Florida State University has signaled an intention to help address the shortage of counseling professionals in Florida schools by relaunching a graduate program in school counseling in the College of Education.
“Now more than ever, students need access to school counselors,” said Dr. Damon Andrew, the college’s dean. “Students can face not only challenges at school, but also personal issues and struggles in their home life. School counselors are in a unique position to help students overcome these obstacles, and we hope this program will address this growing need.”
In 2017, Florida had an average of 484 students per counselor, underscoring a need for more school counseling professionals in the state’s schools. The American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-counselor ratio of 250 to 1.
The relaunched program will train counselors to offer culturally responsive services for K-12 students from diverse backgrounds, particularly in urban and rural settings. It will be led by Dr. Erik Hines, currently associate professor in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.
“I am very excited about coming back to FSU,” said Hines, who received a bachelor’s degree in social science education from the college in 2002. “It has been a dream of mine to train the next generation of school counselors at my alma mater because of the wonderful mentorship and educational experiences I was provided as an undergraduate. My goal is to make an impact in my home state of Florida through the field of education.”
Applications to the school counseling program for fall 2019 admission are being accepted through July 1.