Counselor Education


Graduate Certificate | Counselor Education

Program Format:   
Entrance Exam: Not required

The online Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education (GCCE) requires 13 credit hours and may be completed within one year. It is designed for school teachers, administrators, support staff, advisors, and tutors in different educational institutions (schools and universities), human service workers in government or community agencies, and individuals interested in counseling work. Graduates of this program can provide paraprofessional counseling to assist licensed counselors. They can also become advocates and offer support for their students/clients.


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.

Admission for the program is on a rolling basis; students may begin in Fall, Spring, Summer I or Summer II.


This 13-credit graduate program includes four graduate courses. At 2019-20 tuition rates, the cost of these courses is $462 per credit for North Carolina residents and $1,311 per credit for non-residents. Thus, the total estimated cost for the program is $6,006 for North Carolina residents and $17,043 for non-residents. See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details.

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, or tutors or in fields requiring frequent human interaction such as human services or training and development may benefit from the GCCE program. The program provides basic counseling and communication skills, multicultural skills, and training in advocacy and support which can be applied in schools, communities and other settings. It is particularly designed for individuals who desire to help students and other clients individually or in groups on their academic, emotional, behavioral, career, and family problems. Credit hours earned in the GCCE program may be applied to a master's programs in counselor education at NC State or at another institution.

    For more information about the counseling profession see:

    The GCCE requires 13 credit hours of coursework. All courses are offered online, with Online and Distance Education sections restricted to GCCE students. Required courses include:

    ECD 510 - Orientation to Professional Counseling, Identity, and Ethics

    Units: 3

    This course examines [1] the purpose of counseling, [2] the historical context for counseling, [3] the basic principles of major counseling theories, and [4] the practice of counseling in various professional settings.

    Offered in Spring and Summer

    Find this course:

    2019 Summer Term 1 2019 Summer Term 2

    ECD 524 - Career Counseling and Development

    Units: 3

    Knowledge and skills needed to: [a] provide professional career counseling to individuals and [b] design, implement and evaluate career development programs for particular groups. Theories of career development and decision making; career guidance programs in educational, agency and industrial setting; career information sources and delivery systems; and assessment in career counseling.

    Offered in Fall Spring Summer

    Find this course:

    2019 Summer Term 2 2019 Fall Term

    ECD 525 - Multicultural Counseling

    Units: 3

    Theory and practice of counseling culturally diverse clients. Client populations include African Americans, Asian-Americans, American Indians and Hispanics. Cultural assumptions, cultural values, counselor credibility, prejudice and racism in context of counseling.

    Offered in Fall Spring Summer

    Find this course:

    2019 Summer Term 1 2019 Fall Term

    ECD 530 - Theories and Tech of Counseling

    Units: 4

    Theory, philosophy, roles, professional ethics, and techniques of counseling. Eleven major counseling approaches including behavioral, psychoanalytic, client-centered, existential, family and post-modern approaches, and related counseling strategies are discussed. Students have opportunities to practice related strategies through role-plays.

    Offered in Fall and Spring

    Find this course:

    2019 Spring Term 2019 Fall Term

    Entry Semester Application Deadlines and Details
    FallPhD On-Campus Delivery: Dec. 1 / Masters On-Campus Delivery: Jan. 15;
    Summer 1PhD On-Campus Delivery: Dec. 1 / Masters On-Campus Delivery: Jan. 15;
    Summer 2PhD On-Campus Delivery: Dec. 1 / Masters On-Campus Delivery: Jan. 15;

    Dr. Raymond Ting

    Director of Graduate Programs, Counselor Education

    College of Education

    Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development