School Counseling Program

Counseling Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Mental Health and School Counseling Programs at Western Washington University is to prepare knowledgeable, skilled, culturally sensitive, and ethical professional counselors who meet the relevant licensing or credentialing standards for practice in mental health and public and private educational settings in the State of Washington.

We believe this is best accomplished in small rigorous programs in which students have substantive opportunities to practice their developing counseling skills and knowledge under the supervision of faculty who are active contributors to the profession through research and service.

Graduate Program

Interim Director: Dr. Tina Du Rocher Schudlich

Graduate study in the M.Ed. School Counselor Program at Western Washington University prepares students to provide professional counseling services in educational settings. The program requires two years of full-time graduate study (minimum of 90 credit hours) and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Upon completion of the program, students are recommended for certification as K-12 public school counselors in the State of Washington. Admission to the program is based upon a profile of characteristics including graduate aptitude test scores, grades, academic preparation, compatibility of applicant goals with program goals, letters of reference, and previous professional and volunteer experience. It is not necessary to hold a valid teaching certificate in order to be recommended for certification as a school counselor or to be considered for admission to the program. It is the policy of the Department of Psychology that School Counselor program graduates will be endorsed only for those licenses or certificates appropriate to the emphasis of their training. It is further understood that this endorsement will be made only upon successful completion of practicum and internship experiences. 

The department also offers M.S. degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Experimental Psychology and houses the Center for Cross-Cultural Research. Coordination with these programs greatly enhances the experience of students in the School Counseling Program.

If you already hold a master’s degree in counseling and seek a school counseling certificate, Western does not offer a “certification-only” program. Please contact the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for eligible programs.

Learn about the School Counseling Program outcomes and view recent program evaluation annual reports please see the School Counseling Program Outcomes and Resources page.

Counseling Program Objectives

  • To prepare professional counselors who demonstrate the knowledge and skills described in the CACREP core and specialty standards.
  • To prepare professional counselors who utilize current research to evaluate professional services and make professional judgments.
  • To prepare professional counselors who think critically about professional issues and who engage in ethical and reflective practice.
  • To prepare professional counselors who communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with clients, peers and the community and demonstrate competence in the use of technology.
  • To prepare professional counselors who value diversity, educational equity and social justice.

Download the Counseling Program Student Handbook