Skip to Content
University Catalog

EDUCATION - COUNSELOR EDUCATION

College of Education

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The 60-unit Master of Science in Counseling prepares professional counselors for employment in a variety of settings such as public and private agencies, universities and colleges, schools and private practice. This degree meets the educational requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the State of California. The 57-unit Pupil Personnel Services, School Counseling Credential prepares professional counselors to work within the K-12 educational system. The programs are clinically oriented, with didactic and experiential courses, a 100-hour clinical practicum, and 600 hours of field experience.

Specializations

Students earning the Master of Science in Counseling are required to specialize in one or more of the following areas:

  • Career Counseling
  • Community Counseling
  • Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling
  • School Counseling

Students who are specializing in School Counseling and intend to be employed in California will need to obtain one of the following two school counseling service credentials:

  • Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Credential
  • Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Internship Credential

All counseling specializations at Sacramento State are nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Note: For additional information on credentials, see the “College of Education” section of this catalog. Program requirements are subject to change in order to maintain compliance with relevant state and national certification, licensure, and/or accreditation requirements.  Interested parties should refer to the current student handbook for up to date program information.

Special Features

  • An on-campus Center for Counseling and Diagnostic Services brings clients from off campus to be counseled by students in the program and provides opportunity for video and audio feedback.
  • Additionally, a community-based counseling center, The Alliance for Excellence, provides services for clients who prefer to be seen off campus.
  • The Migrant Education Advisor Program (MEAP), a collaborative partnership with the Office of Migrant Education, the Masters in Counseling Program and participating school districts.
  • Faculty actively support diversity and focus on multicultural counseling skills throughout the curriculum.
  • Classes are offered during the day, late afternoon, and evening.

Additional Information

Master of Science Programs

The Department of Counselor Education offers the Master of Science degree in Counseling with the following areas of specialization:

  • Career Counseling. The Career Counseling Specialization provides students with the knowledge, theory, and skills to work as effective counselors/career development specialists, and consultants in a variety of settings: community-based agencies, schools (K-12), colleges and universities, private practice, business, industry, and government. Students are trained to facilitate a holistic career development/career decision-making/planning process with groups and individuals that integrates personal, social, and career needs. Students develop the skills to address current issues in the 21st century, such as career self-reliance, work/family/life balance, multiculturalism, diversity, and lifelong learning.
  • Community Counseling. Students in the Community Counseling Specialization are trained for a variety of counseling positions in the field of mental health, primarily those found in community agencies. Community counseling services in California include, but are not limited to, the following settings: family support services, child protective services, domestic violence centers, substance abuse centers, pastoral counseling centers, corrections, centers for counseling the elderly, and business and industry. Individuals with a specialization in community counseling may meet the requirements for licensure in most states (excluding California, Hawaii).
  • Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. The Marriage, Family and Child Counseling Specialization is designed to provide students with all the educational competencies required by the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). The program trains professionals to work in a variety of settings, including community agencies, county and state agencies, hospitals and private practice, and prepares students to provide consulting to businesses and agencies. Emphasis is placed on developmental and preventative concerns, especially those of children.
  • School Counseling. The School Counseling Specialization is designed for individuals who seek to become elementary, middle, or secondary school counselors. This program meets the requirements for the K-12 California Pupil Personnel Services Credential, School Counseling (PPS-SC). Students in this program are prepared to function as key members of an educational team seeking to optimize children’s academic, socio-emotional, and career development. Students obtain the expertise necessary to lead the educational team in working collaboratively with a broad range of education and human service professionals, paraprofessionals, and community representatives to identify, develop, implement, and evaluate programs that provide key services to both the individual child as well as the systems and subsystems in which the child interacts.
Credential Programs
  • Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Credential Program. California schools, kindergarten through high school, require their school counselors to have the PPS-SC. Students pursuing the 57-unit PPS-SC Credential follow the exact same course requirements as students with the 60-unit Master’s in Counseling Degree objective who are specializing in school counseling, with the exception of a 3-unit Culminating Requirement. The 60-unit master’s degree is not required, although most students elect to complete the degree. In addition to the PPS-SC course requirements, individuals who obtain the credential must pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), required for all K-12 credentials in California. The program meets all standards established by the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).
  • Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Internship Credential Program. The PPS-SCI enables school districts and other educational agencies to place candidates in school counseling positions prior to the completion of credential requirements, provided that the CBEST has been passed. Requests must originate in writing from the district superintendent or other appropriate officers. The program meets all standards established by the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

Note: Only students who are already enrolled in the School Counseling specialization at California State University, Sacramento may apply to the Internship Credential Program.

