How to Become a South Carolina School Counselor

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

Explore the information below and learn how you can become a school counselor in South Carolina. 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 South Carolina Department of Education licensing department at (803) 734-8466.

I'm a High School Graduate...

As a high school graduate looking into the professional career of a South Carolina school counselor, you are showing motivation and maturity. These virtues will serve you well in many aspects of your life. However, don't stop here! Career research is only as valuable as what you do with it.

Below are some recommended steps to take that will help you on your future career path. You will find information about advancing your level of education as well as opportunities that will help you learn whether a career as a South Carolina school counselor 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 South Carolina:

Lastly, make sure you go ahead and get out there! Start volunteering or working in a public school. This is the only way you will learn whether a career in education is right for you with real confidence. In addition, you may develop some relationships that will last for many years to come and enrich you life along the way.

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I have already earned a college degree...

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

Step One:

Fulfill educational requirements through one of the following avenues:

  1. Earn a Master's degree in School Counseling
  2. Or earn a Master's degree in any other field and then separately, complete a school counseling program from an approved educational institution.

Step Two:

To fulfill South Carolina's examination requirements, you will need to complete the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), the Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT), and the Praxis II: School Guidance and Counseling examination.

You can find more information about testing locations and dates on the ETS website.

Step Three:

Prior to being issued a South Carolina school counseling certification, you will also need to complete a criminal background check. You can request fingerprint cards to be sent to you from the South Carolina Department of Education.

In addition, you will need to request an application for certification to be sent to your residence to be completed by you. You can request both the application packet and fingerprint cards to be sent to you through the following form on the South Carolina Department of Education website.

Step Four:

Finally, you can follow the indicated steps to certification on the following webpage: Steps to South Carolina educator cerification. In addition, you can find requirements for certification in other fields on the South Carolina Teacher Certification Manual.

Or, you can call the South Carolina Department of Education Office of Educator Certification at the following number: (803) 734-8466

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

If you are a school counselor in another state, the South Carolina Department of Education may be able to grant you a South Carolina school counselor certification through reciprocity agreements.

You can find more information about the certification through reciprocity agreements and contact information for further questions, here.

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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.