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Education Specialist (Certification) School Counseling

All educator candidates seeking certification in any field shall be required to complete a general survey course in Special Education (3 semester hours) if such a course was not a part of their undergraduate program or another graduate program. A research component including research and/or field work will be an integral part of all specialist programs in education.

An educator candidate who took a course for credit in a master’s level program cannot take the same course for credit in the education specialist program. Completion of sixth-year programs requires at least 30 semester hours of credit not used for prior level certification in the same teaching field.

Program Admission Requirements

The educator candidate shall:

  • Meet all requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies.
  • Provide verification of background clearance/fingerprints.
  • Hold a valid masters level certification in School Counseling.
  • Have a minimum of two (2) full years of full-time acceptable experience.

I. Professional Courses: 12 hours

  • ED 601. Curriculum Design (3)
  • ED 602. Challenges in Rural Education (3)
    ED 605. Teaching English Language Learners (3)
  • ED 603. Leadership for Enhanced Student Achievement (3)
  • ED 604. Advanced Educational Research (3)

II. Instructional Support Area: 21 hours

  • CO 641. Advanced Elementary School Counseling (3)
  • CO 642. Adolescent Counseling (3)
  • CO 643. Substance Abuse Counseling (3)
  • CO 644. Family Counseling (3)
  • CO 645. Supervision and Consultation in School Counseling (3)
  • CO 647. Research Seminar in School Counseling (3)
  • CO 648. Current Issues in School Counseling (3)

Total Required: 33 hours


  • Educator candidates who have not previously met the special education requirement must take a general survey course in special education (SE 500).
  • Completion of a Class AA program for instructional support personnel requires at least 30 semester hours of graduate credit not used for prior-level certification in any teaching field or area of instructional support.
  • This program is also offered online.

Program Completion Requirements

The following requirements must be met prior to completion of the sixth-year programs.

The educator candidate shall:

  • Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.50 in all courses in the approved program as verified on an official transcript with no grade less than “C.”
  • Make a satisfactory score on a written comprehensive examination documenting mastery of the curriculum of the teacher education program.
  • Demonstrate leadership ability in his or her area of specialization.
  • Hold a valid Class A Professional Educator Certificate in School Counseling.

Additional Information. If an educator candidate completes an Alabama Education Specialist program based on a master’s level certificate from another state and applies for Alabama certification at the Class AA level, the educator candidate must earn an Alabama Class A (master’s level) Professional Educator Certificate prior to applying for the Class AA certificate.


The Educator Preparation Program and the Educator Certification Program are governed by the Alabama State Department of Education, and the College of Education reserves the right to change requirements in these programs at any time when such changes are mandated by the State Department.