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Careers in Career Development

  • Academic Programs: Career Counseling Degrees
  • Professional Standards, Credentialing & Licensure
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Professional Awards, Scholarships & Grants
  • Job Opportunities

Academic Programs: Career Counseling Degrees

California has three out of eight institutions that offer graduate level career counseling degree programs that have been approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This designation by CACREP indicates that these programs have met the highest standards for professional preparation and program excellence. CCDA is committed to supporting the highest level of standards and professional competencies in the career counseling field. We want to acknowledge these programs for their role in helping to achieve this goal.

California State University, Northridge
Educational Psychology & Counseling Department
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8265
Department Chair: Dr. Beverly Cabello
Coordinator of CACREP Approved Programs in Career Counseling: Gregory C. Jackson, Ed.D., NCCC, RPCC

San Francisco State University
Department of Counseling
College of Health and Human Services
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
Department Chair: Robert Williams, Ph.D.
Coordinator of the Career Counseling Specialization: Rebecca Toporek, Ph.D.

California State University, Sacramento
Department of Counselor Education
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6079
Department Chair: Dr. Rose Borunda

Following are additional California graduate programs in counseling and post-master’s certificate programs. All of these programs include a career emphasis.

California State University-Fullerton
Department of Counseling
PO Box 6868
Fullerton, CA 92834-6868
Department Chair: Dr. Leah Brew

John F. Kennedy University
School of Management
Career Development Master's and
Post Master's Certificate Program
100 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817
Department Chair: Gail Lynam Dutcher

San Jose State University
Department of Counselor Education
College of Education
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
Department Chair: Xiaolu Hu

Santa Clara University
School of Education and Counseling
Psychology, Graduate Programs
Department of Counseling Psychology
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053-0201
Division Chair: Teri Quatman
Career Counseling Emphasis Program
Coordinator: Anne Oja

University of San Diego
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
Counseling Program
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
M.A. in Counseling
Specializations in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Program Directors: Lonnie Rowell, Ph.D.
Ronn Johnson, Ph.D.


Professional Standards, Credentialing & Licensure

Career counselors and practitioners are committed to their own continuous career development and maintaining recognized credentialing and professional standards of the field.

Professional Standards
It is expected that all career counselors and practitioners observe strict professional and ethical standards. Professional counselors are required to follow the ethical standards of professional bodies such as the National Board for Certified Counselors, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association or the National Career Development Association.
ACA Code of Ethics:

Career counselors and practitioners are certified at various levels by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); or (until December 2010) the California Registry of Professional Counselors and Paraprofessionals.

Certified professional career counselors with NCC (National Career Counselor) or RPC (Registered Professional Counselor) credentialing have satisfied the critical “4 E’s” of the counseling and career development discipline:

  • Education: Master’s degree in counseling or related field.
  • Experience: Two years of supervised post-graduate experience.
  • Exam: Passing of the National Counselor Examination of the National Board for Certified Counselors.
  • Ethics: Adherence to the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association and/or the National Board for Certified Counselors. To maintain highest professional standards and offer protection to the consumer, the credentialing boards respond to inquiries regarding ethical behavior and are empowered to take disciplinary action when warranted.

In 2011 the California Board of Behavioral Sciences will begin licensing California counselors who practice psychotherapy or clinical counseling for individuals with mental health issues at a diagnosable level. Many of the new LPCC’s (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) will have specialized experience in career development. LPCCs must meet rigorous education requirements, including a master’s or doctoral degree with specific required courses, two years of supervised practice and passage of two national exams and a state jurisprudence exam. The requirements to become a LPCC are on par with those of Marriage and Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers in California. The BBS will have oversight of LPCCs, to assure ethical practice and consumer protection.

The California Coalition for Counselor Licensure (CCCL), the original organizing force behind this monumental effort to achieve counselor licensure in California, has served its purpose in achieving licensure for California's professional counselors, and now the organization is reorganizing as a professional membership association, the California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (CALPCC). See the CALPCC website for details on the requirements and the paths to licensure for counselors. The CALPCC website also has an excellent webinar explaining more about licensure. We encourage counselors who plan to attain the LPCC licensure to consider becoming a member of the new CALPCC professional organization. For special charter member rates, see the CALPCC website.

The California Registry (now closed) was established as a voluntary professional registry and transitional step in preparation for counselor licensure in California. The purpose of the Registry has been to promote the advancement of quality counseling and service delivery practice by identifying professional and paraprofessional practitioners who meet certain defined standards and have voluntarily sought and obtained Registry status. For more than 20 years the Registry has established and maintained statewide standards of preparation, ethics and practice; promoted accountability and visibility; identified its members to colleagues, employers and to legislators; and protected consumers through publicity and education. With the passage of counselor licensure legislation in California, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences has taken over the process of clarifying the specific requirements for licensure and will begin licensure processing in 2011. Consequently the Registry will no longer accept applications and is now closed as of December 31, 2010.

Common Designations that Reflect Professional Certification, Licensure or Registration:
LPCC (new for California in 2011): Licensed Profession Clinical Counselor (BBS certification)
NCC: National Certified Counselor (NBCC certification)
NCCC: National Certified Career Counselor (NBCC certification)
NCSC: National Certified School Counselor (NBCC certification)
RPC: Registered Professional Counselor (CRPCP registration)
RPCC: Registered Professional Career Counselor (CRPCP registration)
RPRC: Registered Professional Rehabilitation Counselor (CRPCP registration)
RCP: Registered Career Paraprofessionals (CRPCP registration)
MCC: Master Career Counselor (NCDA designation)
MCDP: Master Career Development Professioal (NCDA designation)
CRC: Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRCC certification)
CCMHC: Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (NBCC certification)
MAC: Master Addictions Counselor (NBCC certification)
NCGC: National Certified Gerontological Counselor (NBCC certification)
GCDF: Global Career Development Facilitator (CCE certification)
DCC: Distance Credentialed Counselor (CCE certification)

Credentialing Bodies:
BBS: California Board of Behavioral Sciences (
NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors (
CRPCP: California Registry of Professional Counselors and Paraprofessionals ( – this body will dissolve in December 2010 as licensure for California counselors is administered by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in 2011.
CRCC: Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (
CCE: Center for Credentialing and Education, NBCC affiliate (


Professional Affiliations

National Career Development Association (NCDA)
American Counseling Association (ACA)
California Counseling Association (CCA), formerly CACD, or California Association for Counseling and Development
National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
California Registry for Professional Counselors and Paraprofessionals (CRPCP)
California Coalition for Counselor Licensure (CCCL)


Professional Awards, Scholarships & Grants

CCDA offers a number of professional awards, scholarships and grants in recognition of practitioners' contributions to the field of career development. Learn more about them and how to complete the nomination or application process on the Awards page.


Job Opportunities

Targeted recruiting is smart recruiting. CCDA members can view current career counselor and career development related job opportunities listed by California employers. Employers can find qualified, trained career services and counseling professionals through the California Career Development Association. And, CCDA members can list job opportunities for free! See CCDA's Job Bank.




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