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School Counseling

Mission, Objectives, Philosophy

The School Counseling Program at Emporia State University is one of the best in the Midwest. Since 1947, the university has prepared more school counselors than any other Kansas college or University.

More than 40% of all practicing school counselors in Kansas have received their degrees from Emporia State University.


The mission of the School Counseling program is to prepare candidates to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will allow them to empower diverse individuals, families and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals (20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling) in meeting the developmental needs of PreK-12 students in an ever-changing society.


Our program serves to:

  1. Promote the field of School Counseling by providing an intensive program of study so counseling candidates are prepared to move into the ever-changing environment of today’s schools and implement and manage a comprehensive counseling program.
  2. Support and advocate for the counseling profession through faculty involvement in state and national organizations and through encouraging students to become advocates for their profession as well.
  3. Maintain the high standards ESU’s counseling program has had since 1947 by continuing to meet both state and national standards of excellence and accreditations.
  4. Continue to seek diversity in counseling candidates to address the needs in today’s diverse school population.

Philosophy + Values

Our programs have established curricula which foster belief in the potential of individuals to change, respect for individual dignity, and involvement in decision-making and personal adjustment. Two underlying assumptions driving department programs are:

  1. The high value placed on the personal mental health and self-awareness of graduates, and
  2. The belief that graduates must be grounded in the knowledge of human behavior and adjustment, communication skills, assessment techniques, ethics, and applied clinical skills.

The necessity for individuals to develop a sense of the importance of understanding individual perspectives, the values of interdependence, and caring and commitment for the well-being of others are also extremely important for the success of graduates.

The importance of individual choice, opportunity to participate, student rights, and changing societal and family values have all contributed to the evolution of and need for counseling-related programs. Many individuals and groups, for whatever reason, are unable to resolve conflicts, make decisions and choices, and achieve personal goals by themselves. Recognition of the value of lifelong learning, career education and development, and the advance and availability of technology have also influenced the philosophy and goals of the department.