Prerequisites and Conditions
Before taking these courses, you will need to have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates. A minimum of 12 hours of course work in sociology, psychology, education, or family studies is also required.
Applicants with a master's degree or higher:
— can use this professional development certificate to strengthen their professional credentials (degree should be in counseling, psychology, social work, marriage and family, or a clearly related degree that will qualify them to perform professional counseling duties)
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree:
— may qualify for the certificate and can use the certificate to support them in their work setting (e.g., teaching, college student affairs, human resources, personnel work) but it will not qualify them to perform professional counseling duties with youth or any other age group
This certificate is not a part of any formal master's or doctoral degree program at Penn State and does not presume admission to such a program. Individuals interested in a graduate degree program leading to a professional counseling credential should contact Penn State’s Department of Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services for more information at 814-865-3427, or explore the department website at www.ed.psu.edu/cecprs/default.asp.
Continuing Education Hours
Act 48 for Pennsylvania Educators
Penn State is an Act 48–approved provider. You can earn contact hours toward fulfilling Act 48 requirements by completing these courses. Professional educators are encouraged to confirm that this program fits their school district's professional development plan for Act 48.
Please note that YOU must report your own Penn State hours to the Pennsylvania Department of Education using Penn State's secure Web site after the course is complete. For more information or to report your hours, visit: www.registrar.psu.edu/act48/act48_reporting.html.
Participants can earn 30 Act 48 hours per credit (90 hours per 3-credit course).
Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors
Penn State is an approved provider as defined by Pa. Code Sections 47.36(a)(3), 48.36(a)(3), and 49.36(a)(3). Social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors licensed by the state of Pennsylvania can earn 15 clock hours per credit (45 clock hours per 3-credit course).
National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
Penn State is an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. National Certified Counselors can earn 15 clock hours per credit (45 clock hours per 3-credit course).
Relationship to Penn State’s Graduate Degree Programs
This certificate program is not designed to lead directly to admission into either the master's or doctoral programs in counselor education. Entry into those programs requires formal application with no guarantee that a student in the certificate program would be admitted to a degree program. The Couples and Family Counseling course is the only required course in the program that would replace a similar required course in the degree program (Family Counseling). All other courses would qualify as electives in any of the counselor education programs.