School counseling and clinical mental health candidates take the same courses learning foundational counseling skills such as active listening, forming a therapeutic alliance, and goal setting. Candidates benefit from this interdisciplinary model as they engage issues and case studies from both school and mental health agency settings and consider the interconnected systems view of mental health services.

School Counseling

The M.Ed. program purposefully integrates intentional school-based placements in local public schools with coursework focused on learning culturally sensitive counseling skills that may be applied with students, family members, and staff. In two years school counseling candidates earn a Master of Education degree and a Washington State residency certificate in school counseling. Puget Sound’s school counseling program is approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board to operate in Washington State. Graduates have found employment in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

M.Ed. program purposefully integrates selected placements in social service settings with coursework focused on developing culturally sensitive counseling skills. In two years clinical mental health counseling candidates earn a Master of Education in Counseling degree and will be eligible to pursue licensure as a mental health counselor in Washington State. The Washington State Department of Health post-master’s licensing process can take 2-5 years and requires that candidates pass a national exam and complete 3000 hours of counseling related work including 1200 hours of direct serviced and 100 hours of supervision by an approved supervisor. Graduates have found employment in a range of settings including community and private mental health agencies, hospitals, juvenile detention centers, employee assistance programs, community colleges and private practice.

Effective Fall 2019 the Master of Education in Counseling program will require a 15-unit program of study that is consistent with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accreditation standards. The University of Puget Sound is currently seeking this new accreditation. Pending approval of the accreditation process, candidates who graduate within 18 months from the time the first CACREP compliant cohort completes the program will be recognized as completing a CACREP program.

Professional Licensure Disclosure