1) Application information and forms and link to the graduate calendar can be found here:
2) You will find program planning outlines here:
Please refer to website information before forwarding inquiries to the School of Education.
Acadia offers a number of graduate education courses and programs for students through a variety of on-line and distance delivery modes. These modes include on-site cohorts (generally arranged through school boards and located in a variety of sites within the Province) as well as on-line access. As yet, we do not guarantee that any graduate program in education is entirely available on-line; part-time students at a distance and not in a cohort generally need to be available to take some summer and/or evening courses on-site in order to complete the program. Nonetheless, Acadia continuously offers a number of graduate courses on-line. Information about available courses, applications for Independent student status (to take a course without or before admission to a graduate program), and about current cohorts is available from Open Acadia at http://www.openacadiau.ca .
The list of upcoming courses can be searched here: https://med.acadiau.ca/home.html by entering EDUCATION and the TERM you wish to search.
NOTE: while some courses are offered open-entry, the listing of many of the upcoming courses is updated the semester previous to offering.
All graduate education students should be aware that their degree will normally include a combination of face-to-face, on-line and hybrid courses. Students wishing to do complete programs online will not be able to do so at Acadia as, especially for part time cohorts, summer schools offer face-to-face core courses. Full-time students will take a majority of courses face-to-face, but they will normally be expected to take at least one course on-line so that they have direct distributed learning experiences. Face-to-face courses may be offered through a variety of models including but not limited to: three hours once a week over 12 weeks; 4 weekends (Friday night and Saturday); 6 Saturdays; or two and three week intensive courses in the summer intersession.
The M.Ed. (Counselling) program (both full-time and part-time) is not offered exclusively on-line due to the nature of the core courses in Counselling and the associated Regional/National Certification Requirements.
Each year, based on the regional requests and the available human resources, a decision is made whether to offer a part-time cohort in Counselling. The nature and location of the cohort is part of this decision-making process as the needs of the Counselling community vary widely and the faculty cannot possibly respond to all requests. It is best to check with Counselling faculty or the graduate coordinator in early fall before applying to a part-time cohort.
The letter of intent should include the nature and focus of study you wish to pursue in a graduate program. It should also include a discussion of relevant academic study and professional experience related to your program interests. Those applying to the counselling program should outline their motivations and expectations in reference to the counselling program.
There is no particular format or length required in your letter of intent; the point of the application is to make a compelling argument that you are prepared for graduate studies.
An academic reference is provided by a person who can comment, firsthand, on your post-secondary academic achievement and skills as well as your potential to undertake graduate study. This information is usually submitted by a former course instructor or professor or thesis/research supervisor.
A professional reference is provided by a person who is familiar with the applicant's work life and experiences and can speak to how those experiences relate to the proposed program of academic study.
Reference form (for M.Ed. applicants ONLY) - Two references are required:
- one academic reference from a recent instructor/teacher/professor.
- one professional reference from someone other than an instructor/teacher/professor who would be familiar with your work yet not a family member.
NOTE REGARDING ACADEMIC REFERENCE: If you have not taken a course (undergraduate or graduate) in the last five years, you may substitute the required academic reference with a professional reference. This is the only circumstance in which two professional references are acceptable.
When you assemble your application keep a few things in mind:
- Transcripts take time to be transferred between universities; start the process early!
- Reference letters take time to write and you should request these of your past professors very early. Be diligent in seeking our academic references. Sometimes you may even have to meet with potential referees at work sites if email requests don't seem to be answered.
- IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL THAT YOU INDICATE IN YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE WHICH REFERENCES FALL INTO EACH CATEGORY (CHECK MARK THE BOXES). YOUR APPLICATION CAN BE DENIED BASED ON THIS INCOMPLETE COMPONENT.
