School Counseling + Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPS + SC)

School Counseling + Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPS + SC)

Are you interested in working with elementary, middle, or high school students? We give you the option of earning a MA in Counseling, with a specialization in School Counseling.

Both specializations include receiving a Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPS + SC) necessary to work as a School Counselor or School Psychologist in PreK-12 California public schools. Credentials are awarded through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).



PPSC candidates in the School Counseling specialization acquire the knowledge and skills to become competent school-based mental health professionals and social justice advocates through a program of study aligned with the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) National Standards, which focus on the academic, career, and social/emotional development of K-12 students. Our candidates learn about the history, theories, and research behind the field of counseling and specifically professional school counseling, and gain a variety of tools to support the success of public and private school students from diverse populations and contexts; these tools include academic advising, college and career development, and counseling services at individual, group, classroom, and school-wide levels on relevant personal/social issues affecting K-12 students and their families. In keeping with CCTC requirements, our program gives primary emphasis in helping public school pupils achieve academic success by emphasizing the importance of student support services.

Successful completion of a program of study in the Counseling Department at Saint Mary’s College of California, leading to a master’s degree and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling, involves a combination of coursework, fieldwork, and a culminating project, as well as meeting the PPS + SC standards and registering for the credential.


What courses will you take?

These courses fulfill the CCTC requirements for the School Counseling PPS + SC Credential: 
40 units of core courses, plus 20 School Counseling specific units (below), for a minimum of 60 units:

  • COUN 703: School Counseling Practicum and Action Research (3 units)
  • COUN 713: Psychological Perspectives of Gender (2 units): Introduction to psychology of gender, with emphasis on psycho-social effects of genderization of women and men from an ecosystemic, multicultural, and feminist perspective. Attention is paid to gender-specific issues pertinent to mental health and well-being.
  • COUN 731: Treatment of Children (3 units)
  • COUN 723: School Counseling (3 units)
  • COUN 733: Systems Consultation (3 units)
  • COUN 793: Counseling Field Experience (1-3 units each term; 6 units total): Students are engaged in fieldwork in clinical, school or college settings appropriate to department specialization(s) and career objectives. Weekly seminars held for specific specializations. Supervision provided by Counseling Department campus supervisors and department-approved field supervisors.



Cohort plans of study







Post-Master's, PPS + SC Credential-Only:

We also offer post-master's degree, PPS + SC Credential-Only Programs in School Counseling.