How to Become a Colorado School Counselor

Where are you on your quest to become a Colorado School Counselor?

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Colorado. 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 Colorado Department of Education licensing department at (303) 239-4208.

I'm a High School Graduate...

If you have your high school diploma, you're off to a great start! However, you still have a little ways to go... You will eventually need to earn a Master's degree in order to begin a career in school counseling.

Don't be turned off! Many Colorado school counselors start off as paraprofessionals or teachers before heading into the counseling field. These careers only require an Associate's degree and a Bachelor's degree respectfully. Now is simply a great time to take great classes, earn your college degree and learn about the field of education in Colorado! The following are recommended steps to take in order to fast track your career as a Colorado school counselor.

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 Colorado:

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.

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I have already earned a college degree...

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

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through the following avenue:

Step Two:

To fulfill experience requirements you will need to:

  • Successfully complete 100 clock hours in a practicum setting through your school counseling education program AND, 600 clock hours of a supervised internship in the appropriate setting for your desired certification.

Step Three:

You will need to successfully complete the PLACE Examination: School Counseling and Guidance Specialty Assessment.

  • For more information and the PLACE examination, the location of exams, time of exams and various exam particulars, look at the following website: PLACE
  • Or call the CDE educator licensing department for more information: (303) 866-6628

Step Four:

Complete a Colorado Department of Education (CDE) fingerprint card and submit this card with a processing fee to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). For more detailed fingerprint requirements and instructions visit the Colorado Department of Education fingerprint submission requirement webpage here.

  • Make sure to send fingerprint cards and processing fee to the CBI before submitting your application.
  • Colorado Bureau of Investigation
    690 Kipling Street, Suite 3000
    Denver, CO. 80215
    or call for more information (303)239-4208
    e-mail: http://cbi.state.co.us

Step Five:

You will need to request official transcripts from all post-secondary education you have received. In order to be accepted, Official transcripts must have the registrar’s seal. Visit this webpage for transcript requirements and submission instructions.

Step Six:

Download the application here and follow all instructions.

Select the application that's right for you on the following webpage, and review the listed requirements. In Colorado, School Counselors must obtain the Special Services Provider License. Complete all the listed requirements. Once you have completed all of the requirements, you are ready to apply for your license through Colorado online system.

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

Colorado recognizes school certifications in all states and will review transcripts and qualifications to ensure your qualifications match the requirements of Colorado.

You will need to submit an application through Colorado’s online licensure system. Review the application instructions and complete the list of requirements prior to submitting your application through the online system. You may access this information and the online system here.

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

If you are a certified school counselor coming from another state, you will need to have your credentials examined by the Colorado Department of Education to make sure your qualifications satisfy school counseling requirements in the state of Colorado.

Follow the steps starting on the following webpage and make sure you have fulfilled all requirements including the background check.

Call the Colorado Department of Education at (303) 239-4208 if you have any questions or are confused as to the application process.

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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.