The graduate application process is competitive. At the point of applying to the M.Ed. Counselling program, applicants must have the equivalent of two years of full-time, paid, relevant experience following completion of their four-year undergraduate degree. The two full-time equivalent (FTE) years may be accumulated over a period longer than two years. Relevant work experience for those applying to the School Counselling stream includes teaching and/or other related work. Relevant work experience for those applying to the Agency stream is 'helping-focused' employment in social services areas (that calls for strong interpersonal and communication skills). Relevant volunteer work in addition to the two FTE years will be considered an asset. Please note that study cannot be counted as related experience. For mature applicants who pursued their degree(s) later in life, consideration will be given to paid work prior to commencement of post-secondary studies.
NOTE: WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MATURE APPLICANTS, THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED TWO FTE YEARS OF PAID, RELEVANT, POST-UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE WORK EXPERIENCE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED IN THE REVIEW PROCESS.
If you do not meet the B (73-76%) average requirement in the courses taken in your last two years (or 60 credit hours) of university study your application will be considered under the following conditions:
a) You document a minimum of 8 years of work experience since graduation, in a field related to counselling
b) You submit your score (that meets or exceeds the mean) on the Verbal Reasoning component of the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) with your application.
The minimum eligibility requirement is successful completion of 120 credit hours of university study. Typically this requirement is met by completion of a 4-year undergraduate degree. This criterion also may be met by other degree combinations that add up to at least 120 credit hours. For example, you might hold a 3-year undergraduate degree plus a Bachelor of Education degree, or a 3-year undergraduate degree plus a master’s degree. As long as the total credit hours earned across the degrees equates to or exceeds 120, this criterion will be satisfied.
If you hold a 3-year degree only (90 credit hours), and so do not meet the 120 credit-hour requirement for acceptance into Graduate Studies, you can establish an equivalent standing by successfully completing an extra 30 credit hours of university courses prior to applying. Although there are no specifications for the additional coursework, you are encouraged to complete courses in the social sciences such as anthropology, communication studies, psychology, public health, and sociology. Alternatively, if you have a minimum of 8 years of work experience since graduation, you may submit your score on the Verbal Reasoning component of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with your application in lieu of additional coursework. A university transcript for a 3-year degree (90 credit hours), plus a GRE Verbal Reasoning score of 150 or higher (the score range is 130-170), will confer eligibility for the MEd Counselling program.
For the Counselling M.Ed., the School of Education does not approve deferrals. Students that do not accept an offer must reapply in subsequent years.
For M.Ed. programs that operate using a cohort model (i.e. operating conditionally based on levels of interest and availability of faculty), the School of Education will not approve deferrals, in that they can't guarantee that the following year such a program can be offered.
For regularly offered ongoing M.Ed. programs, students can access a deferral based on the important conditions below.
Pay particular attention to the following three caveats:
a) You are required to indicate to the graduate coordinator that you wish to defer your acceptance to next year within 30 days of your admissions letter.
b) When you decide to return next year, you will be required to submit the following as part of the re-application process:
- The application fee
- The application form
- An updated resume
- Additional transcripts if you have undertaken courses during the year. *If no new courses have been added, we will access digital copies of your transcripts on file.
c) If students are unable to accept their offer of admission and want to defer approval, they must reapply the following year prior to March 15.
The School of Education offers a limited number of research assistantships valued between $1,500 and $4,500. The competitive process requires that a School of Education faculty member and full time M.Ed. student, submit a joint application that clearly demonstrates the way in which the work supports faculty research development while serving as a substantive research experience for the student. First preference will be given to full-time thesis students after which full-time non-thesis student applications will be considered. The application form is available through the School of Education.
Potential external / internal funding: http://gradstudies.acadiau.ca/fees_funding.html
Non-program students may take up to 12 credit hours (4 courses) as independent students (see: https://med.acadiau.ca/programs.html) to be counted toward a graduate program upon admission to the program. For MEd courses, independent students do not need to meet the two years' employment experience (which is a requirement for MEd program application). There are some restrictions on independent students taking core courses, especially in Counselling (check with Joy Cunningham, MEd Programs Course Manager, for more details).
