Pupil Personnel Services Credential

Pupil Personnel Services Credential

Credential: For those seeking to work as a counselor in K-12 schools. Can only be earned as part of a Master of Arts in Education degree.


This credential prepares you to work as a counselor in K-12 schools, providing comprehensive guidance and counseling services to students.

The Pupil Personnel Services Credential can only be earned concurrently with the Master of Arts in Education degree.

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Application Information

Are you ready to take the next step and apply?

We're here to make the entire process a simple one. We'll walk you through the application process, answer your questions, and get you one step closer to earning your degree.

Program Start Date(s):

  • Summer 2021 Quad II – July 12, 2021

  • Fall 2021 Quad I – August 30, 2021

  • Fall 2021 Quad II – October 25, 2021

  • Spring 2022 Quad I - January 10, 2022

  • Spring 2022 Quad II - March 14, 2022

  • Summer 2022 Quad I - May 9, 2022

  • Summer 2022 Quad II - July 4, 2022

  • Fall 2022 Quad I - August 29, 2022

  • Fall 2022 Quad II - October 24, 2022

Application Deadline(s):

  • Summer 2021 Quad II – June 7, 2021
    All returning & exceptions students - May 24, 2021

  • Fall 2021 Quad I – August 2, 2021
    All returning & exceptions students - July 19, 2021

  • Fall 2021 Quad II – September 27, 2021
    All returning & exceptions students - September 13, 2021

Start Application

    The Selection Process

    The educational context at PLNU will challenge you to live a full life that integrates the pursuit of knowledge with beliefs, values, and actions. While honoring diverse perspectives and beliefs, Christian values and principles are woven into the educational experience. We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. At PLNU, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admission into a graduate program. Your undergraduate GPA is an important piece of your application, but if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0, you may still be eligible for admission based on your application package as well as the exceptions policy per your particular program.* Therefore, we strongly encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor, who will advise you regarding your qualifications and provide specific information about the admission under exceptions process.

    To be admitted into PLNU's Master of Arts in Education program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript.

    If you have any questions about your qualifications or the program in general, we encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor.

    Application Checklist

    Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

    1. Submit an online application for admissions (including $50 non-refundable application fee, which is waived for PLNU alums, current or former military and their dependents, and PLNU employees).
    2. Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. (If you are a PLNU alumnus, please notify your counselor to have your transcripts retrieved. You do not need to request transcripts from the PLNU Office of Records.)

      Official transcripts must be sent to:
      Point Loma Nazarene University
      Office of Graduate Admissions
      3900 Lomaland Dr.
      San Diego, CA 92106

      Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
    3. Submit a personal essay, 2-3 pages in length and double spaced, that addresses the following topics:
      • Describe your professional career goals for the next five years.
      • Describe the variety of experiences that helped you determine these goals.
      • Explain what motivates you to work in California’s diverse schools.
      • Explain why you are applying to PLNU, a private Christian university.
    4. Provide two professional recommendations. You will be asked to register your recommenders by providing their names, titles, and email addresses.
    5. Basic Skills Exam: CBEST OR Equivalent*
      • Test scores should be emailed to gradprocessing@pointloma.edu

      • Please note: PLNU does not receive scores sent from testing centers

        *Options for meeting the Basic Skills Requirement:

        • Pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects Plus Writing Skills Examination

        • Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examinations

        • Achieve qualifying score on the SAT or ACT

    Start Application

    *Exceptions Policy: If you have below a 3.0 GPA in your baccalaureate degree, you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for your particular program.

    Professional Licensure or Certification

    This program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and meets the requirements for educator certification in the state of California, where Point Loma Nazarene University is physically located. PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet out-of-state requirements for Professional Licensure or Certification. Information about out-of-state requirements in teacher credentialing is available on this website

    Career Opportunities

    The Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in counseling and guidance is designed to help you advance your career in counseling.

    The program is ideal for:

    • Elementary School Counselors
    • Middle or High School Counselors
    • College Counselors
    • Career Counselors
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    Financial Aid and Student Support

    We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

    With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

    Financial Aid and Student Support

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