MSED: Counseling: School

Learn how to use your passion to support teachers in addressing needs of students

With a masters in school counseling from UT Martin, you will have the proper skill set to support teachers and other school personnel as well as parents in addressing the needs of students related to academics, career preparation and personal growth. The 100% online program has earned accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as an advanced degree program within the Department of Educational Studies, and is currently seeking accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Whether you are completing the endorsement track or the full degree track, you will be eligible to earn Tennessee licensure as a school counselor.

Program Highlights

Full Degree Program - 60 credit hours

  • Earn your master's degree in school counseling by fulfilling the requirements for licensure as a school counselor in Tennessee. If you live in a state other than Tennessee, you may be eligible to transfer this license to your state, or we may can help you meet the requirements directly for your state.

Licensure Only Option - 30 Credit Hours

  • If you have previously earned a master's degree in counseling or education, you may be eligible for the school counseling endorsement program. Completion of this program satisfies the requirements for school counseling endorsement in Tennessee.


The School Counseling concentration has been approved by the State of Tennessee's Department of Education to prepare and endorse students for licensure as school counselors. Both the full degree program and the endorsement program have Tennessee approval. In addition, the School Counseling program has earned accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as an advanced degree program within the Department of Educational Studies. Students completing either the endorsement track or the full degree track will be eligible to earn Tennessee licensure as a school counselor. Students who reside in another state are then able to transfer this license to their home state, following the specific guidelines of the state board that administers school counseling licensure in that home state. Use this link to review how our program requirements match school counseling licensure in each state: School Counseling Licensure

Academic Program Requirements

Additional Program Information

Mission and Goals

The mission of the University of Tennessee at Martin's Master of Science in Education with a major in counseling is to prepare socially ethical and competent professionals in clinical mental health and school settings. We aspire to develop counselors who are technically skilled, personally aware, empathic, and accepting of the cultural and social differences of their clients or students.

The UTM Counselor Education Model is designed to develop counselors who are enhancers of human development and believe counselors should know how to improve learning through the use of a wide variety of materials including human and technological resources. Therefore, embedded within and intertwined among components of the conceptual framework are the commitments to diverse learners and the use of technology as an additional communication tools to enhance student learning.

Financial Aid

The department itself does not provide financial aid, however UTM does provide financial assistance through our Financial Aid Office.

Faculty Information
Dr. David Dietrich
240M Gooch Hall
(731) 881-7223
Program Coordinator
David Dietrich

David Dietrich is a licensed psychologist who received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Memphis. Dr. Dietrich has been a faculty member in the UTM counseling program since 2010. Prior to joining UTM, he was a high school counselor for three years, program director for a residential treatment facility for violent juvenile offenders for four years, and psychology professor for 11 years. This diverse professional background reflects his interest in both clinical mental health counseling and school counseling, with a focus on counseling adolescents and young adults. Dr. Dietrich's conference presentations and publications have focused on counselor education and online pedagogy.

Dr. Dietrich has conducted numerous workshops for school counselors and teachers throughout his career. Common topics have included: working with difficult students; teaching and counseling students living in rural poverty; bullying; and the use of solution-focused brief counseling in school counseling. He teaches courses in theories of counseling, career counseling, assessment, crisis counseling, and practicum in clinical mental and school counseling.

Dr. Tabitha Cude
Assistant Professor
240M Gooch Hall
(731) 881-7223
Coordinator, School Counseling Practicum and Internship
Tabitha Cude

Tabitha Cude is a licensed school counselor who received her Ph.D. in Professional Counseling from Amridge University. Prior to this, she received her master’s degree from the UTM counseling program. Dr. Cude has been a faculty member in the UTM counseling program since 2017. She currently serves as the School Counseling Practicum and Internship Coordinator. Prior to joining UTM, she was a school counselor for four years. Dr. Cude’s interests include school counseling, the connection between school counseling and clinical mental health counseling, and online learning and instruction. Her conference presentations have focused on the beneficial link between clinical counseling and school counseling.

Dr. Cude enjoys conducting workshops for school counselors on the use of solution-focused brief counseling in school counseling and on specific issues that school counselors see within their roles. She teaches the school counseling internship courses and courses in school counseling, group counseling, lifespan development, and multicultural counseling.

Dr. Derrick Shepard
Assistant Professor
240M Gooch Hall
(731) 881-7223
Derrick Shepard

Dr. ZeVida A. Jones
Assistant Professor
240M Gooch Hall
(731) 881-7223
ZeVida A. Jones

ZeVida A. Jones is a nationally certified counselor, a licensed professional school counselor, and a licensed professional counselor who received her Ed.D in Counseling Education from The University of Memphis. Dr. Jones served as the Secondary Counselor and Deputy Principal of Xiamen International School in Xiamen, China. Before moving abroad in 2018, She was an Adjunct Professor in the Counseling, Educational Psychology & Research Department at The University of Memphis and a high school counselor with the Shelby County Schools District and Gestalt Community Schools. Dr. Jones has over 15 years of experience in counseling, consultation, coaching, and academic advising.

Dr. Jones is the founding director of Finding The You Inside Youth Ministry (FYI), 501(c)(3), and the owner of Empowering Books Publishing House (EBPH). She is the author of “So You Call Yourself a Counselor?: High School Counselors’ Impact on First-Generation African American College Students’ Post-Secondary Aspirations.” Dr. Jones has also published two adult coloring books, “I Am Who I Say I Am” and “All The Things I Want to Scream,” under the pseudonym of DruSuan Z. DiJuan – the middle names of her daughter and son, and the first initial of her name.

Dr. Jones’ research interests include the experiences of first-generation African American college students, low-income and minority students, and the counselor-student relationship.

Dr. Clinton Smith
240K Gooch Hall
(731) 881-7193
Chair, Educational Studies
Clinton Smith

Dr. Smith is the current interim chair of the department which houses the Counseling Program. He is responsible for the administration of the department and supervision of the Counseling Program.

Dr. Smith is also the Program Coordinator of the BSEd in Special Education and Program Coordinator of the MSEd in Special Education.

Cynthia West
237B Gooch Hall
(731) 881-7127
Dean, College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences

Cynthia West is the Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences. She is responsible for supervising the Department of Educational Studies, within which the Counseling Program resides.

Dean West is also a social work faculty member and has taught in that department for a number of years.

Deborah Gibson
237F Gooch Hall
(731) 881-3123
Coordinator, Education Graduate Student Service
Deborah Gibson

Dr. Deborah Gibson is the College of Education, Health, & Behavioral Sciences Graduate Programs Coordinator. Mr. Ryan Lewis is the Graduate Program Student Services Specialist. In other words, the Graduate Programs staff serves both the program faculty and students in many ways. Together, Dr. Gibson and Mr. Lewis coordinate the Comprehensive Exam process, collects applications for practicum and internship, coordinates the logistics of the Residency Program, facilitates the process to make catalog changes, coordinates the admissions process, and provides guidance in navigating university policies and procedures. Without the College of Education, Health, & Behavioral Sciences Graduate Programs Office, the Counseling Program would not function.

The staff in the Graduate Programs Office cares about the university, our program, and you. That means they are always willing to help and answer your questions. But please contact the Graduate Programs Office with questions you have about any of the areas listed above, AFTER first contacting your Advisor.

Jenny Hahn
205E Gooch Hall
(731) 881-7126
Coordinator of School Counseling Licensure and Certification
Jenny Hahn

Jenny Hahn is the Coordinator for Licensure and Certification for the Educator Preparation Program. For our program this involves school counseling students who are seeking licensure either through our endorsement program or the school counseling degree program. Jenny is a great resource for questions about being hired by a school prior to graduation/endorsement, or specific school counseling licensure issues.

