Counseling Degree Programs in South Carolina

Counseling Degree Programs in South Carolina

| Staff Writers

Counseling Degree Programs in South Carolina
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South Carolina’s counseling licensure board offers several licensing options for counseling professionals, including marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, psycho-education, and addictions counseling. Although each license maintains different requirements, earning a counseling degree provides the first step in pursuing a career in any of these unique fields.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, educational, guidance, and career counselors make up the majority of counseling professionals in the state, followed by substance abuse, behavior disorder, and mental health counselors. Counselors in these areas earn average salaries comparable to the national average for these fields.

To earn professional counseling licensure in South Carolina, each applicant must pass the National Board of Certified Counselors certifying exam. A counseling licensure candidate must earn a graduate degree in counseling from an accredited institution before sitting for the national exam.

Keep reading to learn more about earning a counseling degree in South Carolina and to browse a list of accredited programs in the state.

Top 5 Counseling Degree Programs in South Carolina

Rank School Location
1 The Citadel Charleston, SC
2 Clemson University Clemson, SC
3 South Carolina State University Orangeburg, SC
4 University of South Carolina Columbia, SC
5 Winthrop University Rock Hill, SC
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Career Outlook for Counselors in South Carolina

Along with pursuing general licensure in professional counseling, prospective counselors in South Carolina can pursue careers in other specialties. South Carolina offers specialized licenses for marriage and family therapists, psychoeducational specialists, and addiction counselors.

According to projection data from the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs for substance abuse, behavior disorder, and mental health counselors in South Carolina could grow substantially, with a projected 20% increase in employment from 2016-26.

Counselors work in many different industries. The most common employers for professional and mental health counselors include individual and family service providers, outpatient care centers, substance abuse facilities, and health practitioner offices. Educational, guidance, and career counselors in South Carolina earn the highest average salaries among counseling fields ($54,280), followed by substance abuse, behavior disorder, and mental health counselors ($41,620).

South Carolina counselors work with clients and patients of all demographics, depending on their specialty area and location.

Counseling Degree Programs in South Carolina 2020

  • The Citadel
    Location

    Charleston, SC

    Division of Counselor Education

    Known as the "Military College of South Carolina," the Citadel is a public four-year comprehensive institution that is located on a 300-acre urban campus along the banks of the Ashley River within just ten minutes from downtown Charleston. With a notable reputation for preparing principled leaders, the Citadel is currently ranked as the 4th best college, 1st top public school, and 12th best value university in the South by the U.S. News and World Report. The Division of Counselor Education is strongly focused on providing a high-quality accredited program that prepares counselors who possess the skills and values to work effectively with diverse populations in a changing society.

    Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counselor Education

    As a 51-semester hour program fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the M.Ed. in Counselor Education program offers pathways leading to certification in Elementary (grades K-8) or Secondary (grades 5-12) School Counseling. Built on the national model from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the program is designed to prepare elementary and secondary school counselors who are principled, knowledgeable, reflective, and ethical educational leaders committed to developing student-centered school environments. With either full or part-time options available, the program fulfills all academic requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in South Carolina.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)
  • Clemson University
    Location

    Clemson, SC

    Eugene T. Moore School of Education

    Nestled along Hartwell Lake on a vast 17,500-acre suburban campus forest within minutes from downtown, Clemson University is one of the nation's top major public land-grant research institutions with a diverse community of over 20,000 students. Consistently recognized among the country's top five "happiest colleges" by the prestigious Princeton Review, Clemson is currently ranked as the 62nd best college, 21st top public school, and 8th best up-and-coming university in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report. Centered in Clemson's historic Tillman Hall, the Eugene T. Moore School of Education is also acclaimed for being the 81st best graduate education school in the U.S.

    Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Designed to prepare professional counselors with the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and values needed to work effectively with children, adults, and/or families in any number of diverse mental health settings, the M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is strongly focused on educating counselor education professionals as scholar practitioners to assume roles with culturally diverse populations. In attempts to develop ethical competencies, commitment to inquiry, self-awareness, advocacy, and understanding of counseling processes, the program requires the completion of at least 60 credit hours. With half of the courses taught at Clemson and the other half at the University Center in Greenville, students have the option to complete the requirements full-time in two years or part-time in three to four years.

    Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling

    With the goal of preparing professional licensed school counselors who possess the skills to work effectively with diverse populations, engage in data-driven research-supported practices, and assume advocacy roles in K-12 school settings, the M.Ed. in School Counseling program is designed to ensure all graduates are able to collaborate with students, teachers, administrators, families, and community members to achieve the fulfillment of each students' potential. Built on rich experiences in a wide variety of schools and demographics in the growing upstate South Carolina region, the curriculum includes at least 60 credit hours in the classroom as well as 700 clock hours of supervised field experience. Upon culmination, graduates are well-prepared to become counselor education professionals with expertise in human development, prevention, intervention, and self-awareness.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)
  • South Carolina State University
    Location

