What is a Certificate Program in College Counseling?

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  • Written By: Erika Peterson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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A certificate program in college counseling is part of a graduate degree. It can usually be obtained by anyone that can become, or is already, a certified counselor. In the United States, counseling certification and education requirements vary by state.

People with different types of Master’s level degrees are eligible to enter into a certificate program in college counseling. It is obtained by completing a set of core classes and other requirements that are deemed necessary in a specific area. These requirements are sometimes taken during a Master’s program; however, they can also be fulfilled after a graduate degree is already completed. A certificate program helps a student to gain the skills and knowledge to counsel teens and adults at the post-high school level.

The curriculum that is part of a certificate program in college counseling has to be updated regularly in order to meet the ever-changing needs of society and incoming college students. Some certificate programs or classes may focus on counseling at a junior college or state university, while others may focus on other types of schools.

College counselors specialize in helping individuals and families through a period of transition. This period is usually one of transition from childhood to adulthood. But it can also be a time for new beginnings, transitions from job to job or a time to advance an occupation and education level for an individual.


The curriculum of a certificate program in college counseling is imperative for a college counselor to do his job correctly. It is important for a college counselor to understand the varying needs of a certain school’s population. That is the reason behind why different programs have different concentrations. After all, a college counselor at a junior college in a rural area will likely have a lot of different things to deal with than a counselor at a four-year school in an urban part of the country.

A certificate program in college counseling gives every student the skills that are needed to work with anyone at the college level. College counselors who have passed a certificate program are prepared to work with every student, regardless of age, race, background or social class. It gives a student problem solving skills, communication skills and organizational ideas. Some programs are designed for entry level counselors, while others are geared toward counselors that have been working for some time in the social services fields.

All certificate programs should meet the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs, which is also called the CACREP. It is an independent agency that accredits various graduate degree programs. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.


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