Master of Arts in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling (PPSC)

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Law: Understand state and federal laws and regulations affecting school district guidance programs.
  • Intrapersonal: Demonstrate knowledge of personal strengths, assets, values, beliefs, and attitudes.
  • Research: Apply research based counseling theory to particular problems.
  • Leadership: Demonstrate skill in leading small groups.
  • Interpersonal: Create effective counseling program.

Brandman University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling. The program in school counseling prepares students to serve as counselors in the public schools for grades K-12 and meets the requirements for a California state credential authorizing service as a school counselor. Students with a previously earned master’s degree in counseling or a related field may earn a California state PPSC credential without enrolling in this master's degree program. Those candidates who enroll only in the PPSC credential program will be governed by credential policies. All other candidates will be governed by graduate degree and credential policies with credential policies superseding graduate policies.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance into the graduate program in counseling will be based on multiple criteria. These criteria include academic potential, experience with children and youth, and compatibility with program philosophy. To be considered for admission students must complete the following:

  1. Satisfactorily fulfill graduate admission requirements for Brandman University as stated in the catalog (see the Graduate Admissions section) including meeting the grade point average requirement for a graduate degree program.
  2. Applicants using the Brandman University Admissions Option Two with a grade point average between 2.5 and 2.99 in the last 30 graded semester credits (45 quarter credits) in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program including credits earned toward a credential are required to submit passing scores from one of the following standard admission tests:
    1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): any two of the three GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative or Analytical Writing) may be used to meet graduate admissions standards for this program. The minimum acceptable score for the Verbal and Quantitative sections is 450. The minimum acceptable score for the Analytic Writing is 4.5.
    2. Miller Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum scaled score of 403.
  3. Submit a graduate application with the following:
    1. Two letters of recommendation from individuals who have had experience with the candidate in an academic setting and knowledge of the candidate’s academic potential and from someone who knows the candidate in a work setting, preferably one where the candidate has worked with children.
    2. A current resume which includes experiences working with children.
    3. An autobiographical essay (2-3 pages) describing life experiences that have shaped the candidate’s approach to working with children and what led them to the decision to become a school counselor and their commitment to the PPSC program.

Credential and Program Requirements

The Counseling program requires 48 credits of coursework. Students entering the Counseling program or within the first session of being fully admitted to the program are expected to have the following:

Intake Interview: All candidates entering a pupil personnel service program, including those transferring from another institution, must successfully participate in an intake interview with a faculty member within the first session of enrollment.

Certificate of Clearance: A Certificate of Clearance application (including fingerprints) or a copy of a valid short-term permit must be submitted at the time of the intake interview or by the end of the first session of enrollment. Students who do not have verification of being issued a certificate of clearance cannot advance in any School Counseling coursework that requires observation or fieldwork in a K-12 setting.  Anyone with a revoked credential will not be admitted to any credential program until the credential is reinstated by the CTC.

Tuberculosis Test: A current "negative" tuberculosis test that is not more than two years old and covers the internship period must be submitted to the School of Education at the time of the intake interview or by the beginning of the first session of enrollment. A person whose tuberculosis test is "positive" can submit results from a chest x-ray examination that verifies the candidate does not have active tuberculosis.

Basic Skills Requirement: Proof of a passing score on the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) or any of the CTC approved basic skills tests is required for admission to all credential programs prior to enrollment in the second session of coursework.

Transfer Policy: No more than 12 credits may be transferred into the school counseling program from other graduate institutions upon approval by course transfer request to the Associate Dean. Transferred courses must have been awarded a grade of “B” or better and cannot be older than seven years at the completion of the program.  CSPU 618 Best Practices in CounselingCSPU 620 Supervision and Mentoring in School Counseling I, and CSPU 621 Supervision and Mentoring in School Counseling II must be taken at Brandman University.

The School Counseling program also requires the following:

Fieldwork and Internship: Candidates must complete the Practicum in School Counseling course and a minimum of 100 hours of practica fieldwork prior to beginning the final fieldwork or internship in CSPU 620 Supervision and Mentoring in School Counseling I and CSPU 621 Supervision and Mentoring in School Counseling II. A minimum of 600 hours of post-practicum fieldwork or internship is required to apply for the credential. A minimum of 400 hours must be done at a public school setting at two different levels. All public school hours must be under the supervision of an experienced professional who holds a PPS credential. 

Applications for the practicum in School Counseling must be filed with the clinical coordinator by the deadline established at the campus of residence.  All Credential and Program requirements must be met prior to starting any practicum courses.

Portfolio: After successfully completing Fieldwork/Internship and all other program requirements and coursework, candidates submit a portfolio demonstrating their competency through LiveText and pay a fee to have the portfolio evaluated. Portfolio requirements and directions are located on the SOE Services MyBrandman site.

Exit Interview:  An exit interview is conducted by a faculty mentor at the end of the program to determine that the CTC’s Standards have been met.  All coursework, non-coursework requirements, and the exit portfolio must be completed and passed prior to the exit interview.  Candidates must fill out the exit interview application found on the SOE Services MyBrandman site prior to participating in an exit interview by a faculty mentor. 

Completion of Degree Programs

Praxis Exam

Candidates who wish to earn a Master of Arts in Counseling must meet all the course requirements and earn a score of 156 or higher on the ETS Praxis Examination in Counseling and Guidance (#0421/5421).

Recommendation for Credential

Upon successfully completing all coursework and the exit interview, the candidate may apply to be recommended to the CTC for the Pupil Personnel Services credential in School Counseling (PPSC).  To apply for the credential, candidates complete the Recommendation Form on the SOE Services MyBrandman site.  Once the recommendation is made by the Teacher Accreditation Department candidates can submit the credential fee to the CTC for the credential.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
CSPU 500Introduction to Counseling and Interpersonal Relations: Concepts and Skills3
CSPU 511Introduction to the Ethical Practice of School Counseling3
CSPU 512Advanced Counseling and Intervention3
CSPU 513Group Leadership and Intervention3
CSPU 514Cultural and Community Issues in Counseling and School Psychology3
CSPU 515Practicum in Counseling and Intervention *0-3
CSPU 516Children and Youth in Developmental Context3
CSPU 616Leadership and Systems Change3
CSPU 617Transition to Work and Career3
CSPU 618Best Practices in Counseling3
CSPU 620Supervision and Mentoring in School Counseling I3
CSPU 621Supervision and Mentoring in School Counseling II3
CSPU 640Consultation and Indirect Intervention3
EDUU 511Collaboration For Inclusive Schooling3
EDUU 600Research and Evaluation Methods3
EDUU 602Positive Behavior Supports3
Total Credits45-48

 *Students with an active CTC Pupil Personnel School Psychology or School Social Work credential may waive CSPU 515 and do not need to make up the units for the degree.