Please note, admission as an independent student does not guarantee admission to the program due to the competitive nature of the admissions process. Nonetheless, if you meet the academic admission requirements for an MEd program, you may consider taking up to four courses as an independent student. Independent students are admitted to courses on a space availability basis.
Courses that are good choices for the independent student are:
- EDUC 50G3 Research Literacy (if you are certain that you will not be completing a thesis),
- EDUC 5003 (Theories of Human Development & Learning),
- and either EDUC 50J3 (Principles of Assessment for Counselling) *for those hoping to enter the Counselling program or EDUC 5303 (Principles of Assessment) *for those hoping to enter other MEd programs.
These are best because they are either required courses or appropriate electives for all MEd programs.
Additional options for those hoping to enter the Counselling program include:
- EDUC 5553 Topics in Counselling - Counselling and Spirituality
- EDUC 5563 Career Counselling
The School of Education does not routinely provide advice concerning the choice of electives. Any program-specific requirements or restrictions are noted in the calendar; in the absence of any such limitations you may assume that an elective which complements your area of study is suitable.
>>If the course(s) has already been completed, a form for “Transfer of previously completed courses” can be found at: http://education.acadiau.ca/forms-resources/articles/med-students.html . Complete this form and send an electronic copy (preferably pdf) to the Graduate Coordinator (email@example.com) along with the following information/documents in the attachment: 1) the program you are enrolled in at Acadia and your student number, 2) a copy of the transcript showing that the course is at the graduate level, and 3) a course description from the graduate calendar along with a syllabus from the host institution. The Graduate Coordinator will consider your request and if approved, will place the approval in your file at the School of Education with a copy to the Acadia Registrar.
>>If the course has not yet been completed, email the Graduate Coordinator concerning the suitability of the course(s) you wish to take. In the event that your request is supported, you will need to fill out and submit the form found at: http://education.acadiau.ca/forms-resources/articles/med-students.html .
The process: the School of Education's Graduate Coordinator reviews your transfer credit application and then forwards our assessment to the Acadia University Registrar's Office for final processing. The Registrar's Office contacts the institution from which courses are to be transferred and then forwards a letter to the student outlining the approved number of credit hours to be counted towards their Acadia program.
Principles informing transfer credits:
- Transfer credits are only accepted from universities that have a faculty of Research and Graduate Studies.
- Credits can be transferred only if students are registered in a graduate program at Acadia.
- Courses can be transferred only if they have not been used to satisfy the requirements for another degree or diploma either at Acadia University or elsewhere.
- Courses transferred need to make sense in terms of the student's program at Acadia. Transfer is not automatic, i.e., it requires approval.
- In the case where a student is applying to transfer a credit to replace a mandatory course, the course syllabus is sent by the Coordinator to an appropriate faculty member for assessment. The general principle guiding transfers in this case is that the course elsewhere must be "essentially the same" as the mandatory course it replaces.
Important note #1: If the course is from another University the transfer will not appear on your Acadia transcript until an official transcript from the corresponding institution is received by the Acadia Registrar’s Office.
Important note #2: It is then incumbent on the student to monitor their transcript to see that the appropriate credit has been assigned by the Registrar. In an ongoing iterative process, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to ensure that they meet degree requirements. If you have questions after checking your Acadia transcript, contact the Acadia University Registrar's Office.
In the case where a required course is essentially the same as a course a student has taken in another graduate program, students may request a waiver of that course, to then be replaced by an elective course in the student's program at Acadia. Application for a waiver must be made in writing to the Graduate Coordinator using the WaiverForm at: http://education.acadiau.ca/forms-resources/articles/med-students.html .
