Working at Student Counseling Services


Central Washington University

While relatively small in population, CWU offers a choice of programs found at larger universities. Central Washington University is a regional, comprehensive university offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees in 135 majors serving approximately 10,000 students, the majority on the Ellensburg Campus. Located on 380 acres in Ellensburg, a town of 18,000 in the heart of the state of Washington, CWU is only two hours from Seattle. The setting is rural, nestled in the beautiful Kittitas Valley. Ellensburg is the hub of one of the Northwest’s prime recreational areas and the center of one of the state’s richest agricultural regions.

CWU is one of six state-supported institutions offering baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Established in 1890 as Washington State Normal School by the first legislature to fulfill the intent of the Federal Statehood Enabling Act for the establishment and maintenance of its various institutions of higher education, it became Central Washington College of Education in 1937, Central Washington State College in 1961 and Central Washington University in 1977.

Of the approximately 10,000 students, 3,000 live on campus in university housing. Here, students of diverse social, economic and ethnic backgrounds from throughout the nation and internationally come together in a community in which education is the principal industry and human development the primary concern. The student body is relatively diverse, with students representing a variety of social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds. The most current statistics indicate that 33% of our students identify with one or more ethnic minority statuses. The largest ethnic group on campus is Latina/o with 16%, followed by multi-racial, 7%; Asian, 4.0%; African-American, 4%; International Students, 3%; Native American/Alaska Native, 1%, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1%. In addition, 1.9% of our student population is comprised of international students. Approximately 34% of our university population is first generation college students. Women comprise 51% of our undergraduate population and 61% of our graduate students. Six percent of students are identified as having a federally-qualified, documented disability. An estimated 10% of CWU students identify as LGBTQI+.

Recent (2017-2018) statistics indicate that approximately 10% of the university’s students sought counseling services. Of those clients seeking services at the counseling clinic, statistics indicate that 9.1% identify as bi/multi-ethnic, 11.6% as Latina/o, 4.1% as Asian/Pacific Islander, 4.1% as African-American, 1.4% as Native American/Alaska Native, 1.2% as Middle Eastern, and 62.9% as Anglo/White. 1.2% of clients identified as international students. In terms of gender identification, 62.8% of clients identified as female, 32.6% as male, and 3.3% as transgender/gender queer/agender. 16.7% percent of students seeking counseling in the past year identified as having a disability. In terms of sexual orientation, 2.2% of client identified as gay, 1.3% as lesbian, 10.8% as bisexual, 1.7% as asexual, 3.6% as pansexual, 2.7% as “other”, and 75.3% as heterosexual. 1.5% of clients endorsed current or past military service/veteran status. With respect to religion/spirituality, 37.7% of clients reported that religion/spirituality is moderately to very important in their lives. In terms of class standing, 30.9% were first year students, 19.9% sophomores, 21.4% juniors, 22.4% seniors, and 3.2% graduate students. 22.3% of clients were transfer students to the university.

CWU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

City of Ellensburg

The main University campus is located in the City of Ellensburg. Situated in the heart of Washington State, Ellensburg is only a two-hour drive from Seattle. With a population of roughly 16,000 residents, Ellensburg and the surrounding area boasts one of the richest agricultural regions in the State of Washington. Nested in the stunningly beautiful Kittitas Valley, Ellensburg is also the hub of one of the Northwest's prime recreational areas providing plentiful opportunities for skiing, hiking, backpacking, fishing and riding. One of the personal benefits of completing your internship at CWU is the opportunity to take advantage of this incredible area of the country.

Below are some additional links to help you explore life in Ellensburg.

Farmers Market

Art Galleries/First Friday Art Walk

Jazz in the Valley

Kittitas County Fair

Ellensburg Rodeo

My Ellensburg has many videos of local events and activities

Many majority identities and cultural backgrounds are the predominate groups represented with in the Ellensburg community at large. At the same time, many diverse and minoritized groups are represented in the university community. Social justice concerns are the focus of many in the community. Some groups and events that focus on supporting social justice and diversity include:

Not In Our KittCo

Pride of Ellensburg

CWU Diversity and Equity Center

CWU News

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