Online Master’s in School Counseling With PPS Credential California

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This master’s degree in counseling prepares students to serve as a School Counselor, providing support to children and encouraging youth to pursue college and careers.

In the past, individuals were required to teach for a few years before becoming a school counselor. While some states still adopt this for certification and licensure, the requirements for others is the completion of a master’s degree in school counseling.

As any online degree in counseling, an online school counseling graduate degree promotes the understanding of student development, developing counseling skills, and increasing one’s knowledge on academic, personal/social, and career topics.

The Master of Arts in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling is an integrated program designed to streamline the process by reducing the steps to becoming a school counselor. Change the lives of adolescents by encouraging them to pursue college, a career and dream about their future. Understand state and federal laws and regulations affecting school district guidance programs. Demonstrate knowledge of personal strengths, assets, values, beliefs, and attitudes. Apply research-based counseling theory to particular problems. Create effective counseling program. As leaders of educational reform and the profession, our school counselors are trained to advocate for equity, achievement, and opportunity for all students.

Educational Counseling program equips candidates with in-depth understanding of the numerous issues and pressures facing pupils today. With a solid background in this area, candidates are better able to communicate with pupils of all cultures, socioeconomic levels, and learning abilities.

The master’s degree coupled with the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling significantly increases one’s marketability. This program immerses the candidate into the world of school counseling, emphasizing practical techniques to help pupils stay in school. Candidates explore problem-solving skills, discipline procedures, crisis and routine intervention, and work side-by-side with practicing school counselors.

Program Highlights

Educational Counseling with embedded School Counseling Credential program:

  • Combines the master’s degree with the credential program requirements, equipping students to advance their career.
  • Renders the graduate highly marketable and competitively qualified to serve as a professional school counselor in a public school setting.
  • Offers an efficient path toward the dual goal of meeting state requirements and earning a prestigious advanced degree from a reputable university.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in School Counseling?

You may be wondering, “What can I do with a master’s in school counseling?” There are a variety of career options available once you’ve earned a master’s degree. Many school counselors choose to work in educational settings  such as elementary, middle and high schools, specializing in areas such as mental health and family counseling. There are also school counselors who work at universities and colleges. In some cases, you may find school counselors working in social services, health care facilities or in workplace training centers. We’ll outline some of the career paths available.

Counseling

University NameLocationSchool Counseling Program TypeType of Online ClassGRE RequirementProgram LengthTotal Credits
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CaliforniaMaster of Education in School CounselingLiveNo GRE Required2 – 3 Years49 Credit Units
25 Best Online Masters in School Counseling Programs [2022 Guide]

What Does a School Counselor Do?

Depending on the age level of the students, school counselors — who are also sometimes called guidance counselors — perform different functions.

Elementary school

Elementary counselors help students with personal development, and any academic or social challenges students may be facing. They play a very important role in education whether they are working with the students themselves, parents and other school staff. They provide counseling on an individual level as well as in group settings for students. They also provide teachers with tools they need to keep their classrooms productive and safe spaces for students. Elementary school counselors may also consult with the school’s principal and other organizations to advocate for student issues, needs or problems.

The role of an elementary school counselor may include:

  • Helping students set academic and social goals
  • Working with those who are developmentally delayed or behaviorally challenged
  • Working with teachers and the administration to adjust curriculum when needed for Particular students
  • Informing parents and discussing significant issues with them
  • Dealing with signs of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Monitoring how marginal, lower-income, and minority students cope with daily life as students
  • Counseling students who have a parent who has died or is in prison

Middle School

Middle school counselors also help students with personal, social and academic development. They may help students individually or gather a group of students together to help them work through interpersonal issues that arise in middle school, which can be a challenging time. In some cases, they redesign classrooms in order to give students the best possible learning environment or accommodate students with specific needs. Students learn in different ways, and middle school counselors address these unique needs through collaborative efforts. Middle school counselors work with parent organizations as well as other teachers to address student needs or help provide interventions.

High School

In high school, typically grades 9 or 10 through 12, those responsibilities grow to include teen life issues as well as college and career planning. Their priorities cover academic and social issues, life skills, and coordination with teachers and administrators. They may coordinate college-campus visits and help students who are applying to schools for financial support.

