School Counseling Certificate (Educational Staff Associate)

About the program

Applicants who otherwise qualify to enter the School Counseling program and already hold a master’s or other advanced degree need not complete a second master’s degree in school counseling to obtain ESA (educational staff associate) certification as a school counselor.

It is only necessary to complete only the major courses (52 credits), internship (9 credits), and the comprehensive exam.

Applicants holding a master’s or other advanced degree who are interested in obtaining a second master’s degree must only complete EDU 6085 “Moral Issues in Education” to obtain the MEd in School Counseling with ESA certification.

Students holding a master’s or other advanced degree who are interested in obtaining a second master’s degree may complete EDU 6085 Moral Issues in Education in addition to core requirements to obtain the MEd in School Counseling with ESA certification.

Course content delivery

For all program courses, the course content and skill development are taught and learned through a wide variety of instructional methods, including didactic and PowerPoint and online presentations, experiential (in class and in K–12 school settings) activities, individual student and small-group work, student presentations, professional speaker panels, in-class and in-K–12 supervised skill practice, online discussions, etc.


A year-long, 9-credit internship comprises a part of the degree program in school counseling. This vital, integrative experience, in which you will conduct supervised counseling in a school setting, has as its primary objective the provision of practical experiences in the duties and activities of the school counselor.

The internship includes a minimum of 600 hours participation in a variety of meaningful activities related to the competencies required by the state of Washington knowledge base for school counselors (WAC 181-78A-270), as well as those recommended by the School of Education.

Comprehensive examination

You will complete a comprehensive exam, which is a two-hour essay examination, usually during the last quarter of coursework or the quarter thereafter.

Comprehensive exams are scheduled during Winter Quarter. To take the comprehensive exam, you must have completed all school counseling courses except the internship. The exam will be scheduled by the graduate programs manager and you will be informed when it will take place.

Admission requirements

Applicants must submit the following items to the Graduate Admissions:

  • Online application and $50 application processing fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from each college/university attended.
    • If your degree is not from a U.S. college or university, please arrange for your transcript to be evaluated by an accredited transcript evaluation company such as FIS or WES. Have the report forwarded directly to Graduate Admissions.
  • Personal statement (1–2 pages).
  • Résumé.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Copy of current teaching certificate, front and back (if applicable).
  • Moral Character and Personal Fitness Policy form  (available in the online application).
  • Character and Fitness Supplement form  (available in the online application).
  • Personal interview with School Counseling faculty member.


Admissions materials should be directed to Graduate Admissions. If you have questions about graduate education or certification programs: