M.A. School Counseling
School Counseling Mission
The mission of the school counseling program is to facilitate development of excellence in professional competence, personal growth, and respect for diversity in order to prepare graduates for distinguished service particularly in the areas of leadership, advocacy and support of the educational achievement and life success skills of all students.
This program offers preparation for professional counselors who will serve in the K-12 school setting. School counselor candidates are competent in core knowledge and skills based on Washington State and CACREP standards. They participate in a supervised practicum (100 hours) and internship (600 hours) in the school. The uniqueness of the program is embodied in its cohort model, the development and application of the student's personal theory of counseling, a transformational personal and professional growth process, and the teaching of comprehensive, state of the art school counseling best practices.
Foundational to the School Counseling Program Course are:
- CACREP standards and 12 Washington State standards
- Cohort model
- Comprehensive course of study
- Application of learning in the classroom provided by K-12 practitioners and scholars
- Trained and seasoned supervisors
- Transformational personal and professional growth
School Counseling Student Qualities
Beyond standard graduate admissions requirements, potential students are also interviewed by counseling faculty. Candidates are selected based on their potential for success as counselors. Some indicators of counselor success are:
- High Emotional Intelligence
- Understanding of one's impact on others
- Ability to communicate and inspire trust
- Knowledge of personal strengths and weaknesses
- Leadership potential
- Concern for others
School Counseling Emphasis
Students develop a personal theory of counseling, providing the foundation for their development as a counselor in service to others. While the theory is key to a practitioner's competence, it also serves as a vehicle for personal growth.
A small group of colleagues foster greater understanding while forming a professional network in the cohort model. Students begin and end the program in a group, taking classes together throughout the two-year program. The cohort model offers a unique, supportive learning experience.
Knowledge and Skills
Candidates develop a professional portfolio during the program, a valuable tool for presenting to potential employers. All courses in the core address specific school counseling competencies related to that course. The competency-based curriculum is focused on the most current information in the field and professional practices in the school setting.
Counselor Education Department programs are data driven. Student, faculty and community input and program outcomes are carefully analyzed to inform program change and to better align with mission and the emerging needs of the students and the profession.
The successful school counseling graduate receives a Washington State Educational Staff Associate (ESA) Residency certification for employment in K-12 schools.
"Overall employment of counselors is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012, and job opportunities should be very good because there are more job openings than graduates of counseling programs. In addition, numerous job openings will occur as many counselors retire or leave the profession." - US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook