Site Search

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

Counseling – School Counseling

Master of Education: School Counseling - Credits: 48 (program code: 0151)
Certification Only: School Counseling - Credits: 48 (program code: 0157)

Program Description

School counseling programs at California University of Pennsylvania are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Through the University, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Post-Secondary Schools accredits the Department of Counselor Education. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits the school counseling programs (elementary and secondary school guidance). Courses offered by the Department of Counselor Education have been approved by both the National Board for Certified Counselors and by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for certification and continuing education credits (Act 48). The department is authorized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer certification programs in elementary and secondary school guidance.

Our Master of Education program in school counseling fulfills the degree requirements needed for the National Counselor Examination (NCE), required to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Students also have the option of taking an additional 12 credits before or after graduation to total 60 credits, also required to become an LPC in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Licensure Act 136 of 1998). Students will need two or more additional years of supervised work experience after graduation to complete the requirements for LPC.

Students who hold a master's degree in another discipline may decide to seek certification. The department will evaluate their transcripts to determine which courses are required.

Prospective students are advised to read the Counselor Education Student Handbook, which describes the philosophy, admissions and departmental procedures in detail. The handbook may be downloaded from the counselor education web page:

Delivery Mode

Traditional (on-ground, face-to-face delivery with some online/distance elements)


Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Admission Criteria

Admission Requirements (Regular)
  • Master’s Only: Bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.90 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.90 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Certification Only: Master’s degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited institution (for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees)
  • Two professional letters of recommendation on letterhead with all contact information and credentials
  • Master’s and Certification Only: One-page resume of work and education
  • Master’s and Certification Only: A 1,000 word psychobiography typed (see CED Handbook)
  • 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:

  • Master’s Only: Bachelor’s degree with a GPA under 2.90 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Certification Only: Master’s degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
  • Miller Analogies Test with a 395 or higher
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Interview

Out of State Students:

Students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for the most up-to-date information regarding out-of-state certification information.


  • School counseling certification also requires passing the PAPA prior to applying for candidacy.
  • School counseling certification also requires passing Praxis II, preferably before graduation for certification.
  • Area I core courses and required five readings needed to apply for candidacy. Please see your adviser and handbook.
  • Students may also pursue LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). Please see your adviser and handbook.
Area I: Core Courses Required for Candidacy
CED 700 Foundations of School Counseling3
CED 702 Counseling Theory3
CED 710 Counseling Skills and Techniques3
CED 724 Experiential Group Process3
Area II: Advanced Counseling Core
CED 705 Developmental Group Counseling3
CED 720 Cross-cultural Counseling3
CED 786 Career Counseling3
Area III: Field Education
CED 711 Practicum in Counselor Education3
CED 712 Clinical Field Experience in Counselor Education6
CED 787 Integration, Collaboration and Consultation3
Area IV: Counseling and Education Courses*
ESP 610 Special Education Foundations and Collaboration3
Area V: Psychological Foundations
CED 721 Diagnosis and Counseling Children and Adolescents3
PSY 713 Psychology of Growth and Development3
PSY 721 Advanced Tests Measurements3
CED 755 Counseling Across the Lifespan: Prevention and Treatment in Schools and Community3
CED 785 Research Methods in Counseling3

Note: If you have not taken the following courses or their equivalent courses as either an undergraduate or graduate, they are now required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and must be taken in order to receive school counseling certification. For this reason, we recommend completing this requirement before graduation. We also recommend taking the ESP courses in numerical order or concurrently, due to prerequisite requirements in that department:

ESP 611 Assessments and Positive Behavior Supports/ESP 701 Introduction to Behavior Analysis3
ESP 612 or 613 Evidence-based Practices in Inclusion3
EDU 650 Supporting English Language Learners3

Practicum/Field Education

Practicum and clinical field experience are taken near the end of the student's program.  Practicum requires a minimum of 150 hours on-site.  The student will be supervised by a professional in his/her area of interest.  The clinical field experience requires a minimum of 600 hours under the supervision of a professional in the student's area of interest.  This will be arranged in consultation with the field coordinator.


Students in the school counseling program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty.  Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study.  Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement 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

Program Coordinator

Grafton Eliason, Ed.D., B.A. (Duquesne University), M.Ed. (Shippensburg University), M.Div. (Princeton Theological Seminary), Associate Professor
          Web Page:
           Phone:  724-938-4123

Graduate Faculty

Jacqueline A. Walsh, NCC, LPC, Ph.D. (Kent State University), M.S., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania), Professor
Phone: 724-938-4123

Elizabeth Gruber, NCC, LPC, Ph.D. (Duquesne University), M.S. (Youngstown State University), B.S. (Bowling Green State University), Professor, Field Site Coordinator
Phone: 724-938-1567

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

Jeff Samide, NCC, LPC, Ed.D., M.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Saint Vincent College), Associate Professor
Phone: 724-938-4123

For faculty bios, visit: