Promoting and Advancing Training of High Desert School Counselors

OSU-Cascades Master of Counseling program and High Desert ESD are excited to share our new Department of Education grant-funded program: Promoting and Advancing Training of High Desert School Counselors (PATH-SC). This program is intended to increase the number and diversity of qualified school counselors in high-needs, rural K-12 schools by providing financial support for participants and intentional relationship-building and mentoring throughout the program. The Department of Education grant is expected to be renewed annually for five years, resulting in a final PATH-SC eligible cohort in the 2025 application cycle.

Application, Tuition Funding and Stipend

PATH-SC participants will benefit from partial to full tuition funding and a $1,000/mo stipend if eligible, in addition to the opportunity to work with and develop relationships with their future colleagues while interning at a high-needs school in one of four partnership districts. Upon availability of positions, PATH-SC participants are expected to apply and maintain employment for 2-3 years post-graduation, and the relationships built during the program will serve to support students’ transitions into their professional career.

PATH-SC is available for individuals who apply to and are admitted to the School Counseling track in the OSU-Cascades Master of Counseling program. Individuals will apply for the PATH-SC program through the separate application. The PATH-SC application will be shared only with individuals who are invited to interview after applying for the Master of Counseling program (link to apply below).

Contact the PATH-SC program at

Eligibility Requirements

Must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Commit to participating in a school counseling internship in a high-needs school within one of four partnership districts
  • Commit to working as a school counselor in a high-needs partnership district for 2-3 years post-graduation
  • Attend the in-person school counseling program and the in-person professional development trainings and PATH-SC meetings held in the partnership districts
  • Attend a PATH-SC informational session (held during the program interview process)
  • Qualifies for federal financial aid

Must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Demonstrated financial need (evaluated using FAFSA/ORSAA submission; you must submit your FAFSA/ORSAA prior to submitting PATH-SC application)
  • Living in or from one of the partnership districts (Bend-LaPine, Crook County, Jefferson 509J, Redmond)


I’m already employed at a local school. Can I maintain my employment while participating?

Though we try to consider preferred level and district when making placements, we cannot guarantee placement at the school in which you are employed, and this is especially true for folks in the PATH-SC program where there are limited numbers of placements at different levels in each district. There is a possibility you can complete your internship at the school in which you are employed if the school qualifies as high-needs. If you don't know if your school qualifies, contact according to your district: Bend-LaPine — Jennifer Hauth, Crook County — Joel Hoff, Jefferson Co. 509J — unfilled, previously Kira Fee, Redmond — Tami Nakamura. Note that the required practicum field experience that occurs the year before internship is only held at one of two area schools; the practicum coordinator will place you at one of the sites. You will need to plan to travel to your assigned site one day per week to participate in the practicum experience in winter and spring of that year. Release time will likely be district dependent and for specific questions regarding this you should be in contact with your district.

I’d like to apply for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track. Could I apply for PATH-SC funding while in that track?

No. PATH-SC is exclusively available to students in our School Counseling track.

How much funding can I expect to receive?

PATH-SC funding will cover approximately 70-100% of the cost of tuition. PATH-SC funding is only applied toward tuition — it does not cover fees, books, or other course-related materials. A $1,000/mo stipend is awarded to eligible students during the final year of the program to cover needs related to traveling to internship sites.

Do I need to reapply for PATH-SC funding each year?

No, once you are accepted into PATH-SC you do not need to reapply.

Do I have to attend the School Counseling program full-time to benefit from PATH-SC funding?

You may choose to attend either full-time or part-time while receiving funding. 

Can I apply for PATH-SC if I am a student in the hybrid OSU School Counseling program?

No, you must be an OSU-Cascades School Counseling student to be eligible for PATH-SC funding. 

Do I need to be an Oregon resident to qualify?

No, there are no residency requirements for eligibility. 

How long does it typically take to submit an MCoun application?

The application requires applicants to answer five questions that speak to their experiences, interests, and understanding related to the counseling profession. Along with these responses applicants must also upload a resume and provide undergraduate transcripts. Once you begin an application in the system you can save your responses and do not need to complete the application in one sitting. The time involved in this process may vary by person but does not require individuals to obtain letters of recommendation or take the GRE which significantly reduces the time to complete.