Students registered in a graduate program are permitted to do 120 hours of professional development activities to be counted towards course credit in "Educational Explorations-EDUC 5143". The criteria for those 120 hours are specific to guidelines outlined below. (If you have questions about crediting your professional development work please forward them to the Graduate Coordinator.) As students accumulate the requisite 120 hours, they should fill out the "Education Explorations Form" available at: http://education.acadiau.ca/forms-resources/articles/med-students.html under "Specialized Courses". Instructions for completion of the application package are also included at the same site.
Where possible, as students accumulate/compile their professional development hours, they should establish a "dropbox" (see https://www.dropbox.com/) where they place all of the required forms (available above) and scans of the supporting certificates of completion/documentation and supporting letters. When students are satisfied they have the required hours and justification, they should send a "dropbox" link to the Graduate Coordinator such that the application can be evaluated. It is important in the documentation to state your 1) nine-digit Acadia ID number, 2) your program of study, and 3) your cohort (if applicable). **Please assign file names that distinguish application forms and certificates/letters, etc. In the event that all documentation and justification is deemed adequate, students will receive a follow up e-mail instructing them to register in EDUC 5143 - Educational Explorations.
The following principles guide credit in Educational Explorations (EDUC 5143):
- The PD must be voluntary. Students cannot use PD hours that are required of them as part of their job or that are done on mandatory PD days (such as provincial in-service day in October).
- The PD must total 120 hours. This is a combination of in-class and out-of-class time, such as would be required for assignments and outside reading.
- In most cases, the 120 hours of PD must be completed while students are registered in a graduate program at Acadia, i.e., they cannot use workshops or other activities they have done prior to entering one of our graduate programs (see exceptions below).
- The PD must be documented and verified. Documentation can include certificates provided for workshops, etc, or descriptions of programs that have been verified (signed) by a supervisor.
- Students must register in, and pay for, EDUC 5143 once it has been approved by the Coordinator.
Exceptions (i.e., accepted even if done prior to graduate program entry):
- Module One plus any other two modules offered by the Nova Scotia Educational Leadership Consortium (NSELC).
- Module One (NSELC) plus the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board Leadership Development Program (signed certificate required).
- Module One (NSELC) plus the Halifax Regional School Board Leadership Development Program (signed certificate required).
- The Program for Aspiring and New Program Support (PAN PST) offered by the South Shore Regional School Board plus any two modules offered by NSELC.
- A registered Reading Recovery program completed within the last seven years.
- AVRSB Resource Teacher training programs.
- Participation in a school accreditation as a co-chair.
IMPORTANT CAVEAT: For credit, the above must have been completed within 8 years as per academic regulations in the Acadia University calendar.
Because of supervision requirements established by external regulation, all practicum experiences must be undertaken concurrent with registration in EDUC 5066, Seminar and Practicum in Counselling. Over the four-month practicum period, students accrue professional experience at their practicum site, receive supervision both from the site supervisor and from the course instructor, and participate in a seminar class. Given that most students in cohorts engage in school-based practica, EDUC 5066 is scheduled in September or January when school is in session. If a jurisdiction cannot accommodate all placements in a given term, a second section of practicum normally is arranged for the following term (i.e., September through December or January through April). Students are required to be available full-time for four months to complete the experiential, supervision, and didactic components of practicum.
School-based Counselling students who will be requesting a leave from their School Board in order to undertake EDUC 5066 - Seminar and Practicum may request a Leave Support Letter from the School of Education. The letter will confirm that arrangements are in place for the student to take EDUC 5066 and that the School of Education supports a leave during a specified time period. Include your 9-digit student ID when requesting a letter. Requests may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 902-585-1759.
Students should expect a variety of course delivery formats and be prepared to adjust their schedules to accommodate different models. Modes of course delivery in graduate programs include on-line, face-to-face formats and models that blend the two. Between September and June, face-to-face classes may be held in evenings, on Friday nights, or using an all-day Saturday model. For full-time students, courses are also given during the day through the week. On-line courses are also a possibility. In July and August, various formats of shorter-term, intensive instruction are used. Students should be prepared to experience all forms of course delivery in the course of their studies. It is not possible to arrange the format of classes to fit the needs of individual students.
