Transcript for September 2019 Brownbag

Transcript - LPCC Presentation 09/20/2019


Dr. Sonia Peterson

  1. Hi I’m Sonia Peterson. I am the new advisor for the LPCC track and psychiatric rehabilitation specialty program in our Rehabilitation Counseling Program (RCP) here at SDSU. Thank you for coming today to hear my presentation on the educational requirements for the California Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) license.
  2. Today I am presenting information on the LPCC, job opportunities that are available to individuals who hold an LPCC, and what coursework you need to complete while you are in your Rehabilitation Counseling Program in order to be eligible for the LPCC. We will have time for questions at the end, so please hold on to your questions and if I don’t cover what you have a question about in my presentation please ask it at the end. I am trying to keep this presentation simple so that I can get it up on our website as soon as possible for the students who couldn’t make it here today.
  3. The LPCC is the state license available to graduates of Rehabilitation Counseling Master’s degree programs. Graduates must have completed coursework that is outlined in state legislation and approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences. The bill to establish the LPCC in California became law on January 1, 2010, applications became available in July 2011 and the first counselors were licensed in January 2012. The Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) regulates the LPCC license.
  4. The educational requirements for the LPCC are listed on the BBS website. Our LPCC track coursework is available on our RCP website. Both these lists match each other. Our LPCC track program is approved by the BBS to meet the requirements for the LPCC. As a graduate of our LPCC track here at SDSU, you will be fast-tracked on having your educational requirements approved by BBS.
  5. These are the required courses for the LPCC track program here at SDSU in our RCP (see slide 5). I am happy to sit down with you and map out your plan of study so that you know what classes you are taking during which semesters and when you can expect to graduate.
  6. Please plan ahead so that you can fit all required courses into your program plan. Some classes are not offered every year.
  7. All information about the path to becoming an LPCC is on the BBS website. Our LPCC track curriculum at SDSU is approved by the BBS, so RCP LPCC track students will receive a signed form from SDSU that is submitted to BBS to show that the student completed the required coursework for the LPCC requirements. After graduation, you will pay some fees and complete a form to register as an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC). This process includes Live Scan fingerprinting. You must report all misdemeanor and felony convictions. Don’t worry if you have convictions—you will need to explain them, but please know individuals with past convictions have been approved. BBS supports individuals with lived experience to be licensed counselors. Again, all details are on the BBS website. Once you pass the criminal background check and your paperwork is approved, you can start accruing your supervision hours. Accruing supervision hours means that you have found a job where you will be counseling clients and you have a supervisor who is approved by BBS to supervise you while you are an APCC and working on your supervision hours. We can suggest work sites and supervisors, but it is your responsibility to get that in place for yourself. A really good resource to connect with others who are pursing the LPCC, connect with possible supervisors, and to get support while you pursue your license is the CALPCC website:

    You will take your California law and ethics exam while you are accruing your supervision hours. If you don’t pass it the first time, don’t worry because you can take it again. You just have to have taken it while you are accruing your hours and pass it by the time you are done with your supervision hours. You must renew your registration as an associate each year that you are accruing your supervision hours. Once you complete all your supervision hours, you will apply for your license and exam. When your application for license and exam is approved, you will take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE). After you pass that exam, you apply for your LPCC license. Once that is approved, then you are officially an LPCC. If you want to be able to treat couples and families, you need to meet some additional requirements during this process which includes 6 units of additional coursework specifically in the area of marriage and family counseling. We can make sure you get those additional classes while you are here at SDSU, so we just need to plan for that if you are interested. Details are on the BBS website. Once you are an LPCC you are required to complete continuing education requirements every two years.

    Please keep in mind that there are no grace periods for the due dates when you are reauthorizing your associate status, completing continuing education, and renewing your license. So, please keep really good track of the process and make sure you complete things when they are required to avoid having to start your whole supervision hour requirements from scratch.
  8. Earning your LPCC will make you eligible for jobs with higher salaries as compared to jobs that do not require a license. All graduates of our RCP are eligible to be hired into jobs requiring a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling include the counselor positions with the California Department of Rehabilitation and other state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies. DOR starting salary for the SVRC QRP position is about 55K per year. All RCP graduates are also eligible for work in higher education as disability resource center counselors and/or instructors for Bachelor level classes.

