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The first online program of its kind nationally, this degree program emphasizes the prevention of mental health problems—within schools, families and communities—and the promotion of positive mental well-being for all children and adolescents.

This 34-hour master's program (31 hours for Educational Specialist) is designed for educators and other community mental health professionals who work with children and adolescents in schools, including elementary and secondary teachers, special education professionals, school counselors, school nurses, administrators, at-risk coordinators and resource officers, safety coordinators, substance abuse coordinators, speech/language pathologists, itinerant and migrant educators.

This program does not provide school counselor certification, nor any professional counseling licensure.


educator with group of students

Courses are designed to offer practical applications of psychological concepts and are taught by experts in the field. The program identifies and deals with issues that threaten the mental health of children and adolescents. Topics include, but are not limited to,

  • School dropout
  • Delinquency
  • Substance use and abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Physical and sexual abuse.

Courses in the program provide a solid base to increase awareness, knowledge and skills in areas such as:

  • Managing disruptive behaviors
  • Collaborating with families
  • Communicating with parents, children and school personnel
  • Diversity issues in schools
  • Building resiliency and optimism in children and adolescents
  • Crisis management
  • Wellness management for school personnel
Carlos Blanco
Mental Health Practices in Schools (EdSp)

Distance learning from MU let Carlos Blanco earn his degree while working full time. Studying counseling psychology helped him build rapport with his own students and show them how to better appreciate others.

Capstone paper

Master of Education (and EdSp) candidates must complete a terminal project or summative experience at the end of the degree program. The department in which the Master of Education candidate's major emphasis resides will determine the format of that experience (e.g., comprehensive exam, project, paper, presentation, portfolio or capstone experience). The candidate must be enrolled at the University during the semester in which a master's project is presented or completed.

In order to fulfill this requirement, the Mental Health Practices in Schools faculty of the Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology require a capstone integrative paper so that students can demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and competencies acquired through the program course work. This is due toward the end of the student's program.


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Commission on Higher Learning of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University of Missouri College of Education is a member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).