Review your progress by referring to your program planning form and the requirements stated in the Acadia University Academic Calendar for your year of entry.
Visit http://registrar.acadiau.ca/GraduationandConvocation.html for details about dates and processes.
If you require a letter confirming completion of degree requirements, it may be requested from the Graduate Education Course Manager, Division of Research and Graduate Studies. Letters and verifications of enrolment require a written request. Please allow a few days for their completion. E-mail your request to: email@example.com .
The Office of Research and Graduate Studies requires the following documents from applicants who are re-applying:
- New application noting the student number from the previous application.
- Application processing fee
- Previous references/transcripts:
- If you applied for admission for 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies has your transcripts stored electronically. You will need to supply new letters of reference.
- If you first applied for admission for 2016-17 your transcripts and letters of reference are stored electronically and may be used for your 2017-18 application if your previous application was no more than one year ago.
- General policy: New letters of reference are required if you are reapplying to a M.Ed. program and your first (original) application was more than one year ago.
- Updated resume
- If applicable, official transcript of academic work undertaken elsewhere since the initial Acadia application.
The M.Ed. in Counselling is an intensive 48-credit-hour program requiring students in the full-time cohort to take courses during the daytime as well as some evenings over a 14-month period. Students cannot maintain a full-time job and participate at the level required in the program. Part-time work should not exceed 12 hours per week. In circumstances where a student works part-time, it is not permissible to miss any class time or practicum time due to work commitments.
With respect to course materials:
a) If you are trying to determine whether a book is required for a course, contact the University Bookstore (902-585-1201); they have a complete list of required texts supplied well in advance by the course instructors.
b) If ACORN is to be used for course management, it is not often turned on until shortly before the course begins given that instructors are making final adjustments. Please be patient and wait for the first scheduled meeting to get the details of how ACORN will be used to support the course experience.
Full time students should be aware that they have access to Medical and Dental coverage while at Acadia.
All students who are enrolled in the Master of Education in Counselling program at Acadia University must complete a practicum component involving work with children and/or vulnerable adults and will have to undergo a Nova Scotia Criminal Record Check, Vulnerable Sector Search, and Child Abuse Register Search. Prior to commencing practicum, all students are required to obtain and pass in to the main office in the School of Education the following documents (obtained no more than six months prior to the start of practicum):
1. Nova Scotia Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check
2. Nova Scotia Child Abuse Register Request for Search (This program requirement pertains whether or not the student’s practicum will involve minor clients. The form is available online at https://novascotia.ca/coms/families/abuse/documents/CAR-4001_Request_for_Search_Form_A.pdf).
Students are asked to make and keep photocopies of the original documents.
PLEASE NOTE: STUDENTS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO BE AT THEIR PRACTICUM SITE UNTIL THE ABOVE DOCUMENTATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED.
If a student’s Criminal Record Check, Vulnerable Sector Search, and/or Child Abuse Register Search results are positive for history, the student will be asked to meet with an academic advisor to explain the nature of that history. If it is determined that there is potential risk to children and/or vulnerable adults, the student will not be permitted to register for practicum. Because successful completion of a practicum is a requirement of the MEd Counselling program, non-eligibility to undertake a practicum will preclude completion of the program.
Notification of MEd Counselling program admission decisions generally will take place three to four months after the application deadline. Applications are processed one cohort at a time, beginning with the full-time cohort. First, applications are reviewed and assessed by School of Education faculty. Shortlisted applicants then are invited to participate in an interview. All of the components of the application process are considered in admission recommendations: letter of intent, résumé or CV, letters of reference, transcripts, and interview. Applicants will receive written notification as to whether they are being offered admission, are on a waitlist (this applies whether or not an applicant was interviewed), or will not be considered for that intake period either because an admission criterion has not been met (e.g., minimum of four years of university studies, B average or higher in the most recent two FTE years of study, minimum of two years of FTE post-degree employment experience) or the application was completed after the deadline.
