Frequently Asked Questions

What is counseling certification?
Certification is how states verify that a candidate for a teaching or counseling position has the knowledge and skills necessary to do the job well.  Certification standards are set by each state. Colleges and Universities offer a variety of options for gaining the knowledge and skills necessary for certification: undergraduate programs, fifth-year certificate programs, and fifth-year masters programs are some examples. It's important to determine what type of program works best for you. For more information about Counseling program, contact our School of Education.

Can I major in counseling?
No. School counseling certification in Washington state requires a master's degree.

What undergraduate majors should I choose if I want to become a school counselor?
There is no required major, but psychology is the most common preparation.

Will I be certified to counsel in any state?
Washington state has earned reciprocity with most other states as well. However, about half of the states require that school counselors have both teaching and counseling certification. Check with your destination state to be sure. Also, licensure as a mental health counselor or professional involves a completely different process and set of requirements. Visit the Department of Health website for information about those requirements in Washington state.

Where can I find the application for the Certificate-Only Counseling program? 
Cert-only candidates complete the same application and process as degree seeking candidates.

Where can I find the Cert-Only schedule
Schedules are individualized depending on previous coursework.  The Director of Counseling Programs works with candidates to determine a schedule.

Where can I find counseling course descriptions and programs of study? ; and  

What tests do I need to take? 
All candidates should submit results from the General Records Examination (GRE) by the application deadline, March 1.  Applications will not be reviewed until exam scores have been received.  No substitutions for the GRE (e.g. Miller Analogy Test) are accepted.

Is there a cut-off or minimum score required on the GRE? 

Can I attend the counseling program part-time? 
Yes.  All counseling classes are offered after 4 p.m. weekdays.  Candidates have up to six years to complete the degree and can portion out their program to suit their schedule.  Candidates for the School Counseling Certificate must complete their internship hours during the school day which may require adjusting work hours.

Can I earn both a school counseling certificate and the mental health degree
Candidates must register under one track or the other, but can take all the necessary courses to meet the requirements for both tracks.  Candidates must also complete an internship in two settings.

Can I teach with the school counseling certificate? 
No.  While anyone with a valid state-issued certificate may substitute teach, a candidate with the school counseling certificate may not be hired as a regular, classroom teacher.

What is the employment rate for graduates?

For the last two years (2012-13 and 2013-14) 100% of the graduating class of counselors are employed in the field for which they trained.