How to Become an Arizona School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Arizona. 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 Arizona Department of Education licensing department at (602) 542-4367.

I'm a High School Graduate...

In order to become a school counselor in Arizona, you will need to start earning a post-secondary education. Eventually, you will need to have earned your master's degree; however, there are many stops along the way that you should take advantage of.

You can either start by earning an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree. With an associate's degree, you can start working as a paraprofessional in a public school right away.

Or take the route of earning your bachelor's degree and consider starting your career in education at the teaching level.

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 Arizona:

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 Arizona.

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I have already earned a college degree...

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

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through the following avenue:

Step Two:

The following are 3 different avenues for completing experience requirements. Only one of the following need to be completed:

  • Acquire 2 years of verified full-time experience as a school guidance counselor (option for those who are moving from another state)
  • Complete 3 years of verified teaching experience
  • Complete a supervised counseling practicum while enrolled in a school counseling program from an accredited institution

Step Three:

You will need to have all of your Official Transcripts from post-secondary schooling sent to the Arizona Department of Education's certification office.

Step Four:

You must have an Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by the Arizona Department of Education (Call this number for information: (602) 223-2279).

Step Five:

Visit this webpage to download an application for certification in school counseling and view detailed requirements. Select the “Professional Non-Teaching Certificate” link to access the application and requirements. Alternatively, you may contact the Arizona Department of Education and request an application for certification in School Counseling: (602) 542-4367.

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

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

If you have completed 3 years of full-time teaching, you will not have to complete a supervised practicum, thus saving you precious time.

However, you will still need to complete a graduate program in school counseling from an accredited institution: Complete the following forms to learn more about school counseling programs available to you.

Or, contact the Arizona Department of Education to find out what schools near you offer regionally accredited school counseling programs.

Visit the Arizona Department of Education Educator Certification Website to review requirements and access the required application for certification.

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

The Arizona Department of Education will review your transcripts and certification from any state, and if you have met all requirements for certification, you will be issued a school counseling certification in Arizona.

However, you will likely still need to complete a background check.

If you must have an Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by the Arizona Department of Education, call this number for information: (602) 223-2279.

Visit this website to review school counselor certification requirements for out of state reciprocity.

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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.