Waitlists remain active until June 30 of the intake year.
Please be assured that applicants will be notified of their application status as soon as that information is available. Given the high volume of applications being processed, we ask that applicants refrain from contacting the School of Education or Research and Graduate Studies to seek updates.
Students in the full-time and part-time cohorts commence the M.Ed. Counselling program with a three-week on-campus Summer Institute that typically begins on the first weekday following the July 1 holiday. During these three weeks, students will attend an Orientation Day and will complete two courses in daily morning and afternoon classes.
All aspects of the admissions process are conducted separately/independently for the full-time and part-time cohorts, including review and shortlisting of applications, interviews, and admissions decisions. Therefore, applicants are asked to identify the cohort model that best meets their graduate study needs and/or preferences and make their application accordingly, to one cohort only.
The M.Ed. Counselling program operates on a cohort model, which means that students stay with the same group from the beginning of their program through to graduation. Students who are admitted into a part-time cohort and wish to transfer to a full-time cohort must apply in writing to the Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Education by December 1st in order to be considered for transfer in the next academic year. The request for transfer will be considered along with all other full-time applications for the next intake period. Students who transfer to the full-time cohort will have to register in a sufficient number of courses in the following fall and winter semesters to be considered full-time students.
Students who are admitted into a full-time cohort and wish to transfer to a part-time cohort may do so only if they have completed EDUC 5033 and EDUC 5133 during the first summer of their program of studies, and if there is room available in the cohort to which they are applying. This request also must be made in writing to the Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Education.
Given that the degree is a generalist M.Ed. Counselling (and no stream is indicated on the transcript or diploma), with considerable overlap of at least 36 credit hours of common coursework, there is latitude in subsequent employment possibilities. Prospective students who contemplate working as a school counsellor in the public school system at some point are advised to verify the requirements in the provinces, territories, or countries of interest. Generally, eligibility criteria include having earned both a B.Ed. degree and an M.Ed. Counselling degree. Employers may also require, or favour, completion of a school-based practicum and the EDUC 50C3 School Counselling Programs course.
Graduates of the School Counselling stream are permitted to work in agency settings (referring to any setting other than P-12 school settings), including private practice. Like their colleagues who graduate from the Agency Counselling stream, there will be an ethical expectation that they document and demonstrate competency in the areas of practice pursued, by virtue of their education and supervised experience. Competencies may be developed within and subsequent to the period of graduate study.
Write a letter (or e-mail) to the Graduate Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting the program change and outlining the reasons for requesting the change.
Due to the volume of applications to the MEd Counselling program each year, faculty are not able to follow up admission decisions with individual meetings or phone or email conversations. Each MEd Counselling program cohort is capped at 20, representing a blend of School Counselling stream and Agency Counselling stream admissions. The admissions process is highly competitive and generally there is a significant surplus of applications from well-qualified applicants, relative to the number of seats in a program cohort. Ultimately, the outcome of an application comes down to the nature and composition of an applicant pool in a given year. For this reason, it is difficult to offer specific advice related to improving an applicant’s chances of future admission.
All of the components of the application process are considered in final determinations: letter of intent, résumé or CV, letters of reference, transcripts, and interview. Sometimes it can be helpful for applicants to gain additional relevant volunteer or paid employment experience or to complete additional university coursework to boost GPA. If not admitted in the year of initial application, some applicants opt to register with Acadia as an “Independent” or non-program student. There are a few graduate counselling-related courses that are available to Independent students. Although successful completion of these courses does not guarantee future admission, up to 12 credit hours may be counted toward the MEd Counselling degree if the student is subsequently admitted to the MEd Counselling program.
The full-time Counselling Program is 14 months in duration, beginning the first week of July upon entry into the program, and ending the second week of August the following summer.