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A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.

Counseling - Student Affairs

Certificate: Student Affairs Practice - Credits: 9 (program code:  0703)

Program Description

The student affairs practice certificate is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary for an entry-level position in student affairs, as well as to assist those currently working in student affairs units who seek to advance their own personal knowledge and professional credentials. It is a post-baccalaureate program.

Student affairs professionals provide services and support to enhance student growth and development. They work in a variety of settings including housing and residential life, student union management, student leadership, new student orientation, admissions, financial aid, student success and retention, and may provide counseling, career services and multicultural support services.

The certificate in student affairs practice will NOT certify you as a professional counselor. You may want to check your state's licensure laws for more information. Courses, however, might be able to be used for continuing education or additional credits toward professional counselor licensure. (Check with your state licensing board for counselors.)

Delivery Mode

100 percent online

Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements (Regular)

  • 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 undergraduate institution
  • For International Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements. Those admitted conditionally based on any missing document/s have up to a maximum of one term to satisfy the requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a GPA under 2.90 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Unofficial transcripts


CED 777 Student Affairs Services in Higher Education3
CED 778 The College Student and Higher Education Environment3
CED 779 Administration of Student Services in Higher Education3


Candidates in the Student Affairs program receive academic and professional counseling throughout their enrollment in the program. Each candidate is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with candidates to discuss, monitor and provide counseling as it relates to their program of study.

How to Apply

  • Complete the Graduate School Application online
  • Submit the non-refundable $25 Application Fee
  • Mail official transcript to:
    • School of Graduate Studies and Research
      California University of Pennsylvania
      Box 91, 250 University Ave.
      California, PA 15419
  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above, email (, or fax (724-938-5712)

Application Questions

Phone: 724-938-4187

For Additional Information

Phone: 866-595-6348

Program Coordinator

John Patrick, CRC, NCC, LPC, D.Ed. (Pennsylvania State University), M.S. (University of Scranton), B.A. (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania), Professor
          Web Page:
           Phone: 724-938-4452

Program Faculty

Elizabeth Gruber, NCC, LPC, Ph.D. (Duquesne University), M.A. (Youngstown State University), B.S. (Bowling Green State University), Professor, Field Site Coordinator

Jeff Samide, NCC, LPC, Ed.D., M.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Saint Vincent College), Associate Professor

Jacqueline A. Walsh, NCC, LPC, Ph.D. (Kent State University), M.S., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Professor

For faculty bios, visit: