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 Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that “employment of school and career counselors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Rising student enrollments in elementary, middle, and high schools are expected to increase demand for school counselors.”

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 800 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 the fall semester only and must be received through the Cal State Apply system no later than January 15 of each year. 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.

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 Internship (3 Unit Course Take Twice - Fall & Spring)6

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

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. 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
  • Theories of Counseling
  • Developmental Foundations for Counselors
  • Psychological Foundations for Counselors (Theories and Classification of Mental Health Disorders) 
  • Career Counseling
  • Seminar in Research

Required Fieldwork

The state-mandated requirements are as follows:

Field Practice

Practical experience in the field of school counseling is integrated with academic study throughout the program. The California School Counseling fieldwork requirements are as follows:
  • A minimum of eight hundred (800) clock hours of field practice are required in a PK–12 school setting in direct contact with students.
  • Fieldwork must be provided in at least two of three school levels (elementary, middle and/or high school) with a minimum of 200 hours at each setting.
  • At least 150 fieldwork hours must include students from diverse backgrounds (e.g., students with diverse racial and ethnic identities, English learners, transgender and gender-diverse youth, youth experiencing housing instability, youth in the foster care system, and youth with disabilities).
  • Fieldwork hours must include a minimum of 100 hours of experience in each of the following domains: social/emotional, college/career, and academic counseling.
  • A minimum of 15 clock hours will involve small group counseling and/or classroom-level interventions.