Master of Arts in Counseling

School Counseling with Pupil Personnel Services Credential

Department of School, Family and Mental Health Professions

Academics Banner School Council Pupil

Program Overview

The MA in counseling, specialization in school counseling offers two concentration options:

  • Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) - 48 units
  • PPS credential with Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) eligibility - 63 units

School counseling students plan to work as professional counselors in elementary, middle, and high school settings or in agencies serving school-aged children and their families. Candidates develop knowledge and skills in student advocacy as well as in the design, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive, results-based guidance and counseling programs for diverse student populations.

Each student is placed with a credentialed school counselor in a San Diego area school and accumulates a minimum of 600 hours of supervised experience. Practicum and fieldwork experience includes a combination of individual and group counseling related to social, academic, and career development issues. Each student completes a year-long action research project in conjunction with fieldwork.

Through this program, students in both concentrations fulfill the requirements to earn a pupil personnel services credential (PPS) from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Our school counseling program is nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), a subsidiary of CAEP. Additionally, students in the 63-unit concentration become eligible for licensure with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCCs).

What can I do with this degree?

This program prepares students to become professional counselors. Students in this area plan to be school counselors in elementary, middle school, and high school settings or to work with agencies serving K-12 children and their families. Students have knowledge and skills in student advocacy as well as in the design, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive, results-based guidance and counseling programs. Through this program, students fulfill the requirements to earn a California pupil personnel services credential in addition to their master's degree.

Students who elect to pursue the 63-unit PPS credential with LPCC eligibility concentration not only plan to work in traditional school settings, but have an interest in working in education settings that may be more clinically focused, i.e., those focused on serving children and adolescents with developmental and behavioral needs.

Who should apply?

Our students have experience in a variety of backgrounds such as education, psychology, business, nursing, social work, the military, and pastoral and religious settings. Some plan to pursue doctoral work in the field. Many have some professional work experience and almost all have some experience related to the field of counseling, either paid or unpaid.

Read more about our students.