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Standard 3 Aspect A

Standard 3: Preparation programs ensure that candidates, upon completion, are ready to engage in professional practice, to adapt to a variety of professional settings, and to grow throughout their careers. Effective program practices include: consistent offering of coherent curricula; high-quality quality, diverse clinical experiences; dynamic, mutually beneficial partnerships with stakeholders; and comprehensive and transparent quality assurance processes informed by trustworthy evidence. Each aspect of the program is appropriate to its context and to the credential or degree sought.


The Masters in School Counseling Program with Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential is housed in the Department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation. The CER Department offers three Master’s programs: MS in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling (MFCC); MS in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health; and MS in Counseling. The MS in Counseling has two programs and a credential: School Counseling; Student Affairs and College Counseling; and the Pupil Personnel Services Credential. Students take the majority of their courses that are considered as core-counseling courses across all specializations. Students also take some courses that are specialization-focused. For Masters in School Counseling Students, these are often PPS courses. 

The PPS School Counseling program also meets the California Commission on Teacher. Credentialing standards as the program also receive accreditation from the CCTC. Hence completers receive their credential to serve as school counselors from the CCTC. In order to provide up-to-date curricula, the program faculty monitors the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP), including a revised counselor training standards released in June 2016 (2016 CACREP Standards). Second, the State of California provides guidelines for The Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PUPIL PERSONNEL SERVICES CREDENTIAL). Finally, the American School Counselor  Association (ASCA) released Professional Standards & Competencies standards for school counselors (ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies). These guidelines have helped our program to plan and update curricula to meet the needs of our profession and stakeholders.  

The structure of the coursework and field experience is well sequenced. Students in both MS Counseling degree and PPS credential programs take a common core curriculum as a prerequisite for advanced graduate curriculum. For the PPS students, the advanced graduate curriculum includes a sequence of classes that is developed with the PPS Coordinator according to the student’s career goals. The sequence of classes includes the basic core curriculum, advanced specialization courses, practicum in counseling, field practice courses, and supervised experience in school counseling.

The 48-unit PPS credential coursework is available to full and part-time graduate students through a majority of late afternoon, evening, and on-line classes that are web enhanced or web based. The curriculum includes nine units of three prerequisite courses. The prerequisites are followed by the 48-unit credential program curriculum. There are seven basic core courses which comprise 22-units, which in turn, are followed by 26-units of advanced specialization courses in K-12 school counseling. Included in the 26-units of advanced specialization are eight units of supervised field experience in a K12 school site. The supervised experience in counseling includes internships for a minimum of six hundred clock hours at two school levels (elementary/middle & high school). The six hundred clock hours can be translated into eight semester units with three hundred clock hours per four-unit class.

CER Handbook including MS in Counseling/PPS courses

Course sequence for full-time MS in School Counseling and PPS students available on pages 24-25 and includes the information customized for those participating in the PPS credential program, also listed in our Matrix.

Table to indicate alignment between curricula and/or national standards: 

Please access the link below to a table that shows how Masters in School Counseling program’s courses are aligned with CCTC Accreditation Standards: