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M.A. in Psychology: School Counseling/PPS - Overview

M.A. in Psychology: School Counseling/PPS

Mission Statement

The School Counseling Masters in psychology program’s primary goal is to train capable, self-reliant students to become caring, effective and highly-skilled school counselors. The program prepares students to address the three domains of school counseling: social/emotional, academic, and college/career. Through a systems lens, school counseling students gain the fundamental expertise in understanding how these domains are interrelated and impact the various stakeholders in a school setting.

About the Program

Our School Counseling Program uniquely integrates in-depth counseling skills with the educational and leadership tools valued in today’s schools. Our program’s primary goal is to train capable, self-reliant students to become caring, effective, and highly skilled school counselors. In addition to thought-provoking classroom instruction, our curriculum provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to gain active, hands-on experience and practice in the field of school counseling.

At Phillips Graduate University, it is our mission to train human relations experts who understand how to help others in a range of contexts and settings. School counselors, like other mental health professionals, need fundamental knowledge of how systems work and how human relationships can be improved. By integrating academic knowledge with practical application and personal growth, our program is uniquely suited to develop and train counselors who can meet the challenges of contemporary life.

Experiential learning plays a key role in our foundational first-year psychology courses. The first year includes role playing and skills training as well as courses directed at students’ personal development and self-understanding.

Additionally, students may pursue a M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and School Counseling (MFT and PPS credential). This combination qualifies graduates to pursue both MFT licensure in California and work in the public school system as a counselor.

This program allows students to combine the Master of Arts in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis, with the Pupil Personnel Services credential by adding 22 units of coursework.

Program Schedule

Our M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in School Counseling/PPS is a 55-unit program taken over two years (5 semesters) and may be designed around a 40-hour work schedule.
  • During the first year, students take one full day of class either on Saturday or a weekday from 8 am to 5 pm and attend a three-hour case conference section held on Monday evening.
  • An Introduction to School Counseling course for the first five Tuesday evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm of the first semester.
  • During the second year, students take courses on Monday and Wednesday evenings only. Students also attend a three-hour practicum course one evening, twice a month while completing field placement hours.

Phillips is both experiential and applied in our educational philosophy. All faculty are licensed, practicing professionals with diverse specializations. This brings a wealth of experience to the classroom that enhances the students’ education and their careers post-graduation.

Career Paths

Graduates of the Masters of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in School Counseling/PPS program are credentialed by the State of California. They can find counseling positions at public schools, private schools, and community colleges (as available).


Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1: Counseling Skills/Intervention

Student Learning Outcomes:
1.1 Students use counseling skills/interventions relevant to the field of School Counseling.
1.2 Students engage in collaborative activities with all stakeholders.

Program Goal 2: Legal and Ethical Practice

Student Leaning Outcomes:
2.1 Students identify and analyze legal and ethical issues in School Counseling.
2.2 Students use ethical frameworks in decision making in their professional role as school counselors.

Program Goal 3: Cultural Competency

Student Learning Outcomes:
3.1 Students identify and appraise the influence of their own cultural beliefs and biases in work as school counselors.

Program Goal 4: Theory

Student Learning Outcome:
4.1 Students summarize and synthesize knowledge of appropriate theories for the development of education plans for students’ success.

Program Goal 5: Research

Student Learning Outcomes:
5.1 Students use relevant research to enhance their practice as school counselors.

Program Goal 6: Professional Behavior

Student Learning Outcomes:
6.1 Students demonstrate professional behavior in all interactions with counselors, peers, faculty, staff, administration and other professionals.
6.2 Students demonstrate self-awareness in the assessment of their own strengths and areas for growth in the practice of school counseling.

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