Career Insights

Is a College Counseling Certificate Right for You?

Discover the benefits of online college counseling courses.

college counselor with a student

The college admissions process can be intimidating and confusing for both high school students and their advisors. With close to 4,000 degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the U.S., fierce competition for limited student slots, and evolving acceptance criteria, college counseling is necessary for increasing the odds of students getting into their desired schools. As a result, admissions advising is a growing field of study. 

Why College Counseling?

If you have a passion for helping students succeed, an aptitude for working with parents, and the capacity for coaching and goal setting, it’s worth exploring a career in college counseling.

Effective college counselors guide students in a variety of ways, including:

  • Identifying the colleges and universities that may be a good fit 
  • Exploring areas of study
  • Guiding students and their families through the college admissions and application process
  • Understanding how to finance a college education through the FAFSA process
  • Helping students understand what colleges are looking for when it comes to admissions criteria (e.g., outside activities; entrance exams such as the SAT)

The UCLA Extension College Counseling Certificate program was created to train admissions officers, school counselors, educational consultants, high school administrators, and parents facilitate positive admissions experiences for college-bound students.

To make a college counseling certificate worth it, having a real desire to work one-on-one with teenagers is important.

Jennifer Mandel
UCLA Extension College Counseling Certificate Program Director
college counseling

Who Should Consider a College Counseling Certificate Program? 

Perhaps you’re already involved in college admissions counseling or have done some undergraduate study in the field. Maybe you’re seeking a promotion, contemplating a career change, or looking to open your own consultancy. In all of these circumstances, a certificate program can be right for you. 

Current students enrolled in our online college counseling courses include:

  • Public/private high school counselors and administrators
  • International high school counselors
  • College admissions officers
  • Independent educational consultants
  • Parents, mentors, and individuals interested in learning more about the field

To be successful, college advising requires empathy, superior communication skills, and organization. 

What’s the Professional Benefit of a College Counseling Certificate? 

As most states move towards a renewed focus on college and career advising at the high school level, this certificate is the right complement to a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential or other school counseling degree. A College Counseling Certificate can boost your candidacy, translating to a more meaningful role in a school (public or private) setting. Institutions and individual clients alike consider a counseling certificate from UCLA Extension a beneficial qualification when hiring and elevating staff. 

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UCLA Extension is here to help you explore how the College Counseling Certificate can offer direct training for serving students and cultivating private clients.

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