Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with a counseling degree?
A degree in counseling leads to a variety of careers in the helping professions. Possible career directions include school counseling, mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, and rehabilitation counseling just to name a few. Some careers evolve into administrative work in both schools and agencies. In addition, some of our graduates have gone on to advanced studies for Doctorate degrees.
Which program should I choose?
It depends on your career goals. The program for School Counseling (SC) leads to certification in New York State. It also allows for significant credential portability in school counseling to other states. The best “agency” counseling credential is the state license -- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). To prepare for this credential you should enroll in the CMHC program. In the past, many graduates from the SC program have found jobs in agency work, although it is anticipated that there will continue to be opportunities for non-licensed counselors in agency work, the LMHC is the preferred credential in agency/mental health counseling.
Can I choose both programs?
Yes it is possible to complete both programs. “Dual Majors” must complete all of the requirements for both programs. There are several practical considerations for students who chose to pursue both programs. More classes are required and more internship hours are necessary. Both credentials (Certified School Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor) require post-master’s professional work experience within a limited time period for completion. Therefore, as a practical matter your career takes you in one direction or the other. As with most things, the more you know where you want to be in the future the more clearly you can plan in the present.
What is the job market like?
In Western New York the job market for school counseling is competitive. Every year a number of our graduates do get jobs as school counselors in the area. Many seeking a career in school counseling choose to pursue career opportunities in other states. The License in Mental Health Counseling is new to New York State however, traditionally there has been many opportunities for counseling in agency work locally and outside of Western New York.
What is the pay like for counselors?
School Counselors generally are on the same pay scales teachers and other Master’s level personnel in schools. In Western New York starting pay can vary from the mid $30,000 to the mid $40,000 range. Agency starting pay varies considerably generally ranging from the higher $20,000 range through to the $40,000 range depending on the agency.
Can I attend part-time or full-time?
Yes, and you can begin your program in the Fall, Spring or Summer semester. Full-time is either 12 credits or 9 credits. You must have at least 9 credits to qualify for full-time graduate student loans.
How long does it take to complete the program?
Completion time depends on the number of classes you take per semester and if you attend in the summer time. The program requires at least 4 semesters to complete. Many students who are working while attending classes take longer since they are taking fewer classes per semester.
Is there financial aid available?
Financial aid is much more limited in graduate school vs. undergraduate school. You should contact the College Financial Aid Office for direction regarding student loans at 716-888-2300. There are a limited number of assistantships available through the Department of Counseling and Human Services and the School of Education and Human Services. These generally require up to 20 hours of work in return for 6 tuition free credit hours. If interested, you should send a cover letter and resume to the respective offices.
Who should I talk with for more information?
Contact the School of Education and Human Services for information about admissions procedures for graduate programs at 716-888-2545 or 800-950-2505. Contact your program advisor directly about questions regarding your studies or the profession.
Advisors are assigned by last name.
A-D Dr. Holly Fetter at 716-888-3187 or firstname.lastname@example.org
E-I Dr. David Farrugia at 716-888-2393 or email@example.com
J-M Dr. Mike Rutter at 716-888-3721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
N-R Dr. Ann Marie Lenhardt at 716-888-2398 or email@example.com
S-Z Dr. Chris Moll at 716-888-3287 or firstname.lastname@example.org