and how to evaluate School Counseling Programs.

    The Student Affairs and College Counseling Program (M.S.)

    In the Student Affairs and College Counseling Program, graduate students are taught to work in varied academic and college settings.

    Goals of this program include learning functional knowledge in various developmental processes that relate to the academic community and college students, development consultation skills, communicating effectively with different types of individuals, and the ability to provide effective advising.

    The Counselor Education Program (Ph.D.)

    The only Ph.D. counselor program located at the University of Arkansas, the Ph.D. in Counselor Education trains graduate students to become advanced clinicians, scholars, and researchers that wish to attain various leadership roles in the academic or practice setting.

    Program Accreditations

    The Counselor Education Program at the University of Arkansas is accredited by the Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

    Contact Information

    College of Education and Health Professions
    University of Arkansas
    Room 324 Graduate Education Building
    Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
    Phone: 479-575-3208
    Fax: 479-575-3119

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