Post-Master's, School Counseling PPS

Program Details

Program Duration

Options for 1.5 or 2 year tracks. This is a program designed to help you grow and succeed, not just receive a diploma.

Learning Environment

Fall and Spring semester courses meet once a week Monday - Thursday in the late afternoon/evenings, and alternating Saturdays.

Average Class Size

15-18 learners per cohort. Cohort members in the program form a learning community. Your success starts with connections.


To become a School Counselor in PreK-12 California public schools, you must have a School Counseling Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC). Credentials are awarded through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

The Counseling Department at Saint Mary’s prepares PPSC students to become professional, empathic, well-rounded School Counselors through best practice academics and field experience. Our counseling framework emphasizes culturally responsive counseling and social justice, which is reflected in the College's Lasallian Core Principles and the Department’s Student Learning Outcomes. In keeping with CCTC requirements, our program gives primary emphasis to helping public school pupils achieve academic success by emphasizing the importance of student support services. We also emphasize the holistic wellness of students and school communities, and our students learn how to support PreK-12 pupils in the academic, career, and social/emotional domains as outlined by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

Each student receives an individualized plan of study within a cohort model, wraparound supervision and support both on campus and in the field, and attends intentionally small classes for an in-depth experience. Saint Mary’s PPSC graduates enter schools with the self-confidence and skills to be advocates for their students, parents, teachers, and greater community.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the School Counseling PPS Credential-Only, applicants must already hold a clinically-based master's degree from a regionally accredited university. For a degree to be clinically-based, you must have had specific coursework in counseling skills and fieldwork hours supervised by a licensed or credentialed supervisor. Common qualifying degrees include:

  • Counseling
  • Social Work
  • Clinical Psychology

While the following master's degrees are certainly relevant, they do not include counseling skills or fieldwork components, and therefore do not qualify for the credential-only program: General Psychology that is research focused, Education, Special Education, Applied Behavior Analysis. However, if you have one of these degrees, you are encouraged to apply to our full master's program, specialize in School Counseling (which includes the credential), and you will likely be able to transfer and challenge several courses.

If you earned your master's at a university outside of the United States, you must first complete a foreign transcript evaluation by a CCTC-approved company. This process will determine course and degree equivalency necessary to confirm eligibility.

Again, if you do not meet the eligibility requirements for this program, but still wish to become a School Counselor, you may apply to the full master's program and specialize in School Counseling — which includes the School Counseling PPS Credential!