Counselor Education Program

The Counselor Education Program, operating on two campuses, West Palm Beach and Orlando, is designed to prepare students to seek Florida licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling or Florida certification in School Counseling. For those who do not plan to seek licensure but would like to advance their understanding of human development, wellness, and helping skills, the major in General Counseling Studies is recommended. This degree is designed to provide students with both a foundational knowledge of the helping process and the opportunity to concentrate in areas important to their interests and career goals.

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The mission of the Counselor Education Program is to facilitate a holistic educational experience, through which students develop personal and professional qualities, competencies, ethical judgment, and spiritual awareness, as they prepare for professional service in school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, student affairs or for advanced study in a related field.

Program Distinction

The heritage of Christian faith expressed in the University's values and the knowledge discovered within the counseling and helping professions have shaped the Counselor Education Program's "distinctively Christian and clinically professional" identity. Through a rigorous academic curriculum, field-based experiential learning, personal growth experiences, and a close mentoring relationships with highly skilled faculty, students are prepared to enter the field of professional counseling in a wide variety of settings, including schools and universities, community agencies, private practices, humanitarian and government agencies.

Located in culturally and ethnically diverse South and Central Florida, PBA’s counseling program attracts and serves the student body representative of the local demographics. Located in culturally and ethnically diverse South and Central Florida, PBA’s counseling program attracts and serves the student body representative of the local demographics. Many of them speak other languages and are deeply engaged in service and advocacy for under-served groups and causes.

Methods of Instruction

Instruction is primarily offered in a traditional, residential format, with a growing number of courses taught online or as a hybrid. Courses specific to concentrations in Student Affairs and Higher Education and Crisis and Trauma Counseling are offered entirely online. The certificate program in Crisis and Trauma Counseling is offered entirely online. Play Therapy concentration and graduate certificate programs are offered residentially, in a traditional setting or as a hybrid. All programs, concentrations and certificates are available on both locations (West Palm Beach and Orlando).

Optional Concentrations


Additional Training

  • Addictions (you will find this info under Certified Addiction Professional in the Catalog)

  • Earn a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Achieve undergraduate minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale with exceptions, on a case-by-case basis
  • Submit:
    • Online application and application fee
    • Official transcript from college/university where bachelor's degree was conferred and from college/university where prerequisite courses were taken
    • Three confidential Counselor Education recommendation forms
    • Essay (prompt provided)
    • Official GRE or MAT test score*
  • Faculty Interview

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Millers Analogy Test (MAT). GRE/MAT are waived for students that have earned a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or higher.

Note: Admission decision recommendations are made by the Counselor Education Program's Faculty Selection Committee and include consideration of each applicant's articulation of career goals, record of academic achievement, relevant preparation and experience, potential success in becoming a counselor, and attitude of openness to diverse cultures and people.


Palm Beach Atlantic makes every effort to offer financial assistance through a variety of programs (federal and institutional) to deserving students. Scholarships are available for qualified students ranging from $1,000 - $4,000 based on full-time status. In addition, Federal Work-study awards and student loans may also be available. Students must apply for financial aid each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) online at

Learn more about opportunities for Financial Aid; for questions on work-study or loan eligibility please contact

  • (cost per credit hour and the entire program)
  • $1,000 scholarship

Department Contact 


Olga Dietlin

Program Co-Chair, Academic Unit Leader
The School of Education and Behavioral Studies Counselor Education (GR)

work email

office: (561) 803-2612