San Diego community. CBB: Lean into your discomfort

Community Based Block (CBB), Multicultural Community Counseling & Social Justice Education

M.S. in Counseling & LPCC

Undergraduate Program Graduate Program Concentration Focus Online Hybrid

The Community-Based Block (CBB) Program is a 2-Year, 60-unit Master of Science in Counseling degree, with a concentration in multicultural community counseling, that prepares licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCC).

CBB: Lean into your discomfortThe Community-Based Block (CBB) program provides multicultural community counseling and social justice education that prepares students to become culturally competent licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCC), while serving individuals and communities through internships, research, placements and community engagement.

  • 45+ years preparing culturally competent counselors 
  • Strong social justice commitment to providing mental health and community counseling to underserved communities
  • 95% graduation rate
  • Over 85% Ethnically Diverse Students throughout the history of the program
  • 100% Ethnically Diverse Faculty
  • Strong LGBTQIAA+ Focus
  • Fulfills the academic requirements for LPCC licensure
  • CBB4Life Alumni Association
  • CBB graduates serve as:
    • Community Counselors
    • Clinical Mental Health Counselors
    • Community College and University Counselors
    • K-12 counselors

What is CBB?

For over 45 years, the CBB Program has prepared counselors to work with individuals and communities. In Fall 2014, the one-year CBB MA Program became a 2-year MS program that prepares students to become Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC). The two-year cohort program meets all of the requirements for the 60+ unit Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Multicultural Community Counseling and fulfills the California Board of Behavioral Sciences’ requirements for Professional Clinical Counselor Licensure.

CBB prepares multicultural community counselors and advocates with the following 4 core learning objectives:

  • Community Counseling Knowledge & Skills
    Awareness and knowledge of counseling theories, models, and methods from a multicultural perspective and a transformative paradigm and apply them in counseling practice and research
  • Multicultural/Multilingual
    Conceptualize and integrate multicultural knowledge and experience into community counseling theory, practice, and research
  • Social Justice & Advocacy
    Conceptualize and integrate social justice and advocacy into counseling theory, practice, and research; democratic theory, process, and skills; critical theory, community capital
  • Self-awareness & Care
    Conceptualize and practice self-awareness and personal insight that supports professional growth and development in the interest of clients and communities

The Community-Based Block program seeks to develop:

  • the counseling skills of relationship building, process and therapeutic intervention;
  • the academic skills of critical thinking, systematic inquiry, program evaluation and effective written and oral communication;
  • and the personal growth experiences necessary to enable graduates to use their skills for the benefit of clients.

Our program also seeks to adapt counseling skills to the needs of different populations so as to train truly competent multicultural counselors.

Students are able to gain a unique experience of becoming counselors through live supervision at the Center for Community Counseling and Engagement in City Heights, one of the most diverse communities in San Diego.

The responsibility students assume for their own education helps them develop the proficiencies they will need to become effective change agents in schools, colleges and/or social service agencies.

Sequence of Study

Year 1: Fall
Supervised experience in counseling.
Application of concepts and procedures of counseling in appropriate school or agency setting. Daily observation and practice. Weekly seminar sessions with university staff. Application to take the course must be made early during the preceding semester. May be repeated with new content.
Development of self-understanding. Cross-cultural communication skills needed for becoming an effective counselor. May be repeated with new content.
Legal, ethical, and professional issues in counseling practice, research, and training. Cultural underpinnings and clinical implications of legal and ethical codes.
Supervised practice in multicultural community counseling and social justice practice, to include democratic processes, community-building, and professional communication skills. Social change through working with people in communities, increasing self and other-awareness, and relationship building. Fulfills licensure requirements for LPCC.
Year 1: Spring
Supervised experience in counseling.
Application of concepts and procedures of counseling in appropriate school or agency setting. Daily observation and practice. Weekly seminar sessions with university staff. Application to take the course must be made early during the preceding semester. May be repeated with new content.
Supervised practice in group counseling, community counseling, and group leadership. May be repeated with new content.
Counseling and marriage and family therapy theories and their impact on the practices of counselors, school counselors, school psychologists, marriage-family therapists and their clients. Approaches and applications for counseling and therapy. Research on counseling and marriage and family therapy.
Descriptions of mental health disorders within biological, individual, familial, and larger social contexts. Focus on Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system and relationship to family functioning.
Systemic models of intervention for families, couples presenting problems related to substance abuse. Includes treatment issues of interdependence, power, intimacy, generational patterns, addition and relapse. Fulfills marriage and family therapy and LPCC requirements.
Year 2: Fall
Supervised internship experience in counseling or school psychology activities. Application to take the course must be made early during the preceding semester. May be repeated with new content.
Procedures for gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing information; reviewing the literature; designing studies.
School Learning. Implications of theory and research in behavioral sciences for the understanding of human behavior.
Supervised practice and application of individual assessment measures from a multicultural and social justice perspective in community counseling. Test development processes. Social justice and cultural factors in testing and interpretation. Current uses of tests in community settings. Fulfills licensure requirements for LPCC.
Consultation theory, process, and research for counselors and school psychologists. Emphasis on mental health and problem-solving consultation in multicultural education and mental health settings
Issues, insights, and techniques for improving effectiveness in working with culturally diverse populations.
Year 2: Spring
Supervised internship experience in counseling or school psychology activities. Application to take the course must be made early during the preceding semester.
Study of selected areas in counseling culminating in a written project with emphasis on counseling as a profession.
Multicultural and social justice; crisis and trauma counseling and therapy to include historical and philosophical origins of current theories and practices and implications for multidisciplinary treatment. Trauma and diversity.
Medical, cultural, systemic perspectives on use of psychopharmacology in marriage and family therapy practice. Overview of most commonly used drugs in psychotherapeutic treatment. Fulfills marriage and family therapy and LPCC licensure requirements.
Approaches to understanding sexual functioning and intimacy through multicultural, historical, and relational clinical theory frameworks. Specific sexual issues presented in therapy, treatment planning, and intervention. Fulfills marriage and family therapy and LPCC licensure requirements.
Sociocultural, developmental, family and individual contexts of violence in couples’ relationships. Assessment with a focus on systemic ideas and practices. Legal, ethical, and person-of-the-therapist influences on assessment. Fulfills marriage and family therapy and LPCC licensure requirements.
Examines child abuse assessment within individual, family sociocultural, developmental and systemic frameworks. Treatment goals, issues and strategies derived from family systems therapies. Fulfills marriage and family therapy licensure requirement.
College planning, career readiness, and career technical education P-16. Technology promoting equity, access, and opportunity for culturally diverse populations to post secondary options.

