The Master of Science in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) is an on-campus, cohort-based program.

In the fall and spring terms, students attend two back-to-back classes one evening per week. In the summer term, students take classes two evenings per week, attending one class each evening.

Curriculum Highlights

  • The curriculum features courses on important topics such as counseling theory and practice, persistence, resilience and cross-cultural approaches.
  • The coursework is built on the cultural proficiency model, which emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s own experience in order to better understand the perspectives of others. Students engage with this approach in a dedicated course and consistently throughout the program.
  • On-site placements, completed at the end of the program, enable students to apply their new skills in the field under the guidance of a Pupil Personnel Services credential holder.
  • Students working toward the optional Child Welfare and Attendance Specialization will complete one additional course and field study.

“We work really hard in all of our courses to connect theory and practice so that students are able to not only read about a theory and talk about it in class, but really identify the practical applications and what this would look like in the field for them. It’s one of the reasons why our students are sought after and why they’re recognized for really being prepared when they get to their field work placements and are out in the field.”

Angela Rowley, Lecturer, Counselor Education

MS in Counseling Courses

48 credits total (51 credits for students that pursue the Child Welfare and Attendance Specialization)

All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

This foundational course explores the history of diversity and multicultural education and introduces the conceptual framework of cultural proficiency as a lens for counselors in promoting equitable practices for all students in educational settings. An exploration of candidates’ self-identity, beliefs and values and the impact on their roles as counselors, advocates and leaders in diverse and inclusive educational settings will be conducted.

Implications and trends of federal, state and local court decisions as they affect the role of the counselor, teacher and administrator; their impact on district policy and finance; and on district and local programs and activities.

Through an examination of the nature of research, ethical and philosophical principles, types of research and characteristics of data, students will explore quantitative and qualitative methods of designing and conducting research in the context of educational settings.

A comprehensive review and advanced study of the maturation of both typical and exceptional persons, from birth to senescence in physical, social/emotional, cognitive and language areas. The learning process and its application in a variety of settings with students of diverse cultural, ethnic, racial, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds will be examined.

Fundamentals of counseling: theoretical approaches, the counseling process and cross-cultural perspectives. This course should be taken during the first semester offered.

Group counseling: foundation process, techniques and application; lecture and laboratory.

Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice.

Models and methods for effective prevention and intervention programs for at-risk students.

An emphasis on counseling knowledge and skills. Includes in-class monitored practice.

Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice. (Graded P/NC only).

Theoretical approaches, resources and techniques utilized in assisting individuals to make their educational and career choices.

Supervised field placement in a school, postsecondary setting or community agency with 100 (PPS) field hours required. Candidates must be supervised by an experienced professional with an appropriate credential. Each student will be involved in on-site experiences which include the application of theory to practice. Approved fieldwork application required.

Prerequisites: PPS Students - Proof of passing the CBEST and Certificate of Clearance. Law and Ethics in School Counseling, Counseling Theory and Practice, Group Process and Leadership, Microskills in Counseling, Career and College Development and Planning, Organization and Administration of Pupil Personnel Services and Systemic Approaches to Collaboration, Consultation and Supervision and completion of 24 credits.

Organization and administration of guidance and counseling services in the schools. Includes program planning, coordination, supervision, budgeting and evaluation.

Supervised field experience in a K-12 public school setting under the supervision of an experienced Pupil Personnel Services credential holder at either an elementary, middle school or high school. 300-500 field hours required. Approved fieldwork application required. (Graded P/NC only).

This course will be taken at or near the end of the program.

Supervised field experience in a K-12 public school setting under the supervision of an experienced Pupil Personnel Services credential holder at either an elementary, middle school or high school. 300-500 field hours required. The school level must differ from that in Field Studies in School Counseling I. The combined number of field hours required for the two courses (Field Studies in School Counseling I and Field Studies in School Counseling II) is 800. The two courses may not be taken concurrently. Approved fieldwork application required.

Prerequisite: Field Studies in School Counseling I. (Graded P/NC only).

This course will be taken at or near the end of the program.

An emphasis on academic counseling knowledge and skills. An introduction to topics of academic development such as K-16 educational pipeline, high school graduation requirements, A-G requirements, the college admission process, working with historically marginalized populations and academic prevention and intervention. The course will emphasize resilience development, grit and growth mindset as theoretical models.

This course provides candidates with knowledge regarding systemic approaches to effective consultation, collaboration and supervision in K-12 educational settings. In particular, this course is designed to equip candidates with theoretical foundations of systemic leadership approaches, advocacy tools to support family-school-community relationships and data-driven decision making processes for systemic and equitable change.

Assessment of typical and atypical pupils, including the preparation, selection, administration, scoring and interpretation of culturally appropriate normed and criterion-referenced individual and group tests.

Child Welfare and Attendance Specialization

Students can choose to complete an optional Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) Specialization as part of their master’s in school counseling with PPS credential. California and other states often have dedicated CWA departments or offices that promote and ensure the well-being, safety and regular attendance of students in schools. In addition, as chronic absence is now one of the metrics on the California State Dashboard for public schools, districts may be interested in hiring new counselors who are dedicated to reducing chronic absence rates.

Completing the Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) Specialization enhances a practitioner’s understanding of the importance of student attendance. The specialization course and fieldwork also discuss strategies to support chronically absent students and improve their attendance. Learners will complete the following course in addition to fieldwork:

An emphasis on school, home and community factors contributing to school attendance, related laws and intervention programs designed to enhance attendance and school safety. 150 hours of fieldwork at a school site is required under the supervision of an experienced PPS credential holder.

Prerequisite: Field Studies in School Counseling I.

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