What does it take to become a social change agent? Meet the faculty and students in the School Counseling program at Seattle University who are making positive changes in their communities through advocacy and concern for justice.

Prepare to Lead the Change

The mission of the School Counseling program at Seattle University is to prepare professional school counselors to be ethical, reflective, and multiculturally competent leaders and change agents to work in K-12 schools, both public and private. The School Counseling program at Seattle University has a rich tradition of preparing professional school counselors for nearly four decades.

Seattle University’s School Counseling program is a national leader in preparing graduates to be professional school counselors in both private and public school settings. The program holds the distinction of being the first school counseling program in Seattle to be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP is the leading accrediting body for master’s level counseling programs in the country. The school counseling program meets or exceeds the accreditation standards of CACREP, the school counselor benchmarks set forth by the Professional Educator Standards Board, and the framework of the American School Counselor Association’s National Model for school counseling. Another unique distinction of the program is that graduates are eligible to pursue licensure as a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and certification as a substance use disorder professional (SUPD) in Washington state. These distinctions provide graduates with many career opportunities after graduation. The School Counseling program is also ranked as the top graduate counseling program in Seattle by Top Counseling Schools based on program completion rate, job placement rate, licensing exam pass rates, accreditation length, research productivity of faculty, and cost of tuition and fees.

The counseling faculty are also national leaders in their respective areas of research. Counseling faculty are involved at the state and national levels regarding school counseling issues. This School Counseling program is the only program in the nation where school counselor graduates are eligible to pursue Washington State substance use disorder professional certification upon graduation. This distinction positions our school counseling graduates to address substance abuse issues affecting K-12 youth in schools.

Graduates of the program leave with a deep understanding of the academic, career, and social/emotional issues impacting K-12 youth, they possess the knowledge and skills to create a compressive school counseling program, and they have a deep commitment to social justice.

Program Features

  • Designed for the working adult
  • Accessible faculty
  • In-person courses that begin at 4pm as well as hybrid and online course offerings for flexible scheduling and ideal learning conditions
  • Faculty who are leaders in the field and nationally recognized for their research
  • Our field placement courses have small class sizes of no more than 12 students
  • Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Prepares students for Residency level Educational Staff Associate (ESA) Certification in K-12 settings, public and private
    • Licensed Mental Health Counselor certification and Washington State Substance Use Disorder certification eligible
Admission Rate
Program Completion Rate
Placement Rate*

*underestimate because not all graduates could be reached

Program Objectives

The School Counseling's Program Objectives are to develop:

  • Ethical and professional school counselors who are prepared to be technologically competent, professional, ethical decision-makers, and knowledgeable of legal matters.
  • School counselors as multicultural and social justice competent leaders prepared to tailor their approach to align with clients' cultural worldview, practice advocacy, value diversity and promote social justice.
  • School counselors who use knowledge of human growth and development prepared to improve client understanding, well-being, addictions and to enhance resiliency from a multicultural and social justice framework.
  • School counselors with career development knowledge and skills prepared to help individuals make informed career decisions.
  • Demonstrate understanding and application of established and emerging counseling prepared with effective use of empowerment techniques for working with diverse populations.
  • School counselors with assessment understanding prepared to assess individuals' abilities, aptitudes, achievements, and interests.
  • School counselors with research and evaluation skills prepared to research and evaluate services and make research-based professional judgments.
  • School counselors as change agents prepared to plan, implement and evaluate a student-centered, data-driven school counseling program that advances the mission of the school and to address chemical dependency issues in schools.
  • School counselors as collaborators prepared to work collaboratively with school staff, families, and community members to achieve common goals for the education of all K-12 students, improvement of schools, and advancement of the larger community.
  • School counselors as leaders prepared with knowledge and skills to provide quality service in K-12 schools that lead to a more just and humane world.


When you pursue our master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Seattle University, you are eligible to pursue post-master’s substance use disorder professional certification required to do addiction counseling—all integrated into one degree .

Associate professor of counseling, Dr. Mary Amanda Graham and Department Chair, Dr. Manivong J. Ratts.

Mission-Driven Excellence

As a premier program in the Pacific Northwest for the past four decades, our graduate counseling program mission is to prepare diverse, ethical, reflective, clinically skilled, and multiculturally competent counselors to become leaders and advocates who confront injustice and provide quality service in diverse communities. Learn more about our program objectives, accreditation, student organizations and community connections by exploring the links below.

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Funding Your Future

The College of Education offers need and merit based scholarships

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Ashley Miller Headshot

Ashley Miller

Senior Admissions Counselor

(206) 296-5774


Leesa Salcedo

Senior Program Administrative Assistant

(206) 296-5759


Kristi Lee, PhD, LMHCA

Program Director Professor

“SU’s School Counseling program empowered and challenged me to be the best counselor that I can possibly be. This program has given me the tools and confidence to make a difference in the education field.” 

Tyah Young School Counseling alumna
College of Education

Over 80 years, our College of Education has graduated more than 11,000 students. With our alumni becoming notable leaders who spearhead systemic change and inspire future generations as administrators, teachers, counselors, school psychologists, principals, superintendents, deans, community college faculty as well as college and university presidents.