Why this program?
The Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) in Experiential Counseling is specifically designed for individuals who have already completed a Master’s degree and wish to obtain specialized training and credentialing at a higher degree level. It is ideal for students seeking advanced training in one of the recognized helping professions, or those who are concurrently enrolled in a Master of Science in Counseling at the College.
What can you do with this degree?
The Ed.S. in Experiential Counseling is the perfect program for licensed professionals seeking advanced training as a practitioner and program administrator in Adventure-based or Nature-based Counseling. Grounded in student-centered learning, our Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) in Experiential Counseling balances rigorous scholarship, critical thinking, professional development, and community engagement. It’s not surprising that our graduates learn well and establish vibrant careers across the country.
Graduates of the program go on to experience the following careers:
- Clinical Nature-based Counselor
- Clinical Adventure-based Counselor
- Program Administrator
What will this program look like?
Students exploring Nature-based Counseling will focus on the intersection of mental health and nature-therapy. It is designed for applied practice of the philosophy of ecopsychology that is rooted in the belief that people are part of the web of life and that our psyches are not isolated or separate from our environment. Ecopsychology is informed by systems theory and provides individuals with an opportunity to explore their relationship with nature.
Students exploring Adventure-based Counseling focus on the intersection of mental health and adventure therapy. It is designed for applied practice for the prescriptive use of adventure experiences, often conducted in natural settings, that kinesthetically engage clients on cognitive, somatic, affective, and behavioral levels. Adventure-based therapy is informed by systems theory and provides individuals with an opportunity to explore their clinical goals in the present moment, during the point of performance.
Key Program Information
Number of Credits
Cost Per Credit
Completed Spring 2024 Application Deadline:
December 20, 2023
Spring 2024 Start Date:
January 16, 2024
Saturday, January 13, 2024
Admissions & Apply
- Students will develop skills and knowledge necessary to facilitate and/or to provide support and oversight of the incorporation of the experience of adventure or nature-based counseling and outdoor therapy modalities to provide culturally relevant mental health healing as well as to facilitate well-being. This includes an understanding of the history of the field, foundational theory, treatment applications and interventions, risk management, assessment, and evaluation;
- The Curriculum focuses on critical thinking skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to facilitate and/or to provide support and oversight counseling that integrates clinical adventure-based and nature-based interventions, including ethical considerations, cultural relevance, risk mitigation, clinical applications, and current research;
- Students develop competencies in adventure or nature-based counseling administration applicable in a range of placement settings (i.e., educational, clinical, private practice, school-based, residential treatment, community- based, hospital, etc.), environmental settings (i.e., back-country, front-country, urban), clinical modalities (i.e.,individual, group, family, couples), and clinical populations (i.e., various diagnoses).
- Concentration areas include*:
- Adventure-based Counseling, which focuses on clinical experiences that kinesthetically engage clients on cognitive, somatic, affective, and behavioral levels
- Nature-based Counseling, grounded in the philosophy of ecopsychology and nature-based interventions that aim to improve mental and physical wellbeing through doing outdoor activities in nature.
- *Students must select one of the above concentrations and complete both coursework and applied clinical experiences. Coursework is completed in both general content areas and clinical areas unique to the program specialty. Students will successfully complete at least 100 hours of clinical experience.
- The Experiential Counseling Ed.S.degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The Higher Learning Commission has approved Prescott College to offer all of its degree titles via distance education.
Click to view program requirements and academic program information in the Course Catalog.
Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Experiential Counseling
Jessica Schooley was one of the first three Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Experiential Counseling program graduates from Prescott College! Her senior capstone discussed “A Survey of the Field: Considerations for the Integration of EMDR Therapy and Outdoor Therapies From the Perspective of Practitioners.”
From her senior project, Jessica would like individuals to know, “Historically there have been limited options for adults to encounter adventure and nature-based counseling. With my degree, I hope to meet this need in the field by combining my clinical experience as a trauma specialist with the healing components of nature and adventure for adults seeking an alternative to traditional in-office work.”
Careers & Opportunities
The Ed.S. in Experiential Counseling is the perfect program for licensed professionals seeking advanced training as a practitioner and program administrator in Adventure-based or Nature-based Counseling.
Our Career Services team works with you to map out a plan that works for your goals and your life. There are many ways to get where you’re going, and we’ve seen it all!
Are you interested in being part of our community?
One thing we all have in common is our passion – passion for helping others, passion for the environment, passion for social justice and a passion for a different kind of learning experience.