CAREERS AND ALUMNI
Why Study Education and Counseling?
The Department of Education and Counseling is dedicated to the professional preparation of teachers, human service providers, and counselors in schools and clinical mental health settings. Although the requirements and curricula for students pursuing education and counseling differ, both fields are united by a desire to improve the quality of the lives of others and are grounded in a commitment to social justice and a respect for the dignity of every human person.
Why Study Education?
As the mother of all professions, education plays a foundational role in the development of individuals and society. For those interested in following a vocation to become a certified classroom teacher, our undergraduate major and graduate Master’s Plus Teacher Certification program provide pathways towards initial teacher certification. Advanced graduate degree and certificate programs concentrated on teacher leadership and higher education support the further professional development of teachers and school leaders.
Education has broad significance and appeal as a field of study for those working outside of the school or university building as well. Our education minor and graduate program in education are designed for those interested in studying education in order to advance their understanding of educational issues or to possibly pursue employment in a variety of educational settings such as non-profit organizations, think tanks and government agencies. Educational systems constitute major segments of the society and economy of the United States and other nations around the globe. A significant element of policy analysis in government and non-profit agencies focuses on education, whether in formal educational systems or in the educational component of health care, social welfare, and many other fields. All citizens in a democratic society – whether as parents, children, business and government leaders, or taxpayers – are stakeholders in the educational process.
Why Study Counseling?
Counseling can facilitate a variety of meaningful outcomes for individuals, including overcoming difficulties in life, caring for one’s mental health and achieving personal goals. The counseling minor exposes students to knowledge of the field of counseling and the counseling process, evidence-based therapeutic practices, and the application of counseling skills. Graduate students have the option to choose the Clinical Mental Health track or School Counseling track. These programs provide training for counselors to effectively serve and support their population of interest.
A degree in counseling opens career opportunities in a variety of settings, and the job outlook for both school and clinical mental health counselors is growing at a faster than average rate. Counselors may provide services in mental health centers, community centers, hospitals, private practice, K-12 schools, higher education or a number of other settings. This course of study also prepares graduates for work in areas such as career counseling, marriage and family counseling, college advising, student affairs, social work or human resources.
Growing one’s knowledge base and skill set is an essential aspect of professional development. In the state of Pennsylvania, legislation mandates that individuals possessing Pennsylvania educator certification must complete continuing education credits every five years to maintain active certification status. In addition to enrolling in full-semester courses (3 credits), students can also earn Act 48 credit through our one-credit weekend workshops, which typically occur on Friday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Department offers one-credit workshops on a variety of topics in the fields of education and counseling. Matriculated and non-matriculated students may enroll in these workshops, which provide an opportunity for in-depth exploration on a focused issue or concept. Sample of workshop topic include digital literacies, mindfulness in schools, soliciting student voices, and systemic approaches to equity.
Earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in Education or Counseling at Villanova serves as a rigorous steppingstone towards further graduate or professional study. Graduates of our programs find themselves well-poised to pursue doctoral studies or advanced coursework towards licensure.
Faculty in the Department of Education and Counseling regularly mentor undergraduate and graduate students in all stages of the research process. Students are encouraged to pursue research questions of their own or join faculty research teams. From research design and conceptualization to data collection and analysis, faculty collaborate with students to advance knowledge and scholarship in their fields. In addition to learning about the research process, students often serve as co-presenters at professional conferences and co-authors on publications. Listed below are a few examples of student-faculty collaborations that have resulted in published work (*indicates student).
- Bialka, C.S., Morro, D.* (2018). “It didn’t come up on my radar”: An examination of students’ orientation toward disability justice. Disability & Society, 33(7), 1061-1086.
- Conner, J., Crawford*, E., & Galioto*, M. (2021). "The mental health effects of student activism: Persisting despite psychological costs." Journal of Adolescent Research.
- Malott, K. M., Havlik, S., Gosai*, S., & Diaz Davila* (2020). "A group intervention for prospective first-generation college students: Application with an urban, African American population." Professional School Counseling, 24(1), 1-12.
- Wahesh, E., Moreton, A., McKechnie, M. (2020). "The indirect effect of distress tolerance on alcohol use behaviors via coping motives." Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling, 41, 111-127.
Hear what Education and Counseling alumni have to say about their Villanova experience!