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Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership

Do you dream of making a positive impact on the children and families in your community or around the country? Earning a degree from one of the University of Central Missouri’s accredited Counseling and Educational Leadership programs is the best step you can take to build a solid foundation in the skills and knowledge that can lead to landing the career of your dreams.

Counseling and Educational Leadership offers two distinct paths:

  • Counseling: If you’re interested in clinical mental health counseling or school counseling, our MS and EdS Counseling programs are the ideal path toward a meaningful career helping children and adults live healthier lives. As one of only four public institutions in Missouri accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), UCM Counseling is nationally recognized for its commitment to excellence and ethics.
  • Educational Leadership: Our MSE and EdS degrees in Educational Leadership will prepare you to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children and families as a superintendent, special education director or principal in elementary or secondary schools. We partner with 14 Kansas City suburban school districts to provide mentoring, high-quality professional development training and intensive leadership development to make sure you’re ready to excel as a leader in the world of education.
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Dr. Nancy Forth
Professor of Counseling
Chair, Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership
Lovinger 1338
Tel: 660-543-8093 |

Educational Leadership:
Dr. Bryan McDonald
Associate Professor, Education Administration
Lovinger 4110
Tel: 660-543-8996 |

College of Education

Financial Aid and Scholarships


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CAEP- and DESE-accredited

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Affordable programs

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Small class sizes

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Learn from world-class faculty



Find your Counseling and Educational Leadership future at UCM

Whether you want to be a school counselor or a superintendent, our student-centered programs in Counseling and Educational Leadership will set you up for success — both academically and professionally:

  • Attentive faculty: Thanks to our small classes and engaging coursework, you’ll get to work closely alongside leading scholars and educators in counseling and educational leadership. Each faculty member has a terminal degree in either counselor education and supervision or education and brings their years of experience into the classroom to help you apply theory to real-world settings.
  • Close-knit community: When you join one of our programs, you become a vital member of a supportive and collaborative community committed to helping everyone succeed. You’ll have access to several student-run societies and associations for both aspiring counselors and educational leaders, in which you’ll form personal and professional relationships that can help you both in your career and life after graduation.
  • Hands-on experience: As you earn your degree from UCM, you’ll have various opportunities for internships, professional shadowing and experiential learning. Counseling students have access to the Play Therapy Training Institute, where they can observe and interact with children as they learn, play and grow.

What can you do with a degree from one of UCM’s Counseling and Educational Leadership programs?

The programs offered by UCM’s Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership are designed to provide you with the experience, knowledge and skills to stand out in many industries and positions.

Each of our programs and specialty options prepare you for various exciting careers in two of the most important fields in the country. Graduates of our programs work in diverse settings, including community counseling centers, private practices and hospitals, as well as elementary, middle and high schools.

Many of our students go on to become:

  • School counselors
  • Clinical mental health counselors
  • K–12 principals
  • Superintendents
  • Special education directors


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