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Counseling Degree Programs in Kansas

Written by: Staff Writer
Last updated: May 2020

A counseling career offers fulfilling work for those looking to dedicate their lives to helping others. Counselors help people in many different walks of life, including students with troubled home lives or adults with addiction challenges or depression. 

Counselors must obtain licensure to practice in any state. In Kansas, individuals can obtain licensed professional counselor (LPC) or licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) credentials. Either way, each candidate needs an accredited master's degree. All of the Kansas counseling degrees in the list below hold accreditation. The degrees must comprise 60 credits, but LCPC candidates also need to take 15 credits of coursework in diagnosis and assessments. 

Aspiring counselors must also complete 4,000 supervised work hours, including 1,500 hours of direct client work. As the last step, LPC candidates must pass the national counselor exam, while LCPC candidates take the national mental health counselor exam. 

Career Outlook for Counselors in Kansas

As of May 2019, about 1,640 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors worked in Kansas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately 2,660 educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors work in the state. 

In Kansas, the number of educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors may increase by 9% from 2016-26, according to Projections Central, which uses data from the U.S. Labor Department. Projections also show the employment for mental health counselors increasing by 8% in the same period. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors may see especially large job growth, with data indicating a projected 14% increase

Salaries for counseling professionals in Kansas fall slightly below national numbers. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earn an annual mean wage of about $44,850 in Kansas, compared to a national average of $46,240. Educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors in Kansas bring home mean earnings of $52,200, about $5,000 below national figures

Counseling Degree Programs in Kansas


Emporia State University

Department of Counselor Education

Centrally located in the heart of Emporia on an urban 212-acre campus that is home to more than 4,500 students, Emporia State University is a comprehensive student-centered public institution. According to the U.S. News and World Report, ESU is currently ranked as the 92nd best college, 32nd top public school, and 27th best college for veterans. Within the college nationally recognized for having the 103rd best graduate online education programs in the United States, the Department of Counselor Education is committed to excellence in the preparation of graduate students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions critical for counseling.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Mental Health Counseling

With the mission of developing competent and compassionate counselors with all of the theoretical, ethical, legal, and multicultural knowledge needed in the mental health profession, the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling program is focused on a holistic approach with a strong emphasis on the importance of the counselor-client relationship. Designed for completion in two years full-time, the program involves 60 course credits and a total of 900 clock hours of supervised on-the-job field experience in an approved mental health setting. For students who are seeking a dual professional identity with expertise in the art-making processes and advanced art therapy theory, there is also an Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling dual program that enables students to pursue both degrees for 85 total credits concurrently.

Master of Science (M.S.) in School Counseling

As one of the best in the Midwest that has prepared more school counselors than any other Kansas university since its establishment in 1947, the Master of Science in School Counseling program prepares students for state licensure in grades Pre-K through 12th grade for employment in elementary, middle, and/or secondary high schools. The program has the goal of preparing qualified candidates at the graduate level to develop the skills for critical thinking, effective practice, program development, and creative planning to work effectively at meeting the developmental needs of students in a diverse society. Structured for completion in three years on a part-time basis, the program includes 48 total credit hours, 100 clock hours of practicum, and 600 clock hours of supervised school-based internship experience with a minimum of 240 hours of direct service with students.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

Contact Information

1200 Commercial St.
Campus Box 4036
Emporia, KS 66801
(620) 341-5220
cdvorak@emporia.edu
http://www.emporia.edu/ce/index.html


Kansas State University

Department of Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs

Known for being one of America's first land-grant colleges founded in 1863, Kansas State University is a comprehensive public research institution situated in the city of Manhattan in the northeastern region of the state on an urban 664-acre campus with more than 20,000 students. Consistently recognized as one of the most military-friendly schools due to its location nearby Fort Riley and flexible programs, K-State is currently ranked as the 135th best college and 68th top public school in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the 88th best school of education with the 72nd best online graduate education programs, the department offers graduate programs with an emphasis in adaptive and functional special education, counseling, supervision, and college student affairs.

Master of Science (M.S.) in School Counseling

As a program that prepares students as dynamic and professional school counselors to be team leaders who implement comprehensive counseling programs that are integral to the total educational program of K-12 school environments, the Master of Science in School Counseling degree consists of 48 credit hours that are offered on-campus, online, and through video conferencing. While the program is offered for individuals who have a professional teaching license, there is a parallel pathway for those who do not having a teaching license with the completion of additional field teaching experience over two semesters. Following all of the standards outlined by the Kansas State Department of Education, the program aims to prepare school counselors who are effective at supporting student learning for achievement of their academic, career, social, and personal goals.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counselor Education and Supervision

