College Counseling Certificate

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Those who work with students making the transition from high school to college are all too aware of the need for training and information that is up-to-date, comprehensive, and practical.

This online program is designed to be a preparation for counseling high school students effectively and helping them identify their postsecondary options. And because it’s online, this preparation is available virtually day or night.

The Online Certificate Program in College Counseling is intended for:

  • College and career counselors in a high school setting who want to develop their professional competencies
  • High school guidance counselors who want to acquire this specialized knowledge and training to transition into the role of college counselor
  • College admissions personnel who want to become more familiar with high school processes and other institutions’ protocols
  • Junior high and middle school counselors who want to provide their students with a head start in planning their post-secondary options
  • Teachers who want to be better informed about the options available for their students
  • Individuals who are interested in developing an independent college counseling practice


The certificate must be completed in 20 quarters following enrollment into the initial course. We strongly suggest that students who wish to ultimately earn the certificate file the application to become a candidate during their first quarter in which they are enrolled. In order to earn the certificate students must hold a bachelor's degree. We require an official copy of that transcript. Students who earned their degree outside of the U.S. need to submit it to a transcript evaluation service which then forwards their report to us.

Click here to enroll in this certificate: ENROLL NOW


  • Charts Legend: Summer Fall Winter Spring


    The following is a table of the academic calendar for 2016-2017.

    Dates of Enrollment
    Class Dates Open for Enrollment Early Enrollment Deadline Date
    Summer '16 June 20 - Aug 22 April 25, 2016  May 20
    Fall '16  Sept 19 - Dec 11 July 25, 2016
    Winter '17 Jan 9 - March 20 Nov 7, 2016
    Spring '17 April 4 - June 6     Feb 6, 2017

    Completion of all required courses for credit with a letter grade of B- or better is required. Course titles appear in the order in which they should be taken. However, three of the courses, College Admission Process, Financial Aid Fundamentals, and Testing/Career Assessment can be taken in any order among themselves.

    Required Courses
    X 414.81 Counseling the College Bound Student

    This overview of college counseling covers the differences between guidance and college counseling; the college counselor's unique responsibilities; college counselor's timeline; and resources available, including computer tools. Learn techniques to manage a college counseling office and create informational programs for students and parents. The process of academic planning for college and issues of adolescence are discussed and various environments--public and private high schools and independent practice--in which college counseling take place are compared and contrasted.


    The Internet offers ever-expanding resources to counselors, students, and parents who are planning beyond high school. Get hands-on experience searching the Internet and learn to develop strategies to help students in their college/career search. Covers the vocabulary of the Internet, navigational skills, and building a common working vocabulary with students.


    X 414.82 The College Admissions Process

    Get in-depth information on options in postsecondary education. Topics include application calendar options, choosing a school, early action/early decision, letters of recommendation, and admissions criteria of public and private colleges and universities. Online guest speakers, representing private and public institutions, present their perspectives on admissions.


    X 414.90 Testing/Career Assessment

    College-bound students encounter a series of standardized examinations as they progress toward college admission. The PSAT/NMSQT, SAT I and II, ACT, and Advanced Placement Tests are the most common. Topics include what each exam tests for, validity of test results, issues of bias, and the effect of coaching. In the realm of career planning, numerous career inventories can help students--both college-bound and otherwise--identify their career interests and propensities; some of the more widely used career instruments are highlighted.


    X 414.89 Financial Aid Fundamentals

    Financial aid is complex and information intensive, and college counselors must understand this important component of the college admissions process. Topics include history of financial aid; types and sources of financial aid; how to apply for federal, state, and institutional aid; eligibility; how aid is determined; and scholarship search services.


    X 414.84 Special Issues in College Counseling

    This capstone course in the College Counseling Certificate Program reflects in its specific content the expertise and experience of the individual instructor. For example, an admissions director might center the course on the role financial need plays in admissions, while an independent counselor might center the course on individual groups of students who present unique challenges, such as students with learning disabilities, undocumented students, or transfer students, etc. The specificity and changeability of the course content allows the certificate program to keep information current and provide students with recent views or changing critical elements in the counseling profession.


    X 414.85 Practicum in College Counseling

    Apply theory and methodology in a genuine counseling situation under professional supervision. Students must complete 65 hours of supervised fieldwork in a local counseling venue. Fieldwork must consist of individual counseling and/or a pre-approved project. They also must complete the 10-week online portion of the course in which practicum experiences are shared with colleagues and reviewed by the instructor. The volunteer hours may be combined with a research project, but at least 35 hours must be completed on-site.


    Program  Changes:

    The format of our program was slightly altered.  Beginning with the Fall 2015 quarter the X 414.91 Using the Internet for College/Career Counseling course was removed from the group of required courses. To increase the flexibility of the certificate program we have reduced the number of required courses and will now offer a selection of electives. These electives cover a range of subjects to appeal to the varied needs of counselors.

    One of the significant changes in the field of college counseling is the increased use of the Internet and web-based resources. Use of the Internet now plays a role in all of our classes and has reduced the need for our stand-alone Using the Internet for College/Career Counseling course.

