We asked Dr. Jill Taggart, Director of Canadian Education Programs, about what makes the MEd in School Counselling program offered in BC and what makes it different from other programs. Her responses to questions she often answers are below.
What would you say is the biggest selling feature of the MEd in School Counselling program?
Jill: Too many to list! The most important I think is that we have worked with school districts to make sure the course content and outcomes reflect what they see as important competencies for school counsellors in British Columbia and embedded that content with evidence from research. We call our approach ‘scholar-practitioner’ which means that we blend essential counselling theory with interventions for professional school counselling practice. Throughout the program we also learn and apply essential concepts such as ethically informed practice and culture and diversity competencies. While the program is specifically tailored for those wishing to become school-based counsellors, the program also enables graduates to register with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.
How big are the classes?
Jill: Typically our class sizes range from 12 to 20.
Who teaches the courses?
Jill: Our faculty bring a combination of research scholarship and practical experience as school or district level counsellors or mental health clinicians. Most are practicing counsellors at Masters or Doctoral level and have also published a number of papers in peer reviewed journals in their area of expertise.
Where do you meet?
Jill: The MEd School Counselling program is a distributed program. That means we hold our classes in a number of school districts as well as having classes at our central Vancouver campus. Locations include several in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge, Burnaby) Vancouver Island (Langford near Victoria) and the Okanagan (Kelowna).
What is the benefit of the cohort model?
Jill: All of our MEd School Counselling locations operate a cohort model. That means that the same group of students will start the program together and attend the same classes throughout the duration of the program (approx. 2 years). We find that the cohort model provides a sense of community and personal as well as professional support that continues long after the program ends. Many of our students tell us that the cohort model was instrumental in their success.
Can I continue to work and go to school?
Jill: Absolutely – classes are held on Saturdays. Most of our students are teachers who work full-time. Once enrolled in the program students are also considered full-time students for income tax purposes.
What makes CityU different?
Jill: Our classes are small and the program is only offered face-to-face which we believe is important when teaching counselling-related content. Our instructors blend theory with practical content so that graduates are able to walk into their new school counselling positions ‘job-ready’ from day one.
Thanks for your time Jill! To learn more about our Master of Education program, link here.