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School Social Work/Adjustment Counseling (Post-Master’s License)

A school social worker, also known as a school adjustment counselor, is committed to meeting the mental health needs of students within a school setting. They provide one-on-one support to at-risk students and also work with groups of students when necessary.

If you’re already a licensed school counselor, licensed clinical social worker, or hold a master’s in school counseling, social work, or clinical mental health counseling, you may be eligible to earn a 20-credit post-master’s license in School Social Work/Adjustment Counseling.

Quick facts:

  • Online coursework.
  • Meets DESE licensure requirements.
  • Aligned with the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) standards.
  • Complete in as little as 6 months.
  • Three starts per year.
  • No GRE or GMAT required.

Learn more about Merrimack’s Post-Master’s License in School Social Work/Adjustment Counseling.


No. 3 Highest-paying state for school counselors in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Massachusetts ranks third highest in median annual salary for educational, school and career counselors and advisors ($79,670) with nearly 10,000 employed in this occupation throughout the state.

School Social Work/Adjustment Counseling (Post-Master’s License) Coursework

This 20-credit license-only program can be completed in six months full time or one year part time and meets DESE licensure requirements. The program includes online coursework and on-site field-based training in a setting that works best for you. The coursework can be customized based on your prior experience and master’s degree transcript review.

Field-Based Training

Students seeking licensure to advance their career as a school social worker/adjustment counselor must complete 900 hours of field-based training typically over the course of one semester (16 weeks). Merrimack has an exceptionally diverse network of partner schools and community organizations, so we can locate a practicum assignment that closely fits your career interests and strengths within a commutable distance from your home.

Program Requirements

Students must be licensed school counselors or licensed clinical social workers with a master’s degree in school counseling, social work, or clinical mental health counseling.

Sample Coursework

The course explores the study of the nature, problems, and process of learning, cognition, and motivation as related to the educative process, and the psychology of childhood through adolescence as it relates to learning. In addition, students will explore assessment practices and purpose in education and mental health with a focus on interpretation and application. Credits: 4

This advanced course explores and applies theories of human development related to the mental health wellness and social/emotional growth of youth. The key emphasis of this course is on the school counselors’ role in assessment, identification, and interventions related to mental health issues and substance use concerns. Students will examine current research and best practices in the field and create individual and group interventions tailored to school settings. In addition, participants will learn about the prevention of abusive and violent behaviors in preK–12 students and promote intellectual, social, and emotional well-being. Credits: 4 Prerequisite(s): SCC 5010 and CMH 5000 or permission of the program director

This course is concurrent with the Practicum I for school social work/adjustment counseling (SAC). Students examine their practice as school-based workers, expand on their understanding of youth and family counseling and services, and deepen their knowledge of prevention, communication and treatment. Course content will include psychopharmacology and medical considerations in treatment of conditions and illnesses affecting youth. Corequisite(s): SCC 6560

This course provides training and application of critical techniques of counseling (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, etc.) for assisting youth and young adults using a systems approach. Special attention will be dedicated to treating issues associated with trauma, anxiety, depression, and behavioral challenges. Students will gain skills associated with case management, treatment planning, goal setting, and closure strategies, with a focus on developing resilience and self-care. Credits: 4 Prerequisite(s): SCC 5100

Fall practicum (minimum 450 hours) provides students with an opportunity to observe, engage, and apply skills and knowledge competencies in therapeutic counseling, social work services, and advocacy. Course is linked to the capstone seminar where students will complete applied assignments (see SC6055G) in school adjustment counseling. Students will complete part I of the SAC-CAP (school adjustment counselor candidate assessment of performance). Credits: 2
Corequisite(s): SCC 6055

What Our Students Say

“I have always learned best from doing, so being in an actual guidance office working directly with students is very rewarding…I learn something new every day at my practicum and I know this experience will help me when I am a school counselor one day.”


Tune Into the Grad Chat Podcast

Throughout this episode, distinguished alumna Jessica Lawrence dives into the significance of her internship experience during her program, shares insights into her daily life as a school counselor, underscores the challenges and profound rewards inherent in the role and reveals her favorite aspect of her profession.

Tune Into Podcast

It’s Easy to Apply Online

A complete application includes:

  • Online application (no fee).
  • Official college transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • Resume.
  • Personal statement.
  • Contact information for one reference or two letters of recommendation.

GRE and GMAT scores are not required. Work experience recommended (internships qualify).

Key Dates and Deadlines

This program enrolls three times a year.

Application Deadline
Classes Begin
Fall I
Monday, August 12, 2024
Monday, August 26, 2024
Spring I
Monday, January 6, 2025
Monday, January 15, 2025
Summer I
Monday, April 28, 2025
Monday, May 12, 2025

At Merrimack College, we’re proud of our long history of providing quality degrees to students entering the job market. Our faculty are more than just teachers. We are committed to helping you grow — academically, personally and spiritually — so that you may graduate as a confident, well-prepared citizen of the world.

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  • Merrimack College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
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