Antioch University’s MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Seattle has been recognized as the 2022 Robert Frank Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award winner by the National Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), the premier organization dedicated to the education and supervision of counselors. The program received this prestigious award because of its excellence shown through faculty commitment and contributions to ACES and the counseling profession, as well as its overall commitment to faculty excellence, its adherence to high standards, its mentorship of strong counselors and counselor educators, and its innovation in providing education and supervision.
“This is a great honor and our first time as a program winning the award after many years of trying,” says Mariaimeé “Maria” Gonzalez, PhD, who serves as the program’s Chair. She says this award recognizes how the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program offers learners and communities transformative education in a global context that fosters innovation and inspires social action.
Nationwide, ACES only gave out only ten awards this year. And of those awards, the Robert Frank Frank Outstanding Counselor Education Award was the only one given not to an individual but to a degree program. It recognizes Antioch University’s excellence in the education and supervision of counselors in all work settings. It demonstrates how the program’s curriculum meets the highest standards in counselor training and supervision with advanced competencies in multicultural counseling, evidence-based practices, and clinical competencies.
Part of what has made the program at Antioch University’s Seattle campus distinctive is its mission to provide its counselors-in-training with a multiculturally focused curriculum and a social justice foundation. The program fosters an inclusive culture and promotes liberation by offering a multiculturally focused education and global mental health and social justice curriculum.
“We are a diverse faculty,” Gonzalez says, “with instructors from Puerto Rico, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, England, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, and England, in addition to the United States. The faculty works closely together to mentor students to be strong professional counselors and counselor educators and social justice advocates for communities all over the globe. Since we believe in a global community, we have local and international partnerships in which we provide mental health and education support.”
The faculty has also created bilingual certificates backed by multicultural awareness and a holistic approach to the counseling field to further support and enhance student success. Overall, the program is exactly the sort of one that ACES seeks to recognize with this prestigious award. As Gonzalez explains, “Whether it be the dedication, unique experiences, and professional identities of our faculty, the program’s influence on students and the community, the educational rigor and innovation of the program, or the program’s commitment to continual improvement in the spirit of the university’s revolutionary past, we strongly believe we offer education that reflects the essence of Robert Frank’s career as a counselor educator.”