    In order to earn the certificate, students will still need to successfully complete seven courses. They will need to complete the six courses listed above well as taking one elective course of their choice. This policy does not apply to students who have already taken the Using the Internet course. The various elective courses we will offer each quarter will vary. The current list of elective courses are as follows:

    X 414.96 The Business of Educational Consulting

    X 414.97 Higher Education in the Public Interest

    X 414.98 College Counseling for International Students

    X 414.99 Preparing Community College Students for Transfer

    851 Counselors and Common Core Standards

    Additional elective courses are in development.

    Please note:  Students who have already taken X 414.98 College Counseling for International Students with the understanding that it will be applied toward the certificate in place of X 414.89 Financial Aid Fundamentals cannot select it as one of their elective courses.”

    Elective Courses

    X 414.96 Business of Educational Consulting    

    Educational consultants wear many hats, including entrepreneur and business owner. Unfortunately, these are the roles with which most consultants struggle. In addition to highlighting the role of the educational consultant as a resource for parents and students, this course also covers the operating philosophies connected to the profession. Other topics include building a body of knowledge, business planning, marketing, office practices, trends in the field, ethical considerations, and dealing with special circumstances.


    X 414.97 Higher Education in the Public Interest    

    Higher education in the United States is a massive enterprise.  Colleges and universities are unique institutions because they are businesses in the public interest.  The ways in which they structure their business models (including pricing), admission and financial aid policies, and philosophies of access determine who becomes educated in our society, who can afford to attend, and consequently impacts social structure in our society.  This course will give students a behind-the-scenes look at the socio-political, economic, and philosophical structures of colleges and universities in America.  As a result, students will gain a better understanding of how admission and financial aid policies and programs are structured. This will give each student a new angle from which to counsel prospective students seeking enrollment at colleges and universities in the United States.


    X 414.98 College Counseling for International Students    

    Students who are enrolled in the college counseling certificate program may take this course in place of the Financial Aid Fundamentals course. A letter grade of B- or better must be earned in order for it to be applied toward the certificate. It can also be taken as an enrichment course in which case it won't be applied toward the certificate.

    The college admission process for international students is explored with an emphasis on the special needs and requirements for international students applying to U.S. colleges and universities. This course will explore the challenges in helping international students understand and navigate the unfamiliar landscape of the U.S. university system, while helping students and families understand the importance of fit vs. rankings. In addition, issues unique to international students such as testing requirements, financial, and visa requirements, the ethics of working with agents, writing effective personal statements and demonstrating interest from afar will also be explored.


    X 414.99 Preparing Community College Students for Transfer   

    This course emphasizes the development of knowledge and skills with regard to guiding and supporting community college students through all steps of their community college education, from enrollment through application and transfer admission. Students will learn about community college matriculation processes, course selection, transfer application, and how to strategically position prospective transfer students for admission to public and privates colleges and universities. Students will explore the current community college landscape as well as big issues like challenges for disadvantaged populations and persistence towards transfer. Students will learn about the critical programs essential to supporting persistence and transfer, like those for first-generation college students, articulation agreements, admissions priority agreements, honors and financial aid. Required textbook available as PDF only: Community College Counselor Sourcebook 2nd Ed. by CollegeBoard.


    851 Counselors and Common Core State Standards    

    This course examines the landscape of Common Core's major tenets, especially in reference to classroom instruction and the new assessment models. In addition, because the Common Core State Standards focus on the measurable outcomes of college and career readiness, this course offers strategies and approaches regarding data analysis and provides guidance on developing a data-driven Action Plan.


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    Estimated Total Cost
    Candidacy Fee $100.00
    Estimated Program Tuition $4,875.00
    Estimated Total Cost $4,975.00

    Additional Information

    Contact: Martha Hochstrasser, (310) 983-1181 or

    Mail all transcripts to:
    UCLA Extension
    10995 Le Conte Ave. Suite 639
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    Attn: College Counseling

    Open Enrollment or Apply for Admission?: Open
    VA Approved?: Yes
    Meets I-20/ F1 Visa requirements: No
    Estimated Duration: 5 Year(s)
    Internships Available: No
    Program ID: CF348

    For frequently asked questions please click here.


    You can’t become enrolled in this course until you have submitted your proposal and it has been approved.  However, the first step you will want to complete is to submit the PTE notice (Permission to Enroll). When you submit this before the early enrollment deadline date your name will become associated with the lower course fee.  Even if you subsequently submit your proposal after this date, you’ll still pay the lower fee.
    In order to submit the PTE notice, click on the Practicum course title and proceed as if you were enrolling.  Continue to until you reach the final step when you would normally provide a credit card number to become enrolled. You won't be able to actually enroll, however when you attempt to finalize the enrollment process a PTE notice will be automatically submitted to us indicating which instructor you have selected. You will receive a notice indicating that zero dollars have been paid.
    If you encounter any troubles in completing this step please contact the Extension Registration Department at (310) 825-9971.  When submitting your PTE notice you are also indicating the instructor of your choice. 

    Proposal and Supervisor Verification Form. Proposals must be typed. You can fax it to us at (310) 206-5006 or you may send it as a scanned copy as an email attachment to The proposal must be approved before students can be given permission to enroll in the course. The Supervisor Verification form must be submitted at the completion of the class and signed by the person who serves as the Practicum supervisor.