Designed to prepare graduate students for professional leadership roles in counselor education, supervision, advanced counseling practice, and/or research, the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program extends training beyond what is found in the entry-level basis Master's program to prepare knowledge, ethical, and compassionate decision makers for leadership. The program requires a minimum of 90 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, including 48 credit hours of coursework, 16 credit hours of didactic and laboratory courses, and 30 credit hours of doctoral dissertation. Primarily structured to prepare students to assume academic educator positions at universities, the program provides skills in teaching, assessment, supervision, research, and intervention.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

Contact Information

Bluemont Hall Room 369
1100 Mid-Campus Drive
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-5525
secsa@k-state.edu
http://coe.k-state.edu/academics/graduate/counsel.html


MidAmerica Nazarene University

School of Graduate Studies

As a private liberal arts Christ-centered institution founded in the values of the Church of the Nazarene with a passion for community service, MidAmerica Nazarene University is located on a 105-acre campus in the suburban setting of Olathe just 20 miles of the Kansas City metropolitan area. Home to more than 1,700 students from nearly 30 church denominations, MNU is committed to providing innovative and individualized opportunities within the close-knit atmosphere for the optimal learning experience. Offering students five professional graduate degree options in business, education, and counseling, the School of Graduate Studies has designed programs for outstanding academic quality to meet industry needs and current trends.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Ideal for students who passion for counseling is geared toward working with diverse clients with an emphasis on advocacy, assessment, and diagnosis, the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares students to provide counseling services in a wide range of mental health settings, including private practices, managed behavioral health organizations, hospitals, community agencies, and substance abuse treatment facilities. Through the program, students receive a high level of scholarship with real-world applications, supervised client counseling experience, and an integration of the Christian faith for service. Requiring students to complete a total of 60 credit hours in as little as 33 months full-time at the Olathe or Liberty locations, the program builds on a general counselor education for the specific specialty instruction needed to meet all educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Kansas.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

As the only CACREP-accredited graduated program of its kind offered in Kansas, the Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling degree is designed for preparing students to provide excellence in counseling services for couples and families in diverse populations. Focused on meeting the needs facing couples and families in our current society today, the coursework of the 60-credit program is based on the science of compassion to train counselors in facilitating hope and healing from personal or relational pain. Fulfilling all academic and experience requirements for licensure in Kansas, Missouri, and most other states, the program can be completed in flexible day or evening options at the Olathe or Liberty campuses over the course of two and a half years full-time.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in School Counseling

For students who have a passion for working with children in K-12 school settings, the Master of Arts in School Counseling program prepares school counselors to assist students, their families, and other educators throughout the school environment for optimal learning. Strongly focused on facilitating teamwork, delivering effective counseling interventions, teaching coping skills, dealing with developmental issues, and building school counseling programs, the curriculum connects a general counselor education with the specific specialty track for work in elementary or secondary school settings. At the completion of the flexible 60-credit program in just 33 months full-time, graduates are eligible to apply for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with an endorsement in school counseling.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

Contact Information

13563 South Mur-Len Road
Olathe, KS 66062
(913) 971-3877
pgadmissions@mnu.edu
http://www.mnu.edu/graduate/master-of-arts-in-counseling-program.html


Pittsburg State University

Department of Psychology and Counseling

Standing proudly on a beautiful 443-acre campus located in the heart of one of the fastest growing cities in the southeastern corner of Kansas, Pittsburg State University is a comprehensive public institution that prides itself on professional faculty, top-notch respected programs, small class sizes, and academic opportunities tailored to fit student needs. Home to more than 7,500 students, PSU is currently ranked as the 77th best college, 26th top public school, and 22nd best college for veterans in the Midwest by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the College of Education known for having the 75th best online graduate education programs in the entire nation, the Department of Psychology and Counseling is the only school within a 100-mile radius that provides comprehensive graduate training in counseling.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Intended to train skilled practitioners to provide direct counseling services within mental health and other community agency settings, the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program qualifies graduates to apply for Licensure as Professional Counselors in Kansas, Missouri, and more than 40 other states as well as the National Board for Certified Counselors Examination. Within the 60-credit program, students are required to participate in coursework covering topics in group dynamics, family counseling, psychotherapy, crisis management, personality assessment, evidence-based intervention, diversity issues, and research methods. Along with successfully meeting professional standards during field practicum and internship experiences totaling 900 clock hours of counseling practice, students must pass a comprehensive examination.

Accreditations

  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)

Contact Information

Whitesitt Hall Room 207
1701 South Broadway Avenue
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(620) 235-4523
psych@pittstate.edu
http://www.pittstate.edu/college/education/psychology/graduate.dot#counseling

For students who have a strong drive to empower diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish their mental health, wellness, educational, and career goals, it is the perfect time to start a career in the counseling profession as employment opportunities are expected to grow much faster than average due to the increasing need for mental health treatment. Whether you are born and raised or are considering moving to the "Sunflower State," it is recommended that you further investigate these accredited counseling degree programs in Kansas.