Online School Counseling Certification Program (PreK-12)

Help Students Grow, Mature, and Define Their Futures

Contribute to the growth and development of young people as a school counselor with our online school counseling certification preparation program for master’s degree holders. This American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model-aligned program features a comprehensive curriculum presented in a flexible format.

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Complete the form below and an admissions counselor will contact you to answer any questions and help as you assemble all the components of your admissions file.

The GMercyU Difference

The program covers counseling techniques for supporting students in the areas of academic, career, and social/emotional development across all age groups. It encourages you to develop a reflective practitioner's mindset, in which you continually assess your own performance and pursue ongoing professional development. You will take your place as part of a community of educational practitioners within the school, collaborating with families and other educators in your efforts to help students. With GMercyU, you can prepare to take your skills to the students—and schools—that need them most.

You’ll complete your post-master's coursework online using industry-leading interactive collaboration tools. Courses are presented in an accelerated format where you'll take one class at a time in seven-week blocks.

You'll also complete 510 hours of in-person field experiences, all with support and personal guidance from our expert faculty members.

After completing your school counseling certification program, you’ll have the skills, knowledge, and practical counseling strategies you need to pursue certification as an Elementary and Secondary School Counselor (PreK-12) within the state of Pennsylvania.

*Certification: This program was designed to meet the certification requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you reside in a different state, you should carefully review your home state’s certification requirements prior to enrolling in this program.

The online School Counseling Certification program prepares you to support children and teenagers in PreK–12 settings. Our rigorous curriculum challenges you to improve your professional presentation and communication skills while becoming fluent in the research evaluation methods you need to pursue self-directed professional development after graduation.

As a GMercyU graduate, you will be able to:

  • Apply theoretical and practical knowledge in support of your professional practice
  • Articulate school counseling history and theory
  • Develop a comprehensive school counselor curriculum
  • Recognize stages of human development and identify best practices in working with different stages of development
  • Apply career development models and guide career development
  • Demonstrate knowledge and use of evidence-based intervention and assessment techniques that are appropriate and effective in meeting the developmental needs of students
  • Provide consultation and assistance to all students, their families, school personnel and related agencies

After completing this program, you will need to pass the Pre-Service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) and the Praxis II Professional School Counselor examination to become eligible for certification.

Between 2018 and 2020, our graduates had a 100% pass rate on the school counseling certification test. 

GMercyU faculty members bring direct school counseling experience, research backgrounds, and a passion for teaching to your certification program. Your classmates come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds but share a common dedication to improving student wellbeing. The combination of mentorship and insights this community provides will help you effectively create a safe, productive counseling environment for all of your students.

After you complete your program, you can connect to our extensive network of alumni. 

To qualify for admission to our Post-Master's School Counseling Certification Program, you must provide:

  • Proof you have obtained a master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts from every college or university attended
  • A completed application form
  • A current professional resume
  • A writing sample stating your professional and academic goals (one page, double-spaced)
  • Two completed supervisory reference forms
  • A minimum score of 550 (written), 213 (computer), or 79 (internet) on the TOEFL examination if English is not your native language

Group interviews may be required for any candidates as determined by the admissions committee. 

Learn more about how you can become a school counselor with our innovative online certification program.

Call 844-707-9064 or email to contact an admissions counselor. You also can also request more information today!

Grant Opportunity

Dear School Counseling Practicum and Internship Students,

Are you a current resident of Pennsylvania and placed for your internship in a PA school district, intermediate unit, area career and technical school, charter school, regional charter school, or cyber charter school? Would you agree to work at a Local Education Agency (LEA) in Pennsylvania as a school counselor for a minimum of three years following the completion of your master’s program in school counseling?

If so, we want to make you aware of a grant program that we recently learned about called PA HELPS. This grant provides the opportunity for internship students to be compensated for the school counseling internship with the stipulation of agreeing to work at an LEA in PA for three years.

To be considered for the grant, your HR or District office of your LEA where you are placed for your internship must complete and execute a PA HELPS LEA Application and Agreement and provide PHEAA with a copy of the agreement establishing the internship between the LEA and the school you are attending for your Educational Specialist Preparation Program (Gwynedd Mercy University, in your case).

Here is the grant website so you can read about eligibility and benefits. 

We would like to emphasize that the application window will remain open until August 31, 2024 or until funds are exhausted. Awarding is a first-come, first- served basis upon receipt of the application. If you are interested in participating, please ask your site supervisor for help in identifying the appropriate person(s) in your District to complete and submit the application on your behalf. The website has a link to the application.

We at the University have no role in the grant program or application process and have no additional information other than what is on the website. All questions related to the grant program must be addressed to the email located on the program website. We are unfortunately unable to answer any questions you may have: