This highly-regarded graduate program for working students teaches how to integrate counseling and leadership skills to support students and schools through transitions.
School counselors perform a vital role in facilitating change — for students, teachers, parents, and schools as a whole. The School Counseling program emphasizes social justice and helping skills that are applied in the context of a comprehensive counseling and guidance program. School counseling students become multiculturally competent and skilled social change agents, achievement advocates, and educational leaders who address issues of equity to help youth reach their educational, career and personal/social potential.
The faculty's commitment to excellence is grounded in the program's mission and reflected in its accreditation. The School Counseling program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the leading accrediting body for graduate counseling programs. The counseling program also meets or exceeds the standards set for by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) in the state of Washington.
The foundation for this school counseling program is belief in the dignity and worth of every individual, with a focus on diversity, ethics and social justice. The program expects its graduates to take an active role as change agents who are dedicated to improving conditions for personal growth and enhanced academic and career success.
As schools increase their focus on student achievement of standards, state-required assessment and expanded requirements for high school graduation, school counselors must be prepared to participate in the educational process. They must also possess finely honed counseling skills to support others during times of change. As transition specialists, school counselors are strategically positioned to help students and families adjust to normal developmental stages, unexpected changes in personal or social situations, increased pressure for academic performance, and changing requirements for success in school and beyond. Because of their broad role in school settings, school counselors have contact with virtually all students and teachers. In that capacity, they identify and respond to school-wide issues that impede academic and personal/social development.
Counseling faculty provide educational experiences and support for school counseling students to develop strong clinical skills they will use in a variety of settings: individual and small group counseling, referral to outside agencies, classroom instruction for grades K-12, educational placement and career guidance, school-wide initiatives, and professional development for other staff. Throughout their learning experience at Seattle University, school counseling students form close relationships that lead to a strong professional network after graduation.
As a premier program in the Pacific Northwest, the mission of Seattle University's graduate counseling program 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.
Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling programs were named top value programs in Washington (and the best in the Seattle metro area) by Top Counseling Schools, a site for counseling students and professionals.
With the newly revised program launched one year ago, graduate students who pursue a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling are among the only in the country who will graduate and be eligible to pursue post-master’s chemical dependency certification required to do addiction counseling—in just three years. The graduate counseling program integrated a chemical dependency component into its curriculum, which prepares both mental health and school counselors to offer integrated care. This kind of holistic, integrated approach is what makes Dr. Mary Amanda Graham, associate professor of counseling, and Dr. Manivong J. Ratts, Department Chair, particularly excited about the curriculum, which reflects the university’s commitment to social justice values. Read more in SeattleMet Magazine.