GRADUATE PROGRAMS

Master of Science in Counseling

The following information applies to the Master of Science in Counseling with these specializations: Career Counseling; Community Counseling; Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling; and School Counseling.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in the Master of Science in Counseling program requires:

  • A baccalaureate degree;
  • Good academic standing at the last college attended;
  • A grade point average of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester (or 90 quarter units);
  • Completion of the University application materials;
  • Completion and submission of all Departmental application materials which include:
Application form;
Written statement(s) delineated in application;
Copies of transcripts (from all universities and colleges attended);
Professional letters of recommendation (3 total);
Passing score on the Writing Placement for Juniors examination (WPJ) or its equivalent;
Relevant work experience.
  • Participation in an In-Person Admission Evaluation, which may include (but is not limited to) interviews, experiential activities, and writing samples.
  • Selected applicants, based on paper screening of completed applications, will be invited for an In-Person Admission Evaluation. Decisions for admission into the Master of Science in Counseling program are made based on a comprehensive assessment of all application materials and performance in the In-Person Admission Evaluation.

    Admitted students will be required to take the following co-requisite courses under probationary status during their first semester in the program:

    • EDUC 155: Introduction to Counseling;
    • EDUC 156: Power, Privilege and Self Identity in Counseling (Minimum 3.4 overall average in these two EDC courses is required);
    • EDUC 157: Child and Family Psychopathology OR PSYC 168: Abnormal Psychology (Minimum grade of C is required).

    Failure to meet the above-stated grade requirements during the probationary period is grounds for automatic dismissal.

    Note:  The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission.

    Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR): Applicants to the Master’s in Counseling program must show evidence of passing the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) or its equivalent in order to be accepted into the program.

    California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST): Although evidence of passing the CBEST is not required for admission into the Pupil Personnel Services Credential programs, the CBEST must be successfully passed prior to receiving the Pupil Personnel Services Credentials.

    Admission Procedure

    The application process is thoroughly outlined in the Department of Counselor Education’s Application Handbook. This handbook includes information about the program as well as detailed instructions for completing and submitting application materials. The Appendix of the handbook includes a checklist and all of the forms necessary for applying to the Department. Applicants may download the Application Handbook from Department Web site: edweb.csus.edu/edc/.

    Applicants must complete a university application by the posted application deadline date for the term applying. For more admissions information and application deadlines, please visit http://www.csus.edu/gradstudies/. Applications are reviewed twice yearly for acceptance in either the fall or spring semester. Students must also be admitted to the University as unclassified graduate students in order to complete the preparatory courses (see "Admission Requirements"). Once the prospective applicant has either completed the necessary preparatory coursework or is able to document that it will be completed prior to the start of the semester for which admission is being sought, the student may apply to a selected specialization.

    Prospective applicants, including Sacramento State graduates, must submit the following to the Office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center 206, (916) 278-6470:

    • an online application for admission; and
    • two sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State; and the above delineated application materials to the Department office.

    Admission is competitive with a limited number of students admitted each year. Within two weeks of the filing deadline applicants who have completed the application requirements will be assigned an In-Person Admission Evaluation date. At the end of the application and screening period, a Departmental recommendation will be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for further review. Decisions regarding admission are then mailed to each applicant. Following admission, students are assigned to a faculty advisor who assists with academic advising.

    Advancement to Candidacy

    Each student working toward a Master's degree must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy for the Master's degree. The purpose of this application is to provide certification to the Office of Graduate Studies that the student will complete or has completed the necessary requirements and acceptable electives for the Master's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The Advancement to Candidacy application should be filed upon completion of 30 units in the program.

    Note: Students must take the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or take a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver before advancing to candidacy.

    The Advancement to Candidacy forms, by specialization, are obtained from the Department of Counselor Education Web site (edweb.csus.edu/edc/) within the “Forms and Handbooks” link. Students should complete the relevant form in consultation with their assigned academic advisor. Once the form is endorsed by the student and the advisor, it will be verified by the Department’s Graduate Coordinator and then forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies for final approval. (The form is also available from the Office of Graduate Studies; however, it does not include the Departmental instructions.) The completed form is submitted to the Department's Graduate Coordinator for signature, then forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies for final approval.

    Additional Information

    The Master of Science in Counseling and the Pupil Personnel Services credentials are subject to general University and Departmental requirements. These requirements are explained in the ''Graduate Studies'' and the ''Counselor Education Department'' sections of the this catalog. Students may be disqualified when not meeting Departmental standards (see Counselor Education Student Handbook).

    Students are strongly advised to remain in communication with the Department of Counselor Education (by attending group advising sessions and meeting with their assigned faculty advisor each semester) as well as with any licensing or credentialing boards related to their area(s) of specialization (i.e., Board of Behavioral Sciences, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing) since licensing and credentialing requirements may change. Catalog rights hold only degree requirements; they do not protect students from changes such as prerequisites required for a given course, field study hours, individual course requirements, or additional requirements imposed by licensing or credentialing agents. Students should note that the Counselor Education course listings are subject to modification. The revised Department listing is official.

    Requirements - Master of Science Degree

    Units required for MS: 60-66
    Minimum GPA: 3.0
    Academic Residence: A minimum of 42 approved semester units in 100-, 200-, and 500-series offerings must be earned in residence at California State University, Sacramento.

    Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

    A. Required Courses for All Specializations (44 units)

    (3)

    EDC 210*

    Multicultural/Ethnic Counseling (EDUC 155 and EDUC 156)

    (3)

    EDC 212*

    Gender Roles in Counseling (EDUC 155 and EDUC 156)

    (3)

    EDC 214*

    Dynamics of Human Development

    (3)

    EDC 216

    Counseling Theory (EDUC 155 and EDUC 156; Corequisite: EDC 280)

    (3)

    EDC 218*

    Assessment in Counseling (EDUC 155 and EDUC 156)

    (3)

    EDC 219*

    Group Processes in Counseling (EDUC 155, EDUC 156, EDC 216, EDC 280)

    (3)

    EDC 231

    Diagnosis and Treatment Planning (EDC 216, EDC 218, EDC 280; classified student in the Counselor Education Program) OR

     

    PSYC 268

    Advanced Psychopathology

    (3)

    EDC 233

    Substance Abuse and Addiction (EDC 231)

    (3)

    EDC 250

    Education Research (Graduate standing)

    (3)

    EDC 252

    Legal and Ethical Issues in Professional Counseling

    (3)

    EDC 260*

    Career Development (EDUC 155 and EDUC 156; classified student in the Counselor Education Program)

    (2)

    EDC 280

    Practicum in Communication (EDUC 155 and EDUC 156; Corequisite: EDC 216)

    (3)

    EDC 475

    Practicum in Counseling (EDC 210, EDC 214, EDC 216, EDC 280. Additional prerequisites by specialization: Career - EDC 212+, EDC 218, EDC 219+, EDC 260, EDC 262+; Community - EDC 201, EDC 212+, EDC 218, EDC 219; MFCC - EDC 212, EDC 218+, EDC 219, EDC 234, EDC 252+, EDC 476; School - EDC 252+, EDC 270; Corequisite: By specialization: School - EDC 272)

    (6)

    EDC 480

    Field Study in Counseling (EDC 475; Additional prerequisites by specialization: MFCC specialization: completion of required courses except culminating requirement; Corequisite: By specialization: School - EDC 272)

    B. Specialization Requirements (15-19)

    Select one of the following areas of specialization:
    Career Counseling (15 units)

    (3)

    EDC 254

    Counseling and Psychotropic Medicine (EDC 231)

    (3)

    EDC 262

    Career Counseling Process (EDC 260; classified student in the Counselor Education Program)

    (3)

    EDC 264

    Seminar in Counseling: Career Systems Development (EDC 260; classified student in the Counselor Education Program)

    (3)

    EDC 266

    Seminar in Counseling: Career Program Development (EDC 260; classified student in the Counselor Education Program)

    (3)

    EDC 268

    Career and Job Search (EDC 260 or instructor permission)

    Community Counseling (19 units)

    (3)

    EDC 201

    Seminar in Community Counseling: Scope, Theory and Process (EDC 216, EDC 280; may be taken concurrently)

    (3)

    EDC 203

    Seminar in Community Counseling: Advanced Multicultural Counseling (EDC 210, EDC 216, EDC 280)

    (3)

    EDC 204

    Advanced Seminar in Community Counseling: Methods and Strategies for Chemical Dependency (EDC 216, EDC 233, EDC 280)

    (3)

    EDC 231

    Diagnosis and Treatment Planning (EDC 216, EDC 218, EDC 280; classified student in the Counselor Education Program) OR

    (3)

    EDC 233

    Substance Abuse and Addiction (EDC 231)

    (1)

    EDS 265

    Current Issues in Counseling: Disabled

    (3) Electives**

    Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling (18 units)

    (3)

    EDC 234

    Seminar: Marriage and Family Counseling (EDC 214, EDC 216, EDC 280; classified student in the Counselor Education Program; Corequisite: For MFCC specialization: EDC 476) OR

     

    PSYC 225#

    Family Therapy (Graduate student status)

    (3)

    EDC 254

    Counseling and Psychotropic Medicine (EDC 231)

    (3)

    EDC 272

    Counseling Children and Youth (EDC 216, EDC 242, EDC 280; classified student in the Counselor Education Program; Corequisite: School Counseling Specialization: EDC 475)

    (3)

    EDC 296L

    Trauma and Crisis Counseling (EDUC 155, EDUC 156 and EDUC 157)

    (1)

    EDC 476

    Practicum in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling (EDC 216, EDC 280; classified student in the Counselor Education Program; Corequisite: EDC 234)

    (5) Electives**

    School Counseling (15 units)

    (3)

    EDC 234

    Seminar: Marriage and Family Counseling (EDC 214, EDC 216, EDC 280; classified student in the Counselor Education program; Corequisite for MFCC Specialization: EDC 476)

    (3)

    EDC 242

    Play and Art Therapy with Children (EDC 216, EDC 280; classified student in the School Counseling Specialization)

    (3)

    EDC 270

    Organization and Administration of School Counseling Programs (EDUC 155 and EDUC 156)

    (3)

    EDC 272

    Counseling Children and Youth (EDC 216, EDC 280; classified student in Counselor Education program; School specialization: EDC 242; Corequisite: School Counseling specialization: EDC 475)

    (3)

    EDC 274

    Guidance and Consultation in School Counseling (EDC 216, EDC 270, EDC 280; classified student in the Counselor Education program)

    C. Culminating Requirement (1-3 units)

    Students must choose one of the following two options for their culminating requirement during their last semester in the program:

     

    EDC 550°

    Master's Thesis - Counseling - Plan A ( Advanced to candidacy; All course requirements in Counselor Education and EDC 505) OR

     

    EDC 551°

    Master's Project - Counseling - Plan B ( Advanced to candidacy; All course requirements in Counselor Education and EDC 505)

    Thesis or Project. Students who select thesis or project must file a petition in the Department office one semester in advance. First semester enrollees are to register for EDC 505. Students who do not complete the thesis/project in one semester are to petition for and enroll in either EDC 550 or EDC 551.

    Oral/Written Examination & Portfolio. Students usually enroll in an optional elective, EDC 290, preparation course. The examination occurs each semester. Students are expected to develop and present a personal theory paper. Students respond to questions from a case study presentation and counseling vignette: Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination.

    In order to pass this multiple choice examination, a student must meet the minimum criterion score set by the Department of Counselor Education. Categories covered include:

    • Human Growth and Development
    • Social and Cultural Foundations
    • Helping Relationships
    • Group Work
    • Career and Lifestyle Development
    • Appraisal
    • Research and Program Evaluation
    • Professional Orientation and Ethics

    **If the Comprehensive Exam (0 units) is selected as the Culminating Requirement (see Section C), EDC 290 is recommended as an elective.
    °Department petition required the semester prior to enrollment.
    +Concurrent enrollment allowed with permission of instructor.
    #Students are encouraged to meet with faculty advisor prior to registration.

    Service Credentials Programs

    Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Credential
    Students pursuing the Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Credential follow the same course requirements, with the exception of the Culminating Requirement, as do master's degree students with the School Counseling specialization objective. This program is not open to applicants who have completed master’s in counseling degrees from other institutions.

    For specific course requirements see "School Counseling" listing under "Master of Science in Counseling."

    Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Internship Credential
    The Pupil Personnel Services Internship Credential Program is limited only to students who are already classified students in the Department of Counselor Education in the School Counseling Specialization. This program is not open to applicants from other institutions.

    Requests to enter the Pupil Personnel Services School Counseling Internship Credential program must originate in writing from the district superintendent or other appropriate officer stating that the individual is in a position or being offered a position (for the duration of at least one year) which requires the authorization of a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling. Issuance of the Internship Credential requires passage of the CBEST, along with all admission requirements for the Counselor Education Department.

    Faculty

    Rose Borunda, Marielle Brandt, Nancy Carlton, Shannon Dickson, Louis Downs, Suzanne Gaughen, Daryl Henderson, Al Levin, Elisabeth Liles, Rita Marinoble, Lynn Wilcox, Susan Wycoff

    Contact Information

    Rose Borunda, Department Chair
    Kim Ross, Administrative Support Coordinator
    Eureka Hall 414
    (916) 278-5399; FAX (916) 278-4174
    edweb.csus.edu/edc



    COMPLETE COURSE LISTING | RETURN TO TOP |