Professional Certificate in College Admissions Counseling

Professional Certificate in College Admissions Counseling

Online Program


12-18 months


18 Units


It's a rigorous climb from high school to college; students need all the help they can get. Tackle your responsibility with confidence. Learn how to organize and present the information to the college-bound to make their transition as smooth as possible.

Gain the knowledge and expertise to work with students who are ready to make one of the most important decisions in their life. Help junior and senior high school students faced with establishing academic and career goals, and learn the ins and outs of college admissions to help students from a variety of backgrounds.

Designed For

  • High school college and career counselors who want to develop their professional competencies.
  • High school guidance counselors who want to acquire specialized knowledge to transition into the role of college counselor.
  • College admissions personnel who want to become more familiar with high school processes and institutional protocols.
  • Junior high and middle school counselors who want to provide their students with a head start in planning their post-secondary options.
  • Teachers who want to be better informed about post-secondary options.
  • Individuals who want to develop an independent college counseling practice.
  • Parents who want to assist their middle or high school student with the admissions process.

What You'll Learn

  • How colleges choose students
  • Application calendar for private and public colleges
  • Financial planning and admission procedures for small private colleges
  • Helping athletes and students with special talents
  • Working with underrepresented students
  • Critical dates on the testing calendar
  • Preparing students for college entrance exams

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Positions are available in both private and public schools.

Program Overview


18 Units

“I was able to open my own practice as an Independent Educational Consultant, and am grateful to UCR Extension for helping me achieve my entrepreneurial dreams! The knowledge I gained from the program gave me an added advantage when helping high school students.”

Angel Hearn

Educational Consultant
My College-Bound Counseling
Riverside, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Bachelor's degree or equivalent

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

The College Counseling Process

EDUC X313.35B

4 units

Overview of the process of counseling students and families through the college admissions process. Participants will learn the components of the college counseling process, including understanding the field of college counseling, postsecondary options, standardized testing and other data utilized in the process, the role of essays, interviews, and resumes, as well as issues of access and success.

College Admissions Procedures

EDU X313.37

3 units

Exploration of the documents required in the college application process and discussion of the preparations students need for college admissions testing. Resources available for gathering and presenting transcripts, school profiles, teacher recommendations, secondary school report forms, college applications, and entrance essays.

Quarter 2

Analysis and Application of Effective Career Counseling Strategies

EDUC X313.44

3 units

Theory and methods of career counseling appropriate for college-bound students. Information related to education and careers, assessment instruments and resources available for occupations are presented. This course is appropriate for college, career, educational and rehabilitation counselors and professionals in the mental health field.

Quarter 3

Financial Aid Planning for Higher Education

EDUC X313.34A

2 units

Strategies for helping students succeed in obtaining financial aid for higher education. Techniques for creative financial planning, various appeal processes available to students and their families. Analysis of financial aid need analysis forms, stages of applying for and negotiating financial aid packages will be presented.

Professional and Ethical Issues in the College Application Process

EDUC X313.38

3 units

Ethical issues in the college application process. Illustration of programs designed to meet the needs of underrepresented students and discussion of tracking and documentation procedures.

Quarter 4

Practicum in Counseling College-Bound Students

EDUC X313.39

3 units

Practicum in guidance and counseling of the college-bound student in a secondary school setting. Participants will develop a case study that reflects effective guidance of a secondary student into a private or public two or four year institution. Students will submit a portfolio at the end of the class that provides evidence of what has been learned in the program. 

“I enjoy sharing my years of knowledge and experience with students from various backgrounds—first generation, international, various income and academic levels--with my UCR Extension students in order to provide them with the necessary skills to successfully guide others in the college admission process. I also keep my students current with the latest trends in college admissions.”

Christine DiBenedetto

Director of College Counseling
Army and Navy Academy
Carlsbad, CA

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