School counselors play an increasingly critical role in education today as the students who face more complex challenges look for answers, advice, guidance and an empathetic ear. The American School Counselor Association considers counselors to be vital members of the education team, helping students with academic issues, career choices and social/emotional development.
If your dream is to support and advocate for students as a school counselor, finding the right master’s degree program is the first step. One of the most important factors to consider is whether or not you need to continue working while pursuing your degree. If your answer to that is “yes,” an online master’s program is the perfect solution, affording you the flexibility you need to make it all work.
Choosing the right school, however, may be the most important decisions of all. That critical choice will determine when you will start and how long the program will take, as well as what and how you will pay for your education.
Arkansas State University’s Online MSE in School Counseling Online Program
Arkansas State University offers a fully online program for professionals who want to pursue a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling degree while continuing to work. The program consists of 48 credit hours and can be completed in as few as 16-18 months. This flexible program with multiple start dates each year prepares you for licensure to practice in public or private schools as approved by the Arkansas Department of Education.
Arkansas State’s Program is Affordable
Unlike many other schools’ programs, Arkansas State’s MSE in School Counseling program costs the same whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student. Their cost per credit hour is $331 and includes all required fees. The total tuition and fees for the entire program is $15,888.
The cost of Arkansas State’s school counseling program compares very favorably with the cost of other programs in the region. For example, Southern Arkansas University’s Master of Education (School Counseling) is a hybrid/online program, costing $17,592 for in-state students and $25,272 for out-of-state students.
The University of Tennessee Martin has a 48 credit hour online master’s program for school counseling. Their per-credit-hour cost for in-state students is $620 or a total of $29,760 for the entire program. For out-of-state students, the price increases to $676 per credit hour or $32,448 for the program.
Private college John Brown University in Little Rock has an online program for a master of education in school counseling degree that consists of 49 credit hours. The cost per credit hour is $560 with an estimated total cost of $27,440.
(All tuition data is from February 2020.)
Cost Is Not the Only Important Consideration
Arkansas State University is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). In preparation for licensure, the program includes courses on social and cultural foundations of counseling, group counseling, crisis counseling, ethical and legal issues in school counseling, and psychological testing. In this program, you will gain an understanding of the counseling process in a multicultural society. The MSE also covers research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation, while developing the skills you will need to maximize students’ academic, career and social potential.