How to Become a Missouri School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in Missouri. 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 Missouri Department of Education licensing department at (573) 751-4212.

I'm a High School Graduate...

You've taken a large first step by beginning your career research. Missouri career counseling can be a highly rewarding profession. However, you are still a fair distance away from having all the credentials you need to successfully apply for certification. You will need to eventually acquire a bachelor's degree and then earn your Master's degree in school counseling.

The following are recommended steps that will help you acquire the necessary credentials while also learning more about whether a career in Missouri school counseling is right for you.

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 Missouri:

Remember, you're ahead of the curve doing career research as a high school graduate. But don't stop there. Go ahead and begin earning your bachelor's degree or associate's degree while you continue researching. You'll be glad you did!

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I have already earned a college degree...

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

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:

  1. Earn a Master's degree in education, school counseling, counseling, counseling psychology or a related mental health discipline. AND; Complete a Missouri Department of Education approved graduate program in school counseling including a supervised internship or field experience of at least 300 clock hours.
  2. OR; Complete a Master's degree with an emphasis in guidance and counseling from a college or university approved by the Missouri Department of Eementary and Seconary Education.

Step Two:

Examination Requirements: If you did not complete a master's program in school counseling approved by the Missouri Department of Education, than you must successfully complete a Praxis II examination in school counseling with a score of 590 or higher.

Step Three:

You will also need to complete a fingerprinting process and background check before you will be considered for Missouri school counselor certification

You can find information about necessary materials and procedure from the following webpage. Missouri Applicant Fingerprint Services.

Step Four:

Download and complete a Missouri school counseling certification application.

Before beginning on the application process, make sure you have everything you need to successfully acquire your certification by contacting the Missouri Department of Education by calling the following number: (573) 751-0051 or (573) 751-4212.

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

The Missouri Department of Education does acknowledge reciprocity agreements between states. However, you will still need to have your certification and qualifications evaluated to make sure your credential meet Missouri school counseling certification requirements.

Download an application for school counseling certification here.

For more information on procedures and background check protocol, download the appropriate forms from the following webpage. Additional Forms and 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.