In the Spring of 1992, the Department of Educational Psychology began to offer a School Counselling Master’s Program. This program was intended to be responsive to the needs of teachers who wished to pursue graduate level training in counselling. Since there continues to be a chronic shortage of counsellors with appropriate post-graduate training to meet the demands of Alberta schools, the Counselling Psychology Faculty within the Department developed this program so that it would be available to professionals through alternate delivery means.
The program is designed to enable teachers to continue working in the school system while they pursue their Master’s degree. Therefore, it is a part-time degree program with course instruction occurring every alternate Saturday during the months of September to April, followed by 6 consecutive weeks of course instruction each year on-site at the University during the summer months when school is out. Upon gaining admission to the program, students start the program in the summer term.
The program is a 36 credit hour course-based Master's program. All practica and other educational experiences are specifically oriented towards the training of school counsellors. The curriculum is organized so that it can be completed over a 26-month period. Typically, 15-20 students are admitted to the program every two years, and these students proceed through the 2 year program together as a cohort. The cohort training-format increases group support and enhances the learning of class members through exposure to their colleagues’ school-based experiences.