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How to Become a Certified School Counselor

How to Become a Certified School Counselor

The educational requirements to become a certified school counselor in Pennsylvania include the completion of an approved, degree-conferring master's program in school counseling. Our program meets PDE’s specific criteria through the following courses:

Core Counseling Courses (30 credits)
PSYG 500 - Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy  
PSYG 503 - Psychopathology  
PSYG 506 - Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy I
PSYG 510 - Research Design and Methodology  
PSYG 512 - Legal & Ethical Issues in Counseling and Psychotherapy  
PSYG 514 - Development across the Lifespan: Individual and Family  
PSYG 530 - Group Therapy   
PSYG 532 - The Role of Culture & Gender in Counseling and Psychotherapy   
PSYG 542 - Career Development and Counseling  
PSYG 662 - Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents

School Counseling Courses (12 credits)  
SCHC 501 - Foundations of School Counseling I 
SCHC 502 - Foundations of School Counseling II 
EDSP 530 - Theory and Pedagogy in Special Education 
EDSP 535 - Evaluation/Assessment and the Law for Students with Disabilities 

Clinical Training (7 credits)  
SCHC 704 - School Counseling Pre-Practicum (20 hours) 
SCHC 705 - School Counseling Practicum (100 hours) 
SCHC 715 - School Counseling Internship (420 total hours) 

In order to ensure exposure, understanding, and competencies regarding the practice and delivery of academic, career, and personal/social interventions, students will participate in a supervised counseling practicum and internship experience, typically in their second year of the program.

Upon graduation, and prior to Certification as a School Counselor by the PA Department of Education, graduates will be required to successfully complete and pass the School Counseling PRAXIS Exam (#0420). Information on the PRAXIS Exam.

Finally, Pennsylvania School Law requires that all applicants for employment in public and private schools, employees of independent contractors seeking business with public and private schools, and student teacher candidates undergo background checks if they will have direct contact with students. In addition, employment history reviews must be completed for all applicants seeking employment.

The following three background checks are required:

  •     Department of Human Services Child Abuse History Clearance
  •     Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records Check
  •     Federal Criminal History Record Information (CHRI)
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