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, California University of Pennsylvania'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: Cal U'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. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

Learn more about applying

Cal U's 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio facilitates individual attention from school counseling faculty.
100 %
of counselor education faculty are licensed professional counselors.
icon undergrad for degree

Degree Benefits

Cal U'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.
icon undergrad for degree

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. Cal U 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: Field Education Course
CED 711  Practicum in Counselor Education 3
CED 712  Clinical Field Experience in Counselor Education 6
CED 787  Integration, Collaboration and Consultation 3
Area IV: Counseling and Education Courses
CED 732  Current Issues in School Counseling: Evidence Based Practices and Inclusion 3
Area V: Psychological Foundations
CED 721  Diagnosis and Counseling Children and Adolescents
CED 722  Assessment Procedures for Counselors 3
CED 755  Counseling Across the Life Span: Prevention and Treatment in Schools and the Community 3
Area VI: Research
CED 785  Research Methods in Counseling 3
Total 48

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

  • Certificate:  Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.90 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.90 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited institution
  • Interview may be required
  • One-page resume of work and education may be required

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Certificate:  Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.90 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Interview may be required
    • One-page resume of work and education may be required

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
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Phone: 1.866.595.6348

Related Programs

Master's Degree

Certificates and Certifications


Cal U campus.

Student Success

Meet Becky S. Karluk '00. After graduating from Cal U'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

Cal U'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

Cal U 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

View profile
Dr. Elizabeth Gruber

View profile
Robert Mehalik
Assistant Professor

View profile
Dr. Jeff L. Samide

View profile
Dr. Jacqueline Walsh

View profile

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