How to Become an Arkansas School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Arkansas. 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 Arkansas Department of Education licensing department at (501) 682-4342.

I'm a High School Graduate...

As a high school graduate in Arkansas, it may be some time before you are eligible for a school counseling certification. However, now is a fantastic time to learn more about careers in education and begin learning about the philosophies behind school counseling.

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 Arkansas:

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 Arkansas.

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I have already earned a college degree...

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

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through the following avenue:

Step Two:

At some point during your school counseling education, you will need to complete at least a 9 semester hour practicum experience with individual and group counseling.

Step Three:

Experience Requirements: You will need to have completed one of the following scenarios:

  • Successfully complete one year of full-time teaching while holding a valid teaching certification
  • Successfully complete a supervised school counseling internship that must include all regular activities of a professional school counselor.

Step Four:

You must successfully pass the Praxis II School Guidance and Counseling Test #0420. Find more information about the test, dates the test is given and locations of test sites on the ETS website.

Step Five:

You will need to request official transcripts from all post-secondary education you have received to be sent to the Arkansas Department of Education.

Step Six:

You must successfully complete the Arkansas Required Criminal Background Check. Contact Arkansas' Office of Professional Licensure and request the Criminal Background Check forms. Call this number: (501) 682-4342

Step Seven:

Either contact a representative from the Arkansas Department of Education at (501) 682-4342 to have them send you an application, or download one from the Department's website. Complete and send back the application with associated application processing fees.

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

If you are already a teacher in Arkansas, much of the time consuming busy work is already done. As long as you have completed 1 successful year of teaching, you will not have to enroll in a practicum program.

Also, you have most likely already completed you background check in order to have gained your Arkansas teaching certification.

However, what you will need to do is complete an approved Master's degree program in School Counseling:

In order to make sure you are taking care of all prerequisites for Arkansas School Counseling Certification, you should contact an Arkansas Department of Education certification representative at the following number: (501) 682-4342

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

The Arkansas Department of Education does accept and review certification and transcripts from teachers and counselors from other states.

Apart from completing an application, you will need to fulfill a few other requirements.

You can find all other requirements for gaining school counseling certification in Arkansas coming from another state on the following webpage: Arkansas Teacher and Counselor Reciprocity Information.

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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.