    Counselors that hold the LPCC have many more opportunities for positions at higher salaries. Jobs that have previously only been available to licensed Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists are now open to LPCCs. For example, more positions are available now at the VA. The VA’s Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (LPMHC) position is equivalent to the California LPCC. Across the country states have different acronyms for their licensed mental health counselor positions. Ours in California is LPCC. The VA has chosen the LPMHC as their acronym for the licensed mental health counselor positions in their system. Again, the LPCC in California is equivalent to the LPMHC position at the VA. Associate level LPCCs/LPMHCs can be hired at the G-9 level while they are working on supervision hours at a starting salary of about 57K/year. Once they become a full LPCC, they advance to G-11 pay scale which is about 70K in the San Diego area. Federal salaries are adjusted for high cost areas, like California. There are good opportunities for advancement in the VA system, and it is possible to earn salaries in the six figures by promoting into supervisory and administrative positions. Kaiser Permanente in northern California is hiring LPCCs, and the Kaiser hospitals and clinics in southern California will also soon be hiring LPCCs. Current salaries for LPCCs at Kaiser are approximately 80K/year. There are positions available for LPCCs in county behavioral health programs, Individuals with the LPCC can bill insurance and operate as an LPCC in private practice, and expected legislative changes in Medicare policy will allow LPCCs to bill Medicare for services. The American Counseling Association has been lobbying hard for Medicare reimbursement for counselors. 60 million individuals who are seniors or individuals with disabilities currently receive their health care through the Medicare program. So, there are lots of expanded opportunities and jobs at higher salaries for individuals who take the time to earn their LPCC. 
  9. Please contact me immediately if you are interested in pursuing the LPCC coursework. I need to coordinate with the CSP department to make sure we can accommodate all students who need our dual-program courses for license. The CSP department also has a program for LPCC track students, so we work together to offer those 3 CSP classes to all students who are LPCC track in both our CSP and ARPE departments. If in doubt about whether you want to pursue the LPCC or not, I strongly suggest making sure the required coursework is on your transcript.
    You can always decide later to pursue the LPCC. There are strict limits on how many courses you can add later in order to meet the educational requirements, so take them now.
  10. Questions and Answers:

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Q: Do you have to be a U.S. Citizen to get the LPCC license?

A: No, you do not have to be a U.S. Citizen, according to the information on the BBS website. According to the website, applicants must complete Live Scan fingerprinting and a background check which includes providing a Social Security number: If you have further questions related to citizenship or work status please consult directly.

Q: Will the CSP classes be offered more frequently?

A: This depends on student interest in the LPCC coursework and SDSU’s ability to offer the coursework. Dr. Peterson is actively coordinating with both the ARPE and CSP department faculty to provide required coursework for the LPCC as often as possible, given student interest.

Q: Can the internship count towards supervision hours?

A: No, they are separate. 600 hours of internship is part of the educational requirements of your Master of Science (MS) program, and the 3000 supervision hours occur after you have graduated from your MS program.

Q: Does the internship for the MS program have to be a match with the LPCC-track specialty?

A: Yes, your internship site must support you to serve in a role and settings with clients relevant to your specialty area. Dr. Peterson will work with you to find an appropriate site, and will work with you and your site supervisor to help make sure your site meets all the requirements for your educational program.

Q: Do we have to be supervised by a licensed supervisor in our MS LPCC-track internship?

A: Yes, your site supervisor must hold relevant certifications and/or licenses and have relevant training in counseling supervision. Dr. Peterson will work with you and your site supervisor to make sure your internship site and your site supervisor meet all the requirements for your educational program.

Q: Do we have to start taking practicum in our first year?

A: It is recommended that you take practicum as soon as possible in your program because it is a requirement for internship. You must complete all your required practicum hours before you can begin your internship, so please plan accordingly.

Q: Can we be supervised under an APCC in our internship?

A: No, your internship supervisor must be fully licensed.

Q: Do the supervisors for the 3000 required supervision hours have to be approved supervisors under their license?

A: Yes, APCCs can be supervised by licensed LPCCs, LMFTs, LCSWs, psychologists, and psychiatrists. For all details regarding the 3000 required supervision hours, please refer to the Guide to Supervision for Associate Professional Clinical Counselors:
and the Supervisor Information and Qualifications:

Q: Can I fulfill my 3000 supervision hours and payback for the RSA stipend in the same work setting?

A: Yes, as long as your work setting meets both the BBS requirements for supervision and the RSA payback requirements.

Q: When will Medicare reimbursement for licensed counselors be approved?

A: The American Counseling Association will post an update when the Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2019 (Medicare reimbursement) is signed into law:

Please contact Dr. Peterson at if you have any further questions.

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