Welcome to the Counselor Education Program at Penn State!

Find your path in Counselor Education
Find your path in Counselor Education


The Counselor Education (CNED) and Rehabilitation and Human Services (RHS) programs envision an equitable and just world in which all people and, in particular, historically marginalized people can engage meaningfully and ethically, free of discrimination, systemic racism, ableism, and all forms of oppression. 


The CNED and RHS programs engage in research, teaching, service, and advocacy that values diversity and promotes equity and antiracism by (a) implementing research that identifies racial, economic, health, and disability disparities and integrates counseling and human service interventions designed to prevent and eliminate these inequities, (b) educating students to be effective social justice change agents, and (c) collaborating with local, state, and federal partners to eradicate systemic barriers and racism that limit human potential.   


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Counselor Education Degree Programs

The Ph.D. program, accredited by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs), prepares students to work as counselor educators, clinical supervisors, and advanced practitioners in academic and clinical settings.

Counselor Education at Penn State is a graduate program within the College of Education that offers professional preparation at the master's degree level (M.Ed. only) for qualified persons wishing to become a professional counselor in a range of emphases, each accredited by national and, where appropriate, state credentialing boards. See links below for more information on specific emphases within the program.

The Counselor Education master's program advocates for the provision of services to all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion sexual orientation, ability level, or values. As such, our program prepares you to honor and respect human diversity. Our program emphasizes professional competency, a respect for human diversity, and evidence-based practices. Our program provides students the opportunity for experiential learning that often results in significant changes. The Counselor Education faculty expects our students to change as they develop in the program. We aim to instill in each student the capacity to not only understand and respect his or her own experiences, values, and identity, but the capacity to respect others' experiences, values, and identities that are unlike their own. We believe the capacity to know and respect self, and to know and respect another is a cornerstone of our profession. Counselors use a range of evidence-based interventions with individuals, groups, and in communities, to facilitate meaningful change in the lives of people seeking our services.

Counselor Education CACREP Accreditation


Career Counseling


Graduates: 1
Completion rate: 100%
Licensure pass rate: 100%
Job Placement rate: 100%


Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Schools and Communities


Graduates: 7
Completion rate: 100%
Licensure pass rate: 100%
Job Placement rate: 100%


Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling/Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Graduates: 8
Completion rate: 100%
Licensure pass rate: 100%
Job Placement rate: 100%


School Counseling


Graduates: 6
Completion rate: 95%
Certification pass rate: 100%
Job Placement rate: 100%


Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision


Graduates: 9
Completion rate: 100%
Licensure pass rate: 100%
Job Placement rate: 100%



Program evaluation, which is a continuous activity for the Counselor Education program, is based on data from a variety of sources including (a) surveys of alumni, employers of graduates, and supervisors that occur at least every three years; (b) yearly evaluations of the program that students submit anonymously with their annual self-evaluations; (c) feedback from members of the Counselor Education Advisory Board; (d) other meetings and interactions with students, supervisors, and employers throughout the academic year; and (e) other appropriate evaluative data.

The 33 alumni who responded to the surveys in 2022, rated the program with an average of 4.1 on a scale of 1, low, to 5, high. The majority (83%) described the program as good or very good. The age ranged from 24 to 58 years old.


The majority of alumni were certified in their respective specialization areas (e.g., Certified Elementary School Counselor or Secondary School Counselor, or Licensed Professional Counselor) and/or as Nationally Certified Counselors.


The majority of the respondents were currently employed in a counseling field or in a profession where they utilize their counselor training:




  • Elementary School Counselor

  • Middle School Counselor

  • Secondary School Counselor

  • Career Counselor

  • Clinical Mental Health Counselor

  • Program Coordinator (in higher education)

  • DBT Therapist

  • Assistant Directory, Career Coach

  • College Mental Health Counselor

  • Rehabilitation Counselor

  • Interim Assoc. VP/Dean of Student Affairs

  • Faculty in a Counselor Education Program

  • Assistant Professor, Associate Professor of Counseling

  • Therapist/Licensed Professional Counselor/Behavioral Clinician and Research Coordinator

  • High Risk Licensed Professional Care Manager

  • Outpatient Therapist

  • Owner and Therapist

  • Academic Advisor

  • Director of Skills and Curricula

  • Manager of Learning and Development

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (state)

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Supervisor

  • Family Based Clinician

  • Director of Accessibility Services

  • DEIB Coordinator

  • Experiential Learning/Internship Manager


Alumni ratings for practicum and internship were consistently high, as were their ratings of their counseling training and learning counseling competencies (averages within the 4 to 5 range).