See our Faculty page for information about our faculty and lecturers. 

CBB LPCC graduates complete 1 of 3 tracks that prepare them for the following careers:

  • Clinical mental health counseling: serve community clinics or private practice
  • College counseling: serve community colleges and universities
  • K-12 counseling: serve K-12 schools



Important Resources

    • Tuition cost
      The M.A. 30-unit cost is approximately $15,000, however, unit prices are subject to change. The total cost of enrollment including tuition, books, food, housing, transportation, etc. can vary according to your housing status. Visit the Office of Admissions Estimated Cost of Attendance page for the latest information. 
    • Financial aid
      If you need financial aid, remember to submit your FAFSA form between January 1 and the beginning of March.
      All courses are eligible for financial aid. Financial aid, scholarships and grants are also available for students who demonstrate need. Contact the SDSU Financial Aid Office and speak to a financial aid officer familiar with loans for special programs.

      If you are an out-of-state or international applicant, request CA residency requirements ASAP, so you can qualify for in-state tuition as soon as you possibly can.

Frequently Asked Questions

CBB admissions is conducted every 2 years. Our next application cycle will begin Fall 2023 for the 2024-2026 cohort.
  • Mondays at the Dede Alpert Center in City Heights (where CBB interviews took place)
  • Tuesday night is on SDSU campus
  • Wednesday is in Barrio Logan (Beckworth Library/ Educational Cultural Complex).
  • Thursday & Friday at your fieldwork site

Year 1

A cohort of approximately 30 students will take all classes together, all day Monday and Wednesday, with research class on Tuesday night.

Year 2

Year 2 will be specialized according to your focus of study and the group will be split accordingly. During both years, fieldwork hours are required.

The applications ask for cumulative GPA and GPA from courses associated with your major. Our program doesn’t have a “cut off score” for GPA. However, the university does ask a 2.85 GPA minimum (over last 60 units) and has become increasingly strict about this. In the past, the faculty have been able to successfully advocate for students with GPA lower than 2.85, but that may not be the case in the future.
It is recommended that CBBers not work outside their fieldwork commitments. CBB is emotionally and academically rigorous. Attending to additional commitments could take away from the CBB experience. For more information, see the Program Details page.
Yes, the CBB Program trains licensed counselors to work in college settings. In fact, many of our graduates have been employed as counselors, professors, directors and in leadership roles, especially in community colleges. Learn more about the program.
Being a non-native English speaker would not impact your ability to get into the program. If anything, it can be attributed to diverse life experiences, something that CBB values. 
Unfortunately, our program does not offer a fee waiver. You could contact Graduate Admissions, because they might have more information. Please see their contact info below.
Prospective Student Center
[email protected]
Yes, just choose one to officially apply for via Cal State Apply. Then, you will apply to each program individually (CBB and other). After you get admitted and decide your program, then we would go back into Cal State Apply and change the program of choice (for GA: RDR will be sent to the program listed in Cal State Apply).
  • Take courses to improve GPA
  • Seek therapy for yourself
  • Gain experiences in your area of interest related to social justice/counseling
  • Visit a class
  • Share your interpersonal
    challenges, as well as your strengths in
    your personal statement (We value authenticity, openness and
  • Get letters of recommendation from people who really
    know you and are authentic
The main goal of CBB is to create change agents in our society who want to support and work with people in diverse communities.

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