The Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Special Education at Augusta State University received approval from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents for a new post-graduate program. Beginning January 2013, the department will begin offering an education specialist degree in counseling at ASU.
“Our graduates and the community have been requesting this advanced degree for several years. We have a strong faculty in counselor education who will be working to accept our first candidates this fall with classes beginning in January 2013,” said Wayne Lord, chair of the department. “We anticipate strong interest from both school counseling and clinical mental health professionals. The EdS may serve as a bridge to doctoral programs in the future,” he added.
The program is designed for individuals, who hold a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, to develop greater expertise and leadership skills in their current field, and to gain knowledge in the supervision of counselors. It is anticipated that the counselor education program will enable school counselors to enhance their professional identity and develop greater proficiency in counseling students.
“The education specialist program in counseling will provide opportunities for practicing community counselors to further develop their clinical counseling skills and theoretical orientations and techniques, while attaining coursework in supervision,” said Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, associate professor and coordinator of the counselor education program at ASU.
Approximately 30 percent of current school counselors in both Richmond and Columbia counties, the largest surrounding counties, received their master’s degrees in counselor education from ASU, according to the proposal sent to the BOR.
“These professionals seek to further improve their counseling and community professional skills. The proposed degree will meet this need and operate within the certification guidelines of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission,” stated Anderson-Wiley.