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School Counseling, M.Ed.

With a regionally recognized program that puts graduates in high demand for job opportunities, Whitworth's M.Ed. in School Counseling Program will prepare you to become an exceptional counselor in education, or to take on a more effective role in teaching or administration. You'll learn how to help students face everyday challenges, expand their opportunities and prepare for their future.

  • Whitworth graduates are highly sought-after by local school districts and are recognized for their excellent preparation.
  • We help secure your practicum and internship placement, so you can concentrate on your studies.
  • Our dedicated Career Services Office will assist you in preparing for and securing employment.
  • Learn to help foster positive development in children and adolescents.
  • Encourage and support students in achieving personal goals in education and in life.

Whitworth's M.Ed. in School Counseling Program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for the period of December 2020 through December 2028.

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Degree Snapshot
Credits 60
Completion Time 3 years
Class Format In person; one late afternoon or evening class per week
Cost Per Credit $675* per credit (financial aid & scholarships available)
Application Deadline
Summer Term Start | Apply by May 17

*for the 2023-24 academic year

"My time at Whitworth has been invaluable so far. Professors genuinely care about you growing as a student and person. I'm motivated by their field experience and stories to continue studying to be a school counselor and make a difference in the lives of students."

Victoria Mohtes-Chan

Convenient Schedule

Designed for busy, working adults, courses are offered in the late afternoon and evenings for your convenience. Each class meets only once weekly. You can earn your master's degree and residency ESA certification in only 60 credits and complete the program in as few as three years.

Earn more with a master’s degree!

At Spokane Public Schools, you can earn almost $10,000 more in your first year with a master's degree in school counseling than with only a bachelor's degree – and that number goes up based on how many years you’ve been employed. Base salary begins at $60,901, compared to $51,422 with a bachelor's, and you can achieve pay raises with additional years of service and college credits. See for yourself: View the complete SPS teacher salary schedule by clicking here

Enhance Your Career Opportunities

Help students achieve their goals both in and out of the classroom. School counselors serve an integral role in the lives of students, performing a variety of tasks, including career guidance, post-secondary planning, parent education, individual and small-group counseling, trauma and crisis intervention. Whitworth's School Counseling program consistently has some of the highest employment rates in the region - typically above 90%.


Student Handbook for School Counseling

With practicum placements offered at both the elementary and secondary school levels, this 60-credit program will give you a strong foundation and the experience you need to secure employment after you graduate. Whitworth's long history of providing school districts with professional, certified counselors will prepare you to help students achieve their own educational goals. 

Courses integrate faith with the legal, ethical, social and cultural considerations in counseling. For specific course descriptions and learning outcomes of this major, please view the Course Sequence.

About the Program

The guiding principles of the school counseling program are based on the School of Education Mission & Conceptual Framework. This program is committed to supporting diversity, equity & inclusion in both its learning goals, as well as its recruitment.

Diversity Learning Goals

School counseling candidates will achieve the following learning goals as a result of being enrolled in Whitworth University’s program:

  • To explore and be aware of their own cultural value, personal biases and beliefs which impact the counseling process
  • To implement culturally responsive and sensitive counseling practices
  • To understand the cultural context and worldview of diverse students, demonstrating fairness, equity and sensitivity to every student
  • To advocate for students regarding equity and access to instructional programs and activities
  • To help students and their families navigate systems of oppression and injustice and utilize other culturally appropriate intervention strategies in the counseling process
  • To recognize the impact of family culture upon student performance
  • To understand the role of collaboration with colleagues, families and community members in order to establish and foster an inclusive, nurturing and physically safe learning environment for students, staff and families
  • To promote an inclusive school environment for all students and families

Diversity Recruitment Plan

The GSE Diversity Recruitment Plan is in its beginning stages. The first phase of the plan has been implemented, which includes developing goals, advertising scholarships and supporting students. The second phase of the plan will be implemented during the end of the fall and beginning of the spring semesters and will include community outreach.

The school counseling goals were developed based on the ASCA model and standards from the state of Washington. Seven goals were developed that reflect the key elements of multicultural counseling, which include personal awareness, knowledge of worldview of students and parents, skills needed to implement culturally appropriate strategies, and advocacy. 

The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Scholarship can be found on our financial aid page, as well as other scholarships which diverse students may be eligible to receive. The program advisor also informs the students of the availability of scholarships. This previously was the case for grants; however, due to changes in Federal guidelines, needs-based grants are now based on FASFA, distributed by the Whitworth Financial Aid Office. Students do not have to apply separately for these funds. 

The advisor, program director and other faculty will mentor and direct students to appropriate resources as necessary. The GSE testing policy is posted on the website. Outreach efforts to community-based organizations and churches have been limited thus far, but a more concentrated effort will made later this year. The Diversity Recruitment Committee will be meeting later in the fall to begin planning upcoming recruiting events.

Program Data

Data about the school counseling program, such as admissions, graduation rates and other program outcomes, are collected annually: School Counseling Annual Data. Whitworth's School Counseling Program offers small class sizes, high graduation and retention rates, and small student-to-faculty ratios.

Program Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to take or submit a GRE score?

Whitworth will waive the entrance-exam requirement for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. (If your cumulative GPA is lower than 3.0 due to first- or second-year grades, we will consider the last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of your calculated GPA). If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, you will be required to complete one of two options, explained here.

Can I work while studying in the school counseling program?

Most students are able to work full time during the first two years of the program. Because practicums and internships are completed in the schools, working while in practicum is dependent on the flexibility of each student's employment. Students complete the internship during their third year.

I don't work in a school. Will I need to work in a school for the completion of the program?

While you are not required to work at a school prior to entrance into the program, you will need to complete EDC-515 Orientation to Schools, which includes a 30-hour field experience.

Do I need teacher certification to enter the program?

No. Teaching credentials are not required to enter the school counseling program or to be hired as a school counselor in Washington.

How long will it take for me finish this program?

Full-time students typically complete the program in three years. Part-time students can finish the program in as few as four years.

When are applications due?

For early consideration, complete applications should be submitted no later than Jan. 1. All other applications should be submitted by Feb. 1. Interviews for the program will be offered in February and March; admission decisions will be made in late March. If space allows, strong applications may be considered after this time.