School Counseling Pre K-12 

School Counseling Pre K-12  Master of Education (M.Ed.)

About the Master's degree in school counseling

Become a transformative counselor for Pre K-12 students.

Facilitate student well being and achievement. A master's degree in school counseling from PennWest California gives you comprehensive training and credentials for a rewarding career as a Certified School Counselor Pre K-12.

You'll graduate qualified to become a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and will be eligible to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania and other states. Work in public or private schools, or open a private practice.

Streamline your path to success.

  • Complete your degree in only 4 semesters and one summer with our accelerated program for students of any undergraduate major.
  • Adapt your course schedule to accommodate your lifestyle and career with evening classes, multiple program start dates and flexible internship hours.
  • Apply without MAT or GRE scores if your undergraduate GPA is 3.0 or above.

HRSA Program Student Opportunities

PennWest California graduate students can apply to receive a $10,000 stipend in support of their clinical field experience in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Counselor Education, and Social Work. The application process is competitive. Click here to learn more.



Experiential Learning:  Complete 150 hours of practicum work and 600 hours of clinical fieldwork in Pennsylvania schools.

Grounded in counseling: Coursework for the graduate-level program in school couseling is provided by PennWest California’s counselor education program and is aligned with CACREP standards. This is your assurance that this graduate  program meets the highest academic standards.


We've been awarded best counseling program in Pennsylvania by Professional Counseling Associates and continue to maintain these high standards.
All PennWest California school counseling graduates in the class of 2014-2015 were hired in their chosen or a closely related field within 180 days of graduation.
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Degree Benefits

Enjoy one of the best school counseling degrees in the nation at one of the lowest costs in Pennsylvania. Many graduate assistantships are available to help cover the cost of tuition.

  • Cultivate a high level of self-awareness.
  • Develop competent counseling skills in order to practice ethically and professionally.
  • Learn how to conduct assessments and evaluations.
  • Gain an understanding of how individuals learn and grow, and how educational systems impact personal development.
  • Acquire skills to facilitate positive change in individuals and social systems.
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Graduate Outcomes

Now is the time to complete your education with a counseling master's degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted 19% growth in jobs for career and school counselors between 2010 and 2020. PennWest California counseling program alumni careers include:

  • School Counselor, Wheeling Park High School.
  • Therapist, Wesley Spectrum.
  • Counselor, Private Practice.
  • School Counselor, Southmoreland School District.
  • Director of Life Skills, University of Pittsburgh.

Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

A PennWest California gives you a comprehensive counseling education. Courses and fieldwork enable you to simultaneously complete Pre K-12 certification as a school counselor, become an NCC and work toward LPC licensure.


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
  • Two professional recommendations from professors or employers
  • One-page resume of work and education
  • A 1,000 word psychobiography typed (see CED Handbook)
  • 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 3.0
    • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA under 3.0 will be reviewed for a decision once a  GRE (290 or higher), OR MAT score (395 or higher) is received.

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:

*Early Admit:  Feb 15 (for Summer or Fall starts), Sept 15 (for Spring starts)

*Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until classes are full

  • Submit the non-refundable $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:
Email: Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Related Programs



PennWest California student center.

Best Value

PennWest California's master's degree program in school counseling was ranked second in Pennsylvania for best value by Winning traits included our standout combination of affordability, quality and convenience.

Residence halls on campus.

Student Success

Meet Becky S. Karluk '00. After earning her master's degree in counselor education at PennWest California, she became a guidance counselor with the Central Greene School District in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. She is responsible for 600 students in grades 6-8, all student records, and all state and achievement testing.

Master's degree in school counseling

Hero in Education

Master's degree in school counseling professor Dr. Grafton Eliason 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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