About the Graduate School
Welcome to Our Community
The Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling offers graduate degrees, licensure, and additional endorsements for teachers, K-12 and higher education leaders, school counselors, school psychologists, addiction counselors, licensed professional counselors, and marriage, couple, and family therapists. Our students are diverse in age, income, experience, and educational and cultural backgrounds. They go on to serve communities through successful careers across the nation as well as the globe.
Each year, our students spend over 200,000 hours working in schools and mental health agencies. Each of our students and graduates impacts the lives of dozens of individuals and families every year, their work rippling out to change the lives hundreds or thousands of people over lifelong careers.
The graduate school is committed to serving every student by providing a learning environment built around the values and practices associated with critical thinking, individual growth, and social justice. Our programs prepare you to meet the complex challenges of professional life within a diverse and changing society. Programs combine rigorous academic work with challenging field-based experiences, integrating innovative research from related fields and considering the complex ethical and legal issues that rest at the heart of each profession. The curriculum reflects the theories, techniques, research, modes of application, and contemporary reform movements within each professional field.
Students work closely with faculty who are recognized for their academic scholarship and engaging instruction, as well as for the ongoing service they provide in their respective fields. Faculty employ effective instructional approaches that engage students in critical thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration, and inquiry. Adjunct faculty members who are active practitioners join the regular faculty in providing important links between theory and practice.
Our graduates enter the field as change agents who transform society through education and counseling. The graduate school enjoys ongoing relationships with a wide range of professional and community organizations, including schools, agencies, clinics, nonprofit organizations, and legislative bodies.
The Graduate School of Education and Counseling enrolls approximately 1100 part-time and full-time students each year. Many students are new to the study of the professions while others are experienced practitioners. To meet their diverse needs, classes are offered days, evenings, and weekends and are located on campus, off campus, and at work sites. Programs differ in their structures, and prospective students are encouraged to review all the options available.
The graduate school also offers a wide range of continuing education experiences for educators, counselors, writers, and community members through the courses and programming available in the Center for Community Engagement. Through the center, the graduate school works in collaboration with community partners to address critical needs in education and counseling. We strive to enhance the effectiveness of professionals as agents of change; to support the self-organizing capacities of groups, organizations, and communities working toward social justice; and to help communities address issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, power, privilege, language, and ability. The center builds and supports alliances and networks, creates connections with social service organizations and schools, and explores the diversity within communities. By connecting theory and practice, we prepare a cadre of new education and counseling change agents by integrating outreach into graduate coursework and involving graduate students in community activities.
Guiding Principles and Statements
The Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling is a community that values the rich diversity of voices and perspectives in a complex world. We reach out to those around us, explore new ideas, and pursue the best practice of education and counseling. We promote open dialogue, inquiry, respect, and social action to enhance the learning of adults and children.
We join with students to learn, to serve, and to lead through deep engagement with the self and the world. Together we reach for wisdom, justice, compassion, and bold ideas in education and counseling.
Creativity, Compassion, Commitment
Conceptual Framework Guiding Principles
The Lewis & Clark graduate school community has identified nine guiding principles that support our vision and mission. These principles build upon the fundamental commitment, which is at the heart of our mission, to cultural competence and advocacy based on knowledge and respect for the vitality of diverse cultural, linguistic, and ethnic groups we serve. Through the development of competencies in each of these areas, our students attain the aims of the graduate school. These guiding principles are:
- Learning and Living Environments: Create democratic learning communities in which caring, equity, social justice, and inclusion are practiced and diverse perspectives are supported.
- Disciplinary Knowledge: Integrate fundamental and emergent components of disciplinary knowledge in ways that extend and enhance experiences of the diverse individuals and groups we serve. Use this knowledge to augment our own capacity to solve problems, even as we support individuals and communities in problem solving.
- Professional Practice: Engage individuals, families, and the professionals who support them in meaningful learning, counseling and therapy, and community-building experiences responsive to individual differences, interests, developmental levels, and cultural contexts.
