Counseling Degree Programs in Wisconsin

| Staff Writers

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Counselors experience different job responsibilities and annual mean wages, depending on the type of counseling they pursue. Rehabilitation counselors, who work with clients living with social, mental, physical, and emotional disabilities, earn annual mean wages of $31,840. Educational, guidance, and career counselors work with students and professionals to help them reach their educational and professional goals. These counselors earn annual mean wages of $51,610 in Wisconsin.

Before they can work as professional counselors in Wisconsin, individuals must satisfy the state-specific licensing requirements. After earning a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling from an accredited institution, eligible candidates must complete supervised counseling experience before taking their licensing exams.

Readers interested in Wisconsin counseling degrees can refer to this page to learn more about the best programs for earning their counseling degree in Wisconsin. The detailed rankings focus on several aspects, including tuition rates, course descriptions, program length, and admission requirements.

Top 4 Counseling Degree Programs in Wisconsin

Rank School Location
1 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
2 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
3 University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI
4 University of Wisconsin – Whitewater Whitewater, WI
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Career Outlook for Counselors in Wisconsin

Counselors in Wisconsin experience different employment levels and career outlooks depending on their specialty. Wisconsin employs 5,090 educational, guidance, and career counselors, with a projected 2016-26 job growth rate of 7.3%.

The state also counts 2,750 mental health counselors with a projected job growth of 20% in this period, along with 1,550 rehabilitation counselors and a 12.3% projected job growth rate in the same timeframe.

Educational, guidance, school, and vocational counselors experience the highest employment levels within elementary and secondary schools. Counselors in the profession encounter their highest salary opportunities in the federal executive branch. Rehabilitation counselors enjoy the highest employment levels and concentration of jobs within vocational rehabilitation services and the highest salaries in the insurance carriers industry.

Counseling Degree Programs in Wisconsin 2020

  • Marquette University
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    As the state’s largest private institution founded with the values of the Jesuit and Roman Catholic faiths, Marquette University is home to more than 11,600 students on its 98-acre urban campus within walking distance of downtown Milwaukee. Recently recognized as the 10th university bestowed the “Changemaker Campus” title by the Ashoka Institute, Marquette is currently ranked as the 75th best college, 49th top value school, 14th best up-and-coming university, and 7th top college for veterans nationwide by the U.S. News and World Report. Furthermore, the College of Education is named the 98th best graduate education school in the entire United States.

    Featuring a seamless blend of advanced coursework, field practicum, internships, and other training experiences, the M.A. in School Counseling program is designed to provide a comprehensive preparation for professional counseling practice within elementary and/or secondary school settings. In introducing students to the perspectives of school counselors, the program strongly focuses on the biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors that impact human lifespan development. Aligned with the principles outlined by the American School Counselor Association’s National Model for School Counseling Programs, the curriculum requires the completion of at least 48 credit hours and 500 clock hours of practice in an approved PK-12 school under supervision of a licensed school counselor.

    Dedicated to training graduate students as professional counselors in evidence-based practices, the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares graduates to lead individual, group, couple, or family counseling interventions to improve the mental and social well-being of clients struggling through life’s challenges. Depending on their targeted practice population, students have the freedom to choose a specialization for their degree path in Addiction Counseling or Child and Adolescent Counseling. Within the 60-credit program, students will need to complete at least 500 clock hours of direct practice in a practicum experience and an internship within approved clinical mental health settings in the greater Milwaukee area.

    Accreditations

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

    Oshkosh, WI

    Located on a 166-acre urban campus in the heart of Fox Valley to offer students big-city educational opportunities within three hours of Chicago with a small-town appeal, the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh is a comprehensive public four-year institution with more than 13,900 students. With nearly 85,000 graduates making an impact daily worldwide, UW Oshkosh is currently ranked as the 65th best college and 17th top public school in the country by the U.S. News and World Report. Since being founded in 1871 as a teacher-training school, the College of Education and Human Services is now at the forefront of preparing professional leaders in education, human services, and counseling.

    Leading to a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree, the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is fully aligned with accreditation standards and the forward direction of today’s counseling field to prepare graduate students for becoming professional counselors. In a new 60-credit curriculum that was implemented in Summer 2011, the program offers students in-depth understanding on diagnosis, treatment planning, psychopharmacology, crisis intervention, trauma, family systems, group dynamics, mental illness, and addiction. Within the program, students are required to complete at least 600 clock hours in a supervised internship with half of the time spent in individual counseling and the other in group counseling work for approximately 20 hours per week throughout the senior year.

    Founded with a student-centered experiential approach to training professional school counselors, the M.S.E. in School Counseling program has been designed to launch graduate students into leadership roles to help support and advocate for young people’s success in school and beyond. Based on the Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling model, the curriculum promotes team-building exercises, collaborative learning experiences, and essential professional school counselor attitudes. In the 48-credit program, students must complete a 100-hour practicum in the in-house counseling lab and two 300-hour internships in a local K-12 school. Aspiring school counselors are also encouraged to become involved in the on-campus professional organizations of Chi Sigma Iota and Wisconsin School Counseling Association.

