Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Counseling Designation – Post-Master’s Level

Pupil Personnel Services Credential Only Program

School counselors are professionals who specialize in serving students in public and private schools (grades PK–12) through classroom, group, and individual counseling within a comprehensive school counseling program designed to meet students' academic, personal-social, and career needs. The Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC) program in school counseling is designed to accommodate those individuals who currently hold a master's degree in counseling and who wish to acquire a credential enabling them to work as a school counselor in a public school setting.

Employment Prospects

The Department of Education notes that 190,000 teachers will have to be trained and hired to teach a projected increase of 33.1% in the school age population in the coming years. The hiring of school counselors will likely follow.

General Information

Students completing the post-master’s PPSC program in school counseling will meet the standards of quality and effectiveness as recommended by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

The program is designed to supplement in a systematic manner an already completed master's degree. It comprises a minimum of 15 semester units that can be completed in two or three semesters. The three-course school specialization sequence (COUN 716, COUN 717, COUN 718) is offered fall, spring, and fall. Students also complete a post-master's internship, consisting of a minimum of 600 hours in two of three settings (elementary, middle, or high school) and under the supervision of a credentialed school counselor who has been practicing in the field for at least two years. Additional courses may be required depending on the student’s previous coursework.

Admissions Procedure

Applications are accepted for fall semester only and must be received by the department no later than January 15 of each year. To obtain a post-master’s PPSC only program application, visit our website at counseling.sfsu.edu. The department reviews each application and, if accepted, consultation with the coordinator of the school counseling program is required to determine which classes are needed to complete the PPSC program. Upon departmental review of the application and acceptance to the credential program, the student is invited for advising and orientation.

Applicants must also apply to the University to register for courses.

Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Counseling Designation — Minimum 15 units

Required Course Work

COUN 716Professional Seminar I - Structural Elements in School Counseling3
COUN 717Professional Seminar II - Functional Elements in School Counseling3
COUN 718Professional Seminar III - Professional Issues in School Counseling3
COUN 850Second Specialization Internship3

Additional Courses for Post-Master’s Credential-Only Students

In order to meet the standards of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), upon advisement, students may be required to take additional coursework to meet program and credential requirements. Typical content courses include the following:

  • Assessment in Counseling
  • Addictions
  • Group Counseling Process
  • Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling
  • Law and Ethics in Counseling
  • Couples and Family Counseling
  • Crisis Counseling for Counselors

Required Fieldwork

The state-mandated requirements are as follows:

Field Practice

Each candidate in field practice must demonstrate knowledge and skill in the areas of educational assessment, personal and social counseling, academic and career counseling, program development, program coordination and supervision, consultation, legal issues, multicultural competency, and professional ethics:

  1. A minimum of 600 clock hours of field practice are required in a PK-12 school setting in direct contact with pupils.
    1. Fieldwork shall be provided in at least two of three settings (elementary, middle, and/or high school) with a minimum of 200 hours at each setting.
    2. At least 100 clock hours shall be with at least ten pupils (individually and/or in a group) of a racial/ethnic background different from that of the candidate.
    3. A minimum of 25 clock hours will involve group counseling and guidance activities in a school setting.