CEPA Professional Development

About The Program

The Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment's (CEPA) Professional Development courses are designed for school counselors, college and career advisors, and educators. You'll attain the knowledge and the skills you'll need to create equitable and accessible pathways to postsecondary success for all students.

Each course consists of 25 hours of total coursework (approximately 1.5 hours per week). Courses are mostly asynchronous and self-paced, which makes it easier for students with busy schedules to complete. There’s also five face-to-face sessions with your instructor throughout the course — one session per month — to help you connect with your classmates and get assistance from your instructor.

During both courses, you’ll complete a series of projects to help you apply the lessons learned in the classroom. Projects cover a range of timely topics that you can use in your day-to-day professional duties, including designing an equitable curriculum and preparing a faculty presentation to help you educate your colleagues on the importance of equity in education.

If you are interested in the CEPA professional development courses please fill out this registration form. 

You will earn a Certificate of Completion with the option to purchase CEU's

You’ll have the opportunity to earn a CEPA Certificate of Completion and up to 2.5 CEUs per course through SDSU's Global Campus.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) provide a permanent record of your educational accomplishments in a non-credit educational program. CEUs are not academic units, which means that they don’t appear on your transcript and can’t be applied to degree work at institutions of higher education. However, CEUs designate professional development in the field of college and career advising, and many institutions use CEUs when making hiring decisions and offering promotions.

Our College and Career Advising courses require 25 hours of coursework (approximately 1.5 hours a week) to receive 2.5 CEU’s.


Our Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling course is designed for school counselors, college and career advisors, and educators. In this course, you’ll learn how to implement equity-centered counseling and advising practices in your efforts to support student postsecondary exploration, planning, enrollment, and persistence. 

You’ll explore the fundamentals of college and career advising while also considering the available school and community-based systems, policies, and practices that contribute to equitable postsecondary attainment. The course will also look at how social emotional learning (SEL) and virtual advising influence postsecondary outcomes. You’ll learn how to support students who reside in low-income households, are first in their family to attend college, live with disabilities, and are from underserved populations.

For more information view flyer

In our Advanced Topics in College and Career Counseling (CEU) course, you’ll acquire the skills and knowledge you need to help your students prepare for postsecondary education and careers. This course is designed for professional school counselors who are currently practicing, as well as pre-service school counselors, college access professionals, and educators. 

Our curriculum will build on the skills you’ve gained in the Introduction to College and Career Advising CEU course. Topics that you’ll cover include creating antiracist college and career advising programs, identifying the key elements of a model career development curriculum, connecting postsecondary planning to career and workforce development goals, engaging students and families intentionally in postsecondary decisions and program planning, addressing transition planning and summer melt (elementary to middle, middle to high, high to postsecondary), and maximizing your students' success in the postsecondary attainment process.

For more information view flyer. 

Meet Your Instructor

Laura Owen


Dr. Laura Owen is the Executive Director for the Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment at San Diego State University (SDSU). A prior urban school counselor and district counseling supervisor, she is a passionate advocate for closing college opportunity gaps. Her research focuses on evaluating the impact of interventions and programs designed to address the systems, structures and policies that drive equitable access to high quality postsecondary advising support. Laura has researched interventions targeting financial aid and FAFSA completion, the high school to college transition, text messaging and virtual advising, the impact of technology on college going decisions, and how students prefer to receive college and career information. In collaboration with school counselors, counselor educators, college access professionals, community based organizations, cross institutional researchers, higher education and K-12 eductors, Laura is committed to the discovery of advising models that support access, retention and completion of postsecondary credentials aligned to the workforce and connected to high wage, high demand jobs.   

What Do Our Students Say?

“This course has challenged what I thought I understood about the work that a counselor who prides themselves in creating equity and access for all students believes. It has opened my eyes and is in the back of my mind with every interaction I have with my students.”

- Tonika Russell, LLPC, SCL, Fall 2020

“I am in my 18th year in education. This course was just the 'refresher' I needed to feel confident in my abilities to address sensitive topics with my students and colleagues. It felt good to be engaged and to challenge myself and my abilities again."

- Jamie Siglow, Fall 2020

“I am so glad to be enrolled in this course right now. The time IS now. It's providing more than I expected. I am growing personally as well as professionally. My personal growth is the bonus. I am recognizing my biases and confronting some of the things I had suppressed for years. I am a bit anxious about beginning the real work in real life but I'm excited also. The greatest benefit of this course is that my students will reap the benefit of a better, more informed, more prepared, more equipped...school counselor. I have a renewed passion to provide them every opportunity for equitable exposure and experiences possible, in and out of the educational domain."

- Lenora Martin, Fall 2020