- Connection to Community: Design learning and counseling activities that cultivate connections between individuals, families, and their communities and region.
- Professional and Technological Resources: Incorporate a wide range of professional and technological resources into experiences that support learning, mental health, and community well-being.
- Assessment: Assess, document, and advocate for the successful learning and living of all people involved in schools and communities.
- Research and Reflection: Adopt habits of personal and scholarly reflection that examine professional practice and lead to systemic renewal.
- Leadership and Collaboration: Lead and collaborate with others to plan, organize, and implement educational and counseling practices and programs that confront the impact of societal and institutional barriers to academic success, personal growth, and community well-being.
- Professional Life: Pursue a professional identity that demonstrates a commitment to the legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities of our profession(s).
Diversity within the intellectual, linguistic, gender, sexual, ethno-cultural, regional, aesthetic, physical, and ethical domains produces abundant promise—as well as challenges—that communities must address. The strength of democratic learning environments is their ability to prepare citizens who can sustain a public culture that honors both difference and commonality. We prepare professionals to lead, teach, and provide support services in ways that promote the cultivation of caring; the development of empathy and ethical reasoning; an increasing understanding of and commitment to social justice; fair, inclusive, and responsive approaches to all; equity in the treatment of all persons; and the recognition, exploration, and support of diverse perspectives within classrooms, communities, and the world at large.
Professional and technological resources should support and improve the teaching and learning of faculty and students. School and community professionals need to view resources in relation to how they serve the user and this goal. We recognize and address the importance of preparing our students to enter their professions with adequate skills for using information and technology, an ability to critically evaluate that technology and its implementation in a given context, and a commitment to use these resources in the service of purposes and goals, rather than as ends in themselves.
The Educational Benefits of Diversity
At its best, liberal education empowers students intellectually to understand the complex geopolitical, socioeconomic, ethical, and technological challenges confronting humanity at this juncture in history. Numerous studies grounded in the principles and methods of social psychology indicate that this intellectual transformation happens most effectively in a learning environment where personal interactions, both in the classroom and generally around campus, promote open discussion of new ideas and exposure to social environments previously unknown to students. These studies demonstrate that cognitive development is measurably and permanently enhanced in students who in the course of their daily lives have frequent and intense interactions with others whose backgrounds and whose world views are profoundly different from their own. This growing body of scholarly work also shows that all students in a diverse social environment engage more effectively in discussions about complex issues, becoming more adept at understanding multiple perspectives and more capable of critical thinking in ways that will enhance the quality of their lives and their success within their careers long after graduation.
Lewis & Clark is an institution of liberal learning that aims to educate its students for successful and fulfilling lives in their chosen fields of endeavor. To honor this promise, Lewis & Clark gives its students the opportunity to engage actively and critically in dialog informed by those richly diverse cultural traditions that constitute our American heritage. Therefore, the institution explicitly acknowledges and affirms its conviction that diversity with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic background, religious orientation or spirituality, physical or sensory disability, gender, and sexual orientation on the Lewis & Clark campuses provides an educational benefit for all students that can be realized only by enhancing and preserving the presence of students and education professionals from diverse backgrounds within our learning community. In creating and sustaining such a community, we engage, to the extent possible, in practices that will ensure a high degree of diversity on our campuses, simultaneously meeting the highest standards of academic excellence of which we are capable.
The Graduate School of Education and Counseling works in collaboration with community partners to address critical community needs in education and mental health through the Center for Community Engagement. Through these partnerships, we strive to enhance the effectiveness of education and mental health professionals as agents of change; support the self-organizing capacities of groups, organizations and communities working toward social justice; and help meet the educational and mental health needs of marginalized communities with a commitment to address issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, power, privilege, language, and ability. The center builds and supports alliance and networks, creates connections with social service organization and schools, and seeks out, explores, and reflects the diversity that exists within communities. Connecting theory and practice, we prepare a cadre of new education and mental health change agents by integrating outreach into graduate coursework and involving graduate students in outreach activities.
