Counseling: 40-50 credits
The M.Ed. in Counseling Program at Heritage University is designed to prepare practitioners to work as professional counselors in K-12 schools, mental health facilities, or related agencies. Heritage’s mission is to serve diverse, multicultural, and rural populations that have traditionally been educationally isolated. Students represent a variety of ethnic backgrounds and are encouraged to be involved in multicultural experiences throughout the program. During the counseling program, students are encouraged to become engaged in personal counseling/therapy to increase self-insight.
Students who would like to pursue only the Master of Education degree enroll for 40 semester credits, including a yearlong mental health field experience. Students who would like to become school counselors will take an additional 10 credits. Courses emphasize the WACs (Washington OSPI standards for school counseling) for Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification. The rigorous degree program features relevant research-based courses taught by responsive faculty and offered in a convenient weekend model. Students will be admitted in the fall semester.
Prerequisite: A bachelor’s degree in psychology is preferred. A minimum of four upper-division psychology courses is required.
A Heritage University graduate from the counselor preparation program will have developed the ability to positively impact human relationships with clients in various settings and will be able to:
- Develop, articulate, and share with clients and colleagues a vision focused on personal growth
- Develop and sustain a counseling/guidance program that promotes client growth and assists in the professional growth of colleagues
- Assist in the development and implementation of the counseling mission of the employing organization and help to develop resources that produce a safe, efficient, effective, and growth-producing environment
- Work positively with clients, families, and community members by identifying and responding to diverse community interests and needs through mobilization of community resources
- Promote the success of all clients by acting with integrity and fairness in an ethical manner
- Understand and respond to the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural contexts of the employing organization and larger community
Additional Admissions Requirements for Certification
In addition to the requirements for admission into the counseling program, requirements for candidates interested in pursuing a residency ESA certificate include the following:
- Submit a letter explaining experiences relevant to counseling youth and why the candidate wants to become a school counselor.
- Maintain a 3.0 grade point average throughout the program.
- Earn a B- (2.7) or better in each graduate counseling course.
- Interview with and receive a recommendation for admission from a committee consisting of faculty and Heritage University Professional Educational Advisory Board (PEAB) members.
- Successfully pass a fingerprint/background check by Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with application for ESA Counseling Certification and a character and fitness supplement
The dean and the faculty of the College of Education and Psychology reserve the right to refuse to admit applicants to a counseling program, or recommend a student for a school counseling (ESA) certificate, if, in the discretion of the dean and the faculty, such a recommendation or assignment would be contrary to, or in violation of, WAC 181-79A-155 — Good Moral Character and Personal Fitness.