Incoming students are introduced to the MEd in School Counseling program with foundational coursework during the summer, and then an experiential course in Autumn Quarter. EDCO 6600 Introduction to Systems Theory, conducted at SPU’s Blakely Island Field Station, provides new students with a clear understanding of the School Counseling program, including requirements, expectations, faculty, mission, and philosophy.
- To prepare school counselors who can apply counseling theories, individual counseling approaches, and group counseling approaches to promote the intellectual, social, and career developmental of their students.
- To facilitate the development of school counselors who are clinically skilled, ethical, and committed to the delivery of effective services to students and their families.
- To train students for excellence in consultation and referral, coordination of comprehensive programs, research, and assessment for the purpose of helping students achieve the school’s learning goals.
- To prepare school counselors who can effectively apply the principles of academic, career, and social emotional development to promote the growth mindsets and behaviors of their students.
- To prepare school counselors who exemplify a cultural orientation that includes cultural humility, cultural responsiveness, and a commitment to social justice.
- To promote professional self-care and a wellness orientation.
- To integrate the whole person of the school counselor for a life balanced in the devotion of one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength. As faculty and students, we will seek to model Biblical principles such as honesty, integrity, compassion, self-discipline, congruence, redemption, commitment, and community.
Coursework for the MEd in School Counseling with ESA (School Counseling) Certification includes the following:
Foundations and Research Core
School Counseling Core
If you do not hold a valid teaching certificate, you may be required, at the discretion of the program chair, to complete the “Education Block,” which requires 100 hours of work in one classroom as a teacher’s assistant.
The 600-hour internship is a vital, integrative experience in which students conduct supervised counseling in a school setting over the course of an entire school year (three quarters). You are expected to begin your work at your internship school site at the beginning of the school year and finish the experience the last week of the K–12 school year.
This internship’s primary objective is the provision of practical experiences in the duties and activities of the school counselor. It requires the cooperative efforts of the student, a faculty supervisor from the SPU School of Education, and an approved school district site supervisor who is certified as an ESA school counselor with a minimum of three years’ experience as a school counselor and training in supervision. To correspond with CACREP standards for the counselor education program, the internship includes a minimum of 600 hours. A thesis option is also available.
A written Comprehensive Examination is required for this program as a tool to help synthesize and apply information gained throughout the course of study. The online exam consists of multiple choice questions and open-ended questions.
Upon successful completion of the program, you will be eligible for Residency Level Educational Staff Associate certification to work in K–12 settings in the state of Washington, and will also be eligible for licensure as a Washington state mental health counselor. Additionally, you will be recommended to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for an Initial Educational Staff Associate Certificate. Candidates are required to submit a formal application to the Certification Officer in the School of Education to be recommended for certification.
ESA Certification in School Counseling Only
People who otherwise qualify to enter the MEd in School Counseling program and already have a master's or other advanced degree need not complete a second master's degree in school counseling in order to obtain Educational Staff Associate Certification as a school counselor.
It is generally only necessary to complete the major courses (minimum of 69 credits), the internship (9 credits), and the comprehensive exam. If you do not already have a background in education, you will be assigned the Education Block requirement.
Upon successful completion of the program, you will be recommended to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for an Initial Educational Staff Associate Certificate in Washington state. Candidates are required to submit a formal application to the certification officer in the School of Education to be recommended for certification.
The MEd in School Counseling coursework is generally spread over a three-year period, beginning in Summer Quarter with Professional Core coursework. During the regular academic year, each class meets one night a week, generally from 5:00–7:35 p.m. In the second and third year of the program, students are required to take intensive Summer Session courses, which meet two to four days a week over four weeks. The Professional Core classes can be taken on campus or online. During the first two years, students can expect to take two or three classes each quarter.
Suggested Course Sequence
Your Three-Plus Year Course Plan may be customized to meet your needs.