School counselors may teach classes on social issues, such as sex education. They may do vocational counseling, present information to the student population on bullying, and work with students and parents in mental-health situations, providing referrals to outside resources when needed. They may develop school programs to improve study habits and time management or give individual assessments to students that show promise or difficulty in specific areas.

Counselors at all levels develop written plans for their schools based on local student achievement goals and the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) School Counseling Standards. These standards include ethical guidelines, professional standards and competencies, and the ASCA’s “Mindset and Behaviors  for Student Success: K-12 College- and Career-Readiness Standards for Every Student,” which lists 35 standards to assess student development and increase achievement.

FAQs

Do you need a master’s degree and PPS to become a school counselor in California?

Yes. Counselors must hold a master’s degree in school counseling in order to become a school counselor. A Master’s degree in Counseling or a related field is required to obtain a clear PPS School Counseling Credential. Beyond graduate coursework, students also complete a certain amount of hours of supervised training in a school environment.

The career outlook for those who have obtained their Master of Arts in Education with PPS Credential in School Counseling is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of 13% for school counselors between 2016 and 2026—a total of almost 40,000 positions nationally. Note that this number is just for school counselors and does not reflect the ability of those seeking a more traditional education position that they would wish to supplement with this credential, though traditional education positions have a strong outlook as well.

Online Master’s In School Counseling With PPS Credential California

As a school counselor, the difference you make in students’ lives may take years to manifest-but the impact you make can last a lifetime. At Alliant University, our Master of Arts in Education with PPS Credential in School Counseling Degree Program prepares you to provide counseling and mental health support for K-12 students who need to overcome personal and academic challenges or plan for life after high school. School counselors can also help students in career development and meet the requirements for getting into their dream college. Our courses in our comprehensive school counseling program include subjects ranging from adolescent behavior, methodology, evaluation, and professional counseling, helping to prepare you to give every student a chance to prosper.

Degree Highlights

CTC-Approved Curriculum

This higher education graduate program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTCC), one of the highest standards in the country and the world.a

PPS-Only Option

If you already have a master’s degree in psychology, counseling, or education, the PPS Credential in School Counseling is offered as a stand-alone option for those looking to start a counseling profession.a

Mentorship and Fieldwork

Your professors and instructors understand the challenges you face as a professional counselor handling group counseling or individual mental health counseling, and will apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world experience in a school setting.

Masters in School Counseling with PPS Credential

The program in school counseling prepares students to serve as counselors in the public schools for grades K-12 and meets the requirements for a California state credential authorizing service as a school counselor. Students with a previously earned master’s degree in counseling or a related field may earn a California state PPSC credential with Child Welfare Attendance (CWA) Authorization without enrolling in this master’s degree program. Those candidates who enroll only in the PPSC credential program will be governed by credential policies. All other candidates will be governed by graduate degree and credential policies with credential policies superseding graduate policies

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Master of Arts in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling program must complete the formal application process with all required documents, which include:

  • Completed application
  • An autobiographical essay (2-3 pages)
  • GPA: Meet 1 of these 4 GPA options for admission
  • Current Resume (showing experience working with children)
  • Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions where baccalaureate and/or post-baccalaureate coursework was completed or attempted
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who know the candidate in a work setting, preferably one working with children
  • Proof of passing score report on the California Basic Skills Test (CBEST) or any of the CTC approved basic skills test

Online School Counseling Programs with PPS Credential

School Counseling (PPS)

The School Counseling / Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential option is a 60 unit program, comprised of 19 units of Major Core Requirements and 41 units of School Counseling coursework. 

To earn the Pupil Personnel Services Credential Master’s degree, students must complete the core requirements above and the School Counseling specialization courses below.

While it is possible to complete all the courses required for the credential in a two-year period, such a program requires careful planning. The Department intends to offer each PPS course at least once a year, but students need to plan the sequence with their advisor to insure it matches the availability of courses. 

