Foundations in School & Counselling Psychology


Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma (4 course program) towards the MEd Interdisciplinary


Fully Online


One year (4 consecutive terms)


Graduate Program Administrator:
Megan Freeman

Academic Program Co-coordinators:
Dr. Michelle Drefs

Dr. Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn

Program Overview

This educational psychology topic provides an introduction to contemporary school and counselling psychology. It will facilitate an understanding of the foundation of these disciplines, empirical and theoretical advances, and the relevance and application of school and counselling psychology to child, youth, and adult development, learning, and mental health. This four-course topic has been constructed and developed recognizing the need to both highlight and to address the mental health needs of children, youth, and adults within and outside of the educational systems and the necessary requirement to have both a better informed public and more highly qualified professionals within school and counselling psychology.

Program Details

Courses in this program are offered fully online. Courses are held in both an asynchronous environment (D2L) and a synchronous (real-time) environment (Zoom) which allows instructors to virtually meet and talk with students and experience a live exchange of ideas, hear class presentations and do group work with access to a whiteboard. For additional information regarding online delivery, refer to the eLearn website.

Specifically, this topic focuses on:

  1. Introducing students to the professions of school and counselling psychology with respect to ethical issues, standards, and practices, as well as the theories and empirical findings that contribute to and guide the professional practice of school and counselling psychologists
  2. Identifying biological, social, cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, gender-related factors in development and learning across the lifespan
  3. Teaching current theory and research related to psychopathology, human diversity, cultural, and social influences on behavior; societal stressors; issues in schools and communities, and other factors
  4. Teaching communication knowledge and skills in counselling, guidance, and consultation

This topic is organized, structured, and delivered in a way that individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree (e.g., social sciences, humanities, education) and professionals in the field who work with children, youth, and adults (e.g.,. teachers, nurses, social workers, and various mental health professionals and paraprofessionals) can further enhance their professional capacity and /or transition to advanced education in school and counselling psychology. 

A registration package will be sent to new students after they have been admitted. Registration for the summer term will be available in late winter. Fall and Winter registration opens in the spring. Your Graduate Program Administrator will send more information about registration to you.

Fee details are available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

The University of Calgary offers multiple ways to meet the cost of your education. Please refer to the Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries page to learn more about options available to students. For additional information, please contact Student Financial Support.

Program Schedule & Course Descriptions

  • Program begins each Summer term (refer to the Academic Schedule for specific dates)
  • Outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L
  • 3 units per course

Term 1 - Summer

Introduction to School Psychology

This course will introduce students to the field of school psychology and will focus on the preparation, roles, functions, and employment of school psychologists as well as the regulation, evaluation, and accountability of school psychologists. In addition, this course will increase students' knowledge of the scientific foundations of school psychology, assessment approaches of school psychologists, the applications of school psychology within schools, and school psychology based interventions.

Registration info:
EDPS 693.18 S01 (50041)

Term 2 - Fall

Introduction to Counselling Psychology

Counselling psychology is a broad specialization within professional psychology which is concerned with applying psychological principles to enhance and promote the positive growth, well-being, and mental health of individuals, families, groups, and the broader community. This course will provide an introduction to the profession of counselling as a whole, including core values, ethical issues and standards, and the theories that contribute to and guide the professional practice of counsellors. 

Registration info:
EDPS 693.19 S02 (71177)

Term 3 - Winter

Child Development

This course will focus on theories of child development, research strategies for investigating child development, foundations of child development, cognitive development of children and youth, social-emotional development of children and youth, and the impact of context and culture on child development.

Registration info:
EDPS 693.20 S02 (11087)

Term 4 - Spring

Communication Skills in Guidance, Counselling & Consultation

Students will learn to distinguish facilitative and non-facilitative communications by analyzing the effects that their communications have on others both directly and through observation roles in class. Skill development will involve the use of lecture, demonstration; digitally recorded interviews, instructor feedback, participation in dialogues as listener, speaker, or observer; and individual reflective practice.

Registration info:
EDPS 693.22 S02