School Counseling PPSC

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT KIND OF A DEGREE DO I NEED TO QUALIFY FOR THE POST- MASTER'S DEGREE CREDENTIAL-ONLY PROGRAM?

You must have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited school in counseling, social work, clinical psychology, or a closely related field. Other advanced degrees in disciplines such as Education do not qualify applicants to apply for this program.

WHAT STEPS DO I NEED TO TAKE?

Once it is determined that you qualify as an applicant the next steps are:

1. Complete the online appplication for the PPS Credential in School Counseling

2. Once your application is completed, and you are an alumnus of the Saint Mary's Counseling Department, you will need to email a copy of your resume to Winnie Froehlich, [email protected], to verify currency in previously completed coursework and work experience prior to  being admitted into the program.

3. If you are not an alumnus of the Saint Mary's Counseling Department, and you have submitted your application, you will need to email a copy of your graduate transcript, a word document listing all the course descriptions for the courses listed on your transcript and a current resume to Winnie Froehlich, [email protected]. Upon receipt of all this items, a potential plan of study will be created for you.

4. You will be contacted to schedule an admissions interview.

HOW MANY CLASSES DO I NEED TO TAKE AT SAINT MARY’S?

If you are an SMC alumnus, your plan of study will consist of the all courses in the School Counseling Specialization that you did not previously take under your previous specialization. Students usually start in the spring and it generally takes 3 semesters to complete the School Counseling Specialization. Students who graduated with a counseling degree from Saint Mary’s do not need 27 units in residency.  Your remaining course of study will depend on your previous coursework and professional experience.

WHAT IF MY MASTER'S DEGREE IS  NOT FROM SAINT MARY'S?

If you are not an SMC alumnus, a plan of study will be created for you which reflects prior course work and work experience. Completion of the program for the School Counseling PPS Credential generally takes 2 years, with a fall start, and will be a minimum 27 units to satisfy the college's residency

COUNSELING FIELD EXPERIENCE

Every student must take Counseling Field Experience (COUN 530).  COUN 530 is a two-semester course sequence (6 units total).

WHEN ARE CLASSES OFFERED?

Classes are generally offered once a week, Monday- Thursday, in the fall and spring semesters. They are either from 4:15 PM -7:00 PM or 7:15 PM-10:00 PM. Our Counseling Skills classes are offered on six alternating Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters in conjunction with training group sessions that are primarily scheduled in the Monday-Thursday late afternoon-evening range. Depending on your plan of study, you may also take courses during our January term or during the Summer. These courses are usually offered two times a week.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT TUITION RATE?

Current tuition per semester unit is found on our web site under Tuition & Fees.

CAN I GET FINANCIAL AID?  DO YOU HAVE ANY SCHOLARSHIPS?

Yes, Post-master’s degree credential-only degree students may qualify for financial aid, and Saint Mary’s College does offer some needs-based scholarships.  For both loans and scholarships, you must fill out the FAFSA online at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.   For more information, contact Carol Kenney, Program Assistant, at (925) 631-4723 or by email at [email protected].

CAN I GET AN INTERIM CREDENTIAL AS SOON AS I ENROLL AT SAINT MARY’S?

No.  The State of California does not issue interim or emergency credentials for school counselors.  We can write a letter explaining that you are enrolled in our program and your expected completion date.  Certain districts and principals have granted a temporary waiver to students in the process of completing their coursework and credential requirements; doing so is the decision of the specific principal/district.

WHY IS A CERTIFICATE OF CLEARANCE REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION for those applying for the specializations in school counseling and school psychology?

It is required by law that every participant in a basic credential preparation program undergoes a moral fitness or clearance check by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).  In order to complete this fitness process you must apply for the appropriate document issued by CTC and have that document issued in your name by the Commission. Before being officially admitted to the KSOE you must have applied and PAID for a document issued by the CTC.  The document must be ISSUED prior to the start of your practicum placement (COUN 235 for School Counseling ) or field placement (COUN 530 for School Counseling).

DO I NEED TO TAKE THE CBEST?

If you are applying for the specialization in School Counseling  you must take the CBEST (or another CTC-approved Basic Skills Requirement) as part of the admissions process.  You need to have passed all sections of the CBEST prior to being in your practicum placement (COUN 235 for School Counseling )or field placement (COUN 530 for School Counseling).

DOES SAINT MARY’S HAVE A PAID INTERNSHIP PROGRAM IN PLACE WITH SCHOOLS?

No. Saint Mary’s does not offer an “internship” program in school counseling.  While some students are able to find paid employment in a school that meets the requirements for field placement, other students work at unpaid placements.

WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT STUDY?

Sometimes previous coursework will meet some, but not all, of the requirements for a course.  In that case your advisor or course instructor may require an independent study to cover the remaining material.  For example, if you took a 3-unit child development course as part of your master’s degree, you may be able to count 2 units towards the 3-unit Human Development (COUN 248) requirement and complete a 1-unit independent study on adult development.  The instructor will contact you with your exact assignment once you register for your independent study.  You will need to pay the regular tuition per unit of independent study.  Independent studies do not count towards your residency unit requirement. 

WHAT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS OR WOULD LIKE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?

If you have more questions or are ready to schedule and appointment, please email Winnie Froehlich, Department Manager for the Counseling program, at [email protected]. Please include your first and last name, in what term and year you are hoping to begin, and how you heard about the PPS-only program at Saint Mary's.