COURSEUNITS
COUN 501 Counseling Theories & Professional Orientation4
COUN 510A Applied Counseling Techniques & Assessment 4
COUN 511F Career Counseling: Foundations, Measurement and Assessment, and Issues Throughout the Lifespan 3
COUN 513 Research, Evaluation, and Assessment in Counseling4
COUN 570 Multicultural Counseling 4
COURSEUNITS
COUN 510B Counseling Practicum4
COUN 511G Academic/Career Planning and Counseling Issues of K-12 Populations1
COUN 514A School Counseling Field Experience I4
COUN 514B School Counseling Field Experience II4
COUN 520 Introduction to School Counseling 4
COUN 521 Pupil Personnel Services: Concepts and Organization 4
COUN 523 Working with Families in a School Setting 4
COUN 524 Counseling Children & Adolescents4
COUN 526 Group Counseling in the Schools4
COUN 527 Law & Ethics for School Counselors4
COUN 528A Consultation 3
COUN 528B Crisis Intervention 1

All Master’s candidates are required to complete a project representing a comprehensive and integrative understanding of the field of Counseling. Projects include a case analysis and a comprehensive exit exam.

Six hundred hours of supervised field experience are required for other PPS options. For the PPS Credential at least 450 of these hours are to be completed in two out of the following sites: elementary school, junior high or high school.

School Counseling, Master of Science in Education | St. John's University

Masters in School Counseling California

Masters In School Counseling Programs and Degrees General Info Graduate students with a passion for education and counseling might find that enrolling in a School Counseling Masters program may prepare for a specialized career. School counselors help students of different ages develop the social skills to succeed in school, and typically, must be credentialed, which most often requires a Master’s degree according to the BLS. School psychologists also need an advanced degree and certification or licensure to work per the BLS.

As a field, school psychology applies the principles of educational, developmental, clinical and community psychology with applied behavior analysis to meet the learning needs of children and adolescents. School psychologists are educated in psychology, along with child and adolescent development and psychopathology. Masters in School Counseling programs teach students about fostering academic development; conducting group and individual counseling; and working with parents, teachers, and other school staff. These programs often require students to gain experience through an internship or practicum. GradSchools.com makes it easy to find a School Counseling Masters Program. You can begin with a location search to determine where these programs are offered; use the city, state or country tabs, then browse the listings. Refine this search be deciding on the program format. You may want to look into campus-based programs if the traditional college experience is appealing to you. Busy adults and currently working professionals may find that a distance-learning format better suits their needs. If so, check out Online Masters in School Counseling programs or the hybrid format that combines the flexibility of online courses with low residency on-campus courses. Aside from general School Counseling Masters programs, some of the programs that might interest you may include: Master in College Counseling, M.A. in Counseling in Educational Settings, M.A. in School Psychology, or M.S. in School Counseling – Addictions Counseling.

FUN FACTS:

  • School psychology dates back to the beginning of American psychology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries per the BLS
  • Lightner Witmer has been acknowledged as the founder of school psychology

Potential Curriculum In School Counseling Masters Programs

Coursework for School Counseling Masters programs may vary depending on the school, the learning format or school counseling degree focus. Per the BLS, school counselors need to know:

  • Psychology: human behavior and performance, learning and motivations, research and treatment methods as well as personality and affective disorders
  • Therapy and Counseling: principles, methods and procedures for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation
  • Education and training: principles and processes for designing curricula, teaching instruction and measurement of results
  • Customer care: principles and processes for assessing client needs and providing customer service

Students earning a Masters in School Counseling Degree may explore subjects that might include:

  • Group counseling, individual counseling
  • Special issues in school counseling
  • Psychopathology and psychopharmacology
  • Child and adolescent counseling
  • Human growth and development

Explore a Career as a School Counselor

Working in School Counseling typically involves different duties, and may vary depending on whether one is working with elementary, middle school, high school, or college age students. Some of the responsibilities of School Counselors involve:

  • Helping students understand and overcome social or behavioral problems through individual and group counseling
  • Providing individual and small group counseling based on student needs
  • Working with students to develop skills, such as organization, time management, and effective study habits
  • Assisting students set realistic academic and career goals and develop a plan to achieve them
  • Evaluating students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning
  • Collaborating with teachers, administrators, and parents to help students succeed
  • Delivering classroom guidance lessons on topics, such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college or careers after graduation
  • Identifying and report possible cases of neglect or abuse
  • Referring students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support

What you should know about School Counseling Licensing, Certifications and Registrations:

  • Public school counselors must have a state-issued credential to practice, which may be called a certification, a license, or an endorsement, depending on the state.
  • Licensure or certification typically requires a master’s degree in school counseling and an internship or practicum completed under the supervision of a licensed professional school counselor.
  • Some states require applicants to have 1 to 2 years of classroom teaching experience or to hold a teaching license, prior to being certified. Other states allow full-time teaching experience to be substituted, in lieu of the internship requirement.
  • Most states require a criminal background check, as part of the credentialing process.
  • Information about requirements for each state is available from the American School Counselor Association.

Wages and Job Outlook For professionals in School Counseling: According to the BLS, the 2020 median pay for school counselors was $58,120 annually and the employment rate of school counselors is predicted to grow 8% between 2019 and 2029, due to rising student enrollments, which are expected to increase the demand for professionals to respond to the needs of new students. The industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation are:

  • Elementary and secondary schools
  • Colleges, universities, professional schools
  • Junior colleges
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Individual and family services
School Counseling | Master of Arts in Education (MAED) | Concordia  University Irvine

PPS Credential Only Programs

Pupil Personnel Services Credential Programs

The Pupil Personnel Services Credential with School Counseling Specialization authorizes the holder to perform the following duties: develop, plan, implement, and evaluate a school counseling and guidance program that include academic, career, personal, and social development; advocate for the high academic achievement and social development of all students; provide school-wide prevention and intervention strategies and counseling services; provide consultation, training, and staff development to teachers and parents regarding students’ needs. Candidates seeking only a School Counseling credential must already hold an appropriate Master’s degree. Candidates who do not already hold an appropriate Master’s degree must be enrolled into the Master of Science in Educational Counseling with Credential program.

Admissions Requirements
To be fully admitted into the Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Credential Program, each candidate must view the recorded credential orientation sent to his/her SOAR Student Message Center and return a completed credential packet to the Credentials Department within 30 days of enrollment.

A School Counseling Credential Packet is complete when the candidate had filled out and returned the following:

  • Acknowledgement of Terms and Agreements
  • Proof of Master’s Degree or enrollment in National University’s Master of Science in Educational Counseling
  • Proof of attempt or passage of Basic Skills Assessment is required for admittance to the program (Proof of passage is mandatory prior to clinical practice)
  • Negative TB test results (valid within the last four years)
  • Proof of Fingerprint Clearance through the CTC

Candidates must also successfully complete the orientation course CED 607 and meet with his/her Faculty Advisor for initial advisement to be fully admitted into the program.

Internship Requirements
In addition to meeting the admissions requirements, to be cleared to begin internship hour’s candidates must also complete and return the following 30 days prior to the start date:

  • Passage of a Basic Skills Assessment
  • Internship Application Form
  • Complete 10 (ten) CED courses including: CED 610, CED 611, CED 603, and CED 601 (excluding: CED 637, CED 694 and CED 620)
  • 3.0 GPA (grades of “D” and “F” are not accepted)
  • Possess current account balance

Completion Requirements
In addition to meeting the admission and internship requirements, to be recommended for a Pupil Personnel Services: School Counseling Credential candidates must also complete and return the following:

  • Passage of the ETS Praxis (#0421) examination in School Counseling (passing score is 156)
  • Possession of an appropriate Master ’s degree or completed Master ’s degree coursework
  • Exit interview with NU Faculty Advisor or University Supervisor
  • All credential program coursework (3.0 GPA Grades of “D”, “F” and “U” are not accepted)
  • Possess a zero account balance

All test results must remain valid in order to apply for credential.

PPS: School Counseling University Internship

The University internship route provides an opportunity for candidates who have been offered employment to complete clinical practice, while employed in an appropriate position as a school counselor. This experience is a partnership between the candidate, National University, and the employer meant to support the candidate in an environment similar to that authorized by the credential obtained at the end of the program.

Candidates on probation or permanent academic probation are not eligible for a National University internship program. Once intern eligible, candidates must apply for an Internship Credential which is valid for two years.

National University candidates who are interested in becoming a university intern must complete and show verification of all prerequisite requirements and go through the internship eligibility process to determine suitability for the internship program.