    Orangeburg, SC

    School of Graduate Studies

    As a comprehensive senior public land-grant research institution committed to providing accessible and affordable education to its more than 4,000 students, South Carolina State University has maintained a legacy of excellence in education in Orangeburg since 1896. As South Carolina's only and the nation's 24th best historically black university by the U.S. News and World Report, SCSU is well-known for being one of the largest producers of minority officers for the United States Army. Beyond military science, the School of Graduate Studies has expanded to offer 19 different subject matter emphases in 12 distinct degree programs

    Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Counselor Education

    Ideal for graduate students who are intending to serve as school counselors in public or private elementary and secondary schools, the M.Ed. in Counselor Education program is designed to produce well-qualified individuals who are able to personally and professionally perform effectively as school counselors in South Carolina. Within the 48-credit program, students are actively engaged in coursework on data analysis, educational research, human growth, child development, counseling theories, psychological appraisal, group testing, group dynamics, and school guidance services. In order to fulfill the requirements for initial state licensure, the program also requires that all graduate students satisfactorily complete 100 practicum hours and a 600-clock hour internship in approved K-12 school settings.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)
  • University of South Carolina
    Location

    Columbia, SC

    Department of Educational Studies

    Strategically located on a 444-acre green oasis in the heart of the vibrant urban environment of the state's capital city at Columbia within just two hours from the other college towns of Charlotte and Charleston, the University of South Carolina is the flagship public institution of the statewide educational system. Recently recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a "Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Students," USC is currently ranked as the 112th best college, 55th top public school, and 22nd best university for veterans in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the 92nd best graduate education school, the Department of Educational Studies is also nationally acclaimed for having the 15th top online graduate education programs.

    Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in School Counseling Education

    With the mission of preparing professional counselors to work in public or private elementary, middle, and high schools in South Carolina, the Ed.S. in School Counseling Education program produces graduates who are self-reflective scholar practitioners who can conduct research on effective practice to solve real-world problems facing K-12 school settings. Founded in the comprehensive developmental counseling model of the Transforming School Counseling Initiative, the program involves a carefully designed sequence of classroom coursework and clinical experiences in a cohort approach. In order to gain admissions into the 63-credit program, students must have had at least one or more years of direct supervised full-time work experience with school-aged children in any education or human services setting.

    Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling

    As the only accredited program of its kind in South Carolina, the Ed.S. in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling (MCFC) is designed to prepare professional counselors to address a wide variety of mental health concerns in the context of relationships and family systems. In accordance with the CACREP standards and state licensure requirements, the 66-credit program focuses on promoting awareness, knowledge, ethics, and skills in interacting with socially and/or culturally diverse members of society. Deeply rooted in clinical learning opportunities to foster personal and professional development through a supportive environment, the curriculum includes a minimum of 150 clock hours of supervised practicum and a 600-hour internship experience in direct service mental health settings.

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

    Designed to prepare qualified graduate students to be counselor educators and supervisors in leadership positions of higher education institutions, the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program follows a cohort model to foster the development of professional knowledge, skills, self-awareness, and ethics that are integral to leadership roles. Beyond the required minimum of 96 semester credits and 1,000 clock hours of supervised field experiences, the four-year program provides doctoral students with the opportunity to obtain a variety of other professional experiences through graduate assistantships, research, conference presentations, and scholarly writings. For completion of the program, students must also successfully complete a comprehensive written examination, doctoral dissertation, and oral dissertation defense.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)
  • Winthrop University
    Location

    Rock Hill, SC

    Graduate School of Education

    Renowned for a national caliber curriculum of the arts, sciences, and professions with a residential educational experience, Winthrop University is a comprehensive public co-educational institution based on a 445-acre urban campus in the city of Rock Hill. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Winthrop is ranked as the 25th best college, 8th top public school, and 7th best up-and-coming university in the South with more than 5,000 students. Home of the flagship teacher education program of South Carolina, the Graduate School of Education is focused on offering dynamic graduate programs designed to meet 21st century challenges in partnership with schools and community organizations.

    Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

    Focused on preparing qualified professionals for working with people to address the personal, familial, mental health, and/or social problems that interfere with their ability to cultivate healthy productive lives, the M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to fulfill all academic requirements for eligibility to become a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in South Carolina. Within the 60-credit program, students receive the knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions needed to assume leadership roles in diverse mental health settings, including substance abuse treatment facilities, employee assistance programs, college counseling centers, career planning services, and private practices. Since the program adheres to the practitioner-scientist model of preparation, all graduates are well-prepared for providing professional counseling services, conducting evaluations, and understanding basic research findings.

    Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling

    Integrating a variety of theoretical models with different practical applied learning opportunities for gaining pre-professional experience, the M.Ed. in School Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to meet the growing mental health needs of P-12 students in elementary, middle, and high school settings. The program is strongly focused on producing qualified professional school counselors who can effectively provide psychological and/or behavioral interventions to help support students' academic, career, personal, and social potential. In addition to the 60 course credits and 700 clock hours of supervised field experiences in public and private schools, students must satisfactorily receive a passing score on the PRAXIS specialty examination to achieve eligibility for licensure or certification as a school counselor.

    Accreditations

    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC)

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