Alumni, in general, were satisfied to very satisfied with their advising experience (averages within the 4 to 5 range).


Alumni reported membership includes ACA, ACES, AMHCA, PCA, ACCA, ASCA, NBCC, NARACES, ALGBTIC, NLPA, CSI, PMHCA, AMCD, ARCA.


The majority of the alumni were very satisfied with the opportunities to interact with faculty during the completion of their program (averages within the 4 to 5 range).


Alumni rated the program very highly (averages within the 4 to 5 range).



  • "This program allowed me to prepare for work towards my LPC, and establish my skills as a counselor first, with career as my specialty. I recommend this program to anyone who is interested. Dr. Diandra Prescod was my advisor, and the coordinator of the program at the time, and she was such a strong advocate for the career emphasis, for her students, and just wonderful to work with."
  • "I can't believe it's already been over 5 years. Wish I could do it all again."
  • "I miss being in the program. I loved my time at Penn State and in the Counselor Education Program."


On a scale from Very Good (5) to Very Poor (1), the employer ratings were Very Good or Good (averages within the 4 to 5 range) for the following areas:


  • Academic preparation

  • Counseling skills

  • Professional development

  • Knowledge of current issues

  • Knowledge of legal and ethical issues

  • Administrative skill


Employer was very satisfied with the education of our graduates and reported will have our students again.


Areas noted as strengths for interns and graduates:


  • Strong communication skills

  • Clinical skills

  • Strong multicultural awareness and training

  • Professionalism.


Suggestions for improvement:



  • More preparation on plans
  • More self-care skills  



Students (64 in total) were consistently satisfied with their interactions with faculty, noting that faculty were open, accessible, flexible, and knowledgeable. Students valued faculty enthusiasm for what they teach and appreciated that they were actively involved in research, yet still available to students outside of the room (average scores ranged in the 4 to 5 [highest], scale).


List of things students most appreciated about the Counselor Education Program:


  • How supportive the administrative staff is

  • The breadth and depth of the program

  • Relevancy of the content provided

  • Feeling well prepared to join the world of work as a counselor

  • The multicultural counseling focus of the program (they noted that this focus was infused throughout all of their courses)


Other assets students noted:


  • The warm and welcoming environment in the department

  • The opportunities to create a community (e.g., Mentoring program provided by Rho Alpha Mu Chapter of CSI, meeting doctoral students, recreational and academic gatherings) 

  • The practical and applied focus of many of the courses


The different constituents valued the program but also offered the following areas for improvement: The following table shows those suggestions and the way program and faculty members--- individually or collectively -- responded to feedback regarding the Counselor Education program at Penn State: 


Suggested Area for Improvement: Need of more racial and cultural sensitivity among faculty, students and staff, including stopping microaggressions from students.  

Program Responses (Implemented Changes):

- Multicultural Trainings: Faculty participated in an equityl training led by Kathy O’Bear offered at the department and program level.

- Book Club: CNED faculty implemented a book club reading and discussing the books:  My Grandmother’s Hands, and Me and White Supremacy. 

- Affinity groups: Affinity groups led by faculty were organized for Students of Color, Chinese International Students and Queer and Non-Binary International Students. One faculty member developed and facilitated a college-wide affinity group for students of color. These groups were co-facilitated with CNED graduate students and others outside of the program. It included wellness activities (yoga, games), panels comprised of faculty of color providing guidance, and weekly community time (

- Curriculum Enhancement: Faculty engaged in evaluating current curriculum. RHS 433 – Trauma Informed Care become a new course that includes race-based trauma, gender-based trauma, and intergenerational trauma. 