Prerequisite Requirements

  • Proof of Fingerprint Clearance through the CTC
  • Passage of a Basic Skills Assessment
  • Negative TB test (valid within the last four years)
  • Letter of recommendation from the Principal or Administrator of the hiring school
  • Complete 12 CED courses including CED 610, CED 611, CED 603, and CED 601 (except CED 637, CED 694 and CED 620) if not completed the following will be required:
  1. Completion of program prerequisites courses, CED 607 and four additional core CED courses
  2. Verification of two years relevant paid experience in a K-12 public school or related system or as a licensed counselor or therapist
  • Faculty approval of an American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model essay
  • 3.0 GPA (grades of “D” and “F” are not accepted)
  • Possess a zero account balance
  • Recommendation by NU Faculty Advisor

Eligibility Requirements
In addition to completion of all internship prerequisites, candidates are required to verify completion of the following Intern Eligibility:

  • Verification of internship program prerequisites
  • Agreement on file between the employing District, School or Agency and National University
  • District or agency offer of employment for the intern as a full time school counselor with a minimum of 10 hours per week.
  • Verification of intern eligibility determined in an Faculty Advisor interview

School Psychology

The Pupil Personnel Services Credential with School Psychology Specialization authorizes the holder to perform the following duties: provide services that enhance academic performance; design strategies and programs to address problems of adjustment; consult with other educators and parents on issues of social development and behavioral and academic difficulties; conduct psycho-educational assessment for purposes of identifying special needs; provide psychological counseling for individuals, groups, and families; coordinate intervention strategies for management of individuals and school wide crises.

Admissions Requirements
To be fully admitted into the Pupil Personnel Services School Psychology Credential
Program, each candidate must view the recorded credential orientation
sent to his/her SOAR Student Message Center and return a completed credential
packet to the Credentials Department within 30 days of enrollment.

A School Psychology Credential Packet is complete when the candidate has filled
out and returned the following:

  • Acknowledgement of Terms and Agreements
  • Proof of attempt or passage of Basic Skills Assessment is required for admittance
    to the program (Proof of passage is mandatory prior to internship)
  • Negative TB test results (valid within the last four years)
  • Proof of Fingerprint Clearance through the CTC

Internship Requirements
In addition to meeting the admissions requirements, to be cleared to begin internship
hour’s candidates must also complete and return the following 30 days prior
to the start date:

  • Passage of a Basic Skills Assessment
  • Internship Application Form
  • Complete all credential coursework
  • 3.0 GPA (grades of “D” and “F” are not accepted)
  • Possess current account balance

Completion Requirements
In addition to meeting the admission and internship requirements; candidates
must also complete and return the following prior to credential recommendation:

  • Passage of the ETS National Praxis (#0401) examination-School Psychology (passing score is 148)
  • All credential & master’s coursework (3.0 GPA Grades of “D”, “F” and
    “U” are not accepted)
  • Exit interview with NU Faculty Advisor or University Supervisor
  • Possess a zero account balance

All test results must remain valid in order to apply for credential.

University Internship
The University internship route provides an opportunity for candidates who have been offered employment to complete clinical practice, while employed in an appropriate position as a school psychologist. This experience is a partnership be¬tween the candidate, National University, and the employer meant to support the candidate in an environment similar to that authorized by the credential obtained at the end of the program.

Candidates on probation or permanent academic probation are not eligible for a National University internship program. Once intern eligible, candidates must apply for an Internship Credential which is valid for two years. Pre-requisite and eligibility requirements for the University Internship are the same as those for field experience requirements.

National University candidates who are interested in becoming a university in¬tern must complete and show verification of all prerequisite requirements and go through the internship eligibility process to determine suitability for the internship program.

Prerequisite Requirements

  • Proof of Fingerprint Clearance through the CTC
  • Passage of a Basic Skills Assessment
  • Negative TB test (valid within the last four years)
  • Complete all program coursework, excluding internship and seminar
  • 3.0 GPA (grades of “D” and “F” are not accepted)
  • Possess a current account balance
  • Recommendation by NU Faculty Advisor

Eligibility Requirements
In addition to completion of all internship prerequisites, candidates are required to verify completion of the following Intern Eligibility:

  • Verification of internship program prerequisites
  • Agreement on file between the employing District, School or Agency and National University
  • District or agency offer of employment for the intern as a full time school psychologist
  • Verification of intern eligibility determined in an interview by NU Faculty Advisor

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