Program Overview

The University of West Alabama offers a certificate in School Counseling which is available entirely online. Students seeking certification are required to complete a general survey course in Special Education (3 semester hours). A research component including research and/or field work will be an integral part of all specialist programs in education.

Candidates who have taken courses for credit in a master’s level program cannot take the same courses for credit in the education specialist program. Completion of sixth-year programs requires at least 30 semester hours of credit not used for prior level certification in the same teaching field.

In order to be admitted into the School Counseling certification program, candidates must meet all requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. Prospective individuals must provide verification of background clearance/fingerprints, hold a valid master’s-level certification in School Counseling, and have had recent experience in the area of specialization.

The following requirements must be met prior to completion of the sixth-year programs. Candidates need to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in all courses in the approved program as verified on an official transcript with no grade less than a "C", make a satisfactory score on a written comprehensive examination documenting mastery of the curriculum of the teacher education program, and must demonstrate leadership ability in their area of specialization.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Certificate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

    All teacher certification programs are accredited by The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs. NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel.


    Candidates must:

    • Meet all requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies.
    • Provide verification of background clearance/fingerprints.
    • Hold a valid masters level certification in School Counseling.
    • Have had recent experience in the area of specialization.


    If an individual completes an Alabama Education Specialist program based on a master’s level certificate from another state and applies for Alabama certification at the Class AA level, the individual must earn an Alabama Class A (master’s level) Professional Educator Certificate prior to applying for the Class AA certificate.

    School Overview

    The University of West Alabama, also known as UWA, is a public university that is situated on a rural, 600 acre campus in Livingston, Alabama. UWA was established in 1835 as a church-affiliated female school known as the Livingston Female Academy. UWA was founded by Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and its purpose was to provide an education to future teachers while also offering classes in music, art, home economics and languages. The name of the institution changed to the Alabama Normal College for Girls and Livingston Female Academy in 1883, and offered students the choice of either two or four year academic programs.  In 1929, the college was renamed the Livingston State Teachers College, and became Livingston State College in 1957, Livingston University in 1967 and received its current name, The University of West Alabama, in 1995.

    UWA offers bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees through the following academic divisions:

    • College of Business and Technology
    • College of Education
    • College of Liberal Arts
    • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
    • Division of Nursing
    • School of Graduate Studies

    The online program at UWA offers master’s and education specialist degrees, and also offers bachelor's degrees in business technology, business administration, and accounting. Online courses are offered over the time frame of eight weeks, and five sessions are available per year, which makes it possible for students to finish their program in an accelerated manner.


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