The master's program is designed to meet the requirements for North Carolina School Counselor Licensure (K-12) and to follow guidelines and standards of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Professional School Counseling Program at Appalachian State University is one of six in North Carolina nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Appalachian has historically had a major responsibility for graduate and undergraduate preparation for professional educators in the Northwestern and Western Piedmont areas of North Carolina. This responsibility includes the preparation of professional school counselors to meet employment needs within the western region.
Students completing this program are prepared to design and implement comprehensive, developmental school counseling programs. Additionally, graduates are prepared to carry out the functions identified by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in the job description of the school counselor. Currently, the demand for licensed school counselors is greater than the capacity of all of the counselor education programs in North Carolina combined. Surveys indicate the likelihood that this need will continue to increase.