Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services Counseling Certificates

Graduate Certificate in Counseling

Build the knowledge to promote students’ resiliency & growth

Are you interested in creating safe and supportive learning environments for children and young adults? Our Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services, Graduate Certificate in Counseling can be your first step toward meeting your goals as a school counselor. This program is designed to help you advance in your knowledge of school-based services.

This graduate certificate is not designed to meet licensure requirements for the counseling professions.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 5 Courses

Classes Start September 14th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

What you’ll learn

Understand current theory

Articulate a competent understanding of current theory related to the field of school counseling.

Apply ethics and standards

Uphold ethical and professional standards that integrate diversity awareness and scientific research.

Employ theory in real-world settings

Gain mastery of counseling theory and its application as it relates to school-based services.

Program features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Learn with scholar-practitioner faculty

Our faculty is made up of scholar-practitioners who are active within their professions and bring real-world experience to the courseroom.

Engage in blended, flexible learning

Access our engaging, online learning environment anytime, anywhere, with any device, and set your own schedule while meeting deadlines.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$9,740 estimated tuition*
$487 per credit, 20 total quarter credits, 0 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Employer & association discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

Employer reimbursements

Many employers offer tuition reimbursement to employees. Ask your manager about options.

Sample courses

The Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services graduate certificate is designed for professionals seeking to build your knowledge in a broad range of topics related to the work performed by school counselors. (Note that it is not designed to meet licensure requirements for the counseling professions.)

Show course with description
Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors

Learners in this course examine theories of lifespan development and behavior from a counseling perspective. Learners describe effective approaches in counseling, evaluate its historical and philosophical relevance to current practice, and apply theories and practices to advocate for diverse clientele. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and MS in School Counseling degree programs and the Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, and Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services graduate certificate programs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer

4 quarter credits
Introduction to School Counseling

This course introduces learners to the profession of school counseling. Learners examine the history and development of school counseling; investigate ethical and legal requirements for school counselors; explore the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model and service delivery systems, including specific programs and interventions; and analyze the multiple roles and functions of school counselors with various stakeholders.

4 quarter credits
Crisis Intervention, Trauma Response, and Emergency Management

Learners in this course examine skills and strategies for crisis intervention and prevention, response to trauma, and emergency management as they apply to the school counseling profession within K–12 school settings. Topics include responding to trauma; providing trauma-informed care; working with victims of trauma, abuse, or violence; developing crisis intervention and prevention plans; assessing risk of suicide and other risks; and analyzing and implementing emergency management plans. For MS in School Counseling and Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services graduate certificate learners only.  

4 quarter credits
Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

In this course, learners examine common characteristics, risk factors, and warning signs of mental health and behavioral disorders affecting children and adolescents. Learners also critically evaluate diagnostic models, methods, and approaches and explore current DSM classifications and diagnostic issues related to children and adolescents. In addition, learners investigate the impact of common medications on learning, behavior, and mood in children and adolescents.

4 quarter credits
COUN5812 *
Theories of Counseling with Children and Adolescents

Learners in this course expand upon foundational counseling and relationship-building skills by integrating brief and strengths-based theoretical approaches and interventions relevant to the practice of counseling in P–12 schools. Learners analyze the influence of biopsychosocial factors on child and adolescent development and design individualized interventions that enhance wellness and resilience.  Prerequisite(s): COUN5280.

4 quarter credits

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.

Career center

For this team, it’s more than resumes and interview tips. It’s about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.