College Counseling

Program Overview: 

The mission of the specialization/ emphasis in College Counseling and Student Personnel Work is to prepare master's level professionals to work in both counseling and student services roles at the community college and four-year college levels.

More specifically, the program is designed to develop the ability to facilitate the development of college students in both cognitive and personal areas. Emphasis is placed on preventative, remediation, and developmental counseling skills. In addition to the core competencies of the master's program, the specialization/ emphasis develops knowledge and skills in the areas of group counseling, educational counseling, problem-solving and decision making, assessment, evaluation and research, teaching, consulting and management, supervision, and organizational development.

Students with an emphasis in College Counseling and Student Personnel Work must document 600 hours of field placement supervised experience (CACREP program certification requirement) in a college setting.


  • Division of Graduate Studies Application (Cal State Apply)
    • Resume
    • Unofficial Transcript
    • Evidence of or plan for prerequisites (No Longer Required)

      More detailed information can be found on the prerequisites page

    • Personal Statement
    • Verification of Volunteer Experience
    • Letters of recommendation
    • GRE Scores (for Fall 2021 admission, GRE is not required)
      Your GRE scores are required but only used as a measure of writing proficiency, not as admission criteria. Graduate level writing is necessary for success, thus once admitted to the program, students who scored below a 4.0 on the Analytical Writing Section of the GRE General Test, will be required to take a writing course in their first semester of the program. If you have any questions about the GRE including test dates, fees, or whether you have to take the entire test, please contact the GRE Test administration. The department does not offer GRE preparatory classes.
  • In-person interview (if required by program)


Skills and Competencies

Specialized Counseling – the ability to facilitate the development of college students including skill development and remediation. The main types of skills essential for competency in this area are:

  • Preventative. Intervention designed to prevent potential deficits from deteriorating.
  • Remediation. Intervention designed to ameliorate skill deficits (academic, personal, social, etc.).
  • Development. Intervention designed to intentionally enhance or enrich persons and/or their environment.
  • Group Processes. The ability to assess the dynamics of group processes and to facilitate growth and development through group interaction with specific reference to adult concerns.
  • Educational Counseling. The ability to facilitate students in formulating and clarifying educational values and goals.
  • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills. The ability to help students learn systematic problem-solving and decision-making strategies, including the ability to clarify values, formulate goals and objectives, design and implement programs of action and evaluate their effectiveness. Two areas in which these skills are typically applied are a) Educational Planning and b) Career and Life Planning.
  • Focus in these areas is on developmental tasks of adults of all ages.
  • Specialized Assessment, Evaluation and Research Techniques. The ability to assess college students' needs in such areas as learning skills, interests, personal development, etc., and the ability to communicate findings and results to other members of the college community.
  • Teaching Methods. The ability to design instructional experiences which implement selected and defined goals and objectives in effective curriculum areas.
  • Consulting. The ability to provide relevant and effective consultation to students, teachers, peers, administrators, and community members.