    M.S.E. in Student Affairs and College Counseling

    Delivered by faculty with real-world experience and advanced degrees to prepare counselors for taking on the challenges facing today’s diverse student populations on college campuses, the M.S.E. in Student Affairs and College Counseling program is specifically geared towards individuals who are interested in assuming leadership positions in colleges, junior colleges, universities, vocational schools, and other higher learning institutions. The program is ideal for counselors seeking to work in college counseling centers as well as those seeking student affairs positions in admissions, residential life, student unions, financial aid, advising centers, or career services. Within the 48-credit accredited curriculum, students will need to complete a 100-hour practicum with college students and a two-semester internship at a university.

    Accreditations

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

    Menomonie, WI

    As the winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for its polytechnic designation and academic innovation, the University of Wisconsin – Stout is a four-year public technical institution of over 9,200 students on a 131-acre rural campus in Menomonie. Renowned for being the only institution in the state system and one of only 175 schools nationwide to provide a laptop computer with tuition, UW Stout is currently ranked as the 57th best college and 15th top public school in the Midwest by the U.S. News and World Report. In the College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS), students can choose from over 20 academic programs in education, nutrition, physical education, counseling, psychology, or family studies.

    Achieving full accreditation by the CACREP for excellence in counseling education, the M.S. Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to prepare competent counselors for ethical service in various mental health settings. In order to restore optimal mental health and promote human development, the program provides students with the training needed to assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent mental health disorders. Within the 60-credit program, students can select a concentration in Career Counseling, Child and Adolescent Counseling, Eating Disorders, Gerontological Counseling, or Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counseling. To meet Wisconsin’s licensure requirements, students will also need to complete a 150-hour practicum experience and a 600-hour internship in an approved mental health facility.

    With the goal of preparing graduates for leadership in ensuring PK-12 students receive the services needed to reach their fullest potential in personal, social, academic, and career development, the M.S. Degree in School Counseling program is focused on the data-based methods needed to create optimal achievement for all students. In an effort to remove barriers to success for students in a proactive manner, the program provides counselors with the solid core of knowledge, skills, and practices needed to become part of the supportive team in elementary or secondary school environments. Offered in a combination of daytime, evening, summer, and online courses, the program requires the completion of least 50 credits and 600 hours of on-site internship experience.

    Accreditations

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

    Whitewater, WI

    Headquartered on a 400-acre urban campus in the southeastern part of the state within just 50 miles west of the professional opportunities of Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater is a comprehensive public four-year institution with a total headcount of more than 12,000 students. Along with being recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 disability-friendly public universities by New Mobility, UW Whitewater is ranked as the 42nd best college, 9th top public school, and 16th best university for veterans in the Midwest by the U.S. News and World Report. As one of the state’s leading producers of teachers each year, the School of Education and Professional Studies is committed to developing lifelong learners, creators of knowledge, and leaders of integrity.

    Available with concentrations in Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling, Career Counseling, Higher Education, Marriage/Partnership and Family Counseling, or Trauma Counseling, the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is focused on providing the specific knowledge base needed for working as a professional counselor in mental health settings with specialty training options. To meet the educational requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Wisconsin and for the National Board of Counselor Certification, students will be required to complete at least 60 credits in graduate studies over a broad range of subjects. Graduates of the program often go on to find employment opportunities in community clinics, inpatient facilities, vocational counseling agencies, family service practices, correctional institutions, universities, businesses, and other mental health centers.

    Within the Department of Counselor Education at UW Whitewater, the M.S. in Higher Education program is available for aspiring counselors who are planning to seek employment in post-secondary institutions, including community colleges, technical schools, public or private colleges, and universities. In addition to the major counseling core, the emphasis provides the specialized coursework and practical experiences needed to explore college student developmental theories as a good foundation for success. After completing the 48-credit program, many graduates go on to become student affairs professionals to work in residence life, financial aid, career services, admissions, college counseling, academic advising, and other special on-campus student programs. Frequently, graduates have made career moves into high-level administration positions in student affairs, including director, assistant chancellor, and dean of students.

    Designed for qualified graduate students who have received the calling to become professional counselors with endorsement for the K-12 school counselor license, the M.S. in School Counseling program focuses on building the skills needed to implement comprehensive school counseling programs in elementary, middle, and high schools. Upon completion of the 48-credit program, students must successfully complete a year-long internship in a K-12 school setting, create an electronic portfolio, and receive a passing score on the PRAXIS exam required in Wisconsin. For graduate students who are not current teachers or do not have the two years of work experience in teaching, there are additional courses available to fill the gap in building the essential knowledge and skills needed to become a licensed school counselor too.

    Accreditations

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

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