How to Become an Alaska School Counselor

Where are you on your quest to become an Alaska School Counselor?

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Alaska. Some of the information below may be subject to change. In order to make sure you have the most current information, please feel free to contact your school counseling education program advisor or contact the Alaska Department of Education licensing department at (907) 465-2831.

I'm a High School Graduate...

In order to become a school counselor in Alaska, you will need to acquire more education. This might sound like a dreadful idea, but it is actually a great opportunity to learn more about what the school counseling field and psychology field in general is like. As a matter of fact, as a high school graduate, you will not need to narrow your educational focus for some time. You may take all types of classes that interest you, but will also count toward a degree that will take you one step closer to eventually becoming a school counselor. The following are recommended steps:

Step One:

Gather information from schools offering associate degree programs or bachelor degree programs in psychology, counseling or any type of program you are currently interested in. It is not imperative you enroll in a counseling program at this point. The only necessity is that you begin earning your associate's degree or bachelor's degree.

Step Two:

A great way to find out if you are interested in a social service type of career, like school counseling, is to find volunteering organizations who work with children or young adults. The following are links to organizations who can place you in volunteering positions across the state of Alaska:

Lastly, do not be afraid to explore various career options. In the field of education, there are many opportunities that require individuals with various talents. Whether you end up as a counselor, a teacher, an administrator or school psychologist, you will be supporting one of the greatest, most honorable endeavors you can, educating Alaska.

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I have already earned a college degree...

The following are the steps necessary for earning your school counseling certification in Alaska:

Step One:

You will need to fulfill all educational requirements established by the Alaska Department of Education. The minimum requirement for education is a Bachelor's degree. However, a higher degree such as a Master's is recommended. In addition to a bachelor's degree, you will need to fulfill educational requirements through one of the following two avenues:

Step Two:

Complete additional coursework regarding Alaska and its varying mixture of cultures:

  • Complete three semester hours of study in "Alaska Studies"
  • Complete three semester hours of study in "Multi-cultural Education" or "Cross-cultural Communication"
  • All credits must be earned within the last 5 years

Step Three:

Fingerprint cards and an application for a background check must also be submitted. There will be a fingerprint processing fee of $66. Request two fingerprint cards from the Alaska Department of Education by calling this number, (907) 465-2441, or by e-mail to: tcwebmail@eed.state.ak.us

For more information about fingerprint and background check requirements visit this webpage.

Step Four:

You will need to request official transcripts from all secondary education schools you have attended as well as have an Institutional Recommendation form completed. For more information about transcript requirements and mailing instructions visit this webpage.

Step Five:

You will need to download an application form for certification (your certification will be Type C Special Service Certificate). Download the Type C Special Service Certificate application here. You will need to include all associated application fees as well (at press time, this was $200)

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I'm a teacher in Alaska and wish to become a school counselor...

If you are already a teacher in Alaska, the transition into the school counseling career is not as painful as an ordinary career change.

Since you have already completed your background check, the required coursework for all Alaskan certified educators and have already completed a bachelor's degree and a teacher certification program, all you will need to do is enroll in a regionally accredited school counseling program and complete an application.

You will need to download an application form for certification (your certification will be Type C Special Service Certificate). Download the Type C Special Service Certificate application here. You will need to include all associated application fees as well (at press time, this was $200)

In order to make sure you are taking care of all prerequisites for Alaska School Counseling Certification, you should contact an Alaska Department of Education certification representative at the following number: (907) 465-2831

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I'm a certified counselor from another state...

The Alaska Department of Education accepts many school counseling programs across the country. You will need to contact your school counseling program provider and have them complete an institutional recommendation form and have it sent to the Alaska Department of Education.

You will also need to complete a Type C Special Service Certificate application and provide the appropriate application fee.

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**Some states require completion of a state-approved School Counselor preparation program from a regionally accredited institution in order to be licensed as a school counselor. Capella University is regionally accredited and their School Counseling specialization is state-approved by the Arizona Department of Education. We recommend that you follow up with your state Department of Education (DOE) to determine whether Capella's Arizona- approved School Counseling specialization meets your state's licensure requirements.