School Counseling, M.Ed.


International – International Registry of Counsellor Education Programs

The International Registry of Counsellor Education Programs (IRCEP) was created in 2009 to foster excellence in the education and training of professional counsellors worldwide. As an international quality assurance review process, IRCEP was purposefully designed to empower programs to develop counsellor training curricula appropriate to their country, regions, and/or culture, while simultaneously recognizing the broad tenets of education and training common to the practice of counselling regardless of practice location.

National – Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) was created in 1981 to be the independent accrediting arm for the American Counseling Association, a membership organization for over 50,000 practicing counselors. From its inception, CACREP has provided an effective measure of quality assurance for counselor preparation programs. CACREP also provides leadership to programs interested in furthering their own capacity for self-evaluation. CACREP is an independent agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit master's degree programs in:

  • Addictions Counseling
  • Career Counseling
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
  • School Counseling
  • Student Affairs and College Counseling
  • Doctoral-Level programs in Counselor Education and Supervision

Generally, there are 3 core areas for accreditation (the learning environment, professional identity, professional practice). Within the 8 core areas of curriculum, studies include:

  • Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice
  • Social and Cultural Diversity
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Career Development
  • Helping Relationships
  • Group Work
  • Assessment
  • Research and Program Evaluation

Students at UNC-Chapel Hill, who are preparing to work as school counselors must demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of all K–12 students. In addition to the common core curricular experiences outlined above, programs must provide evidence that student learning has occurred in the following domains:

  • Foundations
  • Counseling, Prevention, and Intervention
  • Diversity and Advocacy
  • Assessment
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Academic Development
  • Collaboration and Consultation
  • Leadership

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) requires its programs to be housed in an institution that is accredited by an institutional accrediting organization recognized by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the US Department of Education. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). A disclosure statement regarding UNC-Chapel Hill’s current accreditation status is available on the SACSCOC website with additional information on the University’s Carolina Commitment website.

State – Department of Public Instruction (DPI)

The North Carolina DPI guidelines for school counseling programs largely mirror CACREP standards and include 16 standards (each with several indicators) that include:

  • Professional behavior
  • Developmental awareness
  • Diversity
  • Helping relationships
  • Counseling theories
  • Career development
  • Assessment
  • Research design
  • Group work
  • Consultation
  • Clinical practice
  • Clinical supervision
  • School climate
  • Program planning, implementation, and evaluation
  • Use of technology
  • Leadership and advocacy