Clinical Experiences & Careers
In addition to the rigor of classroom learning, you will be required to complete two clinical experiences before you graduate from the School Counseling program: the; practicum and internship. The practicum is a one semester, 100-hour placement in which you will develop basic counseling skills and integrate classroom knowledge and special training in counseling theory and skills related to school settings.
The internship is a two-semester, 600-hour placement in which you will grow professionally, expanding your clinical skills. You will be trained to use the basic interventions in a school setting, with special emphasis on individual counseling; group counseling; classroom guidance activities; consultation with faculty, parents, and administrators; career counseling; testing; record keeping; in-service; child-study; peer mediation; and additional activities unique to the school. You will learn to work cooperatively with individuals and organizations to promote the overall development of children, youth, and families in their communities.
The practicum and internship are completed at local public schools, including
- Fairfax County
- Arlington County
- Loudoun County
- Prince William County
The goal of Marymount’s School Counseling program is to prepare you for a job in a wide variety of clinical, consultative, and administrative tasks at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
"1. As a graduate student at Marymount, there were many things that I enjoyed, however, I would say that I most enjoyed the relationships that I built with both classmates and professors alike. I feel blessed to have developed lifelong friendships and owe much of my success as a School Counselor to the wonderful professors that work tirelessly to prepare their students for this profession. In addition, I enjoyed the varied coursework and the opportunities to shadow experienced counselors early on in the program, as well as the chance to work with students across different grade levels through practicum and internship opportunities.
2. In my opinion, Marymount’s School Counseling Program prepares you for this field like no other. The rigorous and diverse coursework allows for deep, meaningful conversation and true hands-on experiences. My time at Marymount has prepared me for my role as a school counselor in several ways. For starters, it taught me the foundational skills needed to be an effective listener, and not just to listen, but to truly hear what students are saying. Secondly, I would say that Marymount’s intense focus on the ASCA Model has helped me advocate for my own comprehensive school counseling program. I feel that my time here has also prepared me for taking life’s curveballs and handling them with grace and professionalism. Finally, it taught me that in order to take care of others, I need to take care of myself. There is no denying that this is a difficult field to work in, but I can promise you that it is one of the most rewarding.
3. If I were offering a prospective student advice, I would say look no further and set your sights on Marymount University. You will be welcomed by professors and mentors with a wide range of expertise and a warm, caring, and supportive learning environment. You will develop relationships that last far beyond graduation."
Parklawn Elementary School
Fairfax County Public Schools
Upon successful completion of this program, you will be eligible for licensure as a school counselor (grades PK-12) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, there are other credentials you can obtain.
Many of our students take advantage of becoming a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). Because of the University’s CACREP-accredited status, Marymount is able to offer the NCE or National Counselor’s Examination twice a year to students towards the end of their program. The NCC does NOT mean you can practice independently in any state.
The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is administered to students in the first semester of their internship. This exam follows the format of the NCE very closely. Using it allows the faculty to gain an objective view of the knowledge level of students in the program and allows you to gauge your strengths and weaknesses as you prepare for the exam. You can learn more about the NCE and the NCC by visiting www.nbcc.org.
Most MU Counseling students also want to obtain state licensure. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. To find out the requirements for any state, go to www.nbcc.org.
The degree meets the academic requirements for licensure in Virginia, Maryland, and DC. For students interested in working in the substance abuse field, the state of Virginia now offers licensure as a Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner (LSATP). The Virginia Board of Professional Counselors makes a final determination on applications for licensure. For more information about licensure in the District of Columbia, go to the DC Department of Health site. For more information about licensure in Maryland, go to Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene site.