Counseling students gain leadership experience, professional development in new organization
Faculty and students from City University of Seattle’s Master of Arts in Counseling program have started the university’s first chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), an organization that promotes academic excellence and professional development.
“As students and new professionals, the support that comes from an established and respected international society like CSI is invaluable.” said Hannah Allen, a Master of Arts in Counseling student and president of CityU’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. “Membership with CSI allows students and graduates to make connections with colleagues in other programs across Seattle through a shared professional identity.”
Chi Sigma Iota’s first year
CityU was officially chartered as the Epsilon Beta Alpha chapter in August 2016. Since that time, the students involved have been busy developing the organization, hosting events for peers in their program and organizing volunteer opportunities.
“Much of the first year has been building the organization, determining structure and establishing leaders.” Hannah said. “It gives students experience in how to manage significant responsibilities in multiple professional domains and collaborate with a diverse group of individuals.”
One thing that makes CityU’s counseling program unique is its focus on social justice. That focus is reflected by the activities and interests of the CSI chapter.
“One of the most memorable activities we’ve done was during CACREP Advocacy Week,” Hannah said. “We partnered with the United Way and did a supply drive we called Unite for Homelessness.”
The items the organization collected were distributed at a special event where multiple resources and services, such as haircuts, were available to the homeless community.
“We’re all meeting our passion projects in different ways,” Hannah said. “It’s a reflection of how invested people are and how much they want to do.”
Other events that the group has put together include networking socials and student-led academic and professional development workshops.
To become a member of Chi Sigma Iota, students must be enrolled in the counseling program and have a 3.5 GPA or higher. Students interested in joining should contact Faculty Advisor Joyce Mphande-Finn.