We realize that you have many options when looking for a counseling program. You may also be aware that programs vary considerably in their reputation, quality of the preparation experience, and rates of job placement upon graduation. Below are a series of questions that you should ask yourself and the schools you are considering. We feel that the counseling program at the University of Puget Sound is exceptional in the way it addresses each question.
All of our courses are taught by faculty or staff members with long-term commitments to the institution. Many programs use a high number of adjunct faculty to teach academic courses. These individuals are often disconnected from the core mission of the program. Therefore, course experiences feel like two worlds – one at the university and one in the field. A well-integrated program like the one at Puget Sound reflects an intense commitment by faculty.
At Puget Sound, all of the field supervision is done by full-time faculty. One way a counselor preparation program can save money is by subcontracting field supervision to individuals who have little or no daily involvement with the program at the university. While these field supervisors may have administrative or teaching experience, they have little detailed knowledge of what goes on in the program. They also may not be subject to the same kind of rigorous evaluation that occurs at the university. At Puget Sound, the faculty who teach your core courses are the same faculty who will be supervising your internship.
With few exceptions graduates of the counseling program at Puget Sound have found jobs after graduation in counseling or a related field. It is one thing to get a degree in counseling. It’s another thing to get a job. If the program does not have a recognized record of employing its graduates, then your degree – not to mention the time you spent getting it – isn’t worth much. Look closely at a program’s track record. How many of their graduates get jobs? What kind of jobs did they get? Does the counseling preparation program help their students find employment, particularly once they have graduated? And finally, what kind of relationship do they maintain with their graduates? We invite you to ask potential employers, particularly in the South Puget Sound area, their perception of the quality of our graduates and their willingness to hire them.
We spend a considerable amount of time tailoring your placement based on your needs and potential relationship with a mentor and internship site. We also accommodate students who want to do their internships throughout the South Puget Sound. In the past, we have supervised counseling internships as far away from Tacoma as Kent, Silverdale, Seattle, and Lacey.
Some programs place students in the field as quickly and as efficiently as they can without taking into account the student’s personality and his or her potential fit with a mentor counselor. This kind of bond is essential to success. Furthermore, it’s a great help if you can do your internship in a geographical area close to where you live to begin networking while you intern. Does the program that you are interested in make these kinds of accommodations?
We make our costs explicit on the tuition and fees page of this site. Some programs try to disguise their overall costs by presenting the cost of an individual credit or unit. Be sure to do the multiplication and ask about the total cost of the program. Furthermore, make sure you ask about university fees in addition to the tuition costs. Public universities often add fees each semester on top of the cost of tuition, and this is not something that you become aware of until you are enrolled in the program.