Mission & Diversity

Mission Statement

The Counseling Program emphasizes the role of human relationships to heal and empower. We seek to educate a community of ethical, self-aware, and socially-engaged counselors who possess the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to competently promote the health and development of diverse individuals, couples, families, and communities. We are committed to preparing counselors to work with systemic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal factors that influence well-being when implementing culturally-appropriate counseling interventions across the lifespan. We seek to fulfill this mission with a reflective approach to counselor development that operates at the intersection of theory, research, and practice, and that promotes the education of the whole person.

Diversity & Multiculturalism

The Counseling Program at Sonoma State University views multiculturalism as essential to the education, training, and development of aspiring counselors and, more generally, to the counseling profession. We embrace a broad definition of diversity that includes age, national origin, immigration status, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, physical and mental abilities, and language, along with the various and complex ways these forms of diversity intersect. We seek to foster an educational atmosphere that embraces and celebrates the diverse, intersecting identities of our students, faculty, clients, and community members, where all students feel safe to learn, dialogue, and provide feedback to each other and to faculty about multicultural issues.

Recognizing this statement is aspirational, we maintain an ongoing commitment to develop and implement specific actions that uphold the values contained herein. We are committed to multiculturalism in all aspects of our program by:

  • Promoting students’ and faculty’s continuous awareness of their cultural values and how assumptions derived from these values shape their approach to learning, teaching, research, and clinical practice.
  • Supporting students and faculty to foster an inclusive atmosphere in all aspects of the program that moves towards models that account for the experiences of those who historically have been underrepresented in the field.
  • Supporting students and faculty to critically examine the assumptions inherent in the counseling profession and society at large.
  • Supporting students’ and faculty’s continuous self-examination with regard to intentional and unintentional forms of bias, stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination.
  • Promoting student and faculty awareness of the limiting, and potentially harmful effects of unexamined privilege.
  • Integrating multicultural perspectives throughout the program’s curriculum and training, and centralizing multicultural competence and humility as a core program goal.
  • Actively recruiting and maintaining students and faculty of diverse backgrounds.