Become a School Counselor

So you want to be a school counselor in California? As you begin your journey toward this noble profession, here are a few steps you'll need to take in order to practice as a school counselor in the pre-K through 12th grade public school system in California.

Please note that the State of California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) is the regulating body for Pupil Personnel Service (PPS) credentials given out in California - not CASC. Their specific requirements can be found in this flyer (only page 1 is relevant to school counselors) and the specifics are broken down below:

You must first achieve your baccalaureate degree (or higher) from a regionally-accredited college or university;

This means you will need to graduate from a college or university with a Bachelor's degree (usually 4 years)

You must enroll in a graduate program that culminates in a Pupil Personnel Services, School Counseling Specialization credential; this program must be offered by a CCTC-accredited institution of higher learning;
Once you have your baccalaureate degree, you will need to enroll in a school that has been approved by the CTC to provide graduate studies (a graduate program) that will lead to a PPS credential (a minimum of 48 semester units) when complete  Please click here to see schools in California that have been approved by the CTC to provide school counseling credentials. (select the type of preparation and program as shown below).

You must complete a basic skills requirement;
This is typically acheived by passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) More information on this requirement can be found here.

You will need to complete the LiveScan fingerprint process;
Once enrolled in a graduate program, your school will typically help you with this step.
You will need to successfully complete a practicum with school-aged children (typically volunteer).
Practicum hours is time you spend in a school, under the supervision of a credentialed school counselor, providing services to students. Practicum hours are non-paid and will not start until you reach a certain place in your program . Your school will direct you more when it's time to enroll in a Fieldwork class.

Be formally recommended for a PPS credential to the CTC by your university at the completion of your program.

UPDATE: Please read the recently published document on Fieldwork Guidance in the era of Covid-19.