A wide array of resources and services are available for graduate students, including access to library and athletics facilities, career and licensing support, and much more.
Visit the graduate school website for a full list of resources.
History of the Graduate School
Lewis & Clark has a long tradition of preparing students to serve the public good as educators and counselors. For nearly 150 years—beginning in the college’s earliest days as Albany Collegiate Institute, located sixty miles south of Portland—Lewis & Clark has prepared students for careers as public school teachers. By 1947, education offerings had evolved to include preparation at the graduate level. A century after the college’s founding, in 1972, the college added graduate programs for mental health counselors and school counselors, responding to a growing demand for highly qualified professionals in these settings.
Graduate School of Education and Counseling in its present form dates from 1984. That year, graduate programs were consolidated into a single administrative unit and faculty collaborated on a unified vision for educating students and joining together as a community of scholars and learners. Through this vision, the Graduate School of Education and Counseling has supported the mission of Lewis & Clark by educating thoughtful leaders, innovative decision makers, and agents of positive change in the fields of education and counseling—leaders who actively engage with the communities they serve. Today, the school’s diverse programs share a common commitment to equity, diversity, social justice, and service to others.
Since 1984, the school has issued master's, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees to nearly 6,500 educators, counselors, and community leaders.
The graduate school was originally housed in assorted buildings on the undergraduate campus. In 2000, the Graduate Campus (formerly South Campus) was created to bring faculty and students together in both a community and physical location dedicated to the professional fields represented in the school. The Graduate Campus consists of administrative, classroom, and event space in four buildings: Rogers Hall, the York Graduate Center, the historic Corbett House (currently closed in anticipation of renovation), and the South Chapel.
The 18-acre site of the graduate campus was acquired in 2000 from the Sisters of St. Francis, who used it from 1943 until its sale to Lewis & Clark. The Sisters purchased the property from the family of Hamilton and Harriet Corbett, one of Portland's founding families, who built the Corbett estate in 1929. It was known as Our Lady of Angels Convent. Though Lewis & Clark is religiously unaffiliated, this history of ownership explains the stained glass and other religious details that observant visitors will notice across campus. The graduate school is proud to carry on the tradition of deep reflection and commitment to learning and the welfare of others that the Sisters originally brought to the site.
In 2012, the graduate school opened a community counseling clinic on Barbur Boulevard, near downtown Portland. A state-of-the-art training facility for graduate students, the Community Counseling Center also serves the greater Portland community by providing low-cost counseling to individuals, couples, and families. In its first year of operations, the clinic served nearly 500 clients.
Lewis & Clark College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Lewis & Clark is a member of the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges, the College Entrance Examination Board, and the Northwest Association of Private Colleges and Universities. Lewis & Clark is on the approved lists of the American Chemical Society and the American Association of University Women.
Graduate programs are approved and accredited by their respective associations and agencies:
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
- National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)*
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)**
- Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists (OBLPCT)
- Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC)
All NCATE accredited institutions are required to include the following statement in their publications: The Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark College is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), www.ncate.org. This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P-12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) covers Professional Mental Health Counseling and Professional Mental Health Counseling—Addictions programs, which are currently accredited under the 2001 standards for Community Counseling Programs.
*The School Psychology Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling has achieved National Recognition by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) under the aegis of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The status of National Recognition indicates that the program has substantially met the standards of NASP and is a mark of distinction for the program. The program is listed on the NCATE website as Nationally Recognized.
**July 1, 2013, marked the de facto consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), making the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) the new, sole specialized accreditor for educator preparation. (CAEP accreditation is specific to educator preparation and is different from regional accreditation. It is the educator preparation provider, specifically, that receives CAEP accreditation—not the larger organization or institution of higher education that may house the provider.) Under de facto consolidation, NCATE and TEAC are subsidiaries of CAEP, maintaining their recognition by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for the purpose of maintaining the accreditation of educator preparation providers until such time as said providers come up for accreditation under CAEP.