- Racial Trauma Taskforce: A special taskforce was created and has been building training for responding to microaggression. 

- Support Groups for CNED students and the State College Community: The Herr Clinic held community support events in response to national natural disasters (e.g., earthquake in Turkey) and other national upheaval (e.g., death of Tyre Nichols).

- Restorative Justice: Faculty utilized a restorative justice model in the multicultural counseling course. In this course, restorative justice modeled how they can hold each other accountable for microaggressions and also welcome them to hold the faculty accountable. In one instance, a student made a misstep and utilized a culturally insensitive term on the discussion board. The professor met with that student individually, discussed how the student wanted to repair and helped them to develop goals to expand their awareness. 

- Honoring Feedback: One faculty met with students who expressed experiencing issues in their courses. The faculty member created a report, shared with other faculty, and the faculty worked to respond. They responded by having an outside trainer come in to provide equity/cultural sensitivity workshops, invited an outside person to meet with the students gain to facility racial healing, and the faculty created goals around how we can adjust our practices/policies to better meet the needs of the students.  


Suggested Area for Improvement: More knowledge of curriculum and consistency among faculty.  

Program Responses (Implemented Changes):

- Transitional Support: There has been retirement of long-time faculty and hiring of new faculty hired. We will be updating everybody about checklists and handbooks. 


Suggested Area for Improvement: Timely responses to emails.  

Program Responses (Implemented Changes):

- Explicit Communication: Explicitly communicating response time expectations and utilizing away messages have been encouraged so faculty can provide clear communication around electronic communication.  


Suggested Area for Improvement: Feeling a general lack of connection and support with faculty/professors.  

Program Responses (Implemented Changes):

- Faculty-Student Liaison: Planning faculty liaison through CSI and faculty check-ins with students on a weekly basis is now in place. For example, one faculty held weekly advising hours for students to join to ask questions. Also sent emails to advisees 3x across the semester to inform them of opportunities, deadlines, and wellness tips. 


Suggested Area for Improvement: Lack of support in/frustrations with Practicum, DAP notes, and clients missing sessions.  

Program Responses (Implemented Changes):

- Sources of Support: The Herr Clinic updated handbooks, updated communication to clients about missing sessions.

- The Herr Clinic offered recorded videos and step-by-step instructions on most policies and ways of completing DAP notes. DAP note guidance from the clinic was updated and streamlined.  


Suggested Area for Improvement: Lack of internship guidance.  

Program Responses (Implemented Changes):

- Improved Resources: The program Implemented information sessions for students approaching internship.

- Tevera: The program implemented Tevera for student organization of materials and documents.

- Faculty began Tevera training and guidelines for internship information in the summer of 2023. 


Suggested Area for Improvement: Needing more organization within the program and the curriculum. 

Program Responses (Implemented Changes):

- Updates: Program handbook revisions were completed last summer. 



Suggested Area for Improvement: Experiencing Stress/Burn-out/Mental health concerns.  

Program Responses (Implemented Changes):

- Advising: Required and optional advising hours are now available for students experiencing academic distress.

- Stress Management: Faculty agreed to embrace flexibility with class assignments and due dates. 

- Orientation: Students were encouraged to maintain open communication during last and this years’ Orientation Program.

- Student Appreciation: The Herr Clinic hosted a Counselor Appreciation Week with snacks, drinks, gratitude wall, de-stress tools and items.  



For more information on Counselor Education accreditation, please contact Dr. Carlos Zalaquett:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (814) 867-6252

Office address:

327A CEDAR Building
University Park, PA 16802

(Updated 1/2020)

Herr Clinic

The Dr. Edwin L. Herr Clinic is run by the Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education. The Herr Clinic serves two purposes: the Counselor Education Master's and Doctoral Programs use the Herr Clinic for clinical practicum in which they serve the University student population and the School Psychology Doctoral Program uses the clinic to provide services to children, adolescent, and young adult referrals from the community.

Learn more about the Herr Clinic

National Recognition

Top 10

US News and World Report

Program Credibility


Over 50 years of excellence



Job Placement