School Counseling Pre K-12

School Counseling Pre K-12 Certification Only

About School Counseling Pre K-12 Certification

Complete your course requirements for certification as a Pre K-12 counselor.

Launch your school counseling career in elementary and/or secondary schools.

If you hold a master's degree in school counseling or a related field, PennWest California's non-degree school counseling certification program enables you to meet all course requirements to become a Certified School Counselor Pre K-12 in Pennsylvania. The program also may prepare you to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania and other states.

Personalized learning creates career-ready counselors. 

  • Get rid of guesswork: PennWest California's counselor education department will evaluate your transcripts and advise which courses are required. 
  • Receive individual on-site training through a 150-hour practicum in school counseling.
  • Practice and apply school counseling skills in a real-world setting through a clinical field experience course.


Flexible Schedule: Fall, spring and summer start-dates ensure the courses you need are available when you need them. Evening classes also allow you to work full time while earning credits toward certification.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits PennWest California. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


PennWest California's 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio facilitates individual attention from school counseling faculty.
100 %
of counselor education faculty are licensed professional counselors.
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Degree Benefits

PennWest California's school counseling program has been awarded best graduate counseling program in Pennsylvania by Professional Counseling Associates and we continue to maintain these high standards. This program will help you:

  • Cultivate self-awareness.
  • Develop ethical and professional school counseling skills.
  • Conduct assessments and evaluations.
  • Understand how individuals learn and grow, and how educational systems impact personal development.
  • Facilitate positive change in individuals and social systems.
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Graduate Outcomes

Enter the workforce with knowledge, integrity, character and experience. Certification in school counseling leads to a rewarding career helping Pre K-12 students in Pennsylvania and beyond. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in this field is expected increase by 19% between 2010 and 2020. PennWest California program alumni careers include:

  • School Counselor, Canaan Elementary School.
  • High School Guidance Counselor, Burrell High School.
  • School-Based Therapist, Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services.
  • Therapeutic Day Treatment Counselor, Intercept Youth Services.

Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

This 48-credit non-degree certification program teaches comprehensive best-practices in school counseling. Courses meet requirements for certification as an Elementary and/or Secondary School Counselor.


Course Credits
Area I: Core Courses Required for Candidacy
CED 700  Foundations of School Counseling 3
CED 702  Counseling Theory 3
CED 710  Counseling Skills and Techniques 3
CED 724  Experiential Group Process  3
Area II: Advanced Counseling Core
CED 705  Developmental Group Counseling 3
CED 720  Cross-Cultural Counseling 3
CED 786  Career Counseling 3
Area III: Psychological Foundations
CED 721  Diagnosis and Counseling Children and Adolescents 3
CED 722  Assessment Procedures for Counselors 3
CED 755  Counseling Across the Life Span 3
CED 785  Research Methods in Counseling 3
Area IV: Counseling and Education Courses
CED 708  Substance Abuse and Addiction 3
CED 732  Current Issues in School Counseling: Evidence-Based Practice 3
Electives* (three courses) 9
Area V: Field Education Core
CED 711  Practicum in Counselor Education 3
CED 712  Clinical Field Experience in Counselor Education 6
CED 787  Ethics, Integration, Consultation and Collaboration 3
Total 60

* Electives are selected in coordination with your adviser from any CED course or certificate.

Program Requirements:

  • School Counseling Certification requires passing Praxis II for certification. 
  • Area I Core Courses and five readings are needed for candidacy. Please see your adviser and handbook.
  • Students may also pursue Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Please see your adviser and handbook. 

Program Notes:

CED 790 (Internship) can substitute for CED 712.

If you have not taken the following courses or their equivalent as either an undergraduate or graduate, they are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and must be taken in order to receive school counseling certification:

  • ESP 610  Special Ed: Foundations and Collaboration (3 credits)
  • EDU 650  Supporting English Language Learners (3 credits)

Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.0 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution
  • One-page resume of work and education
  • Interview may be requested

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Regionally accredited Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of a 2.90 will be conditionally admitted with the stipulation of earning a 3.0 GPA in the first term
    • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.90 will be reviewed for a decision once a GRE (290 or higher), OR MAT score (395 or higher) is received
    • Interview may be requested

Provisional Admission
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

How to Apply:

  • Complete the Graduate School Application   Deadline- April 24
  • Submit the nonrefundable $35 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcripts to:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Phone: 1.866.595.6348

Related Programs

Master's Degree

Certificates and Certifications


PennWest California campus.

Student Success

Meet Becky S. Karluk '00. After graduating from PennWest California's school counselor program, she became a guidance counselor with the Central Greene School District in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. She is now responsible for 600 students in grades 6-8, all student records, and all state and achievement testing.


Best Value in Pennsylvania

PennWest California's program in school counseling offers a standout combination of affordability, quality and convenience. The program was ranked second in Pennsylvania for best value by

PennWest California professor Grafton.

Faculty Spotlight

Meet school counseling professor Dr. Grafton Eliason. He was awarded a Red Cross Hero in Education Award for "going above and beyond" in his commitment to education and community service.

School Counseling Pre-K - 12 Faculty

Dr. Grafton Eliason

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Dr. Elizabeth Gruber

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Dr. Robert Mehalik
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Jeff L. Samide

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Dr. Jacqueline Walsh

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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.