Counselor Education - Online and Distance Education

Counselor Education

Graduate Certificates | Counselor Education

Counselor Education

Entrance Exam: Not Required

The online Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education (GCCE) is a part-time online counseling program that consists of a total of four master-level counselor education courses (total of 13 credit hours that can be completed within one year).  It is designed for school teachers, administrators, support staff, advisors and tutors in various educational institutions (schools and universities), along with human service workers in government or community agencies, and individuals interested in counseling work. Additionally, course material, collegial collaboration, and faculty mentorship provided within the GCCE program are designed to assist students in determining if they would like to pursue a career in counseling and assist in creating the specific path to begin their career journey. While some graduates of this program pursue their master’s in counseling or a related helping profession, many others  provide paraprofessional counseling to assist licensed counselors. Regardless of the career decision, all GCCE graduates become better equipped to assist students/clients in dealing with a variety of stressors, obstacles, or challenging systemic dynamics particularly relevant in today’s society. 


Admission to the GCCE requires one of the following:

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited 4-year college with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale in the major or in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study, or
  • A master's degree.

Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement may be admitted provisionally based on past work experiences as a professional in the field of K-12 education, higher education, human resource development, or training and development. If they earn at least a B (3.0) in the first three credit hours of coursework, they will be admitted to the certificate program.

Applications are considered to begin the GCCE program in Summer II (Application Deadline of May 16th by 5pm) or Fall (Application Deadline of August 15th by 5pm). These two main points serve as a great way to begin the GCCE program with registration for either Orientation to Professional Counseling, Identity, and Ethics (Summer II) or Multicultural Lifespan Development (Fall). If there are available seats throughout the rest of the academic year, it might be possible for a few students to begin the GCCE program during Summer 1 or Spring semesters.

Plan of Study

Award of the GCCE requires a minimum overall GPA of B (3.0) in certificate program courses. None of the courses may be taken for credit only. No transfer credits from other institutions are allowed for the certificate. All students must be registered through NC State University. All GCCE requirements must be completed within four calendar years. All certificate students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment every semester (excluding summer sessions) until all course work is completed. Under unusual circumstances, a one-semester leave of absence will be granted if the student is unable to enroll in a course; written approval from the program director must be obtained before the beginning of the semester.

Career Prospects

    People who work in schools or educational institutions in such positions as teachers, administrators, advisors, residential assistants, or tutors may benefit from the Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education (GCCE) program. Professionals in positions requiring frequent human interaction such as human services or training and development also find the material useful. 

    The GCCE program provides basic counseling and communication skills, multicultural skills and training in advocacy and support that can be applied in schools, communities and other settings. It is designed for individuals who desire to help others individually or in groups on their academic, emotional, behavioral, career and contextual challenges.  Credit hours earned in the GCCE program may be transferred to a master's program in Counselor Education at NC State  (transferring credits to other institutions is not guaranteed).

    For more information about the counseling profession see: