Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) School Counseling Credential

Please note: A Master's degree in Counseling or a related field is required to obtain a clear PPS School Counseling Credential. Please see the MA + PPS School Counseling Credential Advising Worksheet for the combined Master's degree and PPS School Counseling Credentail requirements. Also, see the MA + PPS School Counseling Credential + CWA Authorization Advising Worksheet for the combined Master's degree, PPS Credential, and CWA Authorization requirements.  


The Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) School Counseling Credential is a 54-unit program that qualifies individuals to work as school counselors in K-12 public schools. (See the PPS School Counseling Credential APPROVED PROGRAM CONTRACT form.) 

The complex needs of today’s students emphasize the need for comprehensive counseling and guidance programs in schools. The foundation of the school counseling profession contains knowledge and professional attitudes that promote student development, learning, and achievement. Future school counselors must have knowledge of the history as well as current trends in school counseling that is often achieved through active participation in professional organizations. They must also have knowledge of the laws and ethics of counseling specific to children in California schools. Effective school counseling is further supported by knowledge of state and national standards for school counseling and by familiarity with models of effective comprehensive school counseling and guidance programs. The goal of comprehensive school counseling and guidance programs is to increase student learning and achievement by promoting student development in three domains: academic development, career development, and personal and social development. School counselors must be knowledgeable of these domains and familiar with models of school counseling and guidance programs that include desired student competencies and means of effectively attaining measurable student outcomes. It is essential that school counselors are skilled in the development, implementation, and delivery of comprehensive and developmental school counseling and guidance programs that effectively address each domain. The school counseling profession is directed toward increasing students’ learning and achievement and focusing on enhancing the teaching and learning processes. School counselors work as leaders in the promotion of student learning and achievement. They serve as advocates for equal opportunity and access to a quality education including support for high learning expectations and standards for all students (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Pupil Personnel Services program Standards, 2015).

A Child Welfare and Attendance (CWA) Specialization is a supplemental authorization that can be completed for an additional 9 units beyond the requirements for the PPS School Counseling Credential. (See the bottom of the PPS School Counseling Credential APPROVED PROGRAM CONTRACT form for the 9 additional required units.)

According to the 2015 California CTC Pupil Personnel Services Program Standards, “Child Welfare and Attendance professionals are skilled ‘trouble-shooters’ in correcting Average Daily Attendance (ADA) ‘leaks.’ Concerns and problem areas can be targeted by examining attendance policies, procedures, records, and programs. Once problems are known pertinent solutions can be suggested. Because of the many fine points of law and procedures associated with building maximum levels of school attendance, the Child Welfare and Attendance specialist is needed to make corrective efforts. The CWA usually access appropriate services from both public and private providers, including law enforcement and social services; provide staff development to school personnel regarding state and federal laws pertaining to due process and child welfare and attendance laws; address school policies and procedures that inhibit academic success; implement strategies to improve student attendance; participate in school-wide reform efforts; and promote understanding and appreciation of those factors that affect the attendance of culturally-diverse student populations. CWA programs cover the professional role of CWA, Laws Pertaining to CWA, Program leadership and management, collaboration and partnerships, school culture and related systems, assessment and evaluation of barriers to student learning, field experiences and supervision (page 112).

PPS Internship Credential - Students in good academic standing in the PPS School Counseling Credential program are eligible to apply for a PPS Internship Credential (valid for up to two years) if offered a school counseling position by a local school district before completing all program requirements. To be eligible, a student must complete a minimum of 9 units successfully (with a 3.0 GPA or higher), pass the CBEST (or meet equivalency), and complete a PPS Internship Credential Application Form. Please review the PPS Internship Credential Checklist for additional requirements. For more information, contact the department office at counselor-ed@sjsu.edu or 408-924-3634.

Completing the Requirements for the PPS School Counseling Credential

Upon Admission

  • Attend a New Student Orientation Session. (Check the department website for Department Orientation Meeting dates.)
  • Register in the program’s foundational courses via the one.SJSU portal.
  • Add courses during the first week of classes if you miss your enrollment appointment.

Complete the Foundational Coursework/Requirements

  • Check the Department Advsing page (or contact the Department Office) for your faculty advisor's contact information and schedule an advising appointment if necessary.
  • Take the CBEST exam (or complete the Basic Skills Requirment Verification Form) and provide documentation to the Graduate Fieldwork Coordinator prior to starting your fieldwork.
  • Complete the seven School Counseling Specialization Core Requirements (EDCO 215, 218, 227, 232, 248, 266, & 282)) before taking Advanced Professional Development coursework.
  • Apply for clearance before beginning fieldwork.

Complete the Advanced Coursework/Requirements

  • Complete the eight Advanced Professional Development courses (24 units) plus nine units/600 hours (3 units = 200 hours) of Supervised Experience in Counseling. A minimum of 400 hours have to be completed in public K-12 schools with a minimum of 200 hours at each of two K-12 school levels. These hours are typically completed acros three semesters.
  • Pass the CBEST (or complete the Basic Skills Requirment Verification Form). You will not be able to apply for your clear PPS Credential until you pass all sections of the CBEST or complete the Basic Skills Requirement Verification form. 

Complete Your Program Exit Review

  • Make an appointment with your department advisor to review the completion of your PPS Credential (and CWA Authorization, if applicable) program requirements using the PPS Credential APPROVED PROGRAM CONTRACT form.
  • Upon completion of the program requirements, have your advisor sign your PPS Credential APPROVED PROGRAM CONTRACT form.
  • After your advisor approves and signes your PPS Credential APPROVED PROGRAM CONTRACT form, the Department Chair will review and sign your completed Approved Program Contract form as the Program Director. 
  • Use the signed PPS Credential Approved Program Contract form to apply for your clear PPS School Counseling Credential (and CWA Authorization, if applicable).

Apply for Your Clear PPS Credential


SJSU Counselor Education ARUSD School Counseling Interns at the 2020 Northern California CASC Conference

ARUSD School Counseling Interns at  the 2020 Northern California CASC Conference