Program Objectives

The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) has identified eight common core curricular areas that are required of all counselor training programs. After completing the graduate degree, our students should be prepared to enter the counseling profession confident in their ability to meet the standards of their chosen professional specialization. The following Program Objectives have been developed to reflect the eight common core areas:


Students will demonstrate sufficient knowledge of content within the eight common core curricular areas (professional orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment, and research and program development).


Students will demonstrate effective counseling skills in their coursework and during their field experiences.

Professional Behavior

Students will adhere to the ethical code of their counseling professional association when completing coursework and field experiences.


Students will demonstrate knowledge of their specialty area (clinical mental health counseling or school counseling).

Student Learning Outcomes Annual Reports

Counseling Program Annual Report

Each academic year the Counseling Program develops an Annual Report that complies with CACREP Standards. The report documents important data for both the Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling specialty areas.

Licensure Information

Application Requirements

Application Process

Application Deadlines

Fall 2023:   July 24

Spring 2024: October 8

Fall 2024: February 20

The Counseling Program Admission Committee adheres to the 2016 CACREP Standards in its admission procedure. Specifically, Section 1.L.:

Entry-level admission decision recommendations are made by the academic unit’s selection committee and include consideration of each applicant’s (1) relevance of career goals, (2) aptitude for graduate-level study, (3) potential success in forming effective counseling relationships, and (4) respect for cultural differences.

To assist the Committee in making these decisions, applicants are required have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and to complete the following process:

An online application must be submitted and the following materials will be required in the online application prior to committee review by the Counseling Admissions Board.

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from supervisors, school superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and/or employers. Each letter must provide clear evidence that addresses the candidate’s counseling skills and/or potential which will enable the individual to become a counselor.
  • A two-page typed essay that fully describes the candidate’s skills and experiences relevant to becoming a successful counselor. The candidate must also discuss the perceived personal abilities and attributes that will enable the counseling candidate to become a successful counselor.
  • A resume that fully describes the candidate’s degrees, and importantly, describes the person’s occupational experiences – particularly any counseling experiences obtained.
  • A signed Acknowledgement of On-Campus Residency
  • Documentation of teaching experience for those applying to the School Counseling concentration provided by the applicant’s school system on appropriate letterhead. Applicants without teaching experience must submit a signed Acknowledgement of Teaching Experience.
  • A signed Criminal Background Check acknowledgement form
  • A signed VECHS Waiver Agreement and Statement
  • All transcripts where a degree was conferred. Transcripts must be official copies and should be sent to UT Martin Graduate Studies.
  • A $40 application fee paid prior to application submission.
  • For more information about Graduate Tution, please visit the Office of the Bursar website.
Application Review and Interview

The Admission Committee will review each application packet and determine whether the applicant has met initial requirements to be considered for admission. The applicant will be contacted in order to schedule a virtual interview with a committee member. After the interview the Admission Committee will make a final determination of acceptance and the applicant will be notified.

Admission is dependent upon submission of these documents and a positive review by the Counseling Admission Committee. All supplemental materials listed above must be submitted to the College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences Graduate Programs. Materials should be emailed to; transcripts should be sent to Graduate Studies.

Office of Graduate Studies

227 Administration Building

Martin, TN 38238

Fly higher than ever before with UT Martin
“I have loved my time in the Masters of School Counseling program through he University of Tennessee at Martin. The professors make it the best! They are personally invest in your educational journey and help you transition into your career so easily. ”
Jonna White
Jonna White

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Because we’re part of the University of Tennessee System, UT Martin allows you to take advantage of one of the lowest costs of attendance in the state. And with small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratios, you won’t just be another face in the crowd—you’ll be a valued member of the Skyhawk community.


The University of Tennessee at Martin is a vibrant learning community that combines big-school opportunities with a friendly, small-town feel. Take advantage of top-quality academics that will give you the support you need to soar.

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Master of Science in Education:Counseling - School Counseling
Dr. David Dietrich
240M Gooch Hall
The University of Tennessee at Martin
Martin, TN 38238