Charter College of Education, California State University, Los

M.S. in Counseling
Option in Marriage and Family Therapy

With the Emphasis in Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential with Advanced Authorization in School Counseling and Child Welfare and Attendance

(School-Based Family Counseling)

CSULA, Charter College of Education

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The Master of Science Degree in Counseling, Option in Marriage and Family Therapy is designed to train family systems oriented counselors who are eligible to apply for licensure in California as Marriage, Family and Child Therapists and qualify for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential with Advanced Authorization in School Counseling and Child Welfare and Attendance Services. A minimum of 105 units are required depending upon prior coursework and culminating experience.

The distinguishing feature of our program is the focus on School-Based Family Counseling, which aims to train marriage and family therapists to work directly in public schools and school-based related agencies. Coursework and fieldwork experience are geared toward the K-12 settings, although not exclusively. This is in contrast to the traditional family therapy model, in which the counselor is not trained to work in school systems. Our students, on the other hand, are trained to work with children and their families within the context of the educational system, utilizing a family systems theoretical orientation.

Another unique characteristic of our program is the implementation of the cohort model.  Each fall, we admit 24 candidates into our program. These students progress through the program together, taking a carefully constructed sequence of classes. The purpose of this is to insure that each student will be able to finish their program within the 2 ½ - 3 year timeline, but also as a means for building collegiality and support among the student body.

Graduates from the SBFC program are eligible to:  

  • work as School Counselors in public and private K-12 level schools
  • work as Child Welfare and Attendance specialists in K-12 level schools.

  • work in agencies that send therapists into schools utilizing the school-based family counseling model.

  • work in mental health agencies.

  • Once licensed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences, work in a private practice setting.

Program Outcomes
Students will:

  • Students Practice Effectual Clinical Treatment and Intervention Skills

  • Students Demonstrate Knowledge of Various Systems-Oriented and Individual Counseling Theories and Strategies.

  • Students Utilize Cultural Competency in Clinical Settings.  

Program Faculty:

As a part of the School-Based Family Counseling program, you’ll receive instruction from faculty members with extensive experience in school counseling, CWA, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Clinical Psychology.

Dr. Michael Carter
[email protected]

Dr. George Hong
[email protected]

Dr. Betsy Perluss
[email protected]


If you’d like to learn more about the name of program Option, please contact Dr. Michael Carter, Program Coordinator at: [email protected]

Application to the Program

Click HERE to find out how to apply to the program. 

Program Description
Click on the pdf IconProgram Plan to learn what types of classes you’ll be taking as part of the Marriage and Family Therapy option.

Scholarship Information

Note: Students can also choose the M.S. in Counseling option in Marriage and Family Therapy without the PPS credential. Please speak to one of the above faculty members if you’re interested in this option.

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