How to Become a Florida School Counselor
Where are you on your quest to become a Florida School Counselor?
- I'm a High School Graduate...
- I have already earned a college degree...
- I'm a certified counselor from another state...
Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Florida. 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 Florida Department of Education licensing department at (800) 445-6739.
Capella University offers four online CACREP-accredited Graduate Programs in Counseling: MS in Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage & Family Counseling/Therapy, MS in School Counseling, and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. The MS in Marriage & Family Counseling/Therapy program is also COAMFTE-accredited. In addition, Capella has program options in Addiction Studies, Studies in Human Behavior, General Psychology, Clinical Counseling, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Educational Psychology, Sport Psychology, and more. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their programs.
I'm a High School Graduate...
Carrying a high school diploma will not earn you a school counseling certification, but it is one step closer. Standing at the beginning of your post-secondary education career, you are going to have many exciting opportunities to explore the field of counseling and education.
We encourage you to put yourself out there and volunteer with the students you are interested in working with as a Florida counselor. You will learn quickly whether a career in education is for you. So, we recommend you take the following steps in order to acquire the formal education you need as well as gain the experience to make the right career decisions.
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.
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 Florida:
- Mentoring through the BBBS is a great opportunity to work children, learn about the various issues many counselors must deal with and find out if this kind of work is for you. The following are more BBBS organizations located throughout Florida.
- BBBS of Northeast Florida
- BBBS of Florida Tampa Bay
- BBBS of Central Florida
- BBBS of Miami, Florida
- BBBS of Northwest Florida
- Florida School District Database
- Use this link to find schools near you as well as each school's contact information. Contact these schools to find out if there are any volunteer programs you may participate in.
School Counseling is a difficult but incredibly rewarding job for those who like working with students and helping others. We encourage you to begin earning your associate's degree or bachelor's degree and explore the field of education.
I have already earned a college degree...
The following are the steps necessary for earning your school counseling certification in Florida:
Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:
- Earn a Master's degree in School Counseling
- Capella University Master of Science (MS) in Human Services - School Counseling Specialization - CACREP and State Approved**
- New York University (NYU) Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance - School Counseling and Bilingual School Counseling - MPCAC Accredited
- Northwestern University - CACREP-Accredited Online Master of Arts in Counseling (meets requirements to become a school counselor)
- UMass Online (Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling - NEASC and State-Approved program)
- Or find more school counseling programs in Florida here.
You will need to successfully complete the College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST), the Professional Education Test and the Subject Test in School Guidance and Counseling.
Complete the online certification application at the following webpage. There will be an application processing fee and you may wish to contact the FLDOE if you have any questions: (800) 445-6739
After your certification application is being processes you will receive an official statement of eligibility for employment. Once you have this statement, you can begin looking for a job. Once hired, you will need to submit fingerprints to be processed by the FDLE and the FBI. Your employer will assist you with completing the fingerprint process.
I'm a certified counselor from another state...
As long as you have a certification from another state that is currently valid and is comparable with a standard or Level II certification issued by Florida, the Florida Department of Education will issue you a certification for Florida School Counseling after completing a certification application.
You will still need to complete a fingerprinting and background check procedure before stepping into a counseling position; however, this process will be facilitated through your hiring school district.