Frequently Asked Questions – Master’s in School Counseling and PPS Credential Programs

I already have a master’s degree. Can I just complete the PPS credential?

Students may qualify for the PPS only option if they already hold a master’s degree in a related field (counseling, MFT, counseling psychology, special education, school psychology, etc.). We ask prospective students to fill out a transfer credit evaluation form and also submit a copy of their transcripts to determine if they qualify.

Can you work full-time and complete the program?

Students must complete 100 practicum hours during the program, some or all of which may need to be completed during school operating hours. Candidates are expected to spend at least two to five hours each week completing practicum. Scheduling flexibility is recommended.

Can you complete the program part-time?

To qualify for financial aid, students need to be enrolled in at least 4.5 units per term. Most courses are two units, so it is recommended that students follow the recommended plan of study and take four courses every term. Courses are broken up into 8 week sessions, so students are only taking two courses at a time. Due to course scheduling, part-time study would significantly delay completion of the program.

What is the career outlook for school psychologists?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment for educational, guidance, and school counselors is expected to increase by 11.9 percent by 2022.

How is the role of a School Psychologist different from a School Counselor?

Students can refer to professional organizations to learn more information about the differences between the two careers. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides information about the profession of school psychology, and how the career compares to other related careers, such as school counseling: http://www.nasponline.org/about_sp/careerfaq.aspx 

Do I need to take the CBEST before applying?

Students do not need to take the CBEST to apply to the program. The CBEST should be completed prior to the end of the student’s first year.

Is it possible to transfer between campuses?

The curriculum is the same at all of our campuses, so yes it would be possible under certain circumstances.

I have a low GPA. Should I still apply?

The School Counseling program accepts students with various backgrounds. We take a holistic view of the application and weigh many of the components of the application equally. Faculty does not just focus on GPA when reviewing an applicant, but will look carefully at their personal statement, letters of recommendation and past experiences. If a student’s GPA falls below a 3.0, they are still highly encouraged to apply but will need to submit a GPA exemption petition letter requesting that the 3.0 requirement be waived.

What assignments do students have to complete for their practicum?

Students complete 100 hours of practicum and assignments will vary throughout the program. Example practicum assignments include the following:

  • Peer counseling
  • Personal and career assessments
  • Personal counseling experience in either an individual or group context
  • School-based programs serving parents and family members
  • Community service programs serving children and families
  • Shadowing a school counselor
  • Observing classroom instruction
  • Attending district and school-based meetings

If I move to a different state, will I be able to practice?

Every state has its own credentialing practices and requirements. Students are encouraged to check with their state of interest regarding credentialing requirements.

Can I have my own private practice once I graduate?

Alliant’s School Counseling program prepares students for jobs as school counselors within the K-12 school districts. Students should check with specific state licensing requirements if they wish to practice as a general counselor.