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Sports Counseling

 Sports Counseling Certificate – Credits:  12 (program code:  0935)

Program Description

Sports counseling is a process that assists individuals in maximizing their personal, academic and athletic potential. Sports counseling is accomplished through a proactive, growth-oriented approach that incorporates the principles of counseling, career development, movement science, psychology and lifespan human development. Counselors, educators and other helping professionals should have specialized awareness, knowledge and skills beyond the basic counselor preparation as well as the ability to develop effective therapeutic relationships.

The sports counseling certificate meets the particular interests and needs of a significant subsector of counselors, educators and other helping professionals who work with the athlete population in a variety of settings, including youth sports programs, interscholastic programs, colleges and universities, community and social agencies, professional sporting agencies, and recreational settings.

Note: The graduate certificate in sports counseling will not certify you as a professional counselor. However, it may be possible for the courses to be utilized for additional credits toward licensure or for continuing education credits. You may want to check your state’s licensure laws for more information.

Program Objectives

This program will provide counselor training competencies in three core areas of study:

  • Foundations of sports counseling
  • Contextual dimensions of sports counseling
  • Knowledge and skills for the practice of sports counseling.
Students will be prepared to work with youth, adolescent, young adult or adult athletes across a variety of settings.

Delivery Mode

Global Online (100 percent online delivery)

Admissions Criteria

Minimum 3.00 GPA in a baccalaureate degree* verified with official transcripts from an accredited institution

*For applicants with a GPA of less than 3.00, conditional acceptance may be possible.

 A one-page typed resume of employment and education history

 A 1,000-word typed psychobiography (see program web page for details)

 Three current letters of recommendation on letterhead from professional, academic and/or business sources who can attest to your potential as a helping professional with the athlete population.

An admissions interview may be required in person or via telephone

Graduate School Application plus $25 nonrefundable application fee

Special Program Requirements

Students completing a counseling field experience must provide proof of clearances. Criminal history check and child abuse clearances (appropriate for your state) are required for CED 782. Insurance liability is also required.


Course NameCredits
CED 780 Issues and Techniques in Counseling Athletes3
CED 781 Sports Counseling Programming3
CED 782 Advanced Issues and Techniques in Counseling Athletes3
CED 788 Contemporary Topics in Counselor Education3


Students in the certificate in sports counseling 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.

Application Questions

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Eberly 202B
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419

Program Coordinator

Taunya Tinsley, Ph.D. (Duquesne University), M.A. (University of Iowa), B.A. (Augsburg College);  NCC, LPC, Associate Professor
Web Page:
  724-938 5698

Graduate Faculty

Jacqueline A. Walsh, Ph.D. (Kent State University), M.S., B.S. (California University of Pennsylvania); NCC, ACS,  LPC, Professor
Grafton Eliason, Ed.D. (Duquesne University), M.Ed. (Shippensburg University), M.Div. (Princeton Theological Seminary), B.A. (Duquesne University); LPC, Professor
Elizabeth Gruber, Ph.D. (Duquesne University);  M.A. (Youngstown State University), B.S. (Bowling Green State University); LPC, NCC, Professor
John Patrick, D.Ed., (Pennsylvania State University); M.S. (University of Scranton), B.A. (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania), CRC, NCC, LPC, Professor
Jeffrey L. Samide, Ed.D., M.Ed. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Saint